[Humanist] 23.672 teaching the digital humanities

Humanist Discussion Group willard.mccarty at mccarty.org.uk
Wed Mar 3 07:29:08 CET 2010

                 Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 23, No. 672.
         Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King's College London
                Submit to: humanist at lists.digitalhumanities.org

        Date: Wed, 3 Mar 2010 00:22:55 +0800
        From: "Brett D. Hirsch" <brett.hirsch at gmail.com>
        Subject: Re: [Humanist] 23.669 Yale, the past and the future
        In-Reply-To: <20100302060521.98CF84E1C7 at woodward.joyent.us>

Dear all,

Following on from what Wendell and Kathy have said, this might be an
opportune time to mention that Meagan Timney (Dalhousie/UVic) and
myself are in the process of putting together an edited collection on
_Teaching Digital Humanities: Principles, Practices, and Politics_.
We're presenting a poster on the collection at DH2010 and are hoping
for feedback about the project. We will also be sending out a general
call for papers on Humanist and the UPenn list within the next

Moreover, there are other pedagogically-oriented publications in the
wings worth trumpeting here -- David Gants's introductory textbook for
Wiley-Blackwell, and a methodological primer co-edited by Kenneth
Price and Ray Siemens for the MLA.

Best wishes,

Dr. Brett D. Hirsch
University of Western Australia

On Tue, Mar 2, 2010 at 2:05 PM, Humanist Discussion Group
<willard.mccarty at mccarty.org.uk> wrote:
>                 Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 23, No. 669.
>         Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King's College London
>                       www.digitalhumanities.org/humanist
>                Submit to: humanist at lists.digitalhumanities.org
>        Date: Mon, 01 Mar 2010 16:57:05 -0500
>        From: Wendell Piez <wapiez at mulberrytech.com>
>        Subject: Re: [Humanist] 23.663 Yale, the past and the future
>        In-Reply-To: <20100228083212.E06CA40FE5 at woodward.joyent.us>
> Amanda, Willard and HUMANIST:
> At 03:32 AM 2/28/2010, Amanda wrote:
>>More to Kathy's point, we also need to think hard in the DH community about
>>beefing up our attention to pedagogy.  The classroom is where, on a daily
>>basis, we subtly model the profession not only to our students but to
>>ourselves and our colleagues.  If we had better methods (probably developed
>>within DH subgroups such as Digital Americanists or Digital Medievalists)
>>for using DH resources and methods in the classroom, I suspect it would help
>>people like Kathy make their case...in a way I for one would find much more
>>palatable than pointing to authority.
> I agree that the way forward lies in pedagogy and pedagogical
> applications of digital technologies.
> For one thing, we have all known for years that projects in the
> digital humanities afford special and perhaps unique opportunities
> for collaboration between students, technologists, and
> traditionally-trained faculty.
> For another, it is spectacularly evident that networked digital media
> have strong pedagogical consequences -- and require the serious,
> critical engagement of teachers as well as technologists -- even
> while it is doubtful (at least to my mind) that the most important or
> consequential promise of digital technologies is that they should
> generate "new research results" (which depend less on technical means
> than on imagination and discovery).
> I also agree that is not only second- and third-tier institutions
> that would reap the rewards. Even the elite research universities
> will benefit from this emphasis, and not just because in an era of
> short budgets and apparent zero-sum calculus even in the educational
> sphere (a state of affairs I find rather bizarre, however "normal" it
> has become), a recommitment to teaching, learning and (digital)
> literacy can trump old criticisms of irrelevance.
> In fact, in my experience in the private sector as well as in
> academia, it is clear that digital media, at least at this moment,
> have the capability of reconfiguring the old research/teaching
> divide. This division is based on the assumption that what is to be
> learned by the student is already known by the pedagogue, and
> therefore outside any scope of interest to the researcher. But that
> is hardly the case in our work, where these roles can hardly be
> distinguished. (Echoing Kathy Harris, I think this is one reason why
> institutions organized on the basis of this split are having such
> problems coming to terms with digital technologies.)
> Routinely, organizations I work with discover that their research
> into digital media leads them to rethink what they themselves are
> doing and how they can best address the needs of their markets,
> audiences and constituencies, discovering in the process much about
> themselves, their world, and their opportunities in it. I should
> hardly have to add that this is a rather different promise from
> "greater efficiency", as if the point of digital technology was to
> automate jobs away and thereby widen profit margins. Instead, we tell
> our clients that the point isn't to do as much with less: it's to do
> more and better, and by "better" we mean qualitatively. Inevitably
> this demands an investment in people more than in methods and
> machines. And inevitably, those who make this investment discover it pays big.
> Will this shift also happen in the academy? I have no doubt
> whatsoever. I just can't say where or when.
> Cheers,
> Wendell
> ========================================================
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