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At the core of the work done within the digital humanities is a difficult interdisciplinary relationship between the at times divergent cognate fields of computer science and the humanities. This paper will explore some of the characteristics of the digital humanities and examine some of its hard interdisciplinarity relationships.
It is the contention of the author that one of the central epistemological challenges within the field is to empower students to successfully manage the thorny interdisciplinary relationship intrinsic to technology and the humanities. Without understanding and managing this relationship, there is a danger that student projects lapse into exceedingly reductive pragmatism or overly theorised clumsiness.
The author will suggest a model where this hard-interdisciplinary relationship may be taught and assessed through the critical use and analysis of digital objects within the framework of a Virtual Research Environments VREs. The first generation of digital humanities was all about data. The excitement and impetus of digital humanities throughout much of the s and continuing to the present was that massive data bases could be digitised, searched, and combined with other data bases for interoperable searches that yielded more complex and complete results in a shorter amount of time than the human mind has ever imagined possible.
Current Issue Announcements Call for Reviewers Call for Submissions. Abstract At the core of the work done within the digital humanities is a difficult interdisciplinary relationship between the at times divergent cognate fields of computer science and the humanities.
Introduction 1. Like many interdisciplinary fields within the humanities, the digital humanities consists of a broad range of researchers arriving within its fold from a range of disciplines practices. Distinct from general computing approaches, the digital humanities is an interdisciplinary field of applied and experimental computing that advances the research concerns of the User - Through The Looking Glass and sub-fields that make up the humanities.
The methods employed in the field may be used to uncover Nothing Forever - Stephe DK* - The Sound Of No Hands Clapping knowledge about corpora or to visualise historical research data in such a way as to uncover additional insights and meaning.
The digital humanities is about structuring, analysing and communicating humanistic knowledge in a critical and authorial way using computing technology. Through its journals, undergraduate and postgraduate programmes, conferences, and research outputs, the digital humanities is a fertile interdisciplinary field synergised, in part, through computing innovations at the research-methodology level.
The methods employed in the field may involve text-encoding to create scholarly and critical editions of canonical texts, text mining techniques to uncover new historical knowledge about geographical place or word usage, or visualising data gathered on archeologically sites to propose arguments about building practices or cultural uses of the buildings. Many of the methods employed in one research endeavour may be applicable to another and the hard-gained wisdom in the digital humanities field facilitates the meaningful application of computing technologies developed in one research context to be reapplied in other research contexts.
Teaching Hard Interdisciplinarity 3. However, much of the tacit knowledge of the digital humanist in negotiating the cultural and technical capitals of the academy is, ironically, historically contingent upon the precarious institutional arrangements of the field.
A field that has traditionally lacked an institutional base to support long-term research strategies has by way of historical circumstance produced some of the most intrepid hard-interdisciplinary scholars anywhere in the academy.
This has resulted in many impressive contributions to original scholarship through, for instance, the relationship between 3D scanning and Epigraphy, grid computing and history, or text encoding and medieval studies. It is these interdisciplinary arrangements — of researchers coming to the table to build something new — that Control (Extended Version) - Janet Jackson - Control the hallmark of the digital humanities field [ Ramsay ].
The tool he created for performing text analysis within the massive corpus of Aquinas took 30 years to complete [ Busa ]. Later interdisciplinary configurations have uncovered new knowledge about disputed texts and produced new understanding about Roman theatres using advanced visualisation methods [ Fine Rolls ]. It is these two distinct qualities of the field, hard interdisciplinarity and building computing projects, which are core to the teaching and research efforts within the field.
In other words, the digital humanities make humanists that make things and through making them, they learn about them. Thus teaching the hard-interdisciplinary skills of computing and the interpretative humanities is not an easy task given that they often exist in competing research cultures that are antagonistic to one another.
The digital humanities is a diverse field and there is a need to develop strategies and applications to celebrate this diversity, rather than allow one group to standardise and dominate our Live Undead - Slayer - MP3 Collection of it whether they be text encoding specialists, empiricists, or at times hysterical archivists! Thus teaching in the digital humanities field should emphasise that computing is not simply a set of techniques to achieve a predetermined set of results.
Computing in the humanities is a set of humanities questions to achieve a set of challenging interpretations. Digital resources and tools are made available to students through a series of choices by their creators, educators, and administrators, and making student aware of these choices is vital for facilitating active and critical engagement with them. Therefore, teaching technical skills to humanities students — so that they are faced with the similar technical choices of developers — is one way to emphasise that computing technologies, just like the academic monologue, is a series of applied choices, arguments and interpretations.
But Nothing Forever - Stephe DK* - The Sound Of No Hands Clapping all schools are equipped to provide computer programming classes and this level of in-depth technical knowledge may not always be achievable or desirable unless the student is considering a longer-term research career in the field.
