Week 3: Predicting the Future of Writing; Developing a Systematic Approach to Research

I hope our first workshop was useful, and I hope you’ll give Twitter and Feedly (and other similar tools) a genuine chance to become part of your regular reading routine. Remember, you don’t have to follow everyone and read everything, but you should try to identify a few key individuals and publications that will help you keep up with ongoing conversations surrounding digital humanities — and other topics you’re studying.

Now that everyone has confirmed their topic for our first assignment, you should immerse yourself in the project/site/application you’re analyzing. The assignment description includes some questions that should help guide your analysis and critique, but if you need help narrowing your focus, feel free to drop by during my office hours next week. We’ll only have a bit of in-class time for working on this project, but Week 3 is when the bulk of your analysis should take place, so don’t procrastinate!

Here are a few reminders about our plans for Week 3:

  • On Tuesday, we’ll wrap up our first book, Does Writing Have a Future? (pp. 79–167), with Natalie and Josh serving as our discussion leaders. If time allows, we’ll collectively explore a digital humanities project in order to model what your analyses might look like.
  • On Thursday, we’ll hold a workshop that will help you establish a workflow for doing digital scholarship. Before you come to class, spend some time reviewing Miriam Posner’s excellent guide to managing research assets and William J. Turkel’s collection of posts on digital research tools. You don’t need to install every piece of software recommended by Posner and Turkel, but I hope you’ll test (or at least bookmark) a few of them that look interesting to you. After our workshop, you’ll have some time to review early drafts of your first assignment with your classmates. I don’t expect you to have full, finished essays at this point, but please bring something substantive enough to share with others.

Good luck with your reading and your project analysis this weekend! Please don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any questions or concerns about how things are going.