All posts by Marykate's Master Blog

Digital Humanities

What Is Digital Humanities and What’s It Doing in English Departments?
By Matthew G. Kirschenbaum

The article “What is Digital Humanities and What’s It Doing in English Departments?” by Matthew G. Kirschenbaum was incredibly insightful. As a reader, it was easy to read because it was so easy to follow. Not knowing much about digital humanities myself, I appreciated the selection of this article as well as it being the first one listed. I felt that the article did a wonderful job of detailing digital humanities and the evolution from its creation to what it is now. I enjoyed the discussion of the name and the idea of “humanities” being more front and center than it was. I also really enjoyed the Wikipedia comment and how that definition essentially nails the term.
One thing I found interesting was the discussion of digital humanities at the  2009 MLA Annual Convention in Philadelphia. The text states, “Amid all the doom and gloom of the 2009 MLA Convention, one field seems to be alive and well: the digital humanities. More than that: Among all the contending subfields, the digital humanities seem like the first ‘next big thing’ in a long time (Kirschenbaum). I was wondering what the “doom and gloom” is in reference too. I was also surprised that it appeared digital humanities was accepted so openly that I wondered about some common issues, which the author brings up later in relation to collaboration amongst teachers and the outdated sensation of privacy in sharing materials.
Digital Humanities also began taking shape with the invention of Twitter. Twitter, which the article humorously mentions is not just for the ADHD population who can’t be bothered to compose more than a handful of words, but was a way to teach effective communication skills, especially using wit in a short amount of characters. At the 2009 MLA convention, 48% of the attendees at the digital Humanities conference were tweeting. Digital humanities is a culture that values connection to wider issues and collaboration amongst individuals. It fosters the idea of sharing resources and ideas, along with building a community. Brian Croxall, Emory PhD was able to publish his paper through blogs and interactive communities, when he was not able to attend a conference. As a teacher myself, I think resources like these, such as Twitter, or so important in our world today. The element of communication is elevated through these resources. I recently attended professional development with Kelly Gallagher, teacher and author of many professional texts, who mentioned kids vested interests with communication with others from different areas and all they can learn from each other.

The Literary, the Humanistic, the Digital: Toward a Research Agenda for Digital Literary Studies

Julia Flanders

The second text, “The LIterary, the Humanistic, the Digital: Toward a Research Agenda for Digital Literary Studies” by Julia Flanders,  discusses  the “crisis in humanities and the intervention that the specifically digital humanities might make in that crisis” (Flanders).  The article appears to be an introduction to the large volume of essays composed on digital literacy.   While I enjoyed reading the first article, I found this one to be a bit confusing. I felt that I had to keep going back and rereading to clarify what was being said, and even then, I found it difficult to focus.  Overall, I found that this article could have gotten the point across more had they used more relatable terms and a simpler way form of expression.

But here’s what I did get from the text: The article suggests that we must recognize digital humanities must engage with change  driven by institutional and economic forces. However, it warns about both retreating and opportunistic shifts where the individual is not considered and ends up lost in a web of of the system. What I gleaned from this article, is that through digital humanities we can take students outside of their small hub of learning, and take them outside the classroom.

Digital Humanities

What Is Digital Humanities and What’s It Doing in English Departments?
By Matthew G. Kirschenbaum

The article “What is Digital Humanities and What’s It Doing in English Departments?” by Matthew G. Kirschenbaum was incredibly insightful. As a reader, it was easy to read because it was so easy to follow. Not knowing much about digital humanities myself, I appreciated the selection of this article as well as it being the first one listed. I felt that the article did a wonderful job of detailing digital humanities and the evolution from its creation to what it is now. I enjoyed the discussion of the name and the idea of “humanities” being more front and center than it was. I also really enjoyed the Wikipedia comment and how that definition essentially nails the term.
One thing I found interesting was the discussion of digital humanities at the  2009 MLA Annual Convention in Philadelphia. The text states, “Amid all the doom and gloom of the 2009 MLA Convention, one field seems to be alive and well: the digital humanities. More than that: Among all the contending subfields, the digital humanities seem like the first ‘next big thing’ in a long time (Kirschenbaum). I was wondering what the “doom and gloom” is in reference too. I was also surprised that it appeared digital humanities was accepted so openly that I wondered about some common issues, which the author brings up later in relation to collaboration amongst teachers and the outdated sensation of privacy in sharing materials.
Digital Humanities also began taking shape with the invention of Twitter. Twitter, which the article humorously mentions is not just for the ADHD population who can’t be bothered to compose more than a handful of words, but was a way to teach effective communication skills, especially using wit in a short amount of characters. At the 2009 MLA convention, 48% of the attendees at the digital Humanities conference were tweeting. Digital humanities is a culture that values connection to wider issues and collaboration amongst individuals. It fosters the idea of sharing resources and ideas, along with building a community. Brian Croxall, Emory PhD was able to publish his paper through blogs and interactive communities, when he was not able to attend a conference. As a teacher myself, I think resources like these, such as Twitter, or so important in our world today. The element of communication is elevated through these resources. I recently attended professional development with Kelly Gallagher, teacher and author of many professional texts, who mentioned kids vested interests with communication with others from different areas and all they can learn from each other.

