January 30: Defininitions and Boundaries


This week’s readings focus on the definitions of digital humanities and “DH,” the emerging borders and boundaries of the field, as well as some background material on the Web, the social Web, and writing on the Web. For some of the online pieces, you will have to make choices as to how extensively to peruse comments in addition to a main entry; you will also have to decide how best to navigate a resource like the Day of DH site. That’s part of the process and in fact part of what we’re learning in this class.

This will be a somewhat heavier reading week than usual. The readings assigned are substantial, but ought not to be overwhelming; many of the pieces are short, just a few “pages.” Were all this material in print, exclusive of comments, it would probably come in at around 125 pages (I mention that only to help you allocate your time).

Presentation: Mary S.

Note that there are online open access editions of both DDH and D_H; see their pages under Syllabus/Books for more information.


Image: A recent meme.


The objective for this week’s exercise activities is simply to acclimate you to some of the public writing platforms we will use in the course, namely the class’s WordPress blog and Twitter. This exercise will be graded pass/fail. To receive a pass, you must do all of the following:

  • Login in to the class blog using the username and password you will receive by email;
  • Change your password to something private that you will remember;
  • Post an introduction entry to the blog that both introduces yourself to the class and gives us your take on some of the definitions of DH (and the controversies that attend them);
  • Comment on someone else’s posting;
  • Register on Twitter if you don’t already have an account (you don’t have to use your proper name if you don’t want to);
  • Follow @engl668k; also follow as many other people from the class as you can; follow @umd_mith; follow @digdialog; follow @dhnow; follow a minimum of 20 people from either Dan Cohen’s digitalhumanities Twitter list or the people the class account is following;  if you like, you can follow nearly everyone who was on tonight’s reading list: @mkirschenbaum, @kfitz, @spikenlille, @foundhistory, @sramsay, @adelinekoh, @jaytiesse, @toddpresner, @dgolumbia, @alanyliu, @trubek; you might also be interested in who else is on Twitter from UMD English.
  • Tweet using the class hashtag, #668K
  • Search for a hashtag; you might try: #mla13, #transformdh, #dhdebates
  • RT someone from the class;
  • @reply to someone from the class.

80 thoughts on “January 30: Defininitions and Boundaries

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