Tonya Koenig

  • My digital humanities project is related to the field of education, teacher improvement, resource preservation, technology integration and student success. More specifically I am working on creating an interface […]

    • Tonya, this is such a fantastic idea! When I taught first-year writing, I was always looking for ways to integrate social media and other technologies into my assignments and lessons. Something like this would have been a great resource. One question that occurred to me as I was reading, and maybe it’s not appropriate for this stage of development so if that’s the case, no worries – but I’m wondering about the “match” process. Will the matches be made based on trying to put together people who are as alike as possible? Or will different but complimentary experiences/skills/etc. be factored in?

      I love this!

    • What a fantastic idea! I would definitely use it!

    • I just love this idea! This would be SO useful!

  • In the readings this week, I had a strong occurrence of deja vu. I’m sure it is due to the fact that each part we read deals with the debate of digital humanities. It also has something to do with the i […]

    • Tonya I also had déjà vu with the readings this week, more specifically our first debates with Digital Humanities. Your concept of “Dh is the means not the end” reminded of the Thing Theory, that Digital Humanities is a prototype that theories can be built upon. In addition, your explanation of Web 2.0 could also be connected to the theory we previous talked about that Digital Humanities is a tool or instrument that allows us to study the wider world of humanities. I think these relationships are very important because it doesn’t limit us to one program or tool but gives us a wider access to a world of interconnected narratives and methodologies. While these relationships are not always obvious or easy to find, it is important for us to seek them out to fully understand the wider study of humanities.

    • Tonya,

      You make several great points to which I can definitely relate.

      I think everyone felt a sense of deja vu in the reading this week. The debate of Digital Humanities is contentious and very well may never end since I think you’re right in saying DH is a transitory term and is so out of necessity. As technology advances and shapes our world, we shape the terminology we have to meet the evolving landscape, which includes, as you put it, “bigger and bolder” web applications.

      Additionally, I, too, connected with the networking social media provides for DH. Social media has provided countless opportunities for networking and sharing innovative ideas and best practices in my field, and it seems an even more natural medium for DH. Because it is so second nature for most of us to turn to social media now, and given the interdependency DH has on technology, it has struck me as ironic anytime something beyond traditional texts are mentioned as being controversial for study in the field of DH. I’m sure it is just the simple resistance to anything that is new or changing, but in a field dominated by digital texts, it seems careless to abandon a large part of contemporary digital text. This seems to relate to the idea that when we digitize texts we get to choose what texts are important enough to live on, preserved in HTML code, and those that remain lost in a library archive.

    • Tonya,

      I agree with you on many of your points. The part that stood out to me most was your discussion of both the diversity and complexity of DH, as well as the rat-python example. I think they sort of go hand-in-hand, or at least they have for me. For all of our assignments, I have been relatively comfortable with completing them, except for the python assignment. While many of you probably progressed through the first several assignments, it felt as if I was regressing. The python assignment was where I hit a snag, and after completing the next several assignments, I know realize how different certain aspects of DH are. Rather than progressing, it felt like I was picking and choosing which parts of DH worked well for me. Python happened to be one aspect of DH I found difficult to figure out. In a way, I think this also relates to the many different paths one can take when examining DH as a whole. I think it is now well-enough established that it is not necessarily a progression of learning, but a pick-and-choose type of learning. To put it more clearly (as I feel I butchered that last idea), DH is not narrow enough that there are only a few things to learn (a quick learning curve). Rather, DH has enough depth to warrant students to master only certain aspects of it.

    • Like everyone else who has commented so far, I got the sense of deja vu as well. I was slightly annoyed by it though. It seems like most of the articles we read spend a few pages explaining what DH is and what it isn’t, and how nobody really knows for sure. I can understand why the authors do it, they need to put their argument in context, but at the same time it gets a little redundant.

      Your question about “Text analysis and text encoding, hypertext fiction, and computational linguistics were all represented as potentially constitutive of humanities computing as an academic discipline,” is one that made me scratch my head too. Perhaps it was worth mentioning because it is something many scholars already do, so Kirschenbaum wanted to put it in context.

  • 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…[Read more]

  • Shanna,
    I’m curious how you felt about the twitter article based on your research interest. How did you feel about the way the author used and presented the twitter feed? Is this the way you would present your studies?

