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Laura Gibbs

Week 10 Indian Epics Curation

2 min read

Here is my new post for Indian Epics

WELLCOME LIBRARY. My favorite discovery was the amazing collection of images at the Wellcome Library Images. I didn't expect that they would have so many images from India, but they do! Just as one example, here is a lovely Shiva with a baby Ganesha:

L0022496 Credit: Wellcome Library, London Shiva and baby Ganesha Watercolour Collection: Iconographic Collections Library reference no.: Iconographic Collection KALIGHAT NO. 22



BEL TREE. There was a reference to the sacred Bel tree in Divakaruni's Palace of Illusions, and there is a wonderful Wikipedia article that explains about the tree and also about its religious symbolism in the Hindu tradition, especially in connection with Shiva worship. This image shows a Shiva linga decorated with Bel leaves:


FENRIS'S SACRED STORIES. I read and really enjoyed Morris Fenris's collection of Indian stories. Each story is very short, and the stories are drawn from many different sources. I will definitely write up a detailed Reading Guide for this book so that I can include links to help people learn more about the especially famous stories contained in the collection. You can see a list of the stories here; the book itself does not contain illustrations, so I would like to find good illustrations to use. One story is about Rama and how the Indian palm squirrel got its stripes! 


Laura Gibbs

Week 9 Indian Epics Curation

2 min read

Last week, I did a special OU Twitter curation post (WLT, FJJMA, Writing Center), but this week I am back with favorite items from  Indian Epics

FREE BOOK: India: Art and Culture, 1300–1900 by Stuart Cary Welch (1985). The Metropolitan Museum of Art has put this beautiful book online for free. Here is the summary of the book at their website: This volume, which is divided into five sections, opens with the bronze sculptures, ritual objects, and temple hangings of the classical Hindu tradition of the south. The vivid and lively art of rural India, which provides an aesthetic continuum that extends throughout these six centuries, is presented in the second section, Tribe and Village. This is followed by the highly refined and sophisticated art of the Muslim courts, which reached its greatest flowering in the exquisite illustrated manuscripts executed under the patronage of the Mughal emperors. In addition, the imperial ateliers of the Mughals produced works of technical brilliance in a wide array of decorative arts. Political alliances between the Mughals and the Hindu nobility in the north led to a fusion of Islamic and Hindu traditions that is explored in the bold, vigorous miniatures and dazzling weaponry of the Rajput world. And the art of the nineteenth century, produced under the Raj as Indian artists began to assimilate Western perspectives, is documented in the last section, the British Period.

Here is a beautiful Rasamandala, Krishna's Cosmic Dance (late 18th century, Jaipur: item 261):


WALTERS ART MUSEUM. I was amazed by the beautiful presentation of images at the Walters Art Museum, and the notes provided for the images are excellent. Here, for example, is an early 19th-century painting showing episodes from the Krishna legends; the detail shows the horse-demon Keshi (read that story at Wikipedia):


WILLIAM DALRYMPLEAll Indian life is here by William Dalrymple (The Guardian). I am sure people in this class would enjoy this essay by the wonderful writer William Dalrymple, one of the best writers on India today: The British Library's Ramayana miniatures - masterpieces of Hindu art, many painted by Muslims - are testimony to a time when religious relations on the subcontinent were less fraught, writes William Dalrymple.

You may already be familiar with the illustration that accompanies the article: Awakening Kumbhakarna.

Laura Gibbs

Week 9 Myth-Folklore Curation

1 min read

Last week, I did a special OU Twitter curation post (WLT, FJJMA, Writing Center), but this week I am back with favorite items from Myth-Folklore

THE ILIAD. This video documents a reading of The Iliad featuring 66 performers declaiming the whole Iliad (18,225 lines of poetry) on August 14 — and the entire performance is available on video too! See the Open Culture post for all the links: The Iliad in a Marathon Event

The Making of The Iliad | Almeida Greeks | Almeida Theatre, London from Almeida Theatre on Vimeo.


ODIN. At Google+ Norse Mythology shared this gorgeous stained glass window showing Odin and his two ravens; the artist is Sir Edward Coley Burne-Jones.


FAIRY CENSUS. As this article by Jess Zimmerman in Atlas Obscura explains: The First Global Fairy Census Wants to heart about Your Close Encounters. The Fairy Investigation Society, which dates back to 1927, is collecting people's experiences via this fairy census.

