Tag: digital-humanities

The Internet is More than Social Media

I wanted to take a moment to talk about Brian Chen’s article, “The Internet Trolls Have Won. Sorry, There’s Not Much You Can Do.” in the New York Times. It’s an interesting piece for a lot of reasons, and I like a lot of what Brian and Dr. Papacharissi have to say. That said, I have trouble with an approach that accepts the status quo as inevitable; especially, when that acceptance helps to normalizes a reliance on corporate governance as the only possible way to fix the internet and networked communications.

Chen isn’t wrong. His article just appears assumes there is only one option, to continue using and relying on the problematic platforms developed by those corporations and hope they “fix” it for us. They won’t. The Internet trolls have “won” because the corporations that drive modern social media platforms make a ton of money off those trolls (see my Valve discussion) for more on that). Until they stop making money (this is something that Facebook may actually be grappling with) the trolls will win. Of course, they only win on those platforms.

If you rely on those platforms, you’re sunk. So you have …


Worth Reading: “A limit to Bitcoin scale?” by Joshua Gans

A limit to Bitcoin scale?” by Joshua Gans (Digitoply)

What is instructive here is that Nakamoto described Bitcoin a democratic like system with “one-CPU-one-vote” which meant that any person could participate. But if it is only robust with specialized chips, that democratic philosophy is undermined. In other words, Bitcoin is only likely to be long-lasting and robust as an institution because technology has subverted the very democratic-style principles that were core to its founding vision.


Scenes from MLA 2018: New York

This is my last night in New York. It is the last night of MLA 2018, and I must confess that I have been pleasantly surprised by the experience. I didn’t know what to expect coming in. The MLA conference is impressive. There are hundreds of panels filled with incredibly competitive and successful scholars many of whom have decades of research and publication experience behind them. The sheer immensity of the content can be intimidating.

It can also be inspiring. It is exciting to be a part, however small, of such an undertaking. I know that, for me, the experience is one that I will certainly value as I continue to pursue my research interests and goals. After all, that is why I came.

Indeed, I came to MLA 2018 for two reasons.

First, I was lucky enough to be accepted to present with an incredible panel of scholars on “Open Pedagogy: Practices in Digital Citizenship and the Ethics of Care.” In the panel, I talked about on software practices in the classroom with a focus on open source technology and the opportunities and challenges that using such software presents. The panel discussion that resulted was delightfully productive and …


Headed to HASTAC 2017

At this time tomorrow, if all goes according to plan, I will be safely ensconced in a hotel in Orlando. I am attending and presenting at HASTAC 2017.

This is a different type of presentation for me. It is a soapbox talk which means I am restricted to 5-8 minutes of speaking time. Honestly, that works well for this talk; although, I need to rehearse more before Saturday. My talk is on the gaps in the digital humanities and the role that Digital Humanities labs can play in addressing those gaps. In a very real sense, it is me on a soapbox. I don’t really feel I am sharing anything ground-breaking. This isn’t cutting edge research. This is me saying, “We need to look beyond ourselves and our research and evaluate how we are actively reaching out to others.” In this instance, I am talking specifically about other scholars, but I believe that we need to do the same in terms of the broader public as well.

So mostly, my talk on accessibility and outreach within digital humanities labs, and the roles labs can play as spaces for human-to-human interaction on digital humanities topics. We do a great …


Brennan’s Critique of the Digital Humanities

You can read Brennan’s article on the Chronicle (Paywalled, of course. 🙄 If you don’t have access, email me)

I have two thoughts on his piece.

1. These critiques are not new.

I see it every day. There have been articles, critiques, and complaints about the digital humanities before they were the digital humanities. Every single critique that Brennan raises has been raised before, and will be again. I am thinking about starting a drinking game or a bingo card:

  • The digital humanities are a neo-liberal wedge aimed at destroying the humanities.
  • It tells us nothing!
  • Information isn’t meaning!
  • It’s all techno-lust!
  • Instrumentality!
  • Buzzwords!

I admit there is a part of me that wants to pick apart Brennan’s essay1. In many ways, though, each one of these critiques has been refuted or addressed by a whole slew of digital humanists who helped to pave the way for the research we now do. The critiques may not go away, but neither is the digital humanities. As a humanities researcher who spends a lot of time working on projects and research with a focus on digital tools and methods, I can assure you of that.

Which brings …


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