It’s here! It’s here!

Day in the Life of Digital Humanities arrives again.

This is my fourth year participating. Last year (2011) was the first year that I blogged while at a conference — the first two years (2009, 2010) were insane teaching days. This year, I’m on sabbatical and am participating in all kinds of shenanigans, including the NITLE online seminar about digital pedagogy that I’ll be doing with Jentery Sayers during the actual Day of DH.

This year, I changed my definition of DH just a little bit:

Digital Humanities mean, to me, more now than it did back in 2009 when I first did the Day of DH. DH offers a set of tools to pose humanistic inquiry, but it doesn’t necessarily offer definitive answers to those questions. Instead it celebrates and records a process of intellectual pursuit that is then distributed and disseminated to the Humanities community and abroad. Engaging in Digital Humanities is also an ethos: collaboration, building knowledge, sharing projects, screwing around. I apply this to my scholarship as well as my teaching. If my work is better, more complex, because of Digital Humanities, so too will my students’ work benefit from the tools, state of mind, and ethos. (2012)

Compare to previous years where I cribbed from my first year of participation:

Digital Humanities is any attempt to incorporate digital understandings or culture into scholarship, pedagogy and service. For my particular reasons, I define Digital Humanities as an attempt to use computing methods to understand 19th Century British literature from a book historians point of view. As a teacher, I use Digital Humanities to create a bridge among myself, my students and our contemporary culture. We use all kinds of tools to get into 19th Century print culture, and not just tools to assess the 19th Century moment but to also create content that can serve as a critique of our own use of tools, such as Twitter, Moodle, ClassSpot, tech-enhanced teaching facilities. For instance, we explore gaming as a way to discuss the technological upheaval of the printing press in the early 1900s. That’s just a tidbit of my world as a Digital Humanist. (2009)

Though my life was supposed to slow down during this semester of sabbatical and after getting tenure last year, it’s anything but that. The intellectual speed with which I say yes to everything and collaborate with smart people on cool project is astounding.

My teaching schedule for the Fall was just delivered to me — a daunting 4-course, 4-prep melee that I’d like to link together, especially with the Introduction to DH course that I’ll be teaching for our School of Library and Information Science:

The Brit Lit Survey (1800-present) could become the anchor course where students do a project for each major movement: Romantics, work with my literary annuals collection; Victorians, work with Dickens’ serials in our Special Collections; mid-Victorians, work with the VPN; late Victorians, work through existing archives such as Rossetti Archive; Modernists, work with the Modernist Magazines Archive; then I’m lost for a few decades before returning to the Postmodernists and into the late age of print culture with something about Carson’s Nox and Foer’s Tree of Codes. The Intro to Lit Crit students can jump in with theory to help those Brit Lit students, and the LIS students can offer critiques of the archives and help build projects with all students. I’m not sure where the TechnoLiterature general education (non-majors) students would fit in, though.

This all means that I’d be significantly revising 3 courses, and in 1 instance creating a totally new one, and managing about 80-100 students.  Am I crazy? Will you see me on Twitter during the Fall? Can I still train for my half marathon and half Iron(wo)man triathlons?  Doubtful. Let’s see if my more sane DH friends can talk me out of this plan.

Uh oh…looks like I just started my first post for Day of DH….head over there to see what I’m doing for the rest of March 27 as well as umpteen (into hundreds now?) other DHers.