The Literary, the Humanistic, the Digital: Toward a Research Agenda for Digital Literary Studies

Julia Flanders

The second text, “The LIterary, the Humanistic, the Digital: Toward a Research Agenda for Digital Literary Studies” by Julia Flanders,  discusses  the “crisis in humanities and the intervention that the specifically digital humanities might make in that crisis” (Flanders).  The article appears to be an introduction to the large volume of essays composed on digital literacy.   While I enjoyed reading the first article, I found this one to be a bit confusing. I felt that I had to keep going back and rereading to clarify what was being said, and even then, I found it difficult to focus.  Overall, I found that this article could have gotten the point across more had they used more relatable terms and a simpler way form of expression.

But here’s what I did get from the text: The article suggests that we must recognize digital humanities must engage with change  driven by institutional and economic forces. However, it warns about both retreating and opportunistic shifts where the individual is not considered and ends up lost in a web of of the system. What I gleaned from this article, is that through digital humanities we can take students outside of their small hub of learning, and take them outside the classroom.

Writing a Narrative and Writing Well

I started off this week’s readings with “Writing A Narrative” from the textbook Everyone’s An Author  by Andrea Lunsford, Michal Body, Lisa Ede, Beverley Moss, Carole Clark Papper, and Keith Walters. Immediately I could tell that I would like this passage, as it was an easy read that confirmed a lot of what I already knew about narrative writing, and inadvertently gave me vocabulary to use when teaching my students.
The text meshed academic descriptions of narrative writing with an actual narrative writing which I enjoyed thoroughly. The text also lists the steps to take when writing a narrative including: A clearly identified event, a clearly described setting, vivid descriptive details, a consistent point of view, and a clear point. The text also gave suggestions for what to think about when writing a narrative including: Think about your stance, think about your purpose, consider the larger context, and consider your medium. I thought the part about the medium was very interesting. I never gave much thought to how much font, or images, factor into making a narrative more effective. Sure with graphic novels I have, but I haven’t thought about adding images or design to the ideas I already have rolling about narratives I want to write. Annd yet, now that prospect excites me just as much!
The second text, by William Zinsser, was from his seminal book entitled On Writing Well and the section was titled “Writing About People”. The text begins by discussing the importance of interviewing and how it is so much more than facts. One part I found particularly interesting was when the speaker was discussing how they were given transcripts from the original five judges for Book of the Month club. The writer was doing a write up for the 40th anniversary of the organization and this was in 1966! I find this so fascinating because I am a member of Book of the Month club and would LOVE to be a guest judge at some point!
This text dealt with interviewing and the art of collecting non fiction narratives. It goes in detail discussing different variations of interview procedures and the benefits of them. For example, the benefits of a tape recorder and hearing dialect along with being able to replay the tape, versus handwritten notes where the speaker talks faster than you write and seeming to mess up speech. The author also discussed the importance of correct punctuation, especially where quotation marks are involved. I found this rather funny, as I teach my students the importance of grammatical errors!  

Whatever your way, the author reminds you to ask yourself the following question: What about your obligation to the person you interviewed? This made me think about the previous article and I reminded myself that when writing narrative writing, I must keep in mind the following question: What about your obligation to your audience? What is my purpose for writing and am I doing that justice?

Writing a Narrative and Writing Well

I started off this week’s readings with “Writing A Narrative” from the textbook Everyone’s An Author  by Andrea Lunsford, Michal Body, Lisa Ede, Beverley Moss, Carole Clark Papper, and Keith Walters. Immediately I could tell that I would like this passage, as it was an easy read that confirmed a lot of what I already knew about narrative writing, and inadvertently gave me vocabulary to use when teaching my students.
The text meshed academic descriptions of narrative writing with an actual narrative writing which I enjoyed thoroughly. The text also lists the steps to take when writing a narrative including: A clearly identified event, a clearly described setting, vivid descriptive details, a consistent point of view, and a clear point. The text also gave suggestions for what to think about when writing a narrative including: Think about your stance, think about your purpose, consider the larger context, and consider your medium. I thought the part about the medium was very interesting. I never gave much thought to how much font, or images, factor into making a narrative more effective. Sure with graphic novels I have, but I haven’t thought about adding images or design to the ideas I already have rolling about narratives I want to write. Annd yet, now that prospect excites me just as much!
The second text, by William Zinsser, was from his seminal book entitled On Writing Well and the section was titled “Writing About People”. The text begins by discussing the importance of interviewing and how it is so much more than facts. One part I found particularly interesting was when the speaker was discussing how they were given transcripts from the original five judges for Book of the Month club. The writer was doing a write up for the 40th anniversary of the organization and this was in 1966! I find this so fascinating because I am a member of Book of the Month club and would LOVE to be a guest judge at some point!
This text dealt with interviewing and the art of collecting non fiction narratives. It goes in detail discussing different variations of interview procedures and the benefits of them. For example, the benefits of a tape recorder and hearing dialect along with being able to replay the tape, versus handwritten notes where the speaker talks faster than you write and seeming to mess up speech. The author also discussed the importance of correct punctuation, especially where quotation marks are involved. I found this rather funny, as I teach my students the importance of grammatical errors!  

