Using PressForward, Cohen and Joan Fragaszy Troyano are now editing two new publications, Digital Humanities Now and the Journal of Digital Humanities. Digital Humanities Now began as a curation tool to extract humanities information from twitter. It now covers a variety of blog, social media and repository content that is available openly on the web. The Journal of Digital Humanities takes this curation process a step further — it consists of the best content exposed by Digital Humanities Now.
In some ways, these two publications are quite novel, automatically culling from thousands of daily posts, organizing and segmenting their respective content, and then algorithmically ranking the mass of content. Increasingly, as the mega journals such as PLoS ONE, Nature’s Scientific Reports, and the few others that exist begin collecting a wide range of diverse scholarly content, these overlay journals will become increasingly useful. Digital Humanities Now and the Journal of Digital Humanities are examples of how to bring this content together and what these overlay journals might look like.
But despite its novelty, the Journal of Digital Humanities is essentially doing what traditional journals and editors had done — gather, review, and validate content — but based on a curation model rather than one that is submission-based. Traditional journals had to generate sufficient reputation and distribution to generate paper submission from authors. If a traditional publication were lucky enough to have sufficient reputation for quality, it could be selective, or even especially selective of the content it published. In the case of the new journals, they are pushing out content that already exists and then curating the content based on what is available in the open web.
Digital humanities is just one method for conducting humanistic inquiry. Doing research in the humanities often boils down to finding a pattern—in a single text or across several texts—and then providing an interpretation of that pattern. In digital humanities, computation is used to assist in pattern recognition, pulling out patterns that would be difficult for humans to find unassisted. Interpretation of that pattern, however, remains the most important part of the process.
Here is a definition of Digital Humanities by @briancroxall
Announcing the UM Press/Sweetland Publication Prize in Digital Rhetoric — Digital Rhetoric Collaborative
Interesting developments here on the scholarly communication side of the digital humanities. What do my colleagues in rhetoric think?
The future is here. Are you ready?
Re:Humanities ‘12: March 29-30, 2012 sponsored by Bryn Mawr, Haverford, & Swarthmore Colleges. Re:Humanities is the only national digital humanities conference of, for, and by undergraduates. Supported by the three colleges and a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the conference invites undergraduate researchers to present original contributions to the developing field of digital humanities — applying traditional humanities questions to computing technologies, and vice versa.The key is rooting it in rigorous humanities scholarship.
Electronic textbooks do offer substantial advantages over traditional printed text, such as the opportunity to make timely updates, adapt to learner preferences, and embed multimedia and learning activities—it’s one thing to read about the fall of the Berlin Wall, but it’s quite another to see a video of it. However, research shows that students likely do not interact with electronic textbooks as they do with traditional print, and the broader research base on multimedia learning indicates that considerable care must go into the design of special features to ensure that they augment learning rather than detract from it. There is no indication that publishers are investing the time and hard work required to leverage this information into a new generation of electronic textbooks. Rather, it seems that most are taking the pedagogical devices from print books and putting them in digital format, with little evidence that they positively affect learning.
This article comes down hard on digital media for its tendency to shorten attention spans. The issue, however, of design, is critical. One can design digital pedagogical experiences to slow things down and to cultivate patience, attention to detail, and the habits of careful reading. But to do that, one needs to attend carefully to how pedagogical experiences are designed.
One should not simply imprint print culture onto digital culture. I talked a bit about this in this keynote address.
Tonight at the Knowledge Commons, there was a lot of philosophy work being done.
My graduate seminar on Aristotle’s De Anima was held in one of the group study rooms. We spent the evening looking at texts on Aristotle by Averroes and other commentators. The dual screens driven by two MacBook Airs, gave us the ability to switch dynamically between different texts on different monitors, facilitating a collaborative reading experience.
After class, we ran into two graduate students, Deniz Durmus and Elif Yavnik, working at the stations with the kidney desks and the large computer monitors. Deniz has started writing her dissertation, and she remarked on how helpful it was to have such a large place to spread out her work and so much room on the monitor to see multiple pages at once.
It was great to see such a large presence from the philosophy graduate students in the Knowledge Commons at 10pm on a Sunday night.
Students are highly aware that they need different kinds of skills — digital skills, collaborative skills, administrative skills, budgeting skills — and we should see it as our job to meet these needs. For reference, I offer the example of the Praxis Program, at the University of Virginia, where graduate students work in teams alongside developers and administrators to accomplish projects collectively.