Course Schedule

This schedule is dynamic and will evolve as the term proceeds. Check back frequently.
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Watch and Read:
"A Vision of Students Today"
"The Machine is Us/ing Us"
Clay Shirky, "Does the Internet Make You Smarter
Nicholas Carr, "Is Google Making Us Stupid?"
Ray Bradbury, "The Veldt"
Ray Bradbury, "There Will Come Soft Rains"

Assignment: Start Breaking Stuff by Wednesday.
Blog Post: Respond in a video blog of approximately 3 minutes or a blog post of 500ish words to 2 of the texts assigned for this week. Write your blog entry or embed your video by Friday and post a link on Twitter with #DH306.
Discuss: Search #DH306, then respond to the work submitted by your peers on Twitter and via the comments on their blogs. Respond also to the posts on our course blog. And Join the #DH306 hashtag chat on Thursday at 8pm PST.
Looking Ahead: We'll be diving into our discussion of House of Leaves on April 15, so you might consider getting started with it. Be forewarned, it's an odd book that will likely terrify you a little and might even offend you (one of the characters has a misogynistic streak). You'll probably hate it at least once while reading, but it very well might become one of your favorite books of all time. (It is definitely one of mine.)
[Image by WVS]
Watch and Read:
Suzanne Bowness, “Parsing the Humanities: Everything you Wanted to Know About Digital Humanities
Susan Hockey, "The History of Humanities Computing"
Matthew Kirschenbaum, "What is the Digital Humanities and What's It Doing in English Departments?"
Mark Sample, "Notes Towards a Deformed Humanities"
Kathleen Fitzpatrick, "The Humanities Done Digitally"
Tom Scheinfeldt, "Why Digital Humanities is 'Nice'"
William Pannapacker, "Digital Humanities Triumphant?"

Assignment: Set up a Google+ account and learn how to do a Google Hangout by Wednesday. We won't be using Google+ for anything this term aside from a few Google Hangouts, so don't fret about learning a whole new platform. Setting up a profile on Google+ is entirely optional. All you need to have for a Hangout is a basic account. Let me know if you have questions.
Blog Post: Respond in a video blog of approximately 3 minutes or a blog post of 500ish words to the question, "What is the digital humanities?" Feel free to offer a straightforward response, referencing several of the readings for the week, or offer a more creative response. Write your blog entry or embed your video by Friday and post a link on Twitter with #DH306.
Discuss: Search #DH306, then respond to the work submitted by your peers on Twitter and via the comments on their blogs. Respond also to the posts on our course blog. And Join the Google Hangout on Thursday at 8pm PST.
Looking Ahead: We'll be diving into our discussion of House of Leaves on April 15. If you haven't already, read Sean's blog post about the book, and respond in the comments (or on your own blog) about your initial reactions.
Special Guest Teacher: Sean Michael Morris

Week of April 15
Read:
Mark Z. Danielewski, House of Leaves
Self-selected readings from House of Leaves forum

Assignment: Create an original House of Leaves artifact online. This book takes place in many different locations textually, from “The Navidson Record” to Johnny Truant’s narrative, to articles reflecting on Zampanó’s work, to pieces of the film that found their way online. All of them are fictional, and yet they are located alongside the real. Digital artifacts can transport fiction into a near-real position. Your job this week is to create a digital artifact -- either one referenced in House of Leaves (for example, a video of “the five and a half minute hallway”, a photo montage of Zampanó’s apartment, etc.), or one of your own creation -- that brings the book a little more to life.
Blog Post: Respond in either a standard blog post or a video blog of approximately 3 minutes to your reading so far of House of Leaves. Consider in your response what the book does to the act of reading. How does the text thwart a standard reading practice, and how does the act of reading become horrifying? How does the book reach beyond its pages into the world around it? How does the text network itself, even before you get the chance? You may also want to talk about your experiences reading through portions of the House of Leaves forum.
Discuss: Search #DH306, then respond to the work submitted by your peers on Twitter and via the comments on their blogs. Read, interpret, and respond to our course blog. And join the Twitter chat on Thursday at 8pm PST.
Looking Ahead: It's early, but begin thinking about the final project. Anything you produce for any other assignment might ultimately be a schematic, a blueprint, a sketch of an idea for the final project. Check out the purposely brief description of the final project on the syllabus and consider who else in the class you might want to work with (maybe everybody), what shape your work might take, and how the other assignments you do this term can build toward what you're planning.

