The Claws Come Out: The Syuzhet Debates

This week’s readings on big history and humanities computing were both informative and fun, as I enjoy watching scholars critique each other and, sometimes, get catty. The syuzhet debates read something like this: 1) Jockers introduces syuzhet, a package for R that studies plot shifts through sentiment analysis. In the first two blog posts, he … [Read more]

Visual Information and My Blog?

As I grappled this week with the readings on visualization, I started to think more about my blog and the portfolio component of our final exam for this course. The more I dwell on it, the more I realize that these two things do not go hand in hand. Visualization is about displaying information visually, and … [Read more]

In Which I Honestly Assess Myself

So this is the blog post where I admit that I am finding this course to be more and more challenging. As we started out defining the field and then discussing the state of DH, whether that be public history, digital scholarship, etc., I was feeling very good about the readings and discussion. I found … [Read more]

Text Analysis… So What?

Tim Hitchcock’s “Big Data for Dead People” elucidates a problem I encountered when first introduced to text analysis and continued to grapple with while working on my Clio 1 project. Hitchcock notes that “distant reading seems to tell us what we already know.” For my Clio 1 project, I used Voyant to analyze twentieth century Supreme Court … [Read more]

The Issues of Digital Scholarship

This week’s readings on digital scholarship encompassed many different topics: digital articles, evaluation, dissertation embargoes, open access, copyright, and more. So what is digital scholarship and what are the main issues surrounding it? Ed Ayers defines digital scholarship as “discipline-based scholarship produced with digital tools in a digital form.” According to Will Thomas, digital scholarship … [Read more]

Digital Pedagogy and the Digital Divide

One of the ideas presented by Mills Kelly in his book Teaching History in the Digital Age is the notion that professors need to meet students where they are and the need to engage students in the space where they live. This means that professors and teachers need to be willing to adapt current technological trends into … [Read more]

“The Public” and Public History

A quick recap of a selection of this week’s readings on public history: Carl Smith’s “Can You Do Serious History on the Web?” asks whether history that is put online can be considered professional and describes the process of creating The Great Chicago Fire and the Web of Memory. Mark Tebeau discusses the importance of … [Read more]

The Problematic Lack of Transparency

This week’s readings discussed databases and the ways in which such technology affects the historical profession. Patrick Spedding’s article “The New Machine: Discovering the Limits of ECCO” touches briefly on something we mentioned in discussion last week. Spedding notes that ECCO’s OCR transcriptions are not available to the users of the database. This is a … [Read more]

The Changing Role of the Historian

The theme that came to my mind most often while going through this week’s readings on digitization and crowdsourcing is the changing role of the historian, and how digitization has accelerated that change. Because of digitization, historians now have to  be comfortable in fulfilling roles typically filled by curators, librarians, and archivists, an idea that was voiced … [Read more]

The Eventual Sunset of Methodology?

The minor field I’m completing this summer with six of my peers is titled “Digital Humanities: Theory and Practice,” and our first week’s readings topic focuses on the history of the field and the various definitions of both digital history and digital humanities. These readings discuss many themes and issues within digital humanities, and this … [Read more]