In one of his characteristically humorous and self-effacing autobiographical stories, Roy Rosenzweig recounted the uneasy feeling he had when he was working on an interactive CD-ROM about American history in the 1990s. The medium was brand new, and to many in academia, superficial and cartoonish compared to a serious scholarly monograph. Roy worried about how his … Continue reading Roy’s World
I'm delighted that the edited version of Hacking the Academy is now available on the University of Michigan's DigitalCultureBooks site. Here are some of my quick thoughts on the process of putting the book together. (For more, please read the preface Tom Scheinfeldt and I wrote.) 1) Be careful what you wish for. Although we … Continue reading Some Thoughts on the Hacking the Academy Process and Model
Unlike some of my blog post titles, this one really is a question. What do you think they should look like? I ask because I am now on the program committee for the American Historical Association and this Saturday we begin planning for the January 2012 meeting. Committee members are encouraged to bring five "panel … Continue reading What Should Scholarly Society Meetings Look Like in the 2010s?
[In July 2010, The Chronicle of Higher Education asked twenty-three scholars and illustrators to answer this question: What will be the defining idea of the coming decade, and why? As an intellectual historian I'm skeptical of my ability to predict the future, but I have to say I think my crystal ball functioned well this … Continue reading The Maddening Crowd
Already put this out on Twitter but will reblog here: I'm crowdsourcing the title of my next book, which is about the way in which common web tech/methods should influence academia, rather than academia thinking it can impose its methods and genres on the web. The title should be a couplet like "The X and … Continue reading Crowdsourcing the Title of My Next Book
Do the digital humanities need journals? Although I'm very supportive of the new journals that have launched in the last year, and although I plan to write for them from time to time, there's something discordant about a nascent field—one so steeped in new technology and new methods of scholarly communication—adopting a format that is … Continue reading Introducing Digital Humanities Now
A couple of weeks ago at the Digital Dilemmas Symposium in New York I tried something new: using Twitter to replicate digitally the traditional "author's query," where a scholar asks readers of a journal for assistance with a research project. I believe the results of this experiment are instructive about the significant advantages—and some disadvantages—for … Continue reading The Spider and the Web: Results