When Does Service Become Scholarship?

When does service become scholarship? When does anything—service, teaching, editing, mentoring, coding—become scholarship? My answer is simply this: a creative or intellectual act becomes scholarship when it is public and circulates in a community of peers that evaluates and builds upon it. Now for some background behind the question and the rationale for my answer.… Continue reading When Does Service Become Scholarship?

Notes towards a Deformed Humanities

I've gone on record as saying that the digital humanities is not about building. It's about sharing. I stand by that declaration. But I’ve also been thinking about a complementary mode of learning and research that is precisely the opposite of building things. It is destroying things. I want to propose a theory and practice… Continue reading Notes towards a Deformed Humanities

Serial Concentration is Deep Concentration

A Chronicle of Higher Ed column by the former Idaho State University provost and official Stanley Fish biographer Gary Olson has been making waves this weekend. Entitled “How Not to Reform Humanities Scholarship,” Olson’s column is really about scholarly publishing, not scholarship itself. Or maybe not. I don’t know. Olson conflates so many issues and misrepresents so many points of view that it’s difficult to tease out a single coherent argument, other than a misplaced resistance to technological and institutional change. Nonetheless, I want to call attention to a troubling generalization that Olson is certainly not the first to make.

The digital humanities is not about building, it’s about sharing

Every scholarly community has its disagreements, its tensions, its divides. One tension in the digital humanities that has received considerable attention is between those who build digital tools and media and those who study traditional humanities questions using digital tools and media. Variously framed as do vs. think, practice vs. theory, or hack vs. yack,… Continue reading The digital humanities is not about building, it’s about sharing

Gamifying Gamification by Making It Less Gamely

In a recent post on the group blog Play the Past, I wrote about the way torture-interrogation is often described by its proponents as a kind of game. I wrestled for a long time with the title of that post: "The Gamification of Interrogation." Why? Because I oppose the general trend toward "gamifying" real world… Continue reading Gamifying Gamification by Making It Less Gamely

“A Very Kind and Peaceful People”: Geronimo and the World’s Fair

(Exactly ten years ago this week I turned in my last graduate seminar paper, for a class on late 19th and early 20th century American literature taught by the magnificent Nancy Bentley. The paper was about the 1904 World's Fair and Geronimo, a figure I've been thinking about deeply since Sunday night. Because of the… Continue reading “A Very Kind and Peaceful People”: Geronimo and the World’s Fair

The Poetics of Metadata and the Potential of Paradata (Revised)

[This is the text, more or less, of the talk I delivered at the 2011 biennial meeting of the Society for Textual Scholarship, which took place March 16-18 at Penn State University. I originally planned on talking about the role of metadata in two digital media projects—a topic that would have fit nicely with STS's… Continue reading The Poetics of Metadata and the Potential of Paradata (Revised)