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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

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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

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UNL Grad Students

This week I am eagerly recommending the blogs of some of my fellow UNL grad students. I would be remiss not to mention the original UNL grad blogger, Jason Heppler. His blogging helped convince me to begin my own blog. From his blog posts, he has published an electronic book on beginning to code, The Rubyist Historian. He is also posting reflections for our digital humanities seminar as I am. Michelle Tiedje has recently taken her first steps into the blogosphere. Her initial posts have quite eloquently advocated for scholars to engage more with the public. Sean Kammer is the… Read UNL Grad Students

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GradHacker

I have been thinking more about entering graduate school this year, perhaps because I am technically a new student (new to the Ph.D. program). Whatever the reason, though, one of the best resources for any new or existing graduate student is the blog GradHacker. Modeled after ProfHacker, GradHacker covers virtually every aspect of life as a graduate student with blog categories ranging from “Personal Life” to “Research” to “Software.” The GradHacker contributors have great posts for new graduate students, like How to Read a Book (a deceptively difficult task) and Banishing Impostor Syndrome (I’m always faking it, but one day… Read GradHacker

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DH is about sharing

Mark Sample: The promise of the digital is not in the way it allows us to ask new questions because of digital tools or because of new methodologies made possible by those tools. The promise is in the way the digital reshapes the representation, sharing, and discussion of knowledge. We are no longer bound by the physical demands of printed books and paper journals, no longer constrained by production costs and distribution friction, no longer hampered by a top-down and unsustainable business model. And we should no longer be content to make our work public achingly slowly along ingrained routes,… Read DH is about sharing

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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

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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

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#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)

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The Branded Professor

Insidehigered.com: 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

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Social Media & Publishing

The Chronicle: participants say social media are “being used as an alternative to the existing system by young researchers who feel frustrated” by the tight control that senior scholars and traditional publishers have over the selection and dissemination of research. Good papers increasingly turn up in the social-media networks, according to people in these focus groups. “They’re even beginning to question peer review,” Mr. Nicholas said. “They were honestly saying it’s more important to contact and connect with loads of people than simply pay homage to one or two authorities.” Some publishers who provided contact information for the survey have… Read Social Media & Publishing

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