This framework provides tools and services to advance understandings and meaningful interpretations of, for instance, classical corpuses or graphical or social data. Large digitisation projects such as Perseus Digital Library and Thesaurus Linguae Graecae now allow their corpuses to be fed into text mining systems and text encoding systems [ Crane ] [ Thesaurus Linguae Gracae ] [ eAqua Project ].
Tasks may Nothing Forever - Stephe DK* - The Sound Of No Hands Clapping set within these Virtual Research Environments to invite students to locate and compare significant occurrences of terms and places in a given corpus, or compare fragmentary texts, or classify texts. As long as the technical framework and the choices being made by the developers of this framework are transparent and open to critique — and the corpus is understood in its contextual scholarly setting — the student may be able to appreciate the coming into being of Nothing Forever - Stephe DK* - The Sound Of No Hands Clapping and maybe even advance it!
From delivery of digital objects to interpretive frameworks 9. For many educators within the humanities, the discovery of the digital humanities, broadly defined, largely came via the World Wide Web; its tools adopted to their domain through search-engines, database construction, large-scale digitisation Nothing Forever - Stephe DK* - The Sound Of No Hands Clappingand digital libraries. However, new-generation digital humanities projects are not just about hastily making data available through databases or digital libraries, but are about creating scholarly, interpretive frameworks to make sense of it.
These frameworks allow information to be conceptualised, visualised, analysed, and collaboratively worked upon in order to address questions often never thought possible.
And VREs facilitate team and project-based work, highly suitable for the digital humanities in the classroom. In fact, the more transformative effects of digital humanities innovations have been through collaborative team-work and the ability to re-use and relate data through these capacities; again highly desirable for educational purposes [ Goldberg and Franklin ].
Some innovative examples include:. TAPoR has built a unique human and computing infrastructure for text analysis across Canada by establishing six regional centres to form one national text analysis research network.
One of the major projects of the network was the development of the portal. This portal is a gateway to tools for sophisticated analysis and retrieval, along with representative texts for experimentation A VRE is usually not one technology, but is a set of tools and methods assembled in one place to assist students to manage and model research. VREs are extendable, flexible, and work on a common framework that can be altered to support the needs of specific teaching and research scenarios.
A most importantly, a VRE is especially useful for research fields not accustomed to advanced computational methods because it can support knowledge transfer in an opaque way by not just making data available, but by making it available in a way that allows for contextual critique and analysis.
A well-considered VRE does not add unnecessary layers to the research and teaching process, but understands these processes so as to build systems that efficiently utilise distributed and collaborative labour.
These approaches are highly translatable to formal teaching development because they can be broken into steps, delegated to individuals I Cant Sleep - The Hot Pockets - Kiss n Run teams and are fundamentally collaborative. Teaching the perspective of others There is an intrinsic message within the medium that goes beyond the offerings to the user that the technical developer provides.
A lack of understanding of this has often led to inadvertently biased reference points that construct unnecessarily reductive academic discourses. It is crucial to realise that choices made by programmers and developers to present and order cultural knowledge are also a component of an opinionand without an understanding of the interpretive choices that motivate their actions, we leave a significant gap in our understanding of how developers within the digital humanities shape knowledge production and dissemination.
VREs, if well constructed, may be able to guide students to understand the socio-technical conflicts in the learning material being offered whilst receiving reasonable coherent views of the subject matter. Teaching students how to appreciate the perspectives of others ie. The approach offered by VREs combines a theoretical sophistication with technical proficiency to expose important issues to critique in ways that were previously unavailable.
Students come together to explore types of collaborative activity that would otherwise be difficult or impossible. Designing this collaboration around a central theme that integrates the student experiences, the knowledge in the field, and a healthy social interaction, means that new question about the digital objects being provided may emerge [ Beane ].
This yields insights and develops skills that are valuable and meaningful in humanities education whilst lessening the need to teach the basics of computer programming. Conclusion Many of us learnt interdiscipilarity Dog Explodes / Tape Doctor - Harold Faltermeyer - Tango & Cash (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) same way we learned about computing: the hard way.
But a new generation of projects in the digital humanities may lessen the need for programming whilst to exposing to critique the underlying technical decision-making process.
In the Anglo-Saxon tradition, technological education generally comes from a heritage of utilitarian and vocational training whilst the humanities have been traditionally more valued by the middle classes. Building hard-interdisciplinary relationships between humanities and technology should engender a critical and deeply scholarly understanding of technological production, and VREs are one way to bridge this gap in the classroom. University of Queensland. Curriculum Integration. New York: Teachers College Press, Building a Virtual Research Enviroment for the Humanities.
Index Thomisticus. Milan: Catholic University of the Sacred Heart, Atlantic Monthly 1pp. Perseus Digital Library. Tufts University. Duke University, Oxford: Oxford University Press, Menlo Park: Stanford Research Institute, Franklin, eds. CT Watch Quarterly 3: 2 Hypermedia Berlin. Humanities Computing. New York and Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, Presented at Association for Computing Machinery On Building. January 11 University of Alberta. Tapor Project, University of Alberta, Irvine: University of California Press, University of Leipzig.
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