Dr. Timothy Morton is associated with Rice University, and the Rita Shea Guffey Chair in English, is a prominent academic whose research spans the realms of ecology, culture, and environmental humanities. They have an active web presence, and this is clear through their Twitter (now called X) profile (https://twitter.com/the_eco_thought) and their website ( https://ecologywithoutnature.blogspot.com/ ) provides a captivating window to their world.
A Digital Wonderland of Ecology
Dr. Morton’s website greets visitors a quirky wallpaper design which reveals their deep-rooted interest in ecology, with a three-word tagline and a quote from William Morris establishes the theme of the website wonderfully. Their books are displayed on the right side of the website, and the topics in the blog, from music to their creative writing process, reflecting the dynamism of their scholarly pursuits.
The site is very colorful, and has a lot of external links to videos, links to purchase their books, call for papers, videos of topics of their interest. So, the site functions as a mode through which us the audiences can engage with their admittedly complex work. Dr. Morton has worked with celebrities like Björk, and their books have been translated into many languages. The audience to their site would range from fellow academics, students, scholars, and even people who want to learn more about them after reading their books. The blog I believe is the rightly placed for that aspect, it reveals the writing process that they are involved in relation to their upcoming book ‘Hell’ which was a fascinating read, as it is staggered across various posts interspersed with posts about music, and other musings.
Their X account is filled with activity, and they use it regularly as an outlet to share their insights on politics. Though their feed overwhelming features their thoughts and anxieties of the American political landscape, by being critical and engaging with the audience. Dr. Morton ingeniously integrates pop-cultural references, including movies, and memes, into their tweets, creating an engaging online persona.
Dr. Morton actively engages with their audiences, especially the readers of their books. They also share pertinent updates about other academics, on a global scale. Their page with over 19.6K followers is used to also link to articles from the blog, thus having an ecosystem of sorts of their curated content.
Dr. Morton’s content has a pattern which emerged as I went over the blog and their X profile. The blog contains content related to their writing process, their interests in music, achievements, and also covers their opinion on various things that interest them. For instance, in one blog they share their love for instruments such as the lute and sitar, linking videos to the artists which gives an insight into their personality. Whereas to work with the short word count and the need to be updated on X, it contains a lot of retweets from news organisations, prominent individuals, while also containing a few self-made memes and posts. Dr. Morton as an academic uses the public facing nature of both media aptly, by tweaking their content to work with both of them. In this way, their X profile and blog becomes a channel for both old audiences and new, to both gain an understanding of their new work as well understand their core beliefs which are an inherent part of their work. Through their adept use of these platforms, Dr. Morton invites all to join them in exploring the ever-evolving landscape of their work.