How I Keep Busy


Ph.D. in Modern Thought and Literature, Stanford University, 2009-2016. GPA: 4.1

Dissertation: “Mediating the Crusader Past in the U.S. and the Middle East after 9/11.”
Committee Members: Fred Turner (Communicatin), Amir Eshel (Comparative Literature), Sam Wineburg (History; Education)

Advanced Project Management, Stanford Graduate School of Business—2014-16

M.A. in Cultural Anthropology, University of Oxford, U.K., Rhodes Scholarship; Distinction— 2008-2009

M.A. in Medieval Literature, University of Oxford, U.K., Rhodes Scholarship; Distinction — 2007-2008

M.A. Endorsement in Library and Media Science, Montana State University – Bozeman— 2004-2006

B.A. in English Literature, Montana State University – Bozeman, summa cum laude — 2002-2006

University of Oslo, Norway— 2003-2004

Fellowships, Grants, and Appointments

2007 Rhodes Scholarship

2015-18 U.S. Department of Education Title XI International Curriculum Grant

2016 Stanford Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education Digital Learning Grant

2016 MediaX Grant “Building Research Insights from Digital Learning Platforms”

2016 Stanford Centennial Teaching Award

2015 Hoagland Award for Innovations in Undergraduate Education

2015 Mellon Foundation Dissertation Completion Fellowship

2014 Stanford Vice Provost for Online Learning Grant

2014 Stanford Europe Center Funding for “The Contemporary” Colloquium

2014 Stanford Curricula Innovation Engaging the Arts Grant

2014 Stanford Community Engagement Grant

2013 Stanford Europe Center Anna Lindh Fellowship

2013 Stanford Europe Center Funding for “The Contemporary” Colloquium

2013 Stanford DLCL Funding for “The Contemporary” Colloquium

2013 Stanford Humanities Center Funding for Geballe Workshop on “The Contemporary”

2013 Stanford Vice Provost for Online Learning Faculty Seed Grant

2013-15 Stanford Diversifying Academia, Recruiting Excellence Fellowship

2013 Visiting Research Fellow at the Van Leer Institute in Jerusalem, Israel

2012 Stanford Graduate Research Opportunity Grant

2011-2013 Ric Weiland Stanford Graduate Fellowship

2012-2014 Dokken Research Grant for U.S. and Middle Eastern Cultural Relations

2011 Stanford Abbasi Program in Islamic Studies Research Grant

2011 Student Projects for Intellectual Community Enhancement (SPICE) Grant

2011 Stanford Center for International Conflict Negotiation Goldsmith Research Grant

2010-2011 Stanford Center for International Conflict Graduate Fellowship

Peer-Reviewed Publications

The Crusades All Over Again: ISIS, Obama, and Crusade Metaphors after 9/11.” The Year’s Work in Medievalism. Volume 31. Ed. Jane Toswell. 2006, 45-55.

Making Reading Visible: Social Annotation with Lacuna in the Humanities Classroom.” Emily Schneider, Stacy Hartman, Amir Eshel, and Brian Johnsrud. The Journal of Interactive Technology and Pedagogy. June 2016.

The Da Vinci Code, Crusade Conspiracies, and the Clash of Historiographies.” In Conspiracy Theories between the U.S. and the Middle East. Special edition of Linguae & Lit, Vol. 29. Ed. Maurus Reinkowski and Michael Butter. Berlin: De Gruyter, 2014.

Putting the Pieces Together Again: Digital Photography and the Compulsion to Order Violence at Abu Ghraib.Visual Studies 6:2, June 2011.

The Monsters Do Not Depart: Re-Unifying Norse, Anglo-Saxon, and Christian in Tolkien’s Middle-earth.The Year’s Work in Medievalism. Ed. Gwendolyn A. Morgan. Wipf & Stock: Eugene, 2007.

The House on Mango Street: Re-Creating an ‘American Identity’ in Public School Literature.The Americanist. The University of Oslo: Oslo, 2006.

Publications in Edited Volumes

Metaphorical Memories of the Medieval Crusades after 9/11.” In Memory Unbound: New Directions in Memory Studies. Ed. Lucy Bond, Stef Craps and Pieter Vermeulen. Routledge. Forthcoming 2017.

“‘Saladin II’: Saddam Hussein and the Cultural Memory of the Crusades in Texts for Iraqi Children Since 2003.” In Nationalism(s) and Cultural Memory in Texts of Childhood. Accepted, in publisher review.


The Vietnam War in American Memory: Veterans, Memorials, and the Politics of Healing. Patrick Hagopian. (Amherst, University of MA Press, 2009). Review for Kentucky Historical Society, Spring 2011.

Conferences and Talks

“Lacuna and Annotation in Higher Education.” Brian Johnsrud and Daniel Bush. iAnnotate Microsoft Berlin. Berlin, Germany, May 2016.

