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.
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.)
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!
The Old Books New Science lab had a field trip to the Gothic Boxwood Miniatures exhibit at the Art Gallery of Ontario today, and I came away impressed and inspired by their example of “digital humanities” research that really delivers on the promise of new insights. I often talk with “DH” people — and even more often with researchers skeptical of “DH” — about the difficulty of producing something which is relevant in and of itself. All research is fundamentally exploratory, an attempt to discover something not yet known, but the risk seems particularly easy to imagine with computational or technological approaches, that one might invest enormous effort to discover nothing except that the effort required was enormous. The AGO exhibit, I think, reveals a way to use exciting new tools without getting stuck just researching the tools themselves.
My first MLA annual convention has come to a close! I had the honour of presenting on the Book of Fame project I’ve been part of, and the good fortune to present at the end of the first night so I could attend the rest of the conference worry-free.
I’m very pleased to have passed my comprehensive exams, and the occasion struck me as the perfect time to describe one of my secret weapons: Beeminder.