Liz Scoville

  • This post is going to be short, because my idea is still rather rudimentary. And I want your thoughts!

    So I am an English master’s candidate, and I have a huge passion for semiotics – the study of signs. […]

  • “DHers and non-DHers shouldn’t be worrying about a dictionary definition to embrace this ever-changing realm; instead of defining it, define it by taking action.”


    They say the two things guaranteed in life are death and taxes, but so is change! That is how life works! DH is, when you think about it, a technological r…[Read more]

  • 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…[Read more]

  • 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…[Read more]

  • Sorry for the slight delay here, folks. Don’t know about you all, but my week has been CRAZY.

    As I sort through all the DH criticisms highlighted in this week’s readings, I nearly started my blog post by a […]

    • Liz- to answer your question overall I do not think that DH has any significant value for me outside of this class. WOuld it be nice to digitalize more historical documents absolutely, and that aspect would help me. I could use many more primary documents in my Social Studies classes. Other than that I have no use for the coding exercises, and that kind of stuff. I think DH needs to be better explained in course postings because I think many people aren’t so sure what it means, and probably wouldn’t have taken the course. DH is more than coding yes, however I would gain alot more if we focused on other aspects like video games,social media, and digitalization. If you work or would like to work in a humanities related field where this would be beneficial to you than I think you should be required to take the class. If you do not than there is no reason to take a class like this.

    • I think DH will be beneficial once I get the hang of it and get a chance to use it. I actually had a little bit of HTML experience before taking this class, and it has proven helpful outside of this class. I can’t remember the specific, but I remember making a minor adjustment to something I was working on. I couldn’t figure out why it wasn’t working until I looked at the HTML and found the error in the code. It finally worked, and my frustration went away.

      Also, there is a trend in teaching to be more and more technologically advanced. In my district, we are moving to a paperless existence, so more has to be done on the computer. Therefore, I see the need for more dynamic lessons on the computer that could benefit from DH. For example, I found an online game to teach my AP Lit students about women’s rights in the 1840s for our study of Jane Eyre. They were in to the game, and I was able to cover information in an interesting and efficient way. I’d like to be that comfortable with what I am learning here to be able to create richer learning environments for my students.

    • Liz,
      I appreciate your question. Taking this course, practicing the activities, and reading the material has given each of us time to reflect on the course and see how it can apply to our regular life, outside of the class. I don’t know that I could clearly define Digital Humanities to anyone that asked me, but I do feel I have a basic understanding of what is going on. I am an English teacher, and when I think of applying my learning here to my classroom, I do see it as applicable. English class is definitely a unique one. There is a lot of material to cover, infinite different ways to do it, and so many different ways to engage students. As time goes on, we have naturally turned more toward technology to help us in the classroom. In an English classroom, there are many ways that DH can work in. Reading and communicating with people all over the world is a simple way that DH naturally works itself into an English curriculum. Through this course, I also discovered databases that would allow my students to hear the different languages and dialects around the world. Just the idea of students studying how the text is read and interpreted around the world completely changes the way English is taught today.

    • Liz,
      As I was reading through the first paragraph of your post, the first thing that hit me was your argument that “DH is here to stay.” I am not disagreeing with you; in fact, I am whole-heartedly agreeing. However, while DH is here to stay, the DH that we are currently seeing might not be the DH we will come to know in ten years, maybe even less. In addition, I found Bogost’s chapter to be the most interesting and most relieving. In my mind, DH should be all inclusive so that it is possible to consider all aspects of “humanity.” By putting themselves on a pedestal, these humanists are creating a sort of “secret society” that creates a relatively narrow spectrum of thought and, essentially, destroys the field.

  • Thank you for your post! Definitely helps clarify some of his points. As someone who has never taken an economics or statistics class in her life, trying to wrap my head around Jockers’ ideas about data and macroanalysis was a scary situation. But I get where he’s coming from – data serves a strong purpose in providing a foundation for theoretical…[Read more]

  • I completely agree with how you describe the partnership between macroanalysis and close reading. In matters of literary theory (or really any kind of theory), it is easy to get carried away with all the analysis methods out there and start pitting them all against each other. But that’s isn’t necessarily the case – in fact, it probably never is.…[Read more]

  • I want to comment on the part of your post that appreciates the people who had a hand in the DH project. How did you go about determining those involved, and how impactful their involvement was? For me, I find it hard to want to consider that as a criterion for evaluation because I’d wind up blurring the lines between what the creators intended…[Read more]

  • I will admit, without shame, that I’m still not 100% what digital humanities is supposed to be. To be fair, I know it’s a complex topic that can’t be easily defined by a picture next to some words in the dicti […]

    • Very well said Liz. I was just saying something like this in my class last night. I’m glad I’m not the only one who feels a bit boggled. I think the aha moment will be at the end when all of this is over. The gradual peeling of the proverbial onion of this complex phrase digital humanities will not be unveiled until the very last task we complete.

      I appreciate your breakdown of the evaluation process. I think the main point to discuss is the subjectivity of this. I believe that all evaluation is subjective. We are all viewing this project from the lens that we have grown to trust. We will elaborate on that lens and produce a scholarly opinion of someone else’s work. Even with quantitative and qualitative glimpses of support, there lies the subjective demon peering in the shadows. I’ve noticed this more with video game research. Research articles can swing from one conclusion to the next. This is bad….. This is good….. Here’s the proof……. This scholar said this…….
      These discrepancies reveal our subjective view guiding us to other views that lean to our opinions.

      I may be way off on this, but I just went off on a tangent regarding the subjectivity of the academia world. I believe when we looking closely at everything it is hard to pin point a finite way of seeing or defining it.

    • 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 lot like how the field of American Studies has worked to define itself over the past80+ years. People in the field can recognize works and methodologies that seem to fall right in its sweet spot, but there are numerous seminal articles concerning the methods of American Studies, its ethos, and its boundaries. DH may in some ways end up the same way.

      But I digress. The real question is, how should we evaluate something? I like your point, Liz, that we evaluate it on the merits of what’s apparent. Something to think about: should we also consider what is not apparent? For example, why its creators chose one platform over another, or coded it in one language rather than another, or decided to include certain kinds of content at the expense of others?

  • Just going to throw my two cents out here … I’m pretty sure that this Python assignment (according to the website tutorial, rather than Dr. Schocket’s actual syllabus) was to allow beginners to view how Python works on the back-end. This is where Komodo Edit would be useful – it has an output screen so we can see actions taking place, whereas if…[Read more]

  • Thank you for your summary of the readings! I can particularly relate to your last part about the multiple viewpoints of the topic of digital humanities, and how DH isn’t necessarily a concrete methodology. One of my strong interests as I pursue my degree is the relevance of multidisciplinary study, particularly the increase in multidisciplinary…[Read more]

  • Kristen:

    Before I read this week’s assignment, I paged through your post. I won’t lie, my first reaction was “Uh, no, writing code is NOT like literary theory!” I mean, how can DOING something – as a skill – be the same as ANALYZING IT – like the result of that skill? But after reading, especially Ramsay’s portion, I have softened on that…[Read more]

  • Kristen, thank you for your post. I think it echoes some sentiments I’ve had for some time in my master’s studies that the study and teaching of composition needs to have flexibility. Times change, people change, etc. – and we need to adapt ourselves to that fact. Digital humanities are not a replacement for traditional writing practices, but…[Read more]

  • 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…[Read more]

  • Liz Scoville became a registered member 8 years, 5 months ago