When I registered for this course, my primary goal was to beef up on digital pedagogy–in part with the hopes of making myself more marketable in the future. As it turns out, my interests went in an entirely different direction with questions of ethics, access, and archival work and I’m loving this new direction in DH studies. Still, though, it was nice to read Olin Bjork’s “Digital Humanities and the First-Year Writing Course” as a way to end the semester the way I thought I’d spend it.
I’m not posting my map today, because it’s got all of the locations I visit in a week with my family and the idea of that being available online creeped me out. I did share the map with our Dr. Travis, though, and I have to say that I had fun making it, although I suspect it’s not very well done and I know it’s not very academic.
This week seems a bit open in terms of the weekly create, with the opportunity to choose a tool or theory and just run with it, so I’ve decided to take a deeper look at the site I’d really like to research for my final chapter project and see what I can find out.
I was really into the digital archives we examined for our last class and, even though I didn’t love everything the Walt Whitman archive did, I’m feeling like archival work is really interesting and exciting. We were asked, last week, to look into what archives are available in our fields and, since my field is YA dystopias, I didn’t think I’d find much. I didn’t consider fan fiction collections as being within the realm of archives, but the title of one site totally changed my mind.
You see, there is a fan fiction collection called Archive of Our Own. It’s huge, and it’s legitimate and it’s very ripe for critique.
This week, I’m presenting on the Walt Whitman digital archive. I love good old Walt, and I think his work is proto-multimodal, as he works within and outside of poetic forms, playing with notions of poetry, and as he becomes sort of multimodal himself, referenced in works ranging from Langston Hughes’s “Old Walt” (not to mention “I, Too,” written in response to “I Hear America Singing”) and Allen Ginsberg’s “A Supermarket in California” to this new visual edition of “Song of Myself” and even this scholarly essay on a student’s digital interpretation of “A Noiseless Patient Spider,” which can be found here.
Reading Kenneth Price’s “Edition, Project, Database, Archive, Thematic Research Collection: What’s in a Name?,” I see even more multimodalism in Whitman’s work. Price quotes Ed Folsom’s “Database as Genre” as thinking about how “Whitman formed entire lines as they would eventually appear in print, but then he treated each line like a separate data entry, a unit available to him for endless reordering, as if his lines of poetry were portable and interchangeable, could be shuffled and almost randomly scattered to create different but remarkably similar poems.”
Anyway, Whitman and his poetry is just really ripe for digital work.
I was slow on the uptake with Twitter. So, so slow. I’ve yet to tweet my first tweet, and I’m not sure if tweet should be capitalized. Is it proper? Am I?
The assignment, this week, is to follow some DH tweeters and either retweet or blog about what we find and, since my first tweet will absolutely not belong to someone else, here I am.
Last night, I read the articles in the New York Times series Humanities 2.0. Despite covering a range of initiatives, all six pieces expressed simultaneous excitement and anxiety over the new digitized direction of the humanities. And, although the series began four years ago and one can trace the development of veritable multitudes of additional digital humanities (DH) projects, the newness of the work has yet to fade. That freshness–and the unknown and seeming unknowability–of DH incites the same sense of energized anxiety in me.
This week, I opted to create something outside of my comfort zone: a Bitstrip. Continue reading