O’Donnell Bio

The following is a bio that can be used for conference programmes and speaker notes.

Daniel Paul O’Donnell is a professor of English and associate member of the University Library Academic Staff. His original training was in the study of early medieval English language and literature. In addition to continuing research and teaching in this area, he has, in recent years, expanded his focus to explore the practice and dissemination of research in the Humanities and across the disciplines in the digital age, and the role and practice of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) in academic research. His Google Scholar Profile is available here; his personal pre-print and off-print library is available at Zenodo.

O’Donnell has played a leading role in many of the most important international research projects in the Digital Humanities and Open Science of the last twenty years, including stints as Director or President of Force11 (FORCE11.org), the Force 11 Scholarly Communicati Read the rest of this entry »

English 4600a: Beowulf (Spring 2021)

About this course

In this course we will read the poem Beowulf in the original Old English. The principal focus of the course will be reading the poem above all else: it can be difficult to read the entire poem in a semester, though every class I’ve taught has managed in the end.

Because we will be reading Beowulf in the original Old English, the course has a mandatory prerequisite: English 3450 (Introduction to Old English) or an equivalent course or preparation. You must already know how to read Old English in order to take this course.

Learning goals

The goal of the course is to read Beowulf. By the end of the course you should be

English 3901a: History of the English Language (Spring 2021)

About this course

Why don’t we spell knight nite?

Where does ‘silent e’ come from?

Why is it book and books but not sheep and sheeps?

Do we say somebody is six foot or six feet tall?

All of us have asked questions like these about the English language. This course will teach you how to find the answers. Read the rest of this entry »

Bulk converting and moving docx files to pdf

The issue I had was a set of student assignments downloaded from Moodle. Most were in Word format (.docx), but to grade them quickly I wanted them in pdf.

The Moodle download was a zip file that expanded to a series of directories of the format “studentName/randomwassignmenttitle.docx.” So I also wanted to collect all the files one directory higher up BUT add the student names to the files.

So to put in steps:

  1. I wanted to convert all . Read the rest of this entry »

Joining a Todoist project

This is a quick reference for people joining a project set up by me in Todoist.

1. You’ll get an invitation from me

You’ll get an invitation by email to join the project. After you accept it, tasks can be assigned to you.

You can email tasks to the Board

One of the great strengths of Todoist is that each project (in fact each card) has both a URL and an email address. You can email tasks to a project and comments to a card.

When you email a task to a project,

Read the rest of this entry »

Crash course on translating OE verb, adjective, and noun inflections

This page is a crash course for translating Old English verb, adjective, and noun inflections. It provides some really quick Present Day English equivalents so that you can “hear” what each case sounds like in PDE. This is only meant to get you started in the first week or two. We’ll return to them more formally and analytically later.

Old English Cases

Old English has four main cases (and a fifth that is very limited in distribution that we’ll deal with later):

OE Case PDE function Example PDE translation PDE Personal Pronoun equivalent [ignoring gender]
Nominative Subject dæg the day he / they
Accusative Object naman the name him / them
Genitive Possessive stanes The stone’s of him (i.e. his) / of them (i.e. Read the rest of this entry »

The “Anglo-Saxonist” Controversy

Here is a beginning bibliography on the recent “Anglo-Saxonist” controversy in Early Medieval English Studies (Thanks to Barbara Bordalejo):

  • Some resources on the term and the controversy by Mary Rambaran-Olm:
    • Part 1
    • Part 2
    • “Part 3:“https://medium.com/@mrambaranolm/history-bites-resources-on-the-problematic-term-anglo-saxon-part-3-2f38919569f0


Read the rest of this entry »

How to uninstall Shift from a linux computer

Shift is an app that allows you to combine several productivity apps in a single package — email, calendars, and so on. I hope to use it to combine my union and university accounts.

I’m having some problems getting it to work, however, the various tech people keep asking me to uninstall Shift before or after doing something. Unfortunately, unlike a lot of applications, Shift doesn’t come with a handy uninstall.sh to match its install.sh installation script.

It does have relatively clear uninstallation instructions on its website, though you need to find them (I didn’t see any direct links from any page dealing with installation) and there’s an error in the Linux instructions. Since I have to keep finding this page and then rediscover the error every time, I thought I’d record the corrected instructions here:

Read the rest of this entry »

When I was a child… An interesting acknowledgement of scholarly immaturity in Ogilvie’s Books known the the English

When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things. (1 Cor. 13:11)

I just bought a copy of J.D.A. Ogilvy’s Books Known to the English, 597-1066. Well actually not just “a” copy: the fly paper tells me it used to belong to R.H. Rouse, the famous UCLA historian and part of the great team with M. Read the rest of this entry »

Using multiple signatures in Microsoft Outlook OWA (Web version)

Different Strokes for Different Folks

Like many academics, I have a number of different positions on campus, nationally, and internationally.

I am a professor in my department, an Associate Member of another department on campus, and of the graduate school and various institutes at Lethbridge and elsewhere, Principal Investigator of a couple of projects, editor of one journal, associate editor of another, and Vice President and Chief Spokesperson for my faculty union. If you’ve seen signatures of other professors, you’ll know that this is not a particularly lengthy list.

Not all of these positions are independent of each other. Read the rest of this entry »

English 3450a: Old English (Fall 2020)

Rotating one or more pages in a PDF in linux

Had to rotate a single page of a PDF. Here’s how to do it using pdftk (from makandra.com):

  • rotate page 1 by 90 degrees clockwise:
pdftk in.pdf cat 1east output out.pdf # new pdftk
  • To rotate all pages clockwise:
pdftk in.pdf cat 1-endeast output out.pdf # new pdftk

The east etc. Read the rest of this entry »

Various remote work guides and tips

Here’s a place where I’m collecting various tips and tricks for remote work in light of the University of Lethbridge moving to “alternate methods of delivery.” I’ll update this as I go.

Some Zoom tips.

The university is encouraging us to use Zoom for meetings, office hours, and classes. Read the rest of this entry »

Zoom in the time of COVID-19: Setting up Zoom for classes and office hours at the U of L

The University of Lethbridge is moving to an ‘alternate delivery model’ for classes as of Wednesday March 18. Mostly, this seems to me subscribing to Zoom, a widely-used teleconferencing system, and encouraging faculty to use it. Since the University of Lethbridge has not previously subscribed to Zoom, this means that a lot of faculty members will be doing two new things starting on Wednesday: using Zoom and teaching on Zoom.

I’ve used Zoom a lot in the last couple of years for my research (in fact my lab has a subscription of its own). The following are some tips and hints for faculty that are using it for the first time to teach. They are based on my experience running workshops and meetings, rather than teaching. I’ll update them as I get tips and experience. They are not meant to replace online guides to using Zoom (such as this one from UC San Diego). Just things you might not think about or see in such guides. Read the rest of this entry »

Das Cabinet des Dr. Caligari/The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1920)


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