Monthly Archives: November 2010

What should we talk about on this blog?

There has been some discussion offline (over lunch etc.) as to what sorts of things we might want to discuss in this blog, which should be relevant both to colleagues at KCL and to anyone with an interest in Digital Humanities. Here are some of the suggestions we came up with a few weeks ago (some of these have already been written about). In a way, it doesn’t matter who starts the conversation, because I would expect the post to largely be posing the question, and the comments thread to be where answers and opinions really come out. Please add suggestions at will.

  • Who is Digital Humanities?
    (not “what is” because that’s a silly question…)
  • What is the audience for a Digital Humanities blog?
  • What is the agenda of a Digital Humanities blog?
  • Why blog in the Digital Humanities?
  • What does Digital Humanities research look like?
  • What does Digital Humanities publication look like?
  • What does Digital Humanities work look like?
  • What does Digital Humanities teaching look like?
  • What does Digital Humanities “service” look like?
  • What should Digital Humanities tools look like?
  • How do you have a research agenda when you don’t have a tenured job?
  • What is new in the Digital Humanities?
  • What does “new” mean in the Digital Humanities?
  • Does DH have a special role in arguing for the value of the Humanities?
  • Is a blog the right venue for this sort of conversation?
  • How do we make DH relevant to Humanities and Computer Science academics at the same time?
  • What is a “work in progress”? Is anything ever “finished”?

Really just pick something and write about it off the top of you head. We’ll all chip in. Don’t worry about whether someone else has already picked the topic, because your two paragraphs will be different from my two paragraphs anyway. (And of course, these suggestions are in no way prescriptive or exclusive.)

The Valley of the Shadow: Two Communities in the American Civil War

The Valley of the Shadow: Two Communities in the American Civil War.

From wikipedia:

The Valley of the Shadow is a digital history project hosted by the University of Virginia detailing the experiences of Confederate soldiers from Augusta County, Virginia and Union soldiers from Franklin County, Pennsylvania. It is considered one of the most impressive uses of new technology in representing history. […] The Valley of the Shadows project is a great start to beginning to understand the personal side of the nations shared history.

The website is clearly dated, but I found quite interesting the non-linear approach to the representation of history.

When we build historical databases we often end up imposing the relational DB ‘way’ of doing things to the historical discipline, even at the visualization level – so for example everything gets displayed using tabular formats or similar. Is there an alternative to this? Can we represent more faithfully the discourse of a discipline?

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Bookmarking interesting DH projects..

I just found out that wordpress makes available a bookmarklet (called Press this) that will let you post to the blog almost instantaneously from your web browser. You can find it by logging into the dashboard and clicking on the ‘tools’ section.

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I thought we could use it as a handy way to ‘bookmark’ DH projects we find online, for discussion purposes, or even just to build some sort of repository of inspiring DH stuff. What do you think?

I added a new category ‘DH projects‘ to the blog, and will be adding something I found online straightaway!

What does Digital Humanities teaching look like?

This post raises questions, doesn’t really offer any answers.

Given all the discussion of what the work and/or the research agenda of a Digital Humanities scholar/department is or should be, I thought I’d raise the topic of how teaching fits into this. If we consider ourselves academics, then we (at least some of us) are also in the business of teaching students (academics are also in the business of outreaching to potential students, the providing service to the academic community, and engaging with society and culture as a whole, but those are questions for another day).

Do (or should) we, as teachers of Digital Humanities:

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