Been there, done that: Art history as a model for the effect of technology on disciplinary development

Evidence of why it is useful to read outside your main areas of disciplinary interest…

I’ve been reading my way through Revisualizing visual culture (Ashgate 2010), on a number of titles I bought from the Ashgate stand at the the recent DH 2012 conference in Hamburg. Most of the chapter thus far have been relevant to work we are doing with the Visionary Cross project, especially now that we are starting to get usable 3D meshes (as time allows, I hope to post some other small posts about the various chapters in this and my other recent reading). Read the rest of this entry »


All should have prizes: Thinking about citation practice for the Visionary Cross Project

With the first meshes almost ready, and work beginning on writing up some of the results from our work on site in Ruthwell, authorship and credit questions at the Visionary Cross project are beginning to become more pressing.

Good practice, of course, would be to establish a system long in advance and stick to it throughout. The Visionary Cross project, however, has always operated as a relatively loose federation of scholars rather than a single project (more of a society, than a project in many ways) and, due in part to the long time it took to get major initial funding, crediting issues have until recently seemed quite far in the future. Read the rest of this entry »


Some early screenshots from the 3D work

Had a quick visit to Pisa yesterday and today to discuss aspects of the project with Roberto Rosselli Del Turco and to see the latest results and discuss future directions with Marco Callieri and Matteo Dellepiane. One nice result is some early screenshots of the nearly-completed meshes. These are static images of the full resolution […]

David Brooks: The eighties, nineties, and oughts called and they want their rhetoric back

The Romney campaign doesn’t seem to know how to respond. For centuries, business leaders have been inept when writers, intellectuals and politicians attacked capitalism, and, so far, the Romney campaign is continuing that streak.

David Brooks

Brooks has been paying attention the last three decades, right? Intellectuals and politicians winning a rhetorical war over the value of capitalism in the face of rhetorical ineptness on the part of business interests? Seriously? Since Reagan and Thatcher?

I think that film must be playing in the other theatre.


Sightlines: A visualisation of the Holocaust along two blocks in Hamburg

One of the striking things about the streetscape in Hamburg is the Stolpersteine. These are small brass memorials to Holocaust victims placed in the sidewalk outside the door of the house in which the victims lived. Here’s an example of one:

Stolperstein for Gertrud Johanna Alsberg (1895-1942) outside Schäferkampsallee 27, Hamburg, Germany

In Hamburg for the Digital Humanities conference, and staying at the NH Norge Hamburg, I was struck by the number of these stones that I pass. And perhaps more interestingly, how many were within view of each other. From Schäferkampsallee 28 (where Felix, Melanie, and Otto Spiro lived before they were deported in 1941) indeed, you can see every building that suffered a loss represented by the stones.

I once lived in a street where the immigration police raided an apartment next door to ours. Although I had not seen the raid (or known that the apartment was de facto dormitory for illegal immigrants), the raid impressed itself on my consciousness and that of our other neighbours. How much worse must it have been in the 1930s and 1940s in the Schäferkampsallee to see this number of people disappear in the course of approximately a decade.

Since I’m experimenting with use of KML–the markup language used to interface with Google Maps–I thought I would experiment  by visualising this idea of the sightline: what it was like to see your neighbours disappear over time.


View Sightlines: Holocaust and the Schäferkampsallee in a larger map

This is a preliminary attempt, using the Google UI and based solely on the information on the Stolpsteine. In future iterations, I hope to work directly with the underlying markup language, in order to add features like yearly snapshots, more detail about the victims, connections to political and historical events, and the state of the street (which appears to have been heavily bombed judging by the architecture) on a year-by-year basis.


The incubator workflow

This is an outline (seen from the point of view of the scientific editor of a journal) of our standard workflow.

The incubator workflow

This is an outline (seen from the point of view of the scientific editor of a journal) of our standard workflow.

Welcome to the Lethbridge Journal Incubator website

This is the new webspace for the Lethbridge Journal Incubator. We use it to provide space to the journals in our collection, post manuals and tips, and to host our calendar. Please feel free to get in touch with us!

Rich and poor

Just to be clear, outsourcing is only one source of the huge disconnect between a tiny elite and ordinary American workers, a disconnect that has been growing for more than 30 years. And Bain, in turn, was only one player in the growth of outsourcing. So Mitt Romney didn’t personally, single-handedly, destroy the middle-class society we used to have —Paul Krugman

When I was a student in high school and university I used to work summers as a factory hand at Rowntree Macintosh (the candy company who made Smarties, Aero, and Black Magic–later bought out by Nestle). It was a great job I got via my neighbour, an old Yorkshireman who’d been a bombardier in the Lancs during the war. It was a union job that paid exactly the price of a dozen beer an hour (in the old, highly regulated Ontario system). I used to watch the clock, counting the beers.

Th other night I realised that I have no idea what it is like to work in a factory now. And more importantly, I don’t think any of our politicians do. Read the rest of this entry »


Ideas have consequences: Prometheanism, the university as corporation, and the leadership debacle at the University of Virginia

One of the books I am currently reading is Public no more: a new path for excellence for America’s public universities. This is a book by Gary C. Fethke and Andrew J. Policano, two business school administrators who explore how market-focussed techniques that apparently are common in U.S. business schools could be applied to the larger enterprise of running a public research university.

One of the thrilling things about this book is just how far out of line it is with what I (and the authors) imagine to be mainstream thought on the purpose of higher education, its relationship to societal and personal benefit, and the definitions of quality and success.  The authors take a fundamentally and completely market-based and competition-driven approach to their analysis, and seem genuinely unable to see any value in (or at times even literally understand) more traditional approaches. Read the rest of this entry »


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