Category Archives: Uncategorized

Weeks 9 & 10: Collaborating with COCC and NYPL “What’s on the Menu?”

It’s hard to believe that it’s Week 10 of an 11-week term! I’m sure my online students are as breathless as I am.  Just as I had expected, there was no way we could fit everything into this term, and so as I wrote to my students with the final sandbox assignment of the term last night, I had to erase the sentence, “This assignment has two parts.” I had so wanted to ask my students to create digital editions of restaurant menus for this last week. Shawna Ross at Texas A & M had given a wonderful workshop on how to create “minimal computing” digital editions, and I was intending to assign this to my students. But I realized that it was too much mental load to expect students could research and curate menus in our area, then scan and OCR them, and then post them in Omeka.

So instead, I stuck with the original New York Public Library “What’s on the Menu?” crowdsourced proofing/reviewing project. While they won’t experience a “whole game” experience of creating digital editions and posting them in their archives as I had intended, they will experience the “whole game” of participating in the development of a world-class digital archive. 

Last week, students from Central Oregon Community College, under the care of Professor Annemarie Hamlin, collaborated with my students on a digital maps project. We had intended for that project to be hosted by the DH@theCC Commons, but we had trouble with the invitations in Buddy Press, so we relied on Google Docs and I have to say it didn’t work badly at all!

Here are the assignment sheets:

Week 9: Cross-Institutional Collaboration

Collaboration with Central Oregon CC Students 

Week 10: “What’s on the Menu?” Crowdsourced Review Assignment

What’s on the Menu Assignment

 

Week 7 & 8: Synthetic Selfies and Jena Osman’s “Gaze-Capturing Apparatus”

In Week 7, I realized that less was more at this point and gave my students a second week to develop their Omeka sites. I often feel that I’m not doing my job if I don’t create new assignments and activities each week, but I have learned slowly that students miss the satisfaction of really developing something that they’ve learned. With Omeka especially this was true, and so I took my foot off of the activity pedal so students could build their archives to their satisfaction.

Now, in Week 8, students are headed in yet another new direction: taking “synthetic selfies.” I got this idea originally from Jena Osman, whose book and presentation, Public Figures, explore the non-human gaze of public monuments. 

Statue of Rosa Parks

Rosa Parks Statue, Eugene. Source: Wikipedia

Since the weather is finally nice, I’m asking my students to watch Osman’s chapters and then go outside and find a public monument and explore the gaze and view of non-human subjects with a selfie-stick. Cyborgs, enhanced humans, and “beat box” singing all reveal an increasingly sophisticated popular familiarity with human/non-human relationships. Focusing on a pre-digital form, the statue, provides a literal brick-and-mortar experience of the non-human. I’m hoping that Osman’s anticipation of selfies and “photo bombs” through immobile statues will give students a defamiliarizing vantage point from which to examine their own experience of the non-human.

I got the idea for this assignment from Kaia Sand’s assignment here

Here are my assignment instructions, based on Sand’s: 
Take a Synthetic Selfie

Week 6! Over the Hump with Omeka Archives!

We are past the mid-term point, and anyone who has taught quarters understands what May 7th feels like. Running on fumes and very hard to continue to create!

But I’m so convinced my students will reap great rewards by creating their own archives. So, with the help of a blueprint by Amanda French  I provide step-by-step instructions with customized illustrations to my class this week.

Writing curriculum is like…writing. Less is always more. “If I had longer, it would be shorter.” So I asked my students just to create their archive, to upload 3 items, to post a reflection in our LMS. That’s enough for this week. It’s a lot.

Instructions for Your First Upload to Omeka Archive

Week 5: Voyant Tools for Distant Reading of Project Gutenberg Texts

The term is flying by. I just finished looking at students Emotion Maps from Week 3. They were amazing–I loved how diverse students’ choice of emotions were–from “anticipation” to “dominance” to “joy.” This assignment met my expectations for introducing students to the Library of Congress Chronicling America database collection while also introducing them to the steps for producing an annotated map as a collection that tells a story.

This week is mid-term, and I am introducing students to Franco Moretti and “distant reading.” It’s difficult to assume that all students will be able to wade through “The Slaughterhouse of Literature” and “Conjectures on World Literature.” Some of my students seem like they may be literature majors in the making, while others are unlikely to have read many novels at all in college. So I took it upon myself to create 25 slides with paraphrases and summaries of these two articles. If I were teaching f2f instead of online, this would be an extended lecture/discussion class session–perhaps the entire class session. For my online class, my goal is to give students the background for why we would want to use “distant reading tools,” and in the absence of a lecture setting, I simply told them what I thought Moretti was getting at  I love the term “methodologically bold” that Moretti uses to inspire students everywhere to come up with hypotheses. 