Illustration from "Elves and Fairies," 1916.


Laura Gibbs

Top 3 Curation Tools for Reading

5 min read

Since I have been running a curation experiment here at Known this semester, I thought I would use this space to prep for the upcoming chat. I'll do two posts today, one about curation tools I use for READING (incoming) and the other about curation tools for SHARING (outgoing). [Update: Here is the post about sharing.]

... but here's the thing: the tools I use for reading ARE tools for sharing also! That is why I like these tools — Inoreader, Google+, Twitter — so much. In this post, I will focus on how I use these tools for reading, and in the other post I will flip the perspective and talk about how I use these tools for sharing.

Reading at INOREADER. I subscribe to lots of blogs and news feeds with Inoreader. I have a "must read education blogs" folder and a "higher education news" folder (Inside Higher Ed, Chronicle blogs, etc.) that I read religiously, along with an "OU feeds" folder for the (rare) blog post from my school. In addition to RSS standard feeds, Inoreader also allows you to subscribe to other social media: Twitter, Google+ and Facebook. Since I am active at Twitter and Google+, I don't really read that content in Inoreader (although that feature is still very useful to me for purposes of sharing; more on that in another post), but I really value using Inoreader to collect Facebook feeds for my favorite Indian musicians.

Most days, that is all I have time to read, but that's plenty for me to feel like I am keeping up. If I ever felt like I needed more content to come into those folders, I'm sure I could go look for additional must-read blogs and education news feeds. But I think I've struck the right balance, especially since my reading is supplemented by the two sources below. I read Inoreader every day so I rarely get behind, but Inoreader is also very patient: because it uses a read/unread system (much like email), it's not a problem if I fall behind. It's very easy to get caught up.


Reading at GOOGLE+. This is my main personal network online (my G+ page), and I have a core circle of streams that I follow here. I don't always get to Google+ reader every day, and I don't always read everything in that core circle on the days I do find time, but that's okay. I just know that if I can find a half hour or, even better, an hour to spend at Google+, I will be the better for it!

Google+ is also a place for conversations, though, and that's why I sometimes miss out on Google+ on a given day: if I know that I am distracted and won't really have time to engage in some conversations as well as reading, I will skip Google+ for a day or two and then get back into it when I do have the time. I rarely go more than one or two days without a good Google+ romp, though (except for when I am out of town and totally offline).

Despite the search engine, Google+ is pretty useless for searching (the search options are bizarrely primitive: what's up with that, Google?). As time goes by, content becomes less and less easy to retrieve and access, so I really do miss lots of posts. But that's okay: I treat Google+ as a more ephemeral space for conversations, kind of like a giant cafe where people are hanging out online. I don't want or need to read everything, and I adjust my "must-read" circle so that I always can find something new but don't feel totally overwhelmed by the incoming posts in the stream.


Reading at TWITTER. I am latecomer to Twitter but it is now part of my everyday routine also. I have two Twitter accounts which I use for very different purposes: I have a "personal" account (OnlineCrsLady) which I use to follow people and programs at my school, and which I also use for Twitter chats and for participating in cMOOCs (I was much more active at Twitter when I was participating in ConnectedCourses for example). Then I also have a "class" account (OnlineMythIndia) which I use to follow content streams that are relevant to the classes I teach, and I am really amazed and delighted by the content I have found on Twitter this way.  More details:

OnlineCrsLady: I have devoted a lot of time and attention to building up the two University of Oklahoma lists that I follow pretty religiously: OU faculty/staff and OU programs. I rarely have time to do more than follow those two lists, but when I get a chance I follow the  hashtag. Since I find Twitter conversations so difficult, I don't really read much from people at Twitter aside from people at my school, even though many educators whom I really admire use Twitter very actively. For that kind of interaction, though, I prefer Google+ where conversations (at least for me) come much more easily.

OnlineMythIndia: Especially for the India class, Twitter has been an amazing resource. Through the great author William Dalrymple, I hooked up with a circle of people who share beautiful Indian art every day. Then I found other Indian authors at Twitter like Chitra Divakaruni, Samhita Arni, and Devdutt Pattanaik. That is really thrilling! I also follow some great content sources like the Smithsonian, OpenCulture, New York Public Library, Atlas Obscura, and on and on. Again, the "must-read" list I keep for this account is an ongoing balancing act, making sure I have plenty to read whenever I want but without feeling overwhelmed. I know that if I wanted to find more content out there to follow, I could!