Week of April 22
Read:
Mark Z. Danielewski, House of Leaves
Self-selected readings from House of Leaves forum

Assignment: Write a short piece that challenges the way we read, modeling from House of Leaves. You can, if you wish, write an addendum to HoL, or create a work entirely your own. The piece should be no more than 2,000 words, should employ tactics we’ve seen in HoL, and should additionally use digital methods (images, hyperlinking, code monkeying) to make the piece more nuanced and layered. You may want to link out to existing HoL artifacts on the web, your own and classmates’ artifacts, articles and commentary, and more.
Blog Post: Your blog post this week should respond to the work of your assignment. You may want to discuss your process in creating the assignment, or you may want to use this opportunity to close analyze your own work, explaining your approach to the rest of us.
Discuss: Search #DH306, then respond to the work submitted by your peers on Twitter and via the comments on their blogs. Respond also to the posts on our course blog. And Join the Google Hangout on Thursday at 8pm PST.
Watch and Read:
Stephen Ramsay, "The Hermeneutics of Screwing Around; or What You Do with a Million Books"
Patricia Cohen, "In 500 Billion Words, New Window on Culture"
Kenneth M. Price, "Electronic Scholarly Editions"
The Walt Whitman Archive
Mark McDayter, "Are We There Yet? Touch Press’s “The Waste Land” for iPad"
Helvetica

Assignment: Midterm Self-evaluation: Write a short letter to me (the equivalent of about 1 page), an informal letter that responds to, discusses or questions your experience so far in the class. You are welcome to speak your mind about anything going on in class. You have creative license in the letter, as well, and may respond in any style, voice, or genre that you find best suited to the task. I will frame comments to you as a response to this letter, so if there are particular things you’d like me to address about your work thus far, your blog posts, etc., this is the place to let me know. Finally, what letter grade would you give yourself for the first half of this course and why? Consider participation, preparedness, the strength of your work and other assignments, etc. Send the letter to me by e-mail. If you want to chat in person about any of this, feel free to make an appointment, and we'll find our way to a Google Hangout.
Blog Post: Respond in a video blog of approximately 3 minutes or a blog post of 500ish words to 2 of the texts assigned for this week. Write your blog entry or embed your video by Friday and post a link on Twitter with #DH306.
Discuss: Respond to the blogs of your peers on Twitter and via the comments. Remember you can find a list of all the blogs on the front page of our course site. And Join the #DH306 hashtag chat on Thursday at 8pm PST.
Watch and Read:
Scott McCloud, Understanding Comics (read as much as you like but especially chapter 2)
Craig Mod, "Books in the Age of the iPad"
"The Infinite Canvas Reloaded"
Weing, “Pup Ponders the Heat Death of the Universe” 
Erik Loyer, "Upgrade Soul"

Assignment: This week. Adventure onto the blogs of each of your fellow classmates and wreak some havoc (only the best kind of havoc of course). Think substantive engagement, not faint praise or mere head-nodding. Ask questions. Answer questions. Tell your peers which of their ideas resonate with you and why. Offer additional resources relevant to their points (even linking back to one of your own blog entries if it seems apropos). Be generous. Be inquisitive. You can find links to all of the blogs on the main page of our course.
Blog Post: Make a blog post responding analytically to one or more of the readings for this week in the form of a comic. A few options. Hand-draw and upload. Use Bit Strips. Use Comic Life (here's the iPad app). Or break the rules and do something else that surprises us all.
Discuss: Join the #DH306 hashtag chat on Thursday at 8pm PST.
Special Guest Teacher: Kathi Inman Berens
Kathi's video introduction.

Week of May 13
Watch and Read:
Spine Poetry vid
Spine Poetry
MU article about our class
*100 Trillion Stanzas of House of Leaves of Grass (Mark Sample artist's statement)
*House of Leaves of Grass
*@TweetsOfGrass
Sea and Spar Between (inspiration and source code for HoLoG)
How to Read Sea and Spar Between

*N.Katherine Hayles: How We Read: Close, Hyper, Machine
*Stephen Ramsay The Hermeneutics of Screwing Around (revisit)

Library of Congress E-Literature Showcase
HuffPo Review of E-Literature Showcase

*=We will discuss these items Thursday 8-9 PM during synchronous chat.

Kathi made a 27-min audio lecture walking through the Hayles reading "How We Read: Close, Hyper, Machine" and providing some context for Mark Sample's poetry generator "House of Leaves of Grass."

