Digital Humanities powerpoint.

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PART I:
A BRIEF GUIDE TO
DIGITAL HUMANITIES
James Ginther
Center for
Digital
Theology
WHAT IS DIGITAL HUMANITIES
A form of scholarship and
teaching that integrates
computational methods with
traditional humanistic
methodologies
IN OTHER WORDS…
Preservation
Aggregation
Collaboration
PRESERVATION
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
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
AGGREGATION
Isn’t computation about quantitative analysis
but humanistic study concerns the
qualitative?
How then can
technology assist
the humanities?
AGGREGRATION
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.
AGGREGATION
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
Digital Humanities offers two significant
advances for our work:
1. Granularity
2. Larger Scope
COLLABORATION
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
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
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
HOW TO BE A DIGITAL HUMANIST
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
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.
PART II:
HOW I WOKE UP AND
FOUND OUT THAT I DO
DIGITAL HUMANITIES
Thomas Finan
Depar tment of
Histor y
Center for
Medieval and
Renaissance
Studies
APPLICATIONS BY SOMEONE WHO DIDN’T
KNOW HE WAS A DIGITAL HUMANIST
 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
THE APPLICATION AT SLU
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
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
TEACHING
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
“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
TEACHING
 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 www.edx.org
 We are not only behind, we arent even at the table
 Just today—NEA approved credit for the first of five courses offered
through edx.org…”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
RESEARCH
 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
 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?!?!?
SERVICE
 I prefer to think of this section exclusively as “collaboration,”
following on what Jim said…
 Our notions of service ef fectively 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

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