[Humanist] 24.819 literature brought virtually to life

Humanist Discussion Group willard.mccarty at mccarty.org.uk
Mon Mar 28 07:16:35 CEST 2011

                 Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 24, No. 819.
         Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King's College London
                Submit to: humanist at lists.digitalhumanities.org

  [1]   From:    Tatjana Takseva <Tatjana.Takseva at SMU.CA>                  (56)
        Subject: RE: [Humanist] 24.817 literature brought virtually to life

  [2]   From:    D.Allington <d.allington at open.ac.uk>                      (31)
        Subject: RE: [Humanist] 24.817 literature brought virtually to life

        Date: Sat, 26 Mar 2011 14:42:28 +0000
        From: Tatjana Takseva <Tatjana.Takseva at SMU.CA>
        Subject: RE: [Humanist] 24.817 literature brought virtually to life

I am wondering whether there may be value in trying to speak of change without assigning moral values to it-that is, "change is good," vs. "change is bad." There may be times, such as with the instance involving students/faculty relationship with Shakespeare and the Internet, that change means change. As with all change, something is lost and something gained. 

Dr. Tatjana Takseva
Associate Professor
Department of English
Saint Mary's University
Halifax, NS  B3H 3C3
Tatjana.Takseva at SMU.ca

     [Note below the sentence, "The Internet is less foreign to me than
     a Shakespeare play written 500 years ago.” Does that not speak
     volumes and give us a cause for concern? --WM]

i interpret the phrase this way.
those who are, and feel themselves, as part of respublica litterarum, feel
close to shakespeare as much as to - let's say - derek walcott.
but a young person feels today closer to a twitter friend in lybia than to
shakespeare because they have much more in common.
it's a long way the one which leds to have more in common (or as much as) with
shakespeare than with your neighbour, and not all people are able / want / find
interesting / ... to walk it.

the big question is: after years of university studies will our students have
walked that way, or not? if not, has the university missed its main target?
when we speak today of multiculturalism we intend it in an horizontal way:
cultures and people living today. but years of studies could (should) bring to
intend it in a vertical way too: cultures and people who lived in the past (and
who will live in the future too?).

La Repubblica promuove lo sviluppo della cultura e la ricerca scientifica e
La Repubblica detta le norme generali sull'istruzione ed istituisce scuole
statali per tutti gli ordini e gradi.
(Costituzione della Repubblica Italiana, art. 9 e 33)
il mio corso di informatica umanistica:
Maurizio Lana - ricercatore
Università del Piemonte Orientale, Facoltà di Lettere e Filosofia
Dipartimento di Studi Umanistici, via Manzoni 8, 13100 Vercelli - tel. +39 347

        Date: Sun, 27 Mar 2011 22:43:16 +0100
        From: D.Allington <d.allington at open.ac.uk>
        Subject: RE: [Humanist] 24.817 literature brought virtually to life
        In-Reply-To: <20110326122501.8FFE8121736 at woodward.joyent.us>

Having a research interest in what Bradley Bleck calls 'text-based virtual realities' (below), I was wondering whether anyone else on the list has tried using MOOs and related forms of programming (eg. Inform 7 or its multi-user offshoot, Guncho) for teaching in the humanities.

Somehow I find the idea of students building a MOO to be rather more exciting than the idea of them staging plays in Second Life. But perhaps I'm just showing my age...

All best


Dr Daniel Allington
Lecturer in English Language Studies and Applied Linguistics
Centre for Language and Communication
The Open University
+44 (0) 1908 332 914


>        Date: Thu, 24 Mar 2011 08:41:13 -0700
>        From: "Bleck, Bradley" <BradB at spokanefalls.edu>
>        Subject: RE: [Humanist] 24.813 literature brought virtually to life
>        In-Reply-To: <20110324062449.C913211DB07 at woodward.joyent.us>

>Back in the days when text-based virtual realities were all we had, my literature students use a >MOO to (re)construct elements of the works we were reading. I still remember one of the >students whose projects was based around Poe's "The Fall of the House of Usher." Because one >can create containers in a MOO, one such container was the sister's coffin with the scraped up >lid. It was  pretty wild to be able to open the coffin and see what it revealed. Makes me wish >graphical virtual realities such as 2nd life never came our way because they seem to have taken >away that imaginative aspect that comes with reading in the text=-based VR.

>Bradley Bleck
>Department of English
>Spokane Falls Community College

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