Assignment: Make a response to House of Leaves of Grass. Any form of response is acceptable, so long as you can articulate why and how your response relates to HoLoG.
Possible forms:
  • audio tour through the work -- create an audio file using Voice Memo on one's phone;
  • Think Aloud Protocol: narrate the user experience of House of Leaves of Grass and either film it or audio record it; 
  • Read the code: think about how spare is the functional language, and compare this to the delicious ambiguities generated by the text/
  • Make your own remix;
  • Write any character's response to House of Leaves of Grass (could be from HoL, or Whitman, or ????);
  • Write a blog post reflecting on what it means for a poem to be functionally "infinite": not bound in a book or heard in a familiar oral sequence, but responsive to your touch & whim and not entirely within your control.
Discuss: Respond to the blogs of your peers on Twitter and via the comments. Remember you can find a list of all the blogs on the front page of our course site. Join the #DH306 hashtag chat on Thursday at 8pm PST.

Week of May 20: e-lit interpretation & curation
Watch and Read:
Christine Wilks, "Underbelly"
Christine Wilks, "Out of Touch"

Illya Szilak, "Remembering the Human: E-Lit and the Art of Memory"
Brian Kim Stefans, "Third Hand Plays: Out of Touch" [Brian Kim Stefans commissioned "Out of Touch" for SF MOMA, then wrote about the work here.]
Leo Flores, "Underbelly" [short post]

Tara McPherson, "Why Is DH So White"?  [Please read this essay, as it will prompt us to discuss how code is not a neutral language system, but that even the executions it makes possible might reflect cultural orientations & biases.]

Finally, please read this graduate student's reflection on "Why is DH So White," in which she doesn't see evidence for McPherson's claim.

Here's a 17-min audio lecture you can stream off Kathi's site.  It's mostly about Tara McPherson's "Why is DH So White?" and at the end situates that reading in the context of the e-lit works we're examining by Christine Wilks, "Underbelly" and "Out of Touch."

Discuss: Respond to the blogs of your peers on Twitter and via the comments. Remember you can find a list of all the blogs on the front page of our course site. Join the #DH306 hashtag chat on Thursday at 8pm PST.

This week as we talk about identity construction and e-lit, let's consider Tweeting under a pseudonym for our Thursday discussion.  Then your subsequent blog post could reflect upon that experience.

You could create any character you want for the discussion. Writing under a pseudonym will give us a lens into the week's readings: what does it mean to write as a "woman" or a "man"?  Or as a nonhuman?  Or something else?

Blog Post: Make a blog post responding analytically to one or more of the readings for this week and/or your own experiment with netprov. Or break the rules and do something else that surprises us all.
Watch and Read:
Cathy N. Davidson, "Humanities 2.0: Promise, Perils, Predictions"
Dave Parry, "The Digital Humanities or a Digital Humanism"
Henry Jenkins, Sam Ford, and Joshua Green, Spreadable Media, "Introduction: Why Media Spreads"
Christopher Weaver and Sam Ford, "Learning to be a Responsible Circulator"
Minuum

Assignment: The description of the final project for the class is pointedly vague: "a collaborative digital project that engages overarching questions raised by our discussions. Let your imagination run wild about what you might like to write, build, code, hack, etc." Your assignment for this week is to write the assignment description for your final project. I encourage you to be as creative as possible, answering the following questions explicitly or implicitly: What are your goals? What topics will you explore? What parameters have you outlined for yourself? Be as precise as you can be, using the space of this assignment to help inspire your work and, also, the work of your peers. If you already have a clear idea of what you will do for the final project, then backwards architecture your assignment description, thinking about how the work you are doing intersects with what we've been up to in this course.
Blog Post: Have you fallen behind in responding to your classmates' blog posts? If so, use your post this week as an opportunity to respond at length to a post one of your peers wrote this term. Go as far back as makes sense to you.
Discuss: Respond to the blogs of your peers on Twitter and via the comments. Remember you can find a list of all the blogs on the front page of our course site. Join the #DH306 hashtag chat on Thursday at 8pm PST.
Some inspiration for the final project (nothing coercive about my choosing these particular works -- just a smattering of bizarre approaches to the work of Digital Humanities that will hopefully get you thinking about possible directions to take your own work):

Eric Zimmerman, "Figment: The Switching Codes Game"
Bloomsburg U. Undergraduate Manifesto on Digital Humanities
The Policeman's Beard is Half Constructed
Mark Sample, "On the Predominance of Cupcakes as a Cultural Form"

Assignment: A draft or sketch or blueprint of your final project is due before our synchronous chat on June 6.
Blog Post: Post an account of your thinking about and work toward the final project. Document your process with pictures, video, audio. etc. Give us all a sense of what you're up to and why. The "Assignment" and "Blog Post" for this week can be one and the same. They can also be a component of your final project, if that makes sense.
Discuss: Respond to the blogs of your peers on Twitter and via the comments. Remember you can find a list of all the blogs on the front page of our course site. Join the #DH306 hashtag chat on Thursday at 8pm PST.

FINAL PROJECT DUE: Anytime on June 16 -- publish or post a link on your blog