Laura Gibbs

Top 3 Curation Tools for Sharing

6 min read

In my previous post — Top 3 Curation Tools for Reading — I wrote about the tools I use for most of my reading online: Inoreader, Google+, and Twitter.  What makes these tools really powerful for me is that they are also tools for sharing. To me, that is where the value of curation comes through: if I share the valuable things that I read, it then improves the quality of the network in which I participate. It's an endless cycle because what I am reading is often the product of similar curation by others in my network. So, they read, curate and share, and then I read what is shared so that I can also curate and share, and on and on. Not a vicious circle: a virtuous one!

There are lots of other tools that I use for sharing online, like PInterest, Diigo, etc., and I will write up some posts about them too if I have time. In terms of my daily routine, though, just as Inoreader, Google+, and Twitter are the tools I use all day long for reading, they are also the tools I use every day for sharing.

Sharing with INOREADER. Lots of content comes into my Inoreader account every day, and lots of content goes out! Inoreader is not just an RSS reader but a powerful syndication tool. Here are the ways that I share content outwards using Inoreader:

Share-to-Google+ button. As I am read news items and blog posts, I often share to Google+ using the Inoreader share button. This is the usual kind of sharing you would expect to do with a feed reader... but Inoreader offers some much more creative sharing options:

Outgoing "Combo" RSS feeds. Using tags (some assigned manually, some automatically), I use Inoreader to share all kinds of combination RSS feeds which can also be displayed as HTML. An example is my personal feed at which allows me to share in a single RSS feed all my activity across Twitter (both accounts), Google+, all my personal blogs, along with anything I want to manually add to the feed from inside Inoreader. AMAZING. You can see lots more examples of these combination feeds at my course hubs — Myth-Folklore and India — where I am combining the blogs of students in those classes into a single feed (single feed for the class or for a specific type of assignment).

IFTTT to Blogger blog. One of the main things I like to collect and share are memes and other thought-provoking graphics. The way I do this in Inoreader is via an IFTTT recipe which automatically blogs items in Inoreader to which I add the tag "dographic" — and you can see the results here: Inoreader Graphics. I started doing this in July, and I've got over 400 items there now, all automatically reposted from Inoreader. Occasionally I'll find something outside Inoreader that I want to save this way and I post it to the blog manually, but that's rare: since Inoreader collects my own Twitter and Google+ streams, the graphics I am resharing in those networks also become part of my Inoreader stream, which means IFTTT can send them to my blog. SO COOL. I'm guessing I could use IFTTT to create some other powerful Inoreader recipes... now that I am confident at how well this system works, I might try some more experiments like my graphics experiment.

 ~ ~ ~

Sharing with Google+. Unlike Inoreader and Twitter, Google+ does not have a lot of great tool to facilitate sharing outside of the Google+ network (I would say that is one of its biggest drawbacks). I wish Google+ offered widgets (like Twitter) or RSS features (like Inoreader)... but it does have one very powerful sharing tool: the good old-fashioned link. Every Google+ post/conversation is directly linkable and, if you post publicly, the post page is on the open Internet with no need to be logged on to Google to see the post. So, in addition to all the sharing I do inside Google+, I also share Google+ conversations by means of links. As an example, here is a conversation from last week: Ursula Le Guin. You can also embed Google+ posts although I usually just link rather than embedding. Here's that conversation embedded (click on the icon to see the comments people left on the post):



~ ~ ~

Sharing with TWITTER. Twitter is obviously a space where sharing goes on all the time, and everybody who uses Twitter knows how to retweet. There are some other kinds of sharing that I do with Twitter, though, which I want to note here:


Twitter widgets. I am a huge fan of Twitter widgets. I have Twitter widgets in the sidebars of my blogs and, most importantly, a Twitter widget for my classes inside our learning management system. I've written a blog post about that which also explains the huge value I see in using Twitter for my classes: Bring a D2L Homepage to Life with a Twitter Widget


Classic Retweet extension. One of the most powerful things about Twitter is the hashtag (my Twitter widgets are hashtag-driven for example), so being able to add hashtags to content that I retweet is essential. This used to be standard in Twitter (when you retweeted, you could edit)... but Twitter took that option away. Luckily, though, you can use Classic Retweet extension (I use it in both Chrome and Firefox) to have the option to add hashtags to your retweets. This extension was a game-changer for me; if I can retweet with an extension, it greatly increases the value of the retweet for me and, often, for others as well.


