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Todd Suomela

Digital History & Argument White Paper - Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media - 0 views

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    "This white paper is the product of the Arguing with Digital History Workshop organized by Stephen Robertson and Lincoln Mullen of George Mason University, with funding from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. The two-day workshop, which involved twenty-four invited participants at different stages in their careers, working in a variety of fields with a range of digital methods, was conceived with a focus on one particular form of digital history, arguments directed at scholarly audiences and disciplinary conversations. Despite recurrent calls for digital history in this form from digital and analog historians, few examples exist. The original aim of the workshop was to promote digital history that directly engaged with historiographical arguments by producing a white paper that addressed the conceptual and structural issues involved in such scholarship. Input from the participants expanded the scope of the white paper to also elaborate the arguments made by other forms of digital history and address the obstacles to professional recognition of those interpretations. The result was a document that aims to help bridge the argumentative practices of digital history and the broader historical profession. On the one hand, it aims to demonstrate to the wider historical discipline how digital history is already making arguments in different forms than analog scholarship. On the other hand, it aims to help digital historians weave the scholarship they produce into historiographical conversations in the discipline."
Todd Suomela

Ways to Compute Topics over Time, Part 1 · from data to scholarship - 0 views

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    "This the first in a series of posts which constitute a "lit review" of sorts to document the range of methods scholars are using to compute the distribution of topics over time."
jatolbert

Open Stacks: Making DH Labor Visible ← dh+lib - 1 views

  • When infrastructure is understood as an irrational social formation, emotional labor tends to compensate for a perceived lack of resources. Scholars who are used to the invisibility of traditional library services, for instance, find that digital projects expose hierarchies and bureaucracies that they don’t want to negotiate or even think about, and the DH librarian or one of her colleagues steps in to run interference. Why can’t the dean of libraries just tell that department to create the metadata for my project? After all, they already create metadata for the library’s systems. Why can’t web programming be a service you provide to me like interlibrary loan? I thought the library was here to support my scholarship. Why can’t you maintain my website after I retire–exactly the way it looks and feels today, plus update it as technology changes? In some conversations, these questions may be rhetorical; it may take emotional labor to answer them, but doing so exposes the workings of the library’s infrastructure–its social stack.
    • jatolbert
       
      More conflation of DH with all digital scholarship
  • How does DH fit within this megastructure? According to some critics, DH is part of the problem of the neoliberal university because it privileges networked, collaborative scholarship over individual production. If creating a tool (hacking) or using computational methods has the same scholarly significance as writing a monograph, then individualized knowledge pursued for its own sake, the struggle at the heart of humanistic inquiry, is devalued. Yet writing a book always depended on invisible (gendered) labor in the academy. Word processing, library automation, and widespread digitization are just three examples of the support labor for traditional scholarly work that Bratton’s globalized technology Stack has absorbed. (And we know that the fruits of that labor are in no way distributed equitably.) What has changed in the neoliberal university is that the humanities scholar becomes one more node in a knowledge-producing system. Does it matter, then, whether DH work produces ideas or things, critics say, if all are absorbed into a totalizing system that elides the individual scholar’s privileged position? This is of course a vision of scholarship that is traditionally specific to the humanities; lab science and the performing arts, for example, have always been deeply collaborative (but with their own systems of privilege and credit).
  • DH librarians, whose highly collaborative work is dedicated to social justice and public engagement, may be one particularly vital community of practice for exposing the changing conditions that create knowledge.
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  • like the fish who asks “what is water?”–most scholars are unaware of the extent to which their work, professional interactions, and finances are imbricated with the global technology Stack.
    • jatolbert
       
      Also not sure that this is true.
  • Many DH programs, initiatives, and teams have arisen organically out of social connections rather than centralized planning.
  • the myth of scarcity
  • Scholars often presume that because libraries acquire, shelve, and preserve the print books that they write, that the same libraries will acquire, shelve (or host), and preserve digital projects.
    • jatolbert
       
      This is a natural assumption, and in fact is true in many cases.
  • digital scholarship
  • DH
  • digital scholarship
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