My 2019 Reading Review

Goodreads-YIR

I track a lot of information about the books I read, partly for the fun of making overly-complicated graphs about it later. 2019 was my fourth year of extra-thorough reading reviews, and the second year in a row where my reading was no longer dominated by texts assigned for graduate school. In 2018 I followed a themed ‘reading challenge’ to push myself to still read widely, but 2019 I went truly solo: so what did I read? (And what do I actually recommend you read?)

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Publication Announcement: “One Loveheart at a Time: The Language of Emoji and the Building of Affective Community in the Digital Medieval Studies Environment”

I’m very excited to announce an article on Slack and emoji in Digital Humanities Quarterly, written with the Old Books New Science Lab! You can read the article here! We present a unique case study on emoji, which complicates existing work that has focused on two-person conversations and on standardized Unicode emoji. We also theorize the impacts of productivity software on academic work, especially in emerging “humanities labs,” arguing that ‘neoliberal’ tools can also support horizontal community-building if used self-reflectively.

Crosspost: Troubleshooting an assignment that almost worked

I’ve recently wrapped up teaching my first-ever class as a sole instructor, a summer session of The Digital Text. I’ll be reflecting on some parts of that process over at HASTAC, beginning with troubleshooting an essay prompt that almost worked.

(Archived version of that link here, captured Dec 29, 2018, to prevent linkrot.)

Crosspost: Professor Hélène Palma on Lady Hester Stanhope

I had the honour of interviewing Professor Hélène Palma for “Cosmopolitanism in the Archive,” a blog connecting papers for the CSECS & NEASECS 2017 conference with holdings in the Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library. Professor Palma provides a fascinating introduction to Lady Hester Stanhope, an eccentric female traveler who settled in the Middle East. Veronica Litt, who organized the blog, adds a description and photographs of Robert Wood’s The Ruins of Palmyra, otherwise known as Tedmore in the Desart (1753; call number: FO-1 00302), one of my favourite holdings at the Fisher. Please take a look!

Vintage “small data”: playing with an Index to Tears

I love indexes. They’re like spreadsheets in disguise, (and as previously established, I love spreadsheets). So when I was reading Henry Mackenzie’s Man of Feeling (1771) for my special fields exam, and I noticed that the Victorian edition digitized for Project Gutenberg included an “index to tears” for the novel… well, I got a little carried away.

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Spreadsheet tools as interpretive middleware

When friends ask me how to get started in “digital humanities” research, I usually suggest making a spreadsheet. Frankly, when my friends ask me how to think through any kind of problem, I usually recommend making a spreadsheet. This is because “spreadsheeting” is a particular way of thinking.

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Crosspost: Review of “The Value of the Non-Evaluative: Rethinking Faculty Observation,” by Erica Campbell

I joined in on a collaborative book review with other HASTAC Scholars, reviewing the online book Structuring Equality: Handbook for Student-Centered Learning, ed. Hilarie Ashton. My review covers Chapter 4.

(Archived version of my review here, captured Dec 29, 2018, to prevent linkrot.)

My 2016 Reading Review

In my ongoing quest to make as many spreadsheets and graphs as possible, I pulled my reading history from Goodreads for 2016. Last year saw me through my last semester of coursework, and the entirety of my comprehensive exams, both of which I expected to have a pretty substantial influence on my reading habits. I’ll be curious to compare the stats to other years some time, but for now, let’s dig in to the 60 books I read last year!

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