After students read both these two essays and my summaries of them, I ask them to follow Paul Fyfe and Ryan Cordell and “not read” a Victorian novel from Project Gutenberg. I had wanted to try multiple tools, but in the end I realized that Voyant alone is enough of a challenge, and so I created a step-by-step for students to work with Voyant and post their discoveries and “bold methodologies” to their blogs. 

Here are my instructions with screencaptures, rubric and grading criteria. I have divided into two files because they are large files.

Instructions McGrail Distant Reading Part 1

Instructions McGrail Distant Reading Part 2

 

Week 4: Representing Yourself and Others Online

Week 4 is already done and I’m just now able to post from my course. When I was developing my composition course, I read some great work by Ann Frances Wysocki about how students need to consider the ethics of representing themselves and others online. 

Since I’m asking my own students to create archives that may include photos of my students or their family and friends, I adjusted my calendar so that we could slow down and collaboratively create a statement for the ethical representation of themselves online. 

Here’s my screencast video introducing students to the assignment:

https://www.screencast.com/t/TPdUltE9

Here’s the written INSTRUCTIONS FOR COLLABORATIVE STATEMENT OF ETHICAL REPRESENTATION 2

Week 3 Reading, Writing, and Digital Culture

Spring term is buzzing by. We have one hummingbird outside our house who has been sitting on a branch all winter and now he’s almost obscured by the leaves that have filled in. 

Week 3 is about mapping. As I wrote in my thought piece on “minimal computing” in January, I use Google maps to help students develop several kinds of DH skills, from basic procedural knowledge for working with online primary source materials to content knowledge about the what, where, when, and how of literary and cultural histories.

Picking up on our Week 1 reading of Mrs. Dalloway, I sent my online students to the wonderful Georgia Tech students’ project, Mrs. Dalloway Mapping Project to get a feel for how plot points, settings, and other narrative features can be interpreted through maps. Originally I was going to ask my own students to map the novel, but the Georgia Tech example is so strong that I thought it would be better to try something else. So I asked students to then explore another site, Mapping Emotions in Victorian London , from the Stanford Literary Lab.

Photo

Covent Garden Flower Women, Mapping Emotions in Victorian London

 This site gave me an idea for my own students: to use the Library of Congress’s Chronicling America database to explore an emotion in America from 1789-1924 (the range of the database’s complete collection of newspapers), and then map the appearance of emotions in print in America over time. 

First instructional video 

Second instructional video

Third instructional video

Instructions for Mapping Emotions in America Project

I’m looking forward to seeing what my students come up with and hearing about their process. It’s been a great experience for me to break the steps down as clearly as possible. Procedural knowledge is a key skill set for C21 students. It’s one thing to create the maps myself through tinkering and my own tacit knowledge. It’s another thing altogether to step back and provide the steps so that online students can perform a lengthy series of steps toward a single end. We’ll see next week how they did!

Week 2 of ENG 217 Reading, Writing, and Digital Culture

What cool things my students did for last week’s Mrs. Dalloway Second Sandbox blog entry! Wonderful pictures of flowers and larks and Big Ben and village greens and green dresses and early 20th century hats and war images and even (my favorite) a sound file of a Buddhist chant. The First Sandbox assignment–annotations of Mrs. Dalloway on a Google doc–were somewhat less successful if you use an old-school rubric of rigor and systematic analysis. But I was pleased that most of the students in this class reapproached the novel as a digital document and found several things to comment on—even as small as a vocabulary word.

This week, my expectations are high for the “Dead Media Poster Project,” which I adopted from Professor Ryan Cordell’s “Texts and Technologies” class. I created my own poster as an example for students using the old 8-Track Tape. I used to listen to Barbara Streisand on 8-Track, so this was a dead medium near and dear. Dead Media Poster Session Assignment

I shared Marshall McLuhan and Alan Liu as these pieces are in the syllabus, and ambitious students will read them. Reading Liu’s “New Media Encounter” I was reminded of being in a doctor’s office as a child, watching cursive letters flow from a nurse’s pen. When I got home I tried to conjure meaning from loops and waves myself with a Flair pen–as does the chief in Liu’s quote of Levi-Strauss

To deepen the encounter with dominant, residual, and emergent media, I assigned Elizabeth Eisenstein’s chapter on “Some Features of Print Culture” from The Printing Revolution in Early Modern Europe (Cambridge UP 2012).

