Digital Humanities

Watchworthy Wednesday: Free Online Class Features Art of Being Human

Wednesday, May 10, 2017 Comment Michael Wesch

On what he thought would be a cool class lecture, Kansas State University Professor Michael Wesch set out on a 41-mile run, while at the same time, controlling a video camera in a drone above him and delivering his talk. He starts off strong, jogging at a quick pace through Manhattan’s streets and woods, saying: “We’re going to talk about what it is that makes us human. … So many people think that what makes us human is our ability to walk, our ability to talk, ability to use tools with our hands, but today, I


Teaching The Humanities Online

Monday, May 11, 2015 Comment Humanities HD banner covered in colorful digital pins

So many online courses concentrate on hard sciences and practical skills. How about the humanities? Laura Gibbs, who teaches two purely online courses for the University of Oklahoma, most certainly qualifies as a humanities enthusiast: Dr. Gibbs, who I first met as “OnlineCrsLady” via Connected Courses, teaches purely online courses about mythology and folklore and epics of ancient India.  Dr. Gibbs blogs in Latin, translated Aesop’s Fables for Oxford University Press, and her LOLcats in Latin is probably her biggest Internet meme claim to fame. She is proudest of “a huge collection of Aesop’s fables in


The Reader in Digital Humanities

Monday, February 09, 2015 Comment man reading book in subway terminal

The Reader in Paradise Lost DIgital Humanities  When Stanley Fish wrote his magnificent treatise on the role of the reader in John Milton’s epic Paradise Lost, he was making an argument that the real fallen angel, lost in sin, in Milton’s retelling of the Christian myth, was the reader. Fish argued that the epic was not about Satan or Adam or Eve, but about the reader, who was taught the lesson, every time s/he was attracted to the poetic splendour or to Satan or dismayed by the cruel acts of God. Fish successfully argued, that the reader was


Defending the Humanities in the Digital Age

Monday, February 24, 2014 Comment digital humanities graphic with words that represent humanities

Taking Care of Things: Reclaiming What is Lost in Our Defence of Humanities[1] If this were a book, this section would be the preface. If it were an academic paper, a footnote. If an art piece, a curator’s note. But, in this mixed multi-media semi-strange space of the research blog, this is just the space where I tell you what is going to follow. And perhaps, explain (though not to justify) why I need to tell you what is going to follow. For a while now, I have been trying to work through some of the questions


The End of Theory in Digital Social Research?

Monday, January 20, 2014 Comment image of codes creating a light tunnel

Computer code, software and algorithms have sunk deep into the “technological unconscious” of our contemporary “lifeworld.” How might this affect academic research in the social sciences and the formation of the professional identities of academics? These are important questions for researchers working in Digital Media and Learning, asking us to consider how the digital devices and infrastructures that we study might actually be shaping our practices, shaping our production of knowledge, and shaping our theories of the world. Professional work across the natural, human and social sciences is now increasingly mediated and augmented by computer coded


Digital Humanists Should Be Copyright Activists

Friday, September 27, 2013 Comment infographic illustration showing importance of copyrighting activities

In a recent blog post for the Society for U.S. Intellectual History, Ben Alpers argues that iBooks Author is not very well suited for humanities learning. I have written before about problems with iBooks Author’s Terms of Service, but Alpers critiques the program’s authoring tools, arguing that its bias towards the presentation of “concepts and facts,” along with whiz-bang features like live manipulation of 3D models and short video clips, are designed to support the learning that occurs in scientific and technical fields, rather than the humanities (In fairness, I would argue that the focus on