Web Readings Weekly Roundup (26th April)

A recent community-based historic destinations directory where users can search for historic sites to visit during holidays. Users can add places to the website or planning a visit.

A post by Professor Mike O’Malley at George Mason Uni­ver­sity, about the changes in teaching.

A talk, at CERN, by Lawrence Lessig, professor at Harvard Law School. “In this talk, Professor Lessig will review the evolution of access to scientific scholarship, and evaluate the success of this system of access against a background norm of universal access.While copyright battles involving artists has gotten most of the public’s attention, the real battle should be over access to knowledge, not culture. That battle we are losing.

Sensate is an online, media-based journal for the creation, presentation, and critique of innovative projects in the arts, humanities, and sciences. Our aim is to build on the current groundswell of pioneering activities in the digital humanities, scholarly publishing, and innovative media practice to integrate new modes of scholarship into the cognitive life of the academy and beyond.

A NITLE white paper about “the scope and impact of isolation on the development of the digital humanities at liberal arts institutions.

From Lev Manovich’s blog: “In this article I address some of the theoretical and practical issues raised by emerging “big data”-driven social science and humanities. My observations are based on my own experience over last three years with big data projects carried out in my lab at UCSD and Calit2 (softwarestudies.com). The issues which we will discuss include the differences between “deep data” about a few and “surface data” about the many; getting access to transactional data; and the new “data analysis divide” between data experts and the rest of us.

Web Readings Weekly Roundup (19th April)

Stephen Duncombe, professor of New York University and author of this website, asks “Does the world really need another edition of Thomas More’s Utopia?” and after exploring the website we could answer “Yes, it does”.

Thomas More’s Utopia is in Public Domain and accessible from several websites, but in this project besides read and listen the text, download it in several formats or flip through a luxury, old edition, users are able to comment on the text; watch Utopia-themed videos and add their own; write on the wiki “an imaginary alternative to the world in which we live today” and remix and create works based on Utopia and upload them to the website.

The new translations, the preface and the introduction are licensed with a Creative Commons-Attribution-ShareAlike and the project was made by using open-source software like Ubuntu, OpenOffice, WordPress or CommentPress.

The project is on KickStarter, a funding platform for creative projects, asking for help with funds to translate from Latin to English those sections that are not in public domain; for actors to record a staged reading of Utopia, for technical help with the DigiLuxe flipbook of Utopia and for design and programming assistance on The Open Utopia site to move past the prototype stage. You can contribute until tomorrow.

Given the nature of the book, we would say that this is the most suitable edition of Thomas More’s Utopia. You can know more about the motivations of the project by watching the video at KickStarter page.

“(…) we envisage this Milestones Project as the beginning of a contribution to historiography, on the subject of visualization. (…) One goal is to provide a flexible, and useful multi-media resource, containing descriptions of events and developments, illustrative images, and links to related sources (web and in print) or more detailed commentaries. Another goal is to build a database which collects, catalogs, organizes, and illustrates these significant historical developments.”

“A website created by the Scholars’ Lab at the University of Virginia Library to open disciplinary conversations, foster crowdsourced resource-sharing, and contribute to methodological training and investigation into geospatial approaches to the humanities.”

The project of the Institute for Enabling Geospatial Scholarship has a section of step-by-step peer-reviewed tutorials on how to use spatial tools and resources, a rich section of projects and groups, an extended section of resources of articles and monographs related to the spatial humanities and the possibility to follow the updates via Twitter or Delicious. Users can contribute to the referred sections.

From the press release, ““Sustaining Scholarly Publishing” explores many current scholarly publishing experiments and initiatives, defines characteristics of effective business models and the challenges of transitioning from a traditional sales-based model, and presents several recommendations for sustaining high-quality scholarly publishing throughout this time of change.

The report is available through MediaCommons Press, where you can comment and see other readers comments to the report.

“This publication is the product of a collaboration that started in the fall of 2010 when a total of eighty New School faculty, librarians, students, and staff came together to think about teaching and learning with digital media. These conversations, leading up to the MobilityShifts Summit, inspired this collection of essays, which was rigorously peer-reviewed.”

You can read it online (with multimedia resources), download the pdf or the epub or purchase the printed book.

Web Readings Weekly Roundup (12th April)

Erin Sells, an Assistant Professor of English, writes a guest post in ProfHacker column at The Chronicle of Higher Education describing in detail how she assigned groups of students to create online, interactive maps for different characters in the Virginia Woolf’s Mrs Dalloway, using Google Earth mapping software. She points out what students found and at the end she talks about the evaluation of the activity.

A detailed tutorial written by Brian Croxall about building a timeline using Exhibit and Timeline scripts written by MIT’s SIMILE project and Google Docs spreadsheets.

“Mapping the abundant geographical detail in Dostoevsky’s novel Crime and Punishment, one of the central works of the Petersburg text, gives the opportunity to develop and test approaches to literary cartography. What does it mean to map a text? What can – and cannot – be mapped? How can it be mapped? And what can the resultant maps and focus on the specifics of place tell us about both the novel and the city?

This is the first stage in a larger project that will enable comparative cartographic analysis of the Petersburg text, with interactive maps enabling exploration of different periods, authors and texts, and the different geographies of the city they create.”

“With a database of images, texts, charts and historical maps, Mapping Gothic France invites you to explore the parallel stories of Gothic architecture and the formation of France in the 12th and 13th centuries, considered in three dimensions: Space, Time and Narrative.”

The New York Times’ project that allows to browse local data from the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey, based on samples from 2005 to 2009.

David Shepard explains how HyperCities Egypt project, that archived and showed live tweets from Cairo during the events that led to revolution, was made. You can still see the project, go back in time and search for specific tweets.

Web Readings Weekly Roundup

A post in the Harvard Business Review about the importance of hiring people from Humanities. The author argues that people trained in the humanities are more apt to deal with complexity and ambiguity. Innovation, Communication and presentation, and Customer and employee satisfaction are other areas where people from Humanities have an advantage.
If you want another good reason to hire from the humanities, consider this: consulting firms like McKinsey and Bain like to hire them for all the reasons I’ve described above. You can hire liberal arts graduates yourself, or you can pay through the nose for a big consulting firms to hire them to do the thinking for you.

“A second series of case studies to provide a detailed analysis of how humanities’ researchers discover, use, create and manage their information resources.”

Dan Cohen released a database of over a million syllabi gathered from 2002 to 2009.

From Fall 2010: v4 n2 issue of Digital Humanities Quaterly
Abstratct: “While the purpose and direction of tools and tool development for the Digital Humanities have been debated in various forums, the value of tool development as a scholarly activity has seen little discussion. As a way of filling this gap, the authors conducted an online survey of developers of digital humanities tools in March 2008. The survey focused on their perceptions of their work, how they felt their tool development fit into a structure of academic rewards, and the value of tool development as a scholarly pursuit. Survey results indicate that tool development is indeed considered a scholarly activity by developers, but recognition of this work and rewards for it lag behind rewards for traditional scholarly pursuits (such as journal articles and book publication). This paper presents a summary of the results of the survey, ending with some suggestions for further research.

A portrayal of digital humanities by William Pannapacker in the Chronicle of Higher Education and two interesting responses: The (DH) Stars Come Out in LA and Digital Humanities and Stardom

First issue of Google’s short books, this one about data.

Connected Histories brings together a range of digital resources related to early
modern and nineteenth century Britain with a single federated search that allows
sophisticated searching of names, places and dates, as well as the ability to save,
connect and share resources within a personal workspace.