This is a very sophisticated chapter and, thinking of my CC audience, I created a slideshow that walks students through the major points that Eisenstein makes. Of course, her argument is deeply complex and embedded in a conversation about print culture that historians are having, so my slides may be a bit oversimplistic. But I think that these slides convey the most important of Eisenstein’s major ideas about print media for students. So here are my notes on Eisenstein for students with no prerequisite knowledge. This was a really good intellectual exercise for me: to first boil down the features of Eisenstein’s argument most salient for community college students,  and then to try to make them accessible enough to novice, online learners. My measure of success will be that they have completed all of the slides!

I hope students will be able to see the most important discoveries about print culture: that print wasn’t only an aid to Enlightenment thinking but also infused mystical culture into texts; that printers were as important to knowledge production as scholars; and that printing multiple copies of the same text in multiple locations to be read by diverse readers was perhaps a more important development for the progress of science than was individual ownership of multiple texts.

Elizabeth Eisenstein Features of Print Culture, from The Printing Revolution in Early Modern Europe (Cambridge 2012)

Threshold Concepts and DH at the CC

DH at CC Course Poster

Spring 2017 DH at CC Course goes Live!

At the Community College Humanities Association PNW earlier this month, I discussed my development of “threshold concepts” for digital humanities as a way of bridging and scaffolding accessible DH work into community college courses–simultaneously teaching a “whole game” approach that is valuable to all students while also preparing transfer students for a 21st century humanities education. Powerpoint is here: this-digital-life

Actually I retrofitted threshold concepts onto course assignments I had already developed or am in the process of developing for my Spring 2017 Intro to DH course entitled “Reading, Writing and Culture in a DIgital Age.” I took a page from Ryan Cordell’s wise essay and chose a title that refers to concrete practices that novice humanities students and Gen Ed students alike would recognize.

Here are some of the assignments that I’m still tinkering with–some of them are in the process of being developed, some have already worked successfully. One assignment is adapted out of a lengthy and sophisticated assignment in Bruno Latour’s “Scientific Humanities” MOOC and another was inspired by Jena Osman’s Public Figures book and website to provide opportunities for students to practice humanities methods of observation, analysis and creative imagining in their daily lives.

Humanities Computing or Digital Humanities is…

—About the Book

…About how algorithms-organize-information-essay-wr122

…About anticipating questions anticipate-your-audience-faqs-assignment-sheet

…About glitches and breaking-stuff-write-like-gertrude

…About non-human subjectivities synthetic-selfies-and-monumental-subjects

..About how words-get-their-meaning-from-other-words

…. About building an audience for your cause writing-studio-exercise-awareness-object-artifact

DH at the CC Commons Now Live!

DH at the CC Commons is a community of practice begun at the NEH ODH Advanced Topics Summer Institute 2015

DH at the CC Commons is a community of practice begun at the NEH ODH Advanced Topics Summer Institute 2015

The DH at the CC Commons is open to all interested in teaching digital humanities at community colleges.

Visit us today at https://dhatthecc.lanecc.edu/

NEH Advanced Topics in Digital Humanities Summer Institute July 13-17, 2015

neh_logo_horizontal_rgbPlans are underway for Lane’s NEH Advanced Topics in the Digital Humanities Summer Institute July 13-17, 2015.

Applications have closed. We have confirmed our cohort of 29 participants from 12 states and DC.

Here’s my 3-minute lightening-round presentation on this summer’s institute.

PARTICIPANTS: CLICK HERE TO BE REDIRECTED TO THE INSTITUTE PAGE FOR UPDATES ON INSTITUTE INFO

The institute, entitled An Institute for Community College Digital Humanists: Beyond Pockets of Innovation, Toward a Community of Practice.

Since I first began my engagement with DH, I have noticed that community college humanists have been slow to join conversations and communities of practice in digital humanities (DH).  This is in part because serving students in an open-access context involves intensive teaching and service workloads and constraints on professional development. This institute seeks to address this lag in DH at community colleges.

This summer, a distinguished group of institute faculty will lead 29  CC faculty in a week of engagement with DH theory and methods, tool building and pedagogical innovations that scaffold digital humanities for the unique learning needs of their students.

One goal of this institute is to offer a context for CC faculty to participate in the definition of digital humanities practice to include the work of community college teachers, scholars and students. The participants will emerge with a firm grounding in the depth and complexity of DH and its applicability to their courses. They will create a portfolio of project prototypes in data visualization, geospatial mapping, crowdsourcing, and digital storytelling, et al.

To extend the reach of the institute, a public keynote address by Professor Marta Effinger-Crichlow of City Tech in New York, will welcome the community into the DH conversation, and participants’ work will be shared in an online commons that will serve as a hub for developing a community of practice.

 

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not necessarily reflect those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.