Emily Kincaid

  • I will be honest: at this point, my digital start-up project is rough around the edges. Ideas came to me easily, but deciding how these ideas could be truly innovative, or innovative at all, was a whole different […]

    • Emily, this sounds really interesting! I suppose I was a bad English major, as I’ve read so little canon literature. What I like to read and write was more than likely considered “junk,” and it seems that attitude is only recently being challenged in a meaningful way. That said, an “Anti-Canon” is very appealing to me!

      As for how the actual project itself would work – I wish I had more to offer you than support. I, too, am struggling with the nuts and bolts of my project. I will keep thinking on it, though, and if anything comes up, I’ll happily share.

  • Thanks for this post, Katie! Your analogies, particularly the Whitman and film analogies, really helped me conceptualize the database differently. I have been struggling with this lately, and just this week I was talking with one of my friends/colleagues who teaches programming classes. I had a hard time making sense of what he was telling me (his…[Read more]

  • Thanks, Kristen, agree that DH allows for collaboration and change.These are both aspects of the field that I really respect, and it seems like you would say the same thing. It is nice to see the switch flip for once!

  • …and I think that’s exactly what some of these readings are saying, Liz! Right on.

  • I agree, Tonya! I think, especially nowadays, a field should gain more respect as it “spreads itself across” the curricula. Perhaps we are getting there though.

  • A couple things stood out to me in this week’s reading, and I have been ruminating on them all week. I will attempt to articulate them here.
    What struck me first was that this week’s reading, “Practicing the D […]

    • Emily,

      I had a very similar thought process in this week’s reading, but I think I took a slightly different stance than you. For me, DH has seemed like there’s more discussion and thought devoted to the inadequacies of the field rather than the production of any quality academic work. This certainly is the ephemeral nature of any field so deeply entrenched in technology, but I couldn’t help but think about how much progress is made through all of this reflection. I also couldn’t help but reflect on the “Debates” reading and wonder if the way the problems and products are intertwined in this section isn’t a result of the constant defense of Digital Humanities as academically sound and necessary. If one always has to prove their worth, so to speak, is it possible to allocate the mental resources to further develop the field, or is the thought, research, and publication always devoted to defending DH?

      Also, I’m curious to know what other people think about the Electronic Errata essay. I liked that essay a lot because I personally believe more than just academic journals are useful for reading, research, and discussion. Especially with the proliferation of the internet, it is time we include these things in the canon of academia. I think this sentiment has been expressed in multiple ways multiple times through the readings we’ve conducted this semester, and yet, again, I question the need to defend this opinion so vehemently. It seems as if many researchers and practitioners of the field of DH buy into this concept, so what will it take for this paradigm shift to occur?

      • Cassie
        I think you make some profound statements here. I agree that there is a great deal of reflection happening in this section of the text, and when does it get to the point that problem-solving beings?

    • Emily,
      I appreciate your focus on the “glitch”. You do point out that DH isn’t all about the problem but in my previous readings I feel that DH is portrayed as the problem. I feel that DH is more of a perfecting and preserving field that doesn’t get the respect it deserves. I agree with your two main points of DH implementing change (effective change at that) and the multi disciplinary factor. Every piece of DH that we have experienced in this class I feel is an improvement on something. Whether it be coding languages or how those languages are used, DH works to show a difference in something. And not only a difference but an improvement. I’m sure the improvement part is debatable. Not only is change needed with improvements, but it is effective change.
      Your point about DH reaching out to different fields could be the reason it isn’t respected or considered scholarly. DH just spreads itself across to many curricula to gain the momentum that is needed to be respected in the world of academia. I quite frankly think that it should earn the opposite reputation. More fields utilize it so it should be more popular and revered.

      Thank you for insight.

      • I agree, Tonya! I think, especially nowadays, a field should gain more respect as it “spreads itself across” the curricula. Perhaps we are getting there though.

    • Yes, ma’am! Thank you for this post! I agree that in a lot of humanities studies I’ve done been a part of, there is so much emphasis on recognizing problems and hardly a glimmer of effort toward analyzing solutions. I understand that a big part of critical thinking is learning to recognize there is a problem, but the biggest part of critical ACTING is seeking solutions, right? I also admire your statement that a lot of the solutions process involves a conglomerate of all the parts of DH that can and do make up critical analysis. It is too easy to take the path often traveled and use the same few techniques, but that gets both tiring and redundant. I think it may prove more comprehensive and useful to explore all DH options and apply them to the work at hand, then use the results to find what appears to be the most practical solution. Sometimes it’s better to discover where the answer is if you ook under ALL the stones instead of one at a time!

    • Emily,
      I had a very similar reaction to yours as I read about the canon. It is frustrating to read time after time about the need for growth and change, but never see the switch flip. Canon readings have been criticized frequently, and DH offers a solution. DH opens the field and accepts support from contributors of all different walks of life. It offers a unique development that could be discovered when referring to the canon. DH allows for collaboration of change. Great Thoughts!

      • Thanks, Kristen, agree that DH allows for collaboration and change.These are both aspects of the field that I really respect, and it seems like you would say the same thing. It is nice to see the switch flip for once!

    • Emily,

      Sorry for the delay in response! I’ve adjusted the settings to alert me when there are comments on the posts, but it still doesn’t.

      I have been thinking about this idea in application to my current field of education. It’s definitely very similar– lots of reflection and analysis, lot of defense, but, unlike DH in many ways, not a lot of change that is truly meaningful.

      I think maybe it’s my own perspective getting in the way, but the nature of DH as seemingly more theoretical and academic than practical, it seems to require a lot of defense as the world of academia shifts from being less about critical thinking, especially in the way of the humanities, and more practical skills for the career world.

    • I’ve been thinking about this fine conversation, and the issue of problem-identification and problem-solving. My small point here is that these are not exclusive approaches, and both necessary. And, several years after these essays were written, the problems they identified, and more, are still there. For example, the advent of digital means to disseminate scholarship, which many of us thought would make it cheaper, really doesn’t, and in fact only has created new kinds of problems that most scholars don’t recognize (https://scholarlykitchen.sspnet.org/2016/03/21/seven-things-every-researcher-should-know-about-scholarly-publishing/). Dan Cohen’s DH Now, so far running strong, is in some ways a second iteration, the first one being the now moribund Digital Humanities Quarterly. Fyfe’s identification of “digital errata” is a problem that some are working on obliquely, mostly through better algorithms for OCR and better ways to have more accurate crowdsourcing of transcriptions, but the metadata problems remain, and, for some resources we use, baked in (don’t get DH people started on the metadata problems in Google books; here’s a recent entry in the long line of observations: http://languagelog.ldc.upenn.edu/nll/?p=10664).

      The NEH Office of Digital Humanities has essentially tried to fund the crowdsourcing of problem-solving, as you have gleaned by one of the main possible objectives of start-up grants, namely, to identify and provide a possible solution to an ongoing challenge in DH.

  • To the average reader perusing part three of Debates in the Digital Humanities, things look bad. Tara McPherson’s self-proclaimed polemic problematizes the “modularity of the digital era” as it separates issue […]

    • I really like your take on problems. I’ve been around people who have called problems “opportunities” before, and that had sort of seemed like just a nice way of saying “Your world is falling apart, so I’m going to spin this so you won’t freak out.” It makes sense, though, that discussing the problems with DH gives legitimacy to the field. People wouldn’t want to waste their time and energy on what they don’t think is a worthwhile enterprise, so DH must be important.

      This week’s readings were much more satisfying to read in that even though they discussed problems with DH, at least there appeared to be some solutions in sight. Trying to define DH has been like trying to nail Jello to the wall for me. These readings were much more concrete in my mind, and thus easier to follow.

    • I just want to chime and and say I love the way you say that DH is legitimized through “critique.” It has never occurred to me that the need to critique something inherently suggests that that thing has merit – especially if the critique is whether or NOT that merit exists. It makes sense though: why talk about something if it’s not worth talking about? Why critique something if it isn’t worth critiquing? Really, DH gets criticized because it is different, but not necessarily because it is useless. That is definitely something to remember!

  • I agree with you, Katie. Perhaps I am a product of my generation or the data-hungry institutional environment I work in, but I found Jockers’ book refreshing and exciting. I would never (ever) call myself a numbers person, but to me macroanalysis is about so much more than numbers. I was heavily annotating Jockers as I read him, and this had as…[Read more]

  • Cassie, this is thought-provoking and certainly worth mentioning. I think the highly personal, emotional nature of literature is important and something we all hold dear, but to me the human aspect of literature is actually that which dictates that we cannot just focus on this type of close reading. I think it is the human element of literature…[Read more]

  • By the way, I am “Anonymous” above. This is why I should not do my own school on my work computer.

  • David, this is a well-written and helpful articulation of the readings this past week. Thank you! I too went with the “combination of practices” approach. Much like the humanities in general, DH resists a concise definition, which makes the issue of credibility quite the challenge. For once, though, I found myself to be un-ruffled by what seemed…[Read more]

  • Thanks for your post, Aaron. It builds (see what I did there? eh?) nicely off of both David’s and Sarah’s posts. I found myself asking the same exact questions as to the “useless” material out there on Youtube. Do Matt Bellassai’s “Whine About It” videos count because they represent our culture in some way? I decided that they didn’t, but then I…[Read more]

  • Shoot. Was I not supposed to answer that? I apologize; I’m not familiar with blog etiquette!

  • I feel the same way, Sara! I almost started talking to myself, but at that point I knew it was time to post on here!

  • Emily Kincaid changed their profile picture 4 years, 9 months ago

  • Thank you for the guidance!

  • My name is Emily Kincaid, and I am embarking on my second semester as a grad student in BGSU’s Masters in English-Teaching Specialization program. This class immediately sparked my interest when I first received an email that offered it as an elective. In the Spring of 2012 as I prepared myself for my undergrad graduation, one of my favorite…[Read more]

  • Emily Kincaid became a registered member 4 years, 9 months ago