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Class 2 Notes

Page history last edited by Alan Liu 10 years, 4 months ago


Preliminary Class Business


  • Enrollment
    • (add codes for course?)
  • Auditors (students sitting in on the course):
    • What work do you wish to do? -- e.g., some of practicums and ideas for possible blog posts (if not the actual posts)?
  • Tech support for course
  • DH News & Events page



1. Doing DH in This Course: First Steps




  • Basic Twitter
    • List of class members on Twitter: https://twitter.com/alanyliu/lists/english-236-ucsb-f2013
    • Twitter clients -- e.g.,
    • Twitter tools & search -- e.g.,
      • Topsy (search, analytics)
      • Hootsuite (scheduled posting, analytics)
      • TweetsMap (analyzes and maps geographical location of one's Twitter followers)
      • Visible Tweets ("Visible Tweets is a visualisation of Twitter messages designed for display in public space")
    • Twitter Best Practices & Protocol:
      • Following
      • Subscribing to lists
      • Retweeting
        • Retweeting with modification or commen: "Comment.  RT ..."
      • Replying
        • the "[dot]@username" convention
        • Threading posts
      • Mentioning (vs. "subtweeting")
      • Crediting "via @username" or "HT @username")
      • Favoriting
      • Common abbreviations: +1, <3, ICYMI, #FF


  • Blog / Content Management System Platforms (e.g., WordPress.com, WordPress.org)
    • Basic data architecture of a modern "content management system"
    • Looking "under the hood" of a WordPress site.


2. State of the Digital Humanities Field


  •  Focal Question Where is digital humanities? (methodologically, institutionally, socially, geopolitically)


  • Focal Readings
[Some of the focal readings from class 1 will be reprised to complement the more professionally-oriented readings of class 2 about the "field."]



  • Practicum: Getting Started in DH Course "practicums" are hands-on, small-scale exercises that ask students to experiment at a beginner's level with the tools of the digital humanities. The goal is not technical mastery but learning enough about the technologies to think about, and through, their concepts and also to discover which tools might be used in a student's future research.  In many cases, experience gained in the practicums will feed directly into discussion of conceptual issues in class. (See Assignments: Practicums).


     Where is DH Methodologically?


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    • Who's right? 
    • What's at stake in the debate?
              {"hacking," coding, making, building} vs. {"yacking," interpreting, theorizing}?
    • What is the function of the "meta" in "method"?  (Etymology of "method" μετα- meta- prefix + ὁδός way)
    • Do the humanities (and digital humanities) need method?

  • Taezoo Park, Leo Kang and Steven Jackson, Scale (2013)
  • The Secret Life of Technology (1999) (A. Liu, UCSB English Dept.)
  • Glitch Images

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    • Where does breaking things fit in the picture of making things? 
      • Cf. Bruno Latour on "compositionism" -- "An Attempt at a Compositionist Manifesto."  New Literary History 41.3 (2010): 471-490 (Latour's "hammer" metaphor quoted by A. Liu here


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    • What alternative meta-descriptions might there be for DH that frame it on axes different from "hack vs. yack"?



     Where is DH Sociopolitically?


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    • Possible historical analogies:
      • Tradition of "defenses" of literature
      • "The Fugitives" (1922-25)
      • Russian Formalism (e.g., Boris Eichenbaum, "The Theory of the 'Formal Method,'" 1926)


     Where is DH Geopolitically?


Horizontal Bracket - Down



     Where is DH Institutionally?


    • Patrik Svensson, "Humanities Computing as Digital Humanities" (2009):
      • "While it is fair to say that the present institutional landscape is rather
        diverse and expansive, it is also important to acknowledge that the
        ratio of thriving humanities computing environments and initiatives at
        universities in Europe and the United States is still very low in relation
        to the whole of the Humanities..."
      • "A related and much-discussed issue – highly relevant to digital
        humanities generally and to humanities computing as digital
        humanities – concerns whether humanities computing should be
        independent and possibly an academic discipline in its own right or
        whether it should primarily interrelate with existing humanities
    • A. Liu,  “'Why I’m In It' x 2 – Antiphonal Response to Stephan Ramsay on Digital Humanities and Cultural Criticism" (2013)


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