  • David,
    it is refreshing to hear your excitement related to assistive technology. It is important to be knowledgable and aware that assistive technology exists and is necessary. I appreciate your reply. Thanks

  • The theme of part three of our readings this week seem to be focusing on the “user”. I put that in quotes for a couple reasons. First we think of the user as the person who is viewing the Digital humanities […]

    • The issue is that DH is just becoming popular. Yes it has existed for a long time but no one really ever knew what it was unless you worked in a related field. There weren’t any DH classes when I was in my undergrad at BG. I think I would have had to take it since my undergrad was Communications. It is a new trend, something that people are becoming interested in now. There are more classes offered, more programs and more job in the DH fields. So most people that you are trying to educate in this field have no clue what DH is, or have never thought of it. It is not anyone’s fault. As technology keeps improving and changing, there will always be people that have no idea how to work the latest phone, tablet or gaming system. Is it time to upgrade? Probably, but at the same time you have people that don’t need to and are perfectly fine operating a simple computer, and phone for their emails and calls. They don’t need anything fancy, they just need to get by, and they do. Unless you work in a computer related field, and need to know and understand coding, it is like pulling teeth and looking at a different language that you can’t understand. Even with the tutorials and the instructions sometimes that is not enough for people. I am pretty sure you know what you are doing and have a grasp on this stuff. However, alot of people don’t and they are struggling. With DH becoming more popular and more accessible in colleges, it is the teachers job to break it down, keep up with the latest trends and help their students understand and get through the course. Like I said this stuff didn’t exist when I was going through school.
      I don’t mean to offend anyone and I hope I didn’t, but some people just don’t get this stuff, and that’s not their fault. They were never exposed to it, just thrown into it and hope for the best.

    • Tonya your writings about assistive technologies really resonated with me. Last year I was an intervention specialist at a virtual academy I helped create and using assistive technology was essential to our success. It’s amazing to see how one piece of assistive technology can change a child’s life. I had a couple nonverbal students that had an eye tracker attached to their computer and they could control the mouse and keyboards with their eyes. One started typing out this was the happiest they’ve ever been because they were in direct control of their speech and could directly control something. Because of this accessibility project some of my students were able to take back control of their lives even though they were wheelchair bound. I had never really considered assistive technologies as a Digital Humanities project but this week’s readings it makes sense. Assistive technologies change people’s lives for the better and in a sense so does Digital Humanities. While these technologies might not make headlines or are the “next big thing” in the tech world, they improve lives and I would rather have that than flashy headlines any day. Sorry for the long rant and great post!

      • David,
        it is refreshing to hear your excitement related to assistive technology. It is important to be knowledgable and aware that assistive technology exists and is necessary. I appreciate your reply. Thanks

    • Tonya and Sarah, both of you really sparked the flow of ideas in my mind!

      First– Tonya, I hadn’t truly thought that much about adaptive technologies and its relationship to DH when reading this. I believe that like everything else, DH should be accessible to everyone, however, up until reading your thoughts, I hadn’t really connected my idea of what DH is/isn’t with adaptive technologies. Surely, adapting a piece of Literature to meet the needs of the visually impaired would require DH skills, but I would never have categorized it as such before. It’s also scary to me to think there are others in positions similar to yours that hadn’t heard of tools to make this process easier, and thus, make things more available and accessible to students with special needs.

      Second– Sarah, I agree with what you’re saying in a lot of ways. I had taken quite a few communications, technology, and an abundance of humanities courses in my undergrad at BG, but none of them even mentioned DH despite its long-ish history in academia. Like Tonya pointed out, I think this could be in part because soon DH will be just known as “the humanities.” As I have alluded to in other posts this semester, I’m not sure there’s a real need (beyond grants) for the distinction of DH as its own entity. So much of science is reliant on technology, and yet we don’t call it “Digital Science,” so I wonder when the line will finally blur enough that everyone in the field of humanities, rather in the traditional sense, or in the new, digital sense will play on the same team, so to speak, and be given equal recognition. From a student and teacher’s perspective (unfortunately, those are the limited perspectives I can offer), I don’t see a need to cling so tightly to the definition of DH and who it includes or excludes, but instead, should just exist and be seen as more fluid. Like you, I struggle with a lot of the coding exercises, but I could almost see making more of a case for making basic coding a requirement of a lot of post-secondary education tracks than I could see making the world of DH and all it entails a requirement. Do you feel like there’s absolutely no use for learning the code, or at least having a high-level understanding of it?

      • Cassie-
        To answer your question, in my personal opinion and for me and my career I do feel there is no use for me to learn about coding. I have no use for it currently and I would not have any use for it down the road. But that is just my opinion coming from the career I have. It would be beneficial if I had a technology or computer related job where I needed to know and understand that stuff.

  • Dead MacroAnalysis Society

    I see this to be somewhat true with the microanalysis process. The point that it may be taking away the beauty and art of the work. Man I can’t believe that I this type of analysis as plausible. I believe that we need a healthy dose of both. In order to protect and respect the work, we need to fully understand its…[Read more]

  • Well said Katie. I agree. It is important to preserve the title first and then the analysis of it. But I don’t want to understate the importance of Macroanalysis. I’m not sure if I would have felt this way two years ago before starting the phd program, but I see a need for this type of scrutiny with digital libraries that Jockers explains so…[Read more]

  • 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.…[Read more]

  • Based on my confusion related to the recent assignment, I thought I would start a post that would shed some light on this topic and new realm of literary/coding controversy. In the reading related to the […]

    • Great post, Tonya!

