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James Ginther Center for Digital Theology PART I: A BRIEF GUIDE TO DIGITAL HUMANITIES.

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Presentation on theme: "James Ginther Center for Digital Theology PART I: A BRIEF GUIDE TO DIGITAL HUMANITIES."— Presentation transcript:


2 James Ginther Center for Digital Theology PART I: A BRIEF GUIDE TO DIGITAL HUMANITIES

3 A form of scholarship and teaching that integrates computational methods with traditional humanistic methodologies WHAT IS DIGITAL HUMANITIES

4  Preservation  Aggregation  Collaboration IN OTHER WORDS…

5  Digitizing material artifacts  Manuscripts  Printed materials  “plastic” arts (paintings, statues, maps, photos, etc.)  Audio and video materials  Borne digital resources  Describing digitized items: METADATA  Physical account, but also the contextual features of each digital object = act of scholarship!  Curating digital collections PRESERVATION

6  Expanding the scope of our scholarly resources = Big data  Gaining access to previously hidden or closed collections  Creating opportunities for scholars to explore and integrate diverse sources for research and teaching PRESERVATION

7  Isn’t computation about quantitative analysis but humanistic study concerns the qualitative?  How then can technology assist the humanities? AGGREGATION

8  All of our work—no matter how sophisticated our methodologies are—boils down to one simple task: pattern matching  When we make an argument, compose a critique, edit a text, and even create a work of art, we are bringing similar and disparate elements together in our composition. AGGREGRATION

9  One thing computers are helpful with is complex and large tasks of pattern matching: computational methods can help us with what we do as humanistic scholars.  The important small print:  We still must make the judgments as to the value of those discovered patterns AGGREGATION

10  Digital Humanities offers two significant advances for our work: 1.Granularity 2.Larger Scope AGGREGATION

11  Intentional Collaboration: internet technologies empower interdisciplinary and international collaboration  Digital Tools allow scholars to share their findings with others in order to create scholarship  Even social media can be a tool of collaboration: collaboration is organic and begins when we know what others are doing COLLABORATION

12  Unintentional Collaboration: we share our evidence—our data—so that others may re-use for their own scholarship  Digital Humanities is built upon open source data models and upon the principle that all scholarship ultimately belongs to the community  Using more than just print media can facilitate future collaborative work COLLABORATION

13  Both forms of collaboration entail transparency:  We share how we work: we can model our acts of scholarship or creative enterprises  We acknowledge that we build our research upon the work of others and so there is an ethical pull to reciprocate COLLABORATION

14 1.Be good at what you do: digital humanities cannot cover a multitude of scholarly sins 2.Be willing to think about your source material as data: what is its scope, its structure, etc. 3.Be willing to think about your research as part of a larger network of ideas and methods 4.Be collaborative: how can you work with others HOW TO BE A DIGITAL HUMANIST

15 5.Be collaborative, part 2: share your sources, your data, and even your final product 6.Remain committed to peer reviewed scholarship, but consider that dissemination is bigger than the print media 7.Learn new skills: encoding, metadata analysis, even web design and programming 8.Be creative: using a computer or searching a database is not the full-scale of digital humanities. HOW TO BE A DIGITAL HUMANIST

16 Thomas Finan Department of History Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies PART II: HOW I WOKE UP AND FOUND OUT THAT I DO DIGITAL HUMANITIES

17  A few brief autobiographical points:  While a grad student at CUA I was part of a pilot project to apply geospatial analysis to what was then the new field of “Geographic Information System”  Our sources were medieval marriage court records…which mentioned in each case where people were from…  We charted the patterns of movement of people within several diocese simply by noting their origins and the locations of the court cases  It added a new dimension to the marriage cases, because we were able to show that people in fact moved around widely, but that the movements were determined by factors such as market relationships and connections between lordly families APPLICATIONS BY SOMEONE WHO DIDN’T KNOW HE WAS A DIGITAL HUMANIST

18  Development of Digital Humanities with several thoughts in mind  Humanities needs to drive the train—its not an issue of humanities speaking scientific language  It is an issue of the sciences speaking the language of the humanities, and asking the questions that we might ask using their techniques THE APPLICATION AT SLU

19  Buy in from a number of competing interests  Participants need to think in terms of what they can gain professionally through developing digital humanities as part of their scholarly life…and that means:  1. Teaching  2. Research  3. Service THE APPLICATION AT SLU

20  A test in my 111 class this last semester  Our students are, for lack of a better way of putting it, different—they have access to information, and that’s it  Our mistake over the last decade has been to assume that we need to entertain these students…if anything, that’s the LAST thing they need TEACHING

21  “Cloud Sourcing History”  10 sections were given topic from History 111  Students guided by TAs in forming groups that would outline and write a section of their topic  Students were graded on their contribution (in word count) and in their collaboration (in terms of their corrections and modifications)  The completed topics were then posted to the entire class, and students could then comment on and critique other sections  Overall response was very positive  The final product---a history book composed by the students TEACHING

22  Online courses  This spooks us…we have basically no online footprint in the college  While these institutions arent just doing it, they are doing it well: Harvard, Stanford, MIT, Duke, Penn, Georgetown…go to  We are not only behind, we arent even at the table  Just today—NEA approved credit for the first of five courses offered through…”three hours of credit can and should be applied”  Do students learn as much in online courses as in class courses?  Meta analysis by Department of Education found that students often learn BETTER and MORE via online learning, but that the combined or hybrid style courses provide the strongest setting for learning  SLU-Stuttgart-St. Xavier, Mumbai  Trilateral program in international studies that brings American, European, and Indian students together  Course has online content (managed by University of Stuttgart)  Students and faculty travel one of the three host universities for a two week seminar TEACHING

23  Transcription using T-Pen  Lets say you find a manuscript that has not seen the light of day for a thousand years and you edit it using T-Pen  The edition as ultimately published will go through peer review and will of course be counted as a research publication  But what if you also make the transcription freely available? Does this not constitute “service” to the wider academic community?  In this sense, the output of the research could be seen as double dipping for the scholar RESEARCH

24  The publishing world is changing radically around us, yet there is very little discussion among us, it seems to me, regarding how this will impact junior professors in the next ten to twenty years  Who remembers “the online journal” craze of the 1990s?  Alternative means of presenting and conduction research is the key—while retaining strict means of quality control  University College-Dublin School of Archaeology Early Medieval Archaeology Project  As part of a wider effort to disseminate funded research, the project produced PDF books of each phase of the project BEFORE paper publication  The intent was to freely distribute the data, open it to critique more quickly, and to then submit final phases of the project for publication with the Royal Irish Academy  This horrified colleagues…share my research before it goes to press?!?!? RESEARCH

25  I prefer to think of this section exclusively as “collaboration,” following on what Jim said…  Our notions of service effectively revolve around serving on departmental or college committees or administrative service  Change our notion of service to include overt attempts to build collaborative teaching and research projects  BUT THESE COLLABORATIVES HAVE TO BE ORGANIC, AND THEY CAN NOT BE IMPOSED  How to begin?  Building data related to all research conducted in the humanities, available to all scholars in the humanities (not Activity Insight, which neither provides much in the way of collaborative active or insight)  The information is first of all shared by the contributors, not demanded or required  Create a virtual and/or physical commons for collaboration SERVICE

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