If there’s such a thing as “computing for humanists” is there also such a thing as “humanities for computer scientists?” On implementing interdisciplinarity in the Digital HumanitiesPosted: July 16, 2015
This is a just a brief initial thought piece on a question I’ve been asking colleagues about, from whom I’ve not heard the answer I want.
The Digital Humanities is an interdisciplinary field that involves the intersection of computation and the humanities. That means, amongst other things, that neither computation nor humanities is primary to the discipline but both must be present in some way or another. In this way, the Digital Humanities is different from, say, the “History of Science” (History is primary) or “Cognitive approaches to cultural understanding” (Cognitive science is primary).
In actual practice, for most of its life as DH and in its earlier form, Humanities Computing, DH has been mostly the domain of humanists. The people have been located in Humanities departments and the projects have in many ways been developments from and extensions of humanities research. So while Digital Humanities, in terms of content, is more “digit Read the rest of this entry »
An article in today’s Globe and Mail by Denise Balkissoon discusses the problem of comment trolls on popular news sites.
“Play this game: go find any article on [the National Post website] about a woman. Read the comments,” argued illustrator and journalist Steve Murray (whom I find pretty smart, and very funny). For him, eradicating comments entirely is the only way for publications to show zero tolerance. “Why would any woman want to subject themselves to that?”
Allow me to speak for all women everywhere when I say: We don’t. I consider a thick skin a prerequisite for any career in the public eye, which includes most journalism. That doesn’t mean that the racist, sexist, nonsensical garbage often lobbed my way by hateful cowards is easy to deal with, or fair. Read the rest of this entry »
For years I’ve wanted to grade quizzes anonymously, but I could never figure out how to do so. Finally I have, within the Uleth setup.
A quick, and still partially undigested, posting on metrics that might favour the humanities over the sciences in “open” competitions. I’m working this out in response to a discussion I had recently with a senior administrator who argued that the University’s tendency to channel resources disproportionately to the Natural Sciences was simply the result of their comparative excellence as measured in “open” competitions.
- For a supposed “Liberal Arts” University, the University of Lethbridge is exceptionally bad at supporting the Humanities
- Poor performance can be attributed in part to administrative monocultures.
- Or could it be that our Humanists are simply worse than our scientists?
- There is no such thing as a truly “open” cross-disciplinary competition
- Using the wrong criteria can reward sub-optimal behaviour and hide excellence Read the rest of this entry »
On my way home now from a fascinating and fun two day visit with Kay Walters to Brigham Young University. I’m going to write more in a little about some of the great ideas I saw there having to do with research and the Digital Humanities. But I also want to comment on something more systemic that I saw there.
BYU, for those who don’t know, is a Mormon University (in Southern Alberta, which also has a lot of Mormons, we tend to prefer saying LDS over “Mormon”; in Utah, “Mormon” was by far the preferred term, as far as I could see). It is a church-owned, private university with a religious as well as an academic mission (this is, of course, not unusual: Western Universities largely began in the same way, except as Catholic universities, and there are still many universities around the world that have strong ties to various religions).
The connection to the church is visible every where on campus. There is a strong dress and conduct code and one oc Read the rest of this entry »
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In beginning to think about how I could integrate theory into my final project, I recalled Kim Brown, the DH Maker-Bus, and how she spoke about how her workshops with children have prompted kids to ask “big questions”. It occurred to me that the way in which humanists approach their own work is often very dependent on the ways humanity and culture are defined. It also occurred to me that now, more than ever, humanity and technology are converging. In this paper I want to explore the ways technology and the digital are seen as “copies” of an “original”. Drawing on theories post-humanism and post-modernism I will discuss technology and the internet as simulation. This paper will examine technophobia in the humanities and look to Jean Baudrillard’s theories of simulacra, si Read the rest of this entry »
This post describes a particular rhetorical technique that students often use in their essays that professional scholars never do: something I call the “straw bibliography.” If you learn to recognise these in your writing (and more importantly, learn how to handle them more professionally), the quality of your research will improve immensely.
What is a “straw bibliography”
“Straw bibliography” is the term I give to statements like the following, when they are unsupported by citations:
The question of the definition of medieval literature has long been a source of debate
Critics argue constantly about the role of women in literatureRead the rest of this entry »
Here’s a list of all the different web properties that might mention a faculty member along with information on how to edit these spaces (when I know them).
Faculty can have home pages in two different locations on campus:
scholar.ulethbridge.ca. Read the rest of this entry »
Hello readers of Daniel Paul O’Donnell’s blog. My name is Megan and I am a former student of his, having completed (among others) his 2014 seminar on the Digital Humanities. The following is a paper I wrote for that class, which Dan has kindly offered to feature on his blog.
The inspiration for this essay comes from my experience as a musician, specifically a guitarist. It has always been possible to — indeed, far more common anyway, I would think — to learn to play outside of a classroom setting. But the Web has given us something spectacular: huge social networking websites aiming to encompass all aspects of playing guitar, whether learning, teaching, critiquing, or making music with others. The education is there, and the community too, similar to the post-secondary experience. If non-academic music education can thrive online, why not the humanities? Read the rest of this entry »
Students seem always to get very nervous about citation… and, interestingly, perhaps through that nervousness, end up doing it in ways that professional scholars don’t.
Here are some tips that pros use for citation that undergraduates tend not to know:
Plagiarism is not a property crime.
Many students treat citations as, in essence, payment for ideas. Read the rest of this entry »
A quick catchup post: this semester is shaping up to be a blockbuster in terms of University of Lethbridge Digital Humanities students’ success in national and international refereed conferences.
The semester began strongly with Kayla Ueland’s presentation “Reconciling between novel and traditional ways to publish in the Social Sciences” at the Force 2015 conference in Oxford this past January. Ueland is a graduate student in Sociology and a Research Assistant in the Lethbridge Journal Incubator.
We have also just heard that four students and recent graduates of the University of Lethbridge’s Department of English have had papers accepted at the joint meeting of the Canadian Society for the Digital Humanities/Société canadienne des humanités numériques and the Association for Computers and the Humanities.
The students and their papers are:
- Titi Babalola Aiyegbusi, “Decolonizing Digital Humanities in Africa.” Read the rest of this entry »