      For me, the “high level code” explanation was counter-intuitive to what I thought it meant. I used to think complicated, FBI/CIA kind of stuff was attached to “high level.” But the explanation made sense to me once I read it.

      I agree with what you said about the benefits of more people having a peek “behind the curtain” of how computers and the Internet work. People are more intimidated the more mysterious it all seems. If you demystify it and show them why things work the way they do, they’re less afraid to try. I remember a time when there seemed to be some exclusivity that came with being a “coder,” which may contribute to that attitude that coding isn’t considered intellectual language or academic.

      Your questions about why the visions differed between those who made the Python tutorials vs. those who made the HTML tutorials took me back to my undergrad literature classes. Those are exactly the kinds of questions we try to answer when we’re analyzing a piece of literature to discover not just what the authors are saying, but why they’re saying it, and why they’re saying it that way. That we can ask such questions about coding and lessons about coding makes it seem pretty intellectual and consistent with academia to me.

    • 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 we run that program in Python, it will often shut the screen and do the action we asked it – we did not ask it, of course, to bother us with back-end functions. But because Komodo Edit was super problematic (at least for me), Notepad was used – without an output screen. If we so chose, we could have put each command into a Python shell. But let’s face it – sometimes that just wasn’t practical.

      For me, the frustration of figuring out this Python assignment wasn’t the language itself, but two things: 1. how the tutorial site explained it, and 2. not being able to see what I’m doing. Codeacademy was wonderful in explaining things simply, concretely, in a logical order and with a same-screen viewer. I am an extremely visual learner, and this helped me tremendously to understand HTML. The tutorial used for the Python assignment, though, left me more confused than understanding, and having to switch between folders and programs and screens made it even more hard for me to keep up with myself.

      The visual power of programming languages is overwhelming. I can see why some would claim it’s not an intellectual field – it involves a lot more hands-on skill than we are used to seeing in academic thought-areas. But I think it should start being included, as well as taught as a method of language and research that may be of use to several other disciplines. Just because you DO something doesn’t mean it’s not intellectual.

      • I agree 100%. The value of understanding these skills is great, even if I don’t think it’s directly applicable to the humanities, but the Python website was not helpful! I even had my brother, who’s a coder, look at it when I was stuck and he struggled because of the wording of the instructions. In comparison, Code Academy was much more user friendly. I’m not sure if it’s because of the usability of the Code Academy site compared to the Python, but I thought the HTML/CSS was just inputting existing strands of code to make things happen. While there’s a lot of intellectual value to it, it seemed more like an assembly line than writing, whereas the Python coding seemed like it required more understanding of how the code worked and how to build off one thing onto another.

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

    • I understand the need and use for coding in DH related fields. However, the exercise did not do anything for me but frustrate me to the point I literally gave up. I reached out to classmates and they were super supportive and tried to help, but I literally just got so frustrated and confused I stopped working on it. Sorry to be very honest, and not to offend anyone and I hope I don’t but for me I am much more interested in assignments like the DH project evaluation which was much more helpful to me, and provided me with some insight and resources that I can actually use as a middle school Social Studies teacher. Coding, and all this other stuff really looks like a different language to me and I just get more confused and frustrated than anything. Coding would be helpful to many other people such as website designers or whatever. But for me I was completely lost which ultimately makes me shut down and not really care…I am always open for help as I have been reaching out to classmates.

    • I agree with a lot of other commenters that coding is its own language and deserves to have acknowledgment for the level of education and expertise a coder must have to execute a code properly. I also agree that just because something is created as “doing,” doesn’t make it any less valuable. However, I just can’t view computer code as a “humanity.” It might be as intricate as Literature, but not in the same way. If we include computer code, why would we not include other things that act in the same manner, like an architect’s blueprints for example.

  • Kristen,
    I feel the debate will never stop with new technologies and innovations. In the one article it brought up the hushed research of computers and how not everything could be revealed for fear of disturbing the population (my interpretation of course). Ironically I watched two movies this weekend that deal with these topics of acceptance and…[Read more]

  • This is my comment sorry. I really thought I was logged in.

  • I’m glad to hear there are others out there who were as “discouraged” as I. I thought I was having a seizure every time I would start a new section of the readings. Each definition would swirl around and in my head trying to make a connection or relationship with the other. There were some similarities that led me to believe there was an aha…[Read more]

  • 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…[Read more]

  • Tonya Koenig became a registered member 8 years, 5 months ago