Digital humanities


I went to more than two of the websites because a few didn’t seem to be recently updated and I was just curious.


This site seemed really interesting for anyone interested in history and places (which I am), but it did seem targeted toward a very specific audience.

The site has compiled tons of places, locations, and place names mentioned in Ancient texts and put them on a modern map, including time periods. This seems to be a very useful tool for a variety of scholars, especially since all the data is open access. If I was a classics scholar or involved in sociology, archaeology, or other fields that dealt with the ancient world, this site would be incredibly useful and interesting.

British Museum

This site is the website for the British Museum. It is a very well-done website with scrolling images of their collections. However, the organization is a little interesting — it seems like they web designers were trying to fancier than they were trying to be practical or informative).

What is the difference between a “website” and a digital humanities project?

I think that a digital humanities project (at least from what I could see) tend to have a very specific audience and they have a very specific purpose. Now a website has those things to, but they tend to be more informative (cf. British Museum) and not geared toward analyzing anything in particular. The analysis of data (of whatever kind) or at least compiling a large chunk of information into one place seems to be the goal of many digital humanities sites. To me, it seems like they are open access databases on steroids. Another common factor is that these DH projects seem to be housed at universities, so they would therefore be assumed to serve a scholarly aim, while websites do not have such high ambitions.

What dimensions does [your website] have that distinguishes it?

The Pleaides is a digital humanities project since it compiles a wide range of data and uses that data to map out points of real places that existed, which have now been superimposed on a modern map. Again, this project seems to be geared toward a very specific audience. On the other hand, the British Museum site is for a general audience and does not have a particular scholarly focus.

Would I use a blog in a classroom?


I love the idea of using a blog because it’s much more engaging than an online forum like Moodle or Blackboard. I’ve used Moodle in classes here at IUP and I used a system that had a Blackboard-type interface at a CC where I taught, and both situations did not seem to elicit the type of community involvement as I would have liked as a teacher/student.

However, in both of Dr. Heflin’s classes that I’ve taken (Women’s Literature and Literature as a Profession), we used a class WordPress blog, but neither time did the blog develop into something where the students felt like they had ownership over the blog or that it developed into something where students would post/comment when unguided.

These are the concerns about having a class blog. What happens when students simply rely on us, as teachers, to guide them to post? From a pedagogical perspective, how do we guide them toward posting without direct guidance/questions/etc.?

However, I think that the purpose of a blog for a class can overcome this obstacles because continuing the discussion outside of class is very important and it allows for students who do not normally speak in class to offer their own thoughts. Maybe having students create their own tags and put things in categories would help with their engagement in the blog. Maybe part of the issue with commenting/posting without guidance is that sometimes it is difficult to read through 20 blog posts everyday, but if they were organized in a way that made it easier to read, then students may be more likely to read others’ writing and comment on the blog.

What is digital English to me?


Honestly, digital English seems to be a very broad term that applies to all of those things that are written online, but I think that there is a difference between something that is specifically written for an online audience (a blog or an online magazine) versus something that is published in print and then put online through a PDF or some other form. In addition, there are some online texts that are not as well done as others. As a former journalist, I think about the differences in terms of those who write blog posts/Facebook posts/Tweets about events and the journalists who are trained on how to report an event. While citizen journalism has become important in our ever-changing world, I think that there is still value in the professional journalists. Similarly, this is how I would distinguish between those who just simply write whatever they want online and those who adhere to particular conventions for online publication.

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