Update 7/12/12: The seminar began and ended all too quickly at the British Women Writers Conference. There were many questions about doing DH in the classroom and the difference from digital pedagogy. Since I had just come from co-teaching at the Digital Humanities Summer Institute, I was all aflutter with Digital Pedagogy. We spent much time in the BWWC session sussing out (and being transparent about) the issues with doing DH in the (primarily) undergraduate classroom. What follows are my slides, but they are mere pictorial representations of the conversation that was generated by some very savvy teachers and scholars for 90 minutes. 

The slides have some references to interesting DH work being done right now. Instead of relying on our Internet connection, I used screencasts of Matt Jockers and Ted Underwood’s big data projects to demonstrate how/why DH can be interesting. See those and the references underneath the slides.


Ted Underwood’s work using data mining & visualization as an example of what numbers can do for Humanities research projects.

Matt Jockers demonstrates topic modeling with his work on English, Irish, and American novels:

Some examples of my work:

  1. Plenary slides and video about Gothic short stories in the annuals;
  2. A collaborative mid-term assignment for Gothic Novel & Horror Fiction;
  3. My upcoming Digital Dickens seminar for Spring 2013;
  4. A list of the courses that I’ve offered, some of them Digital Humanities-focused and most of them Digital Pedagogy-infused. For DH, see TechnoRomanticism and Honors Seminar on Digital Literature;
  5. See the work being done on the Beardsley Project, a student-run digital endeavor;
  6. Finally, see the UPS Workshop on how to build a better Digital Pedagogy assignment and check out the DHSI Digital Pedagogy Workshop resource page.


Original Post with Addendums

One of my favorite conferences happens again this June in Boulder, Colorado. This conference, organized and run by graduate students, has invited me to offer a master class in Digital Humanities. Hooray! Details follow:

The British Women Writers Conference organizing committee has asked me to teach a workshop or master class on Digital Humanities this June (2012). In an attempt to convey the sense of playfulness and attention to process inherent to my own work and teaching, I proposed the following:

Title: “Playing Screwing Around with Digital Humanities,” a British Women Writer’s Conference 2012 Workshop/Master Class

Description: In a 2010 talk, “The Hermeneutics of Screwing Around,” (pdf) Stephen Ramsay declares that for most scholars browsing the stacks of a library shelf comes with a sense of exploration, even willing playfulness. For Ramsay, being an academic promises, even requires, unbounded playing and learning in order to achieve cultural literacy. For him, this is the foundation of Digital Humanities. But, Ramsay delivered this talk prior to the 2011 Modern Language Association Convention where there was much ado about Digital Humanities – from William Pannapacker’s article in The Chronicle of Higher Education to the Twitter backchannel. Kathleen Fitzpatrick, who organized “The History and Future of Digital Humanities” Roundtable at the 2011 Convention, gathered myself, Stephen Ramsay, Tara McPherson, Brett Bobley, Bethany Nowviskie, and Alan Liu to discuss all facets of Digital Humanities, including pedagogy and the alternative academic career. The tweets and blogging that ensued from this discussion exploded the conversation outside of the confines of the room and into weeks after the conference’s conclusion, including Matthew Kirschenbaum’s historicizing of Digital Humanities for an ADE Bulletin article, Stephen Ramsay’s follow-up, “On Building,” about Digital Humanities’ membership, Jentery Sayers’ post to DHAnswers “How do we introduce undergraduates to the digital humanities?” and Lisa Spiro’s Digital Humanities Conference presentation “Knowing and Doing: Understanding the Digital Humanities Curriculum.”

At the 2012 MLA Convention, Digital Humanists did less navel-gazing and more outreach by inviting the non-Digital Humanities community to play in the sandbox with us. The primary imperative of the 2012 MLA was a call to those digi-curious to jump in, get their hands dirty with data, invite their students, and consider alt-ac careers. But, many still struggled with defining Digital Humanities as a theory and methodology for their own work, including Stanley Fish in an extremely polemical series of articles for The Chronicle of Higher Education (see reading list below for articles and responses).

For this workshop, we will briefly explore the definition of Digital Humanities as it relates to 18th and 19th-century literature before moving into examples of Ramsay’s “Screwmeneutical Imperative” in Digital Humanities scholarship and research. After a discussion of the humanistic inquiry inherent to all Digital Humanities studies, we will either move towards discussing scholarly implications of Digital Humanities or its pedagogical uses in higher education – depending upon participants’ needs. Please bring scholarly research questions or pedagogical materials. At the conclusion of the seminar, participants should leave with a sense of how Digital Humanities can impact their teaching and research.

Workshop is open to all levels of the digi-curious. Please see the below reading list for an introduction to Digital Humanities, its debates, and the resulting digital pedagogy sub-field (with Kirschenbaum and Debates in the Digital Humanities being the first place to begin your explorations).