“Crusade Memory in Iraq from 1990-2011.” Engaging the Crusades: Crusading Reflected, Refracted, and Invented in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries. Royal Holloway, University of London. London, U.K., September 2015.

“How Historical Memory Drives U.S. and Middle Eastern Relations After 9/11” Stanford University Graduate Alumni Salon. May 2016. Invited Talk.

“Research and Education within and across Disciplinary Boundaries in a Digital Era.” Brian Johnsrud and Emily Schneider. Stanford/Umeå Wallenberg Colloquium. April 2016. Invited Talk.

“Poetic Thinking Across Media in Higher Education and Academic Research.” Stanford Art and Art History Faculty. March 2016.

“Digital Annotation in Theory and Practice.” Dartmouth University Digital Humanities Monthly Seminar. February 2016. Invited Talk.

“Big Data Methods in Literary Studies.” 2-day Graduate Workshop at Uppsala University, Sweden. December 2015. Invited keynote and workshop leader.

“Crusade Memory in Iraq.” Engaging the Crusades: Reflected, Refracted, Invented. Royal Holloway – University of London. September 2015. Invited Talk.

“Designing Technology and Pedagogy to Promote 21st Century Literacies.” With Emily Schneider. Stanford Digital Humanities Focal Group. Stanford, October 2014. Invited Talk.

“Visualizing the ‘Middle Space’ of Knowledge Production.” Genres of Scholarly Knowledge Productions. HUMlab—University of Umeå, Sweden, December 2014. Invited Talk.“Lacuna Stories: Building an Annotation Platform for Historical Thinking.” Digital Humanities 2014. Lausanne, Switzerland, July 2014.

“Lacuna Stories: Mending the Gaps in Knowledge of Major Historical Events through Narrative Collaboration.” The Future of the Past: Representing the Holocaust, Genocide, and Mass Trauma in the 21st Century. University of Melbourne, Australia, July 2014.

“Lacuna Stories and Transmediated History.” History, Media, and Education Conference. HUMlab—University of Umeå, Sweden, May 2014.

“Turning Ancestry into Stories: How Genes Become Transmediated Cultural Memories.” International Communication Association (ICA) Preconference: “Making Sense of Memory and History.” Seattle, May 2014.

The Da Vinci Code, Conspiratorial Crusade Novels, and the Semiotic Agency of Reading.” University of Uppsala, November 2013.

“Futurity, Resilience, and Transmediated Memories” Stockholm Resilience Center, Sweden, November 2013.

The Da Vinci Code, Conspiratorial Crusade Novels, and the Semiotic Agency of Reading.” University of Uppsala, November 2013.

“Crusaders, Arabs, or Phoenicians? The Genographic Project in Lebanon” HUMlab—University of Umeå, Sweden. December 2013.

“Mediated Memory and Genetic Ancestry in Lebanon.” Media in Transition, MIT. May 2013.

Moderator for “Social Networks” panel for speakers Jose van Dijck, Jaigris Hodson, Matthew Hibbard, and Nicola Cavalli. Media in Transition, MIT, May 2013.

“Putting the Pieces Together Again: Digital Photography and the Compulsion to Order Violence at Abu Ghraib.” Media in Transition, MIT. May 2011.

“Conspiratorial Crusades Novels after 9/11 and the Semiotic Agency of Reading.” Conspiracy Theories  between the U.S. and the Middle East. University of Freiburg, Germany – FRIAS. January 2011.

”‘New Crusaders’: Popular and Academic Visions of Historic Violence between the U.S. and the Middle East After 9/11.” War, Literature, and Arts conference at the U.S. Air Force Academy. September 2010.

“Humour, Laughter, or Both? Interpreting Varieties of Laughter in Medieval Cycle Plays.” Histories of Humour and Laughter. Cambridge, UK. March 2009.

“Religious Laughter on Stage: Medieval Cycle Plays and Modern Examples.” Medieval Church and Culture Seminar Series. Oxford University, UK. February 2009.

“A Time to Laugh: An Interdisciplinary Approach to Emotion in Medieval Theater.” Æffective Æsthetics: Representations of Emotion. Rice University, Houston, TX. September 2008.

“Laughing at the Middle Ages: Perilous or Pious?” Northern English Religious Writers Conference. Gregynog, Wales. July 2006.

“Augustine to Freud: Psychoanalysis and the Medieval Performance of Laughter and Humor” International Medieval Congress. Leeds, U.K. July 2006.

“An Invitation to Faërie: Memorializing Tolkien’s Perilous Realm in Smith of Wooton Major and ‘On Fairy Stories.’” Sigma Tau Delta National Conference. Portland, OR. March 2006.

