Skip to content →

Tag: Social Networks

On #UNL_DHS & #hastac2011

Perhaps it was because I finished my reflection for Sherry Turkle’s Alone Together before hopping on my flight to Ann Arbor, but her argument and the UNL Digital Humanities Seminar was on my mind quite a bit during HASTAC V. Particularly Turkle’s argument that networked communication was making people isolated by distracting them from real relationships and giving them false relationships. Cathy Davidson began the conference with a wonderful talk in which she brought up a famous psychology experiment. (Check it out here before I spoil it) Davidson noted that when she first saw the video at a public talk,… Read On #UNL_DHS & #hastac2011

Leave a Comment

Alone Together

[This is a post for UNL’s Digital Humanities Seminar. The week’s readings was Sherry Turkle’s Alone Together.] In Alone Together, Sherry Turkle explores human interaction with technology, concluding that as technology provides companionship it also isolates individuals. Turkle presents this argument in two parts, first looking at “tomorrow’s story” of sociable robots and later examining “today’s story” of online networks and connectivity (17). Turkle suggests that as people and technology become closer, people grow further apart. While Turkle’s use of extensive examples make her point clear and understandable, as a historian, I found her analysis lacking genuine reflection on comparing… Read Alone Together

Leave a Comment

Bruno Latour

[This post is a reading reflection written for UNL’s Digital Humanities Seminar. This week’s reading was Bruno Latour’s Reassembling the Social: An Introduction to Actor-Network-Theory.] Something tells me Bruno Latour would not like the analysis of “social networks” in my research. Latour breaks down both “social” and “networks,” as well as several other terms in a useful theoretical book. However, I find his deconstructions only partially useful, as his theoretical arguments do not always seem practical. In order for Latour’s reassemblage of the social to have significance, he must first object to the current definitions of social. Though he might… Read Bruno Latour

One Comment

Clubs of GR

The following is an excerpt from the same chapter draft as last week’s post. Grand Rapids’ Club Scene According to the Peninsular Club’s constitution, the club’s primary function was “to promote social intercourse amongst its members.” In order to accommodate the city’s preeminent elite on both sides of the political aisle, the club refused to express any “opinion on any religious, political or social question.” On everyday but Sunday, members could frequent the club house from seven in the morning until midnight, though special occasions could keep the club open until four in the morning. The club was still open… Read Clubs of GR


The Corrupt Network

Last week, I turned in my project for my digital history seminar. What I hope is evident from my design, I used this course to play with an idea of investigating “Facebook friends” in the past. “Facebook friends” is a modern term that can describe relationships ranging from life long friendships and one time acquaintances. Though Facebook and the term “Facebook friends” are modern things, social networks are nothing new. Examining social networks of the past provides context for events, like the political scandal on which my thesis is based. My digital project is meant to visualize some of the… Read The Corrupt Network

Leave a Comment

Open Source Scholarship

A couple of weeks ago, Bethany Nowviskie visited UNL and talked about adapting the model of “skunkworks” to producing research and development. While her talk included many great insights as well as the most entertaining slides I have ever seen in an academic speech, one part of my notes from the talk really jumped out to me. I wrote: “scholars used to hiding work until polished–> bad for open source collaboration,” which seems to me to be a great insight into academic production of scholarship. When debating whether or not to start a blog, I found that I too had… Read Open Source Scholarship


Just Keep Swimming

Once again, the end of the semester is near, which means each night’s sleep gets progressively shorter. I keep telling myself that graduate school is a marathon, not a sprint, but it seems that every few couple of miles I need to sprint. The work to complete graduate school is a tough enough task on its own. When coupled with the stress of low pay, dim job prospects in the future, and the type of personal problems that hit everyone regardless of career, it is enough to question what you are doing with your life. And with that lovely introduction,… Read Just Keep Swimming


#sarnackigate (two links)

Jonathan Nash: Can the Graduate Student speak, & if ze can, will anyone listen? I’m not really interested in the content of @briansarnacki’s post from yesterday (Sorry B!). I am, however, interested in the criticisms it generated. Most follow this pattern: grad student + “naivety” = dismissal of opinion. It seems the same formula is used often to systematically silence graduate student voices throughout the interwebz. The exact same formula is used to silence graduate students who complain about the so-called “job market.” And the exact same formula is often used when graduate students critique their graduate school experiences. The… Read #sarnackigate (two links)

Leave a Comment

Respect in the digital age

“I think it demonstrates a real lack of respect for students…How can students trust that someone is going to have their best interests in mind and be trying to help them in that course if they are making fun of them behind their back?” — Hans Rollman, graduate student at York University While perhaps not wildly popular in a mainstream sense, I have been coming across an alarming number of online resources in which professors and graduate students openly (and anonymously) mock students. In what I can only describe as immature and petty, these sites denigrate poorly written sentences, typos,… Read Respect in the digital age


The Branded Professor As a relatively new tenure-track professor in journalism and media, I teach students skills and critical thinking for a profession that is in a state of redefinition. One of the ways journalism educators are trying to increase their students’ job opportunities is by encouraging them to develop a “personal brand,” through which they establish themselves as a rising professional with a unique voice and style. They then publicize that personal brand through multimedia blogging and social media, in hopes of impressing prospective employers with their initiative and distinctive qualities. I think that this kind of engagement, through social media… Read The Branded Professor

Leave a Comment