Suggested Readings

Note (5/21/12): The reading list is meant to satiate all of your queries about all sorts of Digital Humanities and Digital Pedagogy intrigue. You don’t need to read everything in preparation for our gathering, but you should most definitely read the Ramsay and Kirschenbaum pieces to start. The other anthologies, though voluminous, cover a wide range of issues in the field. Since our workshop is promising to contain a very disparate group (in both disciplinary interests and experience), we’ll begin by discussing what DH/DP mean to you and move on from there. You might be better able to pick and choose from the anthologies after our workshop — to gain a deeper understanding of the issues that we’ll try to cover in our brief time together.

Start Here:

Kirschenbaum, Matthew. “What is Digital Humanities and What’s It Doing in English Departments?ADE Bulletin 150 (2010): 55-61.

Ramsay, Stephen. “Chapter X. The Hermeneutics of Screwing Around, Or What You Do with a Million Books.” 2010. [There’s no direct link to an HTML version of this essay; see the list of Ramsay’s essays to find the pdf]

Then find a DH focus that pleases you here:

A Companion to Digital Humanities. Eds. Susan Schreibman, Ray Siemens, John Unsworth. Oxford: Blackwell, 2004.

A Companion to Digital Literary Studies. Eds. Ray Siemens, Susan Schreibman. Oxford: Blackwell, 2008.

Debates in the Digital Humanities. Ed. Matthew K. Gold. Minneapolis: U Minnesota P, 2012.

Then read deeper into the field here:

Fish, Stanley. “The Digital Humanities and the Transcending of Mortality.” Opinionator, New York Times 9 Jan 2012.

—. “Mind Your P’s and B’s: The Digital Humanities and Interpretation.” Opinionator, New York Times 23 Jan 2012.

—. “The Old Order Changeth.” Opinionator, New York Times 26 Dec 2011.

Fyfe, Paul. “Digital Pedagogy Unplugged.” Digital Humanities Quarterly  5:3 (2011 Summer).

Gold, Matthew. “The Rise of the Digital MLA.” The Lapland Chronicles. 3 Jan 2009; Scholarly Societies and Conferences in Hacking the Academy. Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media, George Mason University, 2010.

Harris, Katherine D. “Digital Pedagogy at DH Commons.” MLA 2012. triproftri. 5 Jan 2012.

Losh, Elizabeth. “Will ‘Hacking the Academy’ Be Understood as ‘Backing the Academy’?Virtualpolitik 23 May 2010.

McGowan, Susannah. “Building an Understanding of Digital Humanities through Teaching.” HASTAC 26 Feb 2011.  7 Feb 2012.

Meloni, Julie. “Engaging with the ‘Screwmeneutical Imperative,’ or Why I Teach Humanities Students to Code.” ProfHacker. The Chronicle of Higher Education 21 April 2010.

Pannapacker, William. “Pannapacker at MLA: Digital Humanities Triumphant?Chronicle of Higher Education 8 Jan 2011.

—. “Pannapacker at MLA: The Come-to-DH Moment.” Chronicle of Higher Education 7 Jan 2012.

Ramsay, Stephen. “On Building.” 2011.

—. “Who’s In and Who’s Out.” “The History and Future of Digital Humanities” Roundtable . Modern Language Association Convention 2011.

Rockwell, Geoffrey. “The Digital Humanities and the Revenge of Authority.” Theoreti.ca. 18 Jan 2012.

Sayers, Jentery. “Tinker-Centric Pedagogy in Literature and Language Classrooms.” Collaborative Approaches to the Digital in English Studies. Ed. Laura McGrath. Computers & Composition Digital Press/Utah State UP, 2011.

Underwood, Ted. “Do Humanists Get Their Ideas from Anything at All?” The Stone and the Shell 24 Jan 2012.

Walter, Skip. “Digital Humanities – Really?” On the Way to Somewhere Else. 20 Jan 2012.

Waltzer, Luke. “Digital Humanities and the ‘Ugly Stepchildren’ of American Higher Education.” Debates in the Digital Humanities. Ed. Matthew K. Gold. Minneapolis: U Minnesota P, 2012. 335-349.

Willis, Holly. “What is Digital Pedagogy?” Institute for Multimedia Literacy, University of Southern California. Video.

and some late breaking posts + some of my own:

Journal of Digital Humanities  1:1 (Winter 2011). [Read through/listen to entire edition]

Blackwell, Christopher and Thomas R. Martin. “Technology, Collaboration, and Undergraduate Research.” Digital Humanities Quarterly 3:1 (2009 Winter).  7 Feb 2012.

Digital Humanities and the Undergraduate. (2011 April). 7 Feb 2012.

Frost Davis, Rebecca. “Yes, But How Do You Teach Collaboration?” liberal.education nation. Association of American Colleges and Universities. 1 Feb 2012. 9 Feb 2012.

…and a few of my blog posts:

Student-Driven Project: BeardStair

NITLE Digital Pedagogy Seminar

Buried in the Archives

The Accidental Digital Archivist

Doing the Risky Thing with a Gothic Critical Archive

Big Data, DH, Gender: Silence in the Archives?

Living Outside the Institution but Inside DH