Whatever your way, the author reminds you to ask yourself the following question: What about your obligation to the person you interviewed? This made me think about the previous article and I reminded myself that when writing narrative writing, I must keep in mind the following question: What about your obligation to your audience? What is my purpose for writing and am I doing that justice?

The Activist Learner

First off, I was super excited by Stephanie’s choices for this week and the idea of reading about Social Justice writing. It’s something I absolutely want to try in my classroom because it is beyond important to turn our young students into activists, or to at least help them see themselves as ones. Unfortunately, I’ve been having difficulty locating the second article, but will continue my search!
The first article, titled “The Activist Learner” was written by Jeffrey D. Wilhelm, Whitney Douglas, and Sara W. Fry. After reading the first section of the article, I felt a little insulted. The way the authors presented service learning and engaging students just seemed like common sense to me, that it seemed a bit ridiculous they were writing about it. I wanted to scream “DUH” at the screen, in fact I might have. I was definitely shaking my head. But instead of holding onto that judgement, I reminded myself that the first section was the introduction, which functions as a broad overview and that may be why it was so self explanatory.  
However, I was disappointed. I felt that the article took eight pages to say that service learning is when students are engaged in meaningful learning and teachers are collaborative. The article expressed experimenting with new ideas and using your resources, such as coworkers to collaborate and learn from.  Wilhelm mentions that when initiating a new curriculum,  you are “doomed to some level of success” which I think is very poetic. It’s true that when you try something new you learn and grow and there are many challenges you face. He recommends service learning as a thinking and collaborating approach to bounce ideas off others. I couldn’t agree more. However, there are only so many hours in a day. I have worked in schools where the district fully supports separate common planning time, and schools were it does not seem to be valued. I agree with the theory proposed in this article, however, putting this into action is not solely reliant on willing teachers.
I also got to thinking about the idea of mentor teachers. I had two mentors in the time of my career, that lasted a total of one year. I have unofficial mentors, sure, but I love the idea of a continuous mentor. Why do mentors stop when you are no longer considered “novice”? If we work in a profession where the curriculum and standards are continuously coming through a revolving door, why aren’t we always considered novice, since we are responsible for learning the new material.  
HERE WE GO! FINALLY we are at the social issue/activist part of this essay. Samantha Archibald Mora, high school English, Spanish and ELL teacher created a service learning project called Breaking Social Barriers to help expose her ELL students to authentic native English speakers and for the US born students to engage in real opportunities to learn about the world from their peers. It warmed my heart to hear about such open minded students along with the thank you note from one of the ELL students, expressing her fear and overall positive outcome of her experience. As I was reading this, I wanted to hear more about what the specific projects where that Mora implemented in her classroom. I run a social issues book club, and I’m thinking that I could revise it for next year to deal with breaking down social barriers and how the novels do this.

Angela states, “Be practical and start small. Students have to write and read something. They may as well write or create something that’s usable to themselves and to someone else.”  This is the goal. Always. Let’s start small to help create individuals who question the world and open their eyes to seeing the world in a new way.