“The Monsters Do Not Depart: Re-Unifying Norse, Anglo-Saxon, and Christian in Tolkien’s Middle-earth.” International Conference on Medievalism. Baltimore, MD. October 2005.

“Romance vs. Anti-Romance in Sir Gawain and the Green Knight.” National Undergraduate Literature Conference. Ogden, UT. April 2005.

“Beowulf: The Massacre of Monsters and Cultures.” Sigma Tau Delta National Conference. Kansas City, MO. March 2005.

Select Courses Taught
Futurity: Why the Past Matters — Winter 2014

Course for undergraduate and graduate students, co-taught with my adviser, Dr. Amir Eshel. First course piloting digital humanities platform “Lacuna Stories”

Introduction to Digital Humanities: Concepts, Technologies, Tools — Winter 2014

Designed this 1-unit introduction course for undergraduate and graduate students, co-taught with Mike Widner.

Edgework: New Directions in the Study of Culture—Spring 2014

Course for first year graduate students embarking on interdisciplinary, multi-disciplinary, or cross-disciplinary research involving various methods or objects of analysis that span disciplines.

History, Memory, and the Contemporary Novel, Stanford University — Spring 2012

Course for undergraduate and graduate students, co-taught with my adviser, Dr. Amir Eshel. Course website I created:

The Cultural Memory of Violence, Stanford University — Fall, Winter 2011

Designed and solo-taught this seminar two quarters for Freshman students. Course website I created:

Genetics, Society, and Culture — Spring 2013

TA for Dr. Duana Fullwiley, “Science Technology, and Society” Senior Capstone course.

Media, Culture, and Society, Stanford University — Fall, Winter 2011

TA my primary adviser, Dr. Fred Turner. Course for undergraduate students.

Academic Service
PhD Admissions Committee for Modern Thought and Literature Program—Winter 2014
PhD Committee in Charge Member for Modern Thought and Literature Program—2009-10; 12-13
PhD Fellowship and Grant-writing Workshop—2014

Initiated, organized, and led a 3-part workshop for graduate students applying for research funding.

PhD Workshop Coordinator – “Managing Your Online Presence”—2014

Initiated, organized, and led a 2-part workshop for graduate students to manage their online portfolios, websites, and C.V.s, funded by the Vice Provost for Graduate Education.

Guest Lecture in Stanford Creative Non-Fiction Course—Fall 2013

Presented a course-specific lecture on transmediated narratives and semiotic agency.

Blind Peer-Reviewer for Academic Journals—2011-present

Journals include Visual Studies, New Middle Eastern Studies

“The Contemporary” Conference Organizer—2014

Organized all logistics, from choosing and inviting speakers to venue, hosting, and arranging audio-video and preserving talks and presentations in digital format online.

Organizer of Interdisciplinary Working Group on the Contemporary, 2013-present

Secured funding and organized events with Amir Eshel for the annual working group based at Stanford, with events, speakers, and colloquium information hosted at

Grant Writer and Coordinator, Stanford Interdisciplinary Graduate Salons, 2010-2011

Wrote and received a grant to host interdisciplinary discussion groups and salons for graduate students at Stanford, funded by the Office of the Vice Provost.

Professional Experience
Guest Lecturer, Montana State University; Bozeman, MT — 2006-2007

Lectured for university courses in literature surveys, medieval literature, late British literature, and popular literature. Lectures varied from single talks to two- or three-week instruction when substituting for full-time professors taking leaves of absences. Dr. Kimberly Myers:

Course Director, Oxford Study Courses, Oxford and Cambridge, UK — 2008-2009

Worked as a teacher, academic dean, and course director for spring and summer IB (International Baccalaureate) revision courses at Oxford and Cambridge. Duties included administrative tasks, liaising with the Emmanuel and Somerville college, working with teachers and students, and teaching Extended Essay writing to finishing IB students. Kim Polgreen:

Chair of Humanities, Bozeman Charter School; Bozeman, MT — 2005-2007

Taught and organized curriculum for humanities courses, including English literature; public speaking; drugs, alcohol, and society; and interdisciplinary studies. As a full-time instructor, duties including teaching 6 courses each semester. Susan Werner:

Private Middle-High School Teacher, Independent; Bozeman, MT — 2005-2007

Taught private humanities courses to a number of middle and high school students from three different families. Courses were all tutorial-style, typically accompanied with hands-on field trips, service learning, and research along with academic writing assignments. Wade Dokken:

Dean of Faculty, Norfolk Academy—Breakthrough; Norfolk, VA — 2003-2005

Worked three summers for a non-profit educational program for under-privileged middle school students. Duties varied from teaching to chairing academic departments, organizing lessons and curriculum, and providing training and weekly evaluations for new teachers. Jake Cohen: