Andy Schocket

  • Shanna, I’m glad that this exercise was useful.

  • David graciously posted for all of us last night, notifying us of troubles accessing Scalar, which seemed at the time to have disappeared.  When you’re looking for a needed tool, especially under deadline, and it […]

  • This is a really interesting post. I was especially struck by your latching onto Manovich’s use of film editing as a metaphor for how we construct narratives out of data.

    Some of us may be reminded of Season 4 of Arrested Development, which, rather than unfolding in chronological order, was presented character by character. Not surprisingly,…[Read more]

  • These are all interesting points brought up (Cassie, Katie, Kristen) about the relationship of having to defend and define the field compared to working on it. As someone who’s be observing and participating in the field for a while, and sees how it’s perceived by non-practitioners, let me comment on that a bit.

    To me, this is not an either/or…[Read more]

  • Sara, thanks for the thoughtful post.
    Two comments come to mind, the first to make DH more capacious, the second to ask about its limits. One is that Parry’s argument circles back to what to my mind is the very simple, three-legged stool definition of digital humanities, which he and others complicate often in useful ways, but do not supersede,…[Read more]

  • 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…[Read more]

  • Cool stuff. There are all sorts of efforts to expose kids to coding. One of the best-known is Hour of Code (you can google it; in fact, it’s a google project!), Khan Academy has a lot of coding resources, and there are others. It can’t hurt for kids to start early. Thanks, Sara, for posting this.

  • Sarah, thanks for getting the discussion started. A few clarifications I’d like to add in. One is that while Jockers’s Macroanalysis certainly advocates for using DH methods, it’s not a treatise on DH per se. Maybe it’s too much to ask for it to be defining the field at large, rather than demonstrating a few methods that some DHers use, especially…[Read more]

  • Liz (and Tonya): I have good news and bad news. The good news is that you’re in good company in not being able to pin down, exactly, what DH is.

    The bad news is that no one else can, either. The precise definition of DH will continue to be a subject of debate for a long time. In fact, because of its inter-disciplinarity, I suspect it will be a…[Read more]

  • Cassie, good points all around.

    As field (if DH is one), we have a long way to go to come up with a commonly-accepted set of criteria for evaluation. I like your pointing out the LAIRAH checklist (, which is a good start. But of course, like any checklist, it has its advantages…[Read more]

  • One thing that not many digital humanists write about directly, but has become increasingly clear to practitioners in the field, is how ephemeral so much of our thought and work is, especially in comparison to […]

    • This post echoes some of the ideas we discussed in the “What is DH?” blog postings. I was just looking up credentials for one of my old professors at Wright State, and I noticed that she was still working on an article that she was working on five years ago when I was in school. What a contrast to DH! It’s a much quicker process, and I think that could put DHers at more of a disadvantage than at an advantage at times. This explains so much as to why it’s so difficult to define the elements of what makes DH.

      The idea of using “snapshots” would be an interesting way to conceptualize the evolution of a product and a way to document it. For example, we could see Facebook’s evolution over time, and the url could continuously be updated as the project progressed.

      I can’t help but think of how much of DH we lose on a daily basis because of the inability to create some type of database. I’m sure there were similar people out there with the similar idea to Facebook, but, for whatever reasons, Facebook became the paradigm. It solved the problems first, became the most appealing, and found the most success. Those other creators are still very important to DH. Even though they aren’t the ultimate paradigm, they are still an important part of the history of DH. And just like the sites they created, they slowly disappear.

    • I find Jeff Rothenberg’s quote about the potential length of digital information to be very interesting and relevant. As evidenced by some of the links Dr. Schocket provided, groundbreaking websites with new information get passed up constantly. In contrast, there are thousands of books sitting unused in libraries across the world. However, I think this is similar to the progression of digital information and humanities. While these old books are still available in libraries (unlike many old websites) their information may be stale and outdated. The work of a historian is to seek new angles and arguments in a particular field. It seems, at times, some historians believe it is their mission to create an irrelevancy in old books. They strive to create a new thought-process, thus essentially casting the old arguments to the dark corner of the historical community much in the way old websites are cast aside for the next big thing (Friendster to MySpace to Facebook). While these outdated websites might still exist, their accomplishments and the innovation they once displayed is still as important as understanding the older concepts of history.

      I also found it interesting that Second Life was brought up. I dabbled in Second Life during its height, when it was a household name. I eventually got bored with it, not because there was not anything to do, but rather because there was so much that could be done I did not know how to process it all. The idea of Second Life was to create a new world for its users. It allowed them to create a world to their specifications which gave them the ability to live how they saw fit. As the article specifies, Second Life still has a large community but it is now relegated to a sort of niche group rather than the wide-reaching demographic it once enjoyed. I think that there are engines that seemingly took its place. Minecraft enjoys immense popularity and acts in a similar fashion. You can build just about anything you can imagine (as long as that infuriating redstone works properly). Although Second Life is arguably the most unique of the “world-immersion” engines, it seems as though its innovation has lived on through programs such as Minecraft. Even though Second Life is not nearly as mainstream as it once was, it is clear that it was a groundbreaking experience that has carried over to the present. I think it would be difficult, and wrong, to create a game with this same concept and not give some credit to Second Life.

  • Good points, all. One issue that various professional academic organizations have been trying to solve, including the Modern Language Association (MLA) and the American Historical Association (AHA), and individual academic units in colleges and universities have also struggled with, is not necessarily whether DH activities constitute scholarship,…[Read more]

  • Nice metaphor, Emily. But Emily and all, don’t get too discouraged. As you can see, there’s significant disagreement even among those steeped in the field (if that’s in fact what DH is) who have very differing conceptions of what it means, its boundaries, and who qualifies as doing it.

  • Kristen, thanks for the thoughtful post. Two particular observations caught my eye here.

    One is how students may now communicate with authors through social media. It’s a wonderful development, and I’m glad you pointed it out. That said, I wonder to what extent we would call that DH. For example, I could tweet a politician asking about a…[Read more]

  • Here are few things to think about, as you do your HTML/CSS on Codecademy, and then do your coding, but a lot of this will help for just about any of our tool/methodology exercises. They may not be as useful as […]

  • David, good start, and I definitely agree with your implied point about one element of DH being essential for today’s wired (and wireless) world, namely, applying the kinds of questions we ask about philosophy or history or music to new media and modes of expression, for instance, to how people interact with youtube, and what that means in terms…[Read more]

  • Wow, it’s the Sara and Sarah show. Good stuff. Sara, very important point about the speed with which DH moves. No waiting years for articles and such; a lot of times, it goes by the speed of Twitter, which is DHers’ preferred mode of communication (here’s a guide to scholarly twittering: I’m working on a post, to come out in…[Read more]

  • Sarah, I like your point about DH being capacious and sprawling, which it certainly is. That said, if I were reading this post, I’m not sure that I’d get a sense of what the boundaries are. And I definitely agree that Dh can be practiced in many fields, as you noted.

    That is, is anything computerized necessarily DH? For example, would a…[Read more]

  • Some of you may not have posted on WordPress before. My first instinct was to tell you that it’s pretty easy, and if you have trouble, do an intergoogle search on how to post to a wordpress site. But just to make […]

  • Ok, that could be a deeply metaphysical question about life, the universe, and everything, and the answer “42” really is just a joke.

    What I’m asking for more immediately is how or why each of us came to this […]

    • 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 professors informed me that he would be offering an experimental course on digital humanities during the fall of 2012. His description of the course and its unique approach intrigued me. In fact, I was very tempted to delay graduation so that I could take it, but the prohibitive cost of undergraduate credits and the desire to start my career (oh, sweet naïveté) won over in the end. Instead, I jealously witnessed glimpses of my peers’ work in the course via Facebook.

      Since then, my interest in the digital humanities has only increased. Over the years, I spent some time with post-modern writers, like Don DeLillo and Christian Bok, whose preoccupation with technology fascinates and scares me. I also have been undeniably caught up in the digitalization of the humanities both with my work at a technical college (teaching online) and with my recent beginnings as an all-online grad student. Again, I am in awe of how things have changed even since my undergrad days, and I am afraid of the giant that is the digital age.This fascination/fear dynamic really defines my motivation for taking this course.

      Despite being born and raised in the 90s, I find myself behind when it comes to technology. I prefer the tactile experience of book-reading, I do not have a twitter, and just hearing the word “coding” hurts my brain. I have much to learn, and this is a deficit which I would like to tackle. Herein lies one reason for why I am here. I do not, however, approach this task begrudgingly. Although I am a little behind, I am extremely intrigued by the vast possibility and already-here implications of digitalization. I am hungry to learn and eager to explore, but I am entering this task with a level of fear. I am nervous about my inadequacies, and I also fear the unknown power that is our ever-evolving technology.

      I recently was lucky enough to scale the 10,000 foot Mt. Haleakala in Maui to watch the sun rise over its volcanic crater. I was extremely excited (enough so to wake up at two in the morning and proceed without coffee) since I love hiking and mountains, but I was also extremely afraid thanks to my severe acrophobia. As the sun became just a pink line on the black horizon, I approached the edge of the crater with wobbly legs, white knuckles clutching the guardrail, but smiling like a goon. This is how I see myself embarking on the hike that is this course: trembling with an incredible excitement tempered with fearful anticipation. This time, though, I’m bringing coffee.

    • I am here beginning the second year of the PhD program in the school of media and communication. I am of a more mature age so I have been working as an educational technology specialist for the last 13 years. The nine years before that I taught in the k-12 public school system teaching and doing whatever was needed for that school district. My focus was secondary Language Arts.

      In exploring my research interests for my PhD program, I have a strong passion to improve k-12 proficiency. Through my last thirteen years of teaching technology to k-12 teachers, I have grown into quite a tech geek and have searched for a solution for teachers and students to become more successful in school and to be engaged and motivated to participate. My dissertation idea is related to constructing my own digital media for k-12 school districts. I’m always looking for the thing that will revolutionize the educational world. There are a lot of great ideas and tools out there, but none of them are fitting the needs of all students. Motivation and fun are missing. This is where I think a video game curriculum would transform the way we teach and learn.

      I am always interested in different perspectives when it comes to education and technology. I look forward to engaging in stimulating dialog with my fellow educators and scholars who are “here” as well.

    • Hello! My name is Liz, and I’m here because I’m pretty much crazy. I’m entering my second year of my master’s degree studies. The degree is in English, with an individualized focus on writing. I am a big fan of practical application of academic theories and teachings. I felt the digital humanities class would be a way to be more hands-on with my work – and I was right!

      It would be worth noting that I am a part-time, fully online student. The rest of the time, I work full time as a marketing coordinator (literally just started – was a recruiter for two years first) and do a lot of theatre in my community. I would say I’m the artsy type, and my career and future are very important to me. When I decided to get my degree and add another chunk of dough onto my student loans, I had to remind myself (and still do) that money isn’t as important as getting the most out of life as I can. My goal is to take what I learn and apply it to my work both in the office and out, and to one day teach at the collegiate level. I want to show my students that you can be theoretical, philosophical, artsy, etc. in an age and society where practical paths (STEM, for example) are the pressured norm. This class seems to follow the same thought process – pursuing humanities in an age focused on technology.

      I am excited to see our class will be less reading and more doing – bring it on!

    • I am Kristen Johnson. I swore I had already posted but it is no where to be found, so I obviously need to be here. I am actually pretty tech-savvy, so I thought, and this class is a great opportunity for me to expand on that. I earned a Bachelor’s degree in history and English, and I have only used the English portion of it in my career thus far. I am very interested in exploring the historical side of my degree. English and history overlap in so many ways, I am interested to see what ideas and methods I can learn from everyone. I also teach mixed mode courses that require a great deal of technology. This class will definitely be applicable in helping me improve those courses. I am working to earn my MA in English. I am in my third semester and I have learned so much. I am excited for a course that isn’t a traditional reading or writing course.

    • Hello all,
      I am here as I am second year phD student in the American Culture Studies department who is interested in the ability to display, share, catalog, and explore information pertaining to the humanities in digital spaces. In light of those interests, I have used such tools as Omeka and ContentDM, and developed a beginner’s level of proficiency. I have not studied DH as developing field before and I have general curiosity as to how these new tools can help scholars better engage with the formation and organization of culture. I also view this course as an opportunity to develop new skill sets that can be applicable to various job markets. I look forward to developing a level of technical aptitude as well as a theoretical understanding of digital methods as vehicles of learning for the future.

    • Hello all,
      My name is Aaron and I am a second year Master’s student in the History Department. I took this class because I feel that it would be a great supplement for my future as an educator. It seems that many colleges and universities are embracing the trend of having online classes. In addition, research through digital space is vital for historians in the current setting. I built my own PC and have taken a TCOM class that dealt with HTML and CSS in designing websites but I will admit that I did not retain much of that information. However, this will be my first venture into the world of digital humanities. I believe this course will help me better understand the intricacies of the digital world and help me broaden my attractiveness when I begin to search for jobs in higher education.

    • Greetings! My name is Sara Myser, and I am in pursuit of my Masters in English with a specialization in Teaching. This is my fifth semester in the program. I am currently teaching 9th grade Language Arts, Drama, and Novel at my home town high school. We suffer with a lack of technology in our district, and this class seemed to be a great opportunity to bring new ideas to my students and my colleagues. There is no denying that technology is here to stay, so I am excited to learn about what this class has to offer. To be honest, I had never even heard the term “digital humanities” until I received the e-mail for this offered class. Needless to say, I’m excited to learn, what I believe will be, LOTS of new things! I don’t consider myself too tech savvy, but I can usually guarantee my classroom computer will turn on and off…on a good day… 🙂

      I noticed some familiar names, and I am excited to get to know the rest of you! I hope everyone has a great start to their semester! 🙂

    • Hi Everyone,

      My name is David Staub and I am a first year Master’s student within the history department. I am currently working with Dr. Brooks recruiting graduate students for the History department. I got my undergraduate degree in integrated social studies with a minor in political science from BGSU and taught for a year after graduating. I taught at a virtual academy that I created for the public school district of Xenia Ohio. While I loved working with the students the administration viewed the students more as dollar signs and their attitude eventually led me to resigning. I was recommended this course by Dr. Brooks because of its relevance to my thesis topic of video game history. I’ve built a couple of websites using google but beyond that writing code is new to me and I hope to learn a lot this semester!

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