Archive for the ‘digital tools’ Category

Digital Pedagogy Series

“Using Computer-Based Tools to Analyze Academic Writing with Students”

Laura Aull, Wake Forest University

Friday, October 18, 2013; 2pm

Institute for the Humanities, 202 S. Thayer, #1022

This talk will introduce freeware tools, activities, and sample projects that showcase features of undergraduate academic writing and invite students to analyze their own writing vis-a-vis patterns in a range of writing from informal texts to advanced academic essays.

We invite graduate student instructors, faculty, and others in the community to this and the other workshops in the Digital Pedagogies series. Space around the table is limited, however, so reserve your spot in advance!

“Digital Pedagogy in Practice”

Lisa Spiro

Friday, November 1, 2013; 2pm

Institute for the Humanities, 202 S. Thayer, #1022

Lisa Spiro, independent researcher and consultant, will talk about how and why to integrate digital approaches into teaching. Instructors will get a chance to work with a variety of tools for data visualization, mapping, and other digital strategies.

Digital Currents: Analytics, Architectures, & Archives Mini-Conference

Tuesday, November 19, 2013; 12-3pm

Institute for the Humanities, 202 S. Thayer, #2022

What implications do media infrastructures have on the way way we work, interact, and live? The Digital Currents project welcomes scholars with a diversity of disciplinary perspectives to discuss the complications of our digital present at this mini-conference at the Institute for the Humanities.

Panelists: Mary Gray, Microsoft Research & Indiana University, “Crowdsourcing Piecework: The Geopolitics of Digital Labor”; Lisa Nakamura, University of Michigan, “Evil Media: The Market for Primitive Africa in Internet Vigilante Trophy Websites”; Molly Wright Steenson, University of Wisconsin, “Data Places”

“Exploring, Remixing, Analyzing: Teaching History with Digital Media”

T. Mills Kelly, George Mason University

Friday, December 6, 2013; 2pm

Institute for the Humanities, 202 S. Thayer, #1022

T. Mills Kelly is a specialist in the scholarship of teaching and learning in history. His most recent book, Teaching History in the Digital Age, was published by the University of Michigan Press in 2013. He is also the author of more than a dozen articles on the intersection of historical pedagogy and digital humanities. In this workshop, he will present digital tools and techniques applicable to the teaching of history. Interested instructors and faculty will have a chance to try out some of these approaches.

View all events at www.lsa.umich.edu/humanities/events


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How would you like a really BIG audience for your work? Can you envision MILLIONS of readers?  Do you imagine your writing on your favorite author, period or movement showing up in the top few hits on a Google search?  One type of project I have not yet mentioned requires few techno-skills, yet makes a major contribution to digital culture and scholarship: writing or editing a Wikipedia article.  I know, I know, we’ve all heard the standard line about what trash this forum is.  But it does not have to be–and much of it is actually quite good.  Wikipedia is only what we make of it–literally.  It needs writers like you–emerging scholars with a solid prose style and strong research skills–to add to its corpus.  It’s not that hard, but it does pay to know a few tricks.  Wikipedia: The Missing Manual by John Broughton is known to be useful; it’s reviewed in this fair-minded NYRB article by Nicholson Baker (The London Review of Books supplies another non-incendiary view on Wikipedia).  But don’t take my work for it, follow the lead of a fellow graduate student who practices what she preaches.  She narrates a PowerPoint on why to contribute to Wikipedia and provides useful how-to links here.  You can see the entire list of articles she has created or contributed to at her Wikipedia user page.

If you’re thinking of mapping projects, one can do cool things with Google Earth, a tool that, again, doesn’t require advanced or specialized technological abilities.  Get some ideas and inspiration by following some of these links (again, posted by a grad student with first-hand experience).  One of her last links is worth foregrounding so you don’t miss it: Google Lit Trips, a site for posting such projects (for all ages; my link is to the Higher Ed page).  For a more expansive (dare I say global?) view, this CHE article reviews some recent literary mapping projects, while this Digital Humanities Quarterly article discusses a specific one from Classics and imagines possibilities for the future of this form.

Finally, if you wanted to do some archiving or collecting, the tool to use is Omeka.  I haven’t tried it myself, but I know many who love it, and evidently, it is now even easier to use.

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William Hogarth and 18th Century Print Culture

The Hogarth collection is currently undergoing maintenance. We apologize for the inconvenience. Please check back soon.

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Online Reading

Another post in the category of “not 18c, but…”

I don’t know about you, but I sometimes find reading online a chore, thanks to weird fonts, unfortunate background colors, poor or too much contrast, flashing ads in the margins, overly wide screens, etc.   (To be fair, the ideal mise-en-page is something book designers took centuries to figure out.)  Nowadays, though, when I find myself squinting, or literally craning my neck to reach the end of a line, I just click a bookmark and voila! I have a very page-like text on my screen.  Here’s how: Readability.  Highly recommended.

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Are you using zotero to manage your sources and citations?  You should be!  This free download, which works seamlessly with your Firefox browser, allows you to easily collect sources when you find them, maintain and manage multiple lists of sources,  share and sync them across computers, and integrate them into your work when you’re ready.  It’s hard to remediable how I lived before this tool, but it involved large piles of papers (which eventually fell over and merged together), fading notebooks, and lots of lost opportunities.  Do yourself a favor and start using this sooner rather than later.  And no, they don’t pay me to say this!

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We’ve talked about the necessity and value of Google Books for Eighteenth-Century Studies, especially at an ECCOless university.  But there are problems, usefully summarized and explained here (though there have been hordes of academic articles and posts on this as well).   Now there’s also a (partial) solution. The Eighteenth Century Book Tracker, a tool started by a professor in the field, and which recently won a Google Digital Humanities Grant, clears up some metadata confusion, recognizes that books are not merely “text,” and helps locate the precise edition you really want.  So next time you’re ready to Google, maybe stop here first.

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