The Activist Learner

First off, I was super excited by Stephanie’s choices for this week and the idea of reading about Social Justice writing. It’s something I absolutely want to try in my classroom because it is beyond important to turn our young students into activists, or to at least help them see themselves as ones. Unfortunately, I’ve been having difficulty locating the second article, but will continue my search!
The first article, titled “The Activist Learner” was written by Jeffrey D. Wilhelm, Whitney Douglas, and Sara W. Fry. After reading the first section of the article, I felt a little insulted. The way the authors presented service learning and engaging students just seemed like common sense to me, that it seemed a bit ridiculous they were writing about it. I wanted to scream “DUH” at the screen, in fact I might have. I was definitely shaking my head. But instead of holding onto that judgement, I reminded myself that the first section was the introduction, which functions as a broad overview and that may be why it was so self explanatory.  
However, I was disappointed. I felt that the article took eight pages to say that service learning is when students are engaged in meaningful learning and teachers are collaborative. The article expressed experimenting with new ideas and using your resources, such as coworkers to collaborate and learn from.  Wilhelm mentions that when initiating a new curriculum,  you are “doomed to some level of success” which I think is very poetic. It’s true that when you try something new you learn and grow and there are many challenges you face. He recommends service learning as a thinking and collaborating approach to bounce ideas off others. I couldn’t agree more. However, there are only so many hours in a day. I have worked in schools where the district fully supports separate common planning time, and schools were it does not seem to be valued. I agree with the theory proposed in this article, however, putting this into action is not solely reliant on willing teachers.
I also got to thinking about the idea of mentor teachers. I had two mentors in the time of my career, that lasted a total of one year. I have unofficial mentors, sure, but I love the idea of a continuous mentor. Why do mentors stop when you are no longer considered “novice”? If we work in a profession where the curriculum and standards are continuously coming through a revolving door, why aren’t we always considered novice, since we are responsible for learning the new material.  
HERE WE GO! FINALLY we are at the social issue/activist part of this essay. Samantha Archibald Mora, high school English, Spanish and ELL teacher created a service learning project called Breaking Social Barriers to help expose her ELL students to authentic native English speakers and for the US born students to engage in real opportunities to learn about the world from their peers. It warmed my heart to hear about such open minded students along with the thank you note from one of the ELL students, expressing her fear and overall positive outcome of her experience. As I was reading this, I wanted to hear more about what the specific projects where that Mora implemented in her classroom. I run a social issues book club, and I’m thinking that I could revise it for next year to deal with breaking down social barriers and how the novels do this.

Angela states, “Be practical and start small. Students have to write and read something. They may as well write or create something that’s usable to themselves and to someone else.”  This is the goal. Always. Let’s start small to help create individuals who question the world and open their eyes to seeing the world in a new way.

The Activist Learner

First off, I was super excited by Stephanie’s choices for this week and the idea of reading about Social Justice writing. It’s something I absolutely want to try in my classroom because it is beyond important to turn our young students into activists, or to at least help them see themselves as ones. Unfortunately, I’ve been having difficulty locating the second article, but will continue my search!
The first article, titled “The Activist Learner” was written by Jeffrey D. Wilhelm, Whitney Douglas, and Sara W. Fry. After reading the first section of the article, I felt a little insulted. The way the authors presented service learning and engaging students just seemed like common sense to me, that it seemed a bit ridiculous they were writing about it. I wanted to scream “DUH” at the screen, in fact I might have. I was definitely shaking my head. But instead of holding onto that judgement, I reminded myself that the first section was the introduction, which functions as a broad overview and that may be why it was so self explanatory.  
However, I was disappointed. I felt that the article took eight pages to say that service learning is when students are engaged in meaningful learning and teachers are collaborative. The article expressed experimenting with new ideas and using your resources, such as coworkers to collaborate and learn from.  Wilhelm mentions that when initiating a new curriculum,  you are “doomed to some level of success” which I think is very poetic. It’s true that when you try something new you learn and grow and there are many challenges you face. He recommends service learning as a thinking and collaborating approach to bounce ideas off others. I couldn’t agree more. However, there are only so many hours in a day. I have worked in schools where the district fully supports separate common planning time, and schools were it does not seem to be valued. I agree with the theory proposed in this article, however, putting this into action is not solely reliant on willing teachers.
I also got to thinking about the idea of mentor teachers. I had two mentors in the time of my career, that lasted a total of one year. I have unofficial mentors, sure, but I love the idea of a continuous mentor. Why do mentors stop when you are no longer considered “novice”? If we work in a profession where the curriculum and standards are continuously coming through a revolving door, why aren’t we always considered novice, since we are responsible for learning the new material.  
HERE WE GO! FINALLY we are at the social issue/activist part of this essay. Samantha Archibald Mora, high school English, Spanish and ELL teacher created a service learning project called Breaking Social Barriers to help expose her ELL students to authentic native English speakers and for the US born students to engage in real opportunities to learn about the world from their peers. It warmed my heart to hear about such open minded students along with the thank you note from one of the ELL students, expressing her fear and overall positive outcome of her experience. As I was reading this, I wanted to hear more about what the specific projects where that Mora implemented in her classroom. I run a social issues book club, and I’m thinking that I could revise it for next year to deal with breaking down social barriers and how the novels do this.

Angela states, “Be practical and start small. Students have to write and read something. They may as well write or create something that’s usable to themselves and to someone else.”  This is the goal. Always. Let’s start small to help create individuals who question the world and open their eyes to seeing the world in a new way.