Digital Humanities Syllabus

fall 2012

Week 1: 28 Aug

for week 2: 4 Sept

A world before the web


Twitter Essay

Prepare for next meeting's discussion.

Week 3: Sept 11

Follow up activity for week 2: Refer to Lanham, What's Next for Text
Combine word and image in such a way that they become bi-stable. Distribute your artifact in some way: Print out and bring in, post on twitter, post to your blog and link and tweet the link...

And so we have two kinds of “seriousness.” In alphabetic seriousness, we concentrate on looking through the notational system to the abstract reasoning beneath it. We build a monopolistic attention economy. In pattern-poetry seriousness, we accept a bi-stable seriousness which allows us to toggle from word to image, from at to through and back again. Digital expression, the familiar computer screen, creates, and assumes, a bi-stable seriousness. Perhaps that is why it often seems, to all of us print-readers, distinctly unsettling. Lanham, Two Kinds

Example: Print books as dead trees

Prepare for Week 3
Read Shirky, Cognitive Surplus. Take notes with an eye to questions, discussion, connections with other readings, and ideas on what we might engage as a project for week 4. Collect illustrations that might supplement Shirky's ideas. Ideas, comments, examples, extras, use #en4709.

Week 3

Discussion of Shirky, Cognitive Surplus.

Week 4

Shirky, part 2. Focus mainly on Shirky's chapter on Personal, Public, Communal and Civic Sharing for ideas.

Find examples of communal or civic sharing projects in the humanities - that is, the arts, philosophy, history, etc. Online, off line, present or historical. Create a poster, set of blog posts, page, timeline, video, PPT (!) - something digital or physical to post or bring to class so you and we can talk about the project and connections between the projects. Something visual that you will supplement with explanation and comment. Your collecting and curating of this material might itself become a publicly shared artifact. That is, the narrative of curating this project might be what you present.

This will require some study - some research to find a project, some reading and even email exchange to become familiar enough with the project that you could participate, some reading to make an argument for it as civic sharing. That's the level of engagement I'm looking for: Enough familiarity that you could participate.

But our focus is on humanities projects that move into communal and civic sharing. We're testing Shirky's sense of what kind of real world work sharing of cognitive surplus can do.

Post questions, advice, ideas, progress using #en4709.

Week 5: Sept 25

The theme this week is digital poetics.


Week 6: Oct 2

Two options - select one

Week 7: Oct 9

Week 8: Oct 16

Week of Oct 23


Discussing Vandendorpe

for Tues 30 Oct
Projects: Remix Vandendorpe
Select a chapter or related set of chapters and devise a project to elucidate, extend, illustrate, test, and/or comment on that chapter. Exemplify ideas. Ground assertions. Test assertions and arguments. You may use this project to explore implications in your field of interest: education, fiction, academic writing, reporting.

Repackage. Or remix to illustrate. as here

Use any means. Prezi, timeline, collage, video, blog, Storify, material xerox, cut and paste ...

Week of 30 Oct

Tues 6 Nov

Discussing Some (other) examples
For Tues, 13 Nov, read E-Crit. Start early. This is a brief but dense text.

Tues 13 Nov

Tues 20 Nov

Tues 27 Nov

- The final project assignment is to take up an issue you find interesting in the digital humanities and do something digitally humanist with it using methods that are evolving in the digital humanities. Take this project to completion.

Project Notes

Tues 4 Dec

Tues 11 Dec

Tues 18 Dec

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