grad student reflections

introduction: selected digital humanities seminar posts

In the Issues and Methods in Digital Humanities introductory graduate seminar, the course blog is one of our chief workspaces. As an open workspace, it allows us to build on ideas and questions that we discuss, to revisit them after the term is over, to invite others into the conversation explicitly through its publicly-accessible format and the comments section, and to have others connect with our thinking and to make use of it as they may find relevant, bookmarking it, and/or pointing others to it. The blog allows us to express our thoughts individually and collectively for ourselves and a… Read More »introduction: selected digital humanities seminar posts

looking back, moving forward

Pawing over the contents of my thoughts on stuff this last semester has been an interesting experience. One intriguing transformation in my own thinking is the way in which I have gradually (and grudgingly) come over to the side of the theorists in the way I think about digital humanities. This was definitely a surprise for me as I came into class firmly on the “lets play around with things and see what we can do” end of the spectrum. This can definitely be seen in some of my earlier posts like the one about exploring the internet where I… Read More »looking back, moving forward

the grey space in the middle

The things that stand out to me in my maiden voyage into digital humanities are the uncertainties surrounding what it is, what it is good for, and who can take advantage of it. These are questions that do not, as of yet, have ironclad answers. There are no lone scholars cloistered away from a prying public working on the magnum opus that will change the way the world interacts with itself. That, I think, is the highest hurdle that Digital Humanities face even as administrations scramble to latch on to what is making headlines in the fast pace world of… Read More »the grey space in the middle

images of american spaceflight: doing research in public

Since I made a big show a while back about using Tumblr as a research tool, I figured I would be most remiss if I didn’t attempt that myself. And even after proclaiming the usefulness of my favorite platform for research, it still took me a while to come up with a way to use it for my own work. 3|13 Project – Images of American Spaceflight The thirteen years from 1959-1972 are something of a “Golden Age” in that they encompass the first three crewed programs in American spaceflight. This period is my primary research interest, and more specifically the… Read More »images of american spaceflight: doing research in public

napalm and (words other than silly putty)

Burning bodies so perfectly assume. NothingCan change that; she is burned behind my eyesAnd not your good love and not the rain-swept airAnd not the jungle greenPasture unfolding before us can deny it. :: Bruce Weigl: “Song of Napalm”| || Napalm: a highly flammable sticky jelly used in incendiary bombs and flamethrowers, consisting of gasoline thickened with special soaps. || Napalm is not an unfamiliar word. I would venture to guess that virtually anyone you asked would answer some semblance of the common dictionary definition. As with most words, we can engage in a semantic discussion about what Napalm means.… Read More »napalm and (words other than silly putty)

digital humanities and the spatial turn

Since I started studying the history of geology, the concept of stratigraphy has increasingly captured my interest. In stratigraphy, the depositional layers that compose the geological record, time and space matter a great deal. Deposition is a natural process, that would occur wether we were there to observe it or not, but human activity can do a great deal to alter the process. It is not just in our modern age that this is true, in antiquity, Roman deforestation and other activities associated with agricultural practices effected harbor and port regions. Matthew Booker’s discussion of the history of the San… Read More »digital humanities and the spatial turn

body snatchers: dh and the enemy within

I don’t think I’ve gone a whole day without encountering a blogpost about “defending the humanities” since I started grad school. I don’t usually read them anymore- I know what they say, and of course I’m on board because humanities is my field. But I did read Kevin Dettmar’s piece about The Dead Poets Society. As you might expect, I really bristled at his use of the words “fandom” and “anti-intellectual” in the same breath. Dettmar was talking about what he sees as the fannish approach to poetry taken by Mr. Keating in DPS, arguing that the film is a harmful representation… Read More »body snatchers: dh and the enemy within

participatory archives & eebo-tcp

Participatory archives, as Kate Theimer tells us, are the future. Archives must become places where “people other than the archives professionals contribute knowledge or resources resulting in increased understanding about archival materials.”  One way archives can engage the communities they serve is to invite “the public to make their own contributions to historical work” by transcribing documents (Theimer). Though there aren’t many participatory archives in medieval studies, EEBO’s Text Creation Partnership has partnered with over 150 libraries to “generate highly accurate, fully-searchable, SGML-XML-encoded texts corresponding to books from the Early English Books Online Database.” While the TCP may not meet… Read More »participatory archives & eebo-tcp

constructing the archive

As a PhD student studying the Renaissance and Early Modern period I have frequent opportunity to pause and consider the archive. Which materials are located where? Who organized the materials? How was the archive constructed? To what degree can the archive be recognized as complete? Is it in somehow related to other archives? What biases are present in the archive? Over the past few weeks as we have looked at the GIS I have been struck with a nagging question: How does GIS relate to the archive? And the question surfaced again this week while I was perusing the Visualizing… Read More »constructing the archive

community college, arduino, and learning how to learn

Anne B. McGrail’s “The ‘Whole Game’: Digital Humanities at Community Colleges,” discusses the uphill battle of incorporating digital humanities into the community college environment, much of which addresses intersectional issues. Being someone who has worked their way through community college, I can remember the mindset and events that relate to some parts of McGrail’s essay. For instance, my mentality along with many of the other community college students I had become acquainted with, was that of dogged pragmatism. I was only focused on getting my Associates’ degree in Sociology to then transferr to the University of Oklahoma: if a course… Read More »community college, arduino, and learning how to learn

now you’re thinking [with tiles]

In thinking about the readings for last week and having a glance at the One Million Manga Pages and Popular Science magazine projects I was struck by just how much of our thinking is framed by tiles. Even now, I’m writing this on a screen that is shaped like a tile on a word doc tile. Tiles make up the pixels of photo mosaics and satellite imagery. A few weeks back I reflected upon (ranted about) Anatomy of a Web Map. In the presentation tiles are described as the fundamental pieces that make digital maps work, because they are small… Read More »now you’re thinking [with tiles]