Storify. This is another nifty tool for resharing Twitter content; for example, I've been using Storify to document and archive our Twitter chats. Here's the Storify of our chat last week about growth mindset:


Laura Gibbs

Week 8: OU Twitter —WLT, FJJMA, Writing Center

1 min read

For the curation this week, I wanted to select three of my favorite OU Twitter streams to follow. I follow lots of OU programs and OU people, and I find so many good things every day that way. 

I've used Storify to give a sample of three of my favorites: the World Literature Today and Neustadt Prize streams (Neustadt is part of WLT), the Fred Jones Museum Art Museum stream, and the Writing Center.

Using the Storify embed below, you can get a sense of the kinds of items you will find in these different Twitter streams.



Laura Gibbs

Week 7 Myth-Folklore Curation

2 min read

And here are my favorite things this week from the world of Mythology and Folklore! :-)


From following Project Gutenberg at Twitter, I learned that they now have a fully digitized edition online of A Collection of Emblemes, Ancient and Moderne by George Wither. I wrote up a Known post about that here, including this emblem. One of the many types of classes I would be really excited to teach would be a class all about the emblem tradition which combines text and image in beautiful ways, often drawing on mythological stories and symbols to convey the meaning.

At my Pinterest Board, you'll find this gorgeous image from an illuminated manuscript that shows Nature (look at her gown!) and Death. Best of all, when I tracked down the image to find the source (you can see the manuscript and its images here), I learned that the amazing Dutch National Library collection of manuscript images is back online: Medieval Illuminated Manuscripts. Last time I had checked, it was no longer available, but now it is back. Thousands of beautiful images to look at and learn about!


And here is an amazing mash-up: it's Star Wars done in the style of the Bayeux Tapestry! You can learn about it at this Daily Mail article which has lots more images, too, plus an image of the Bayeux Tapestry for comparison if you are not familiar with it:


Laura Gibbs

Week 7 Indian Epics Curation: Three New Books

2 min read

For my curation post this week I wanted to write about three books I am really excited to be adding to the reading options for Indian Epics, especially because all three of these authors are also active at Twitter. So, here are the three new books I added this weekend:

Indian Epics

Samhita Arni's Missing Queen

I already had Samhita Arni's two other books (Ramayana and Mahabharata) on the list of options, and I was thrilled when I finally had time to read The Missing Queen this weekend. What a fabulous book! I think this is one that people in class will really enjoy, especially people interested in modernization as a style and also those who want to think deeply about the women of the epics and what those women might mean to us today. Here's the Overview for class, and you can find Samhita at Twitter here: @SamArni


Usha Narayanan's Pradyumna: Son of Krishna

This is a book that just came out this summer, and I started reading it as soon as I got it. What an exciting book! I'm hoping some students will want to read this book so that I can finish it by reading it together with them. Here's the Overview for class, and you can find Usha at Twitter here: @WriterUsha 


Devdutt Pattanaik's Business Sutra

I've been meaning to read this book for ages since I am a huge fan of Devdutt Pattanaik's other books, and when Josh chose the "entrepreneur" topic for his Storybook, I knew the time had come to read this book. I'm especially looking forward to the sutras on growth and learning in the later part of the book. Here's the Overview for class, and you can find Devdutt at Twitter here: @DevduttMyth

Christian Allen

I am really interested in checking out this site because I think it is important to have "visibility" on the web!

Laura Gibbs

Emblemes, Ancient and Moderne, by George Wither

1 min read

I was delighted to find out A Collection of Emblemes, Ancient and Moderne, by George Wither is available at Project Gutenberg.

I am a huge fan of the emblem tradition which uses all kinds of mythological and natural symbols, along with proverbs and anecdotes. Wither is working here with Rollenhagen's Latin emblems which he is expressing in English verse. So, for example, here is Rerum Sapientia Custos, "Wisdom is the Keeper of Things," which Wither renders thus: By Wisedome, things which passe away, / Are best preserved from decay.

If you are a student of Latin, you can read the Latin version here.