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summary/notes of Day Eleven class

rmeyers's picture

We started with a big topic: "internet and intellectualism" and the shaping of both... The idea of global information, global academics.

Our guests were Jen Rajchel and Nicole Gervasio (I am using their names as presented in the Class Notes for Day 11), each talking about projects and other research. At the beginning of class, two questions were posed. The first was about posting online, especially in relationship to the Digital Manifesto and pride vs. job searching. Nicole was not particularly worried although she felt that she might need to be. Jen was more excited and proud of her work online --my question is: should we (as a culture?) get/want/force employers to appreciate this kind of work and research?

The second was a discussion of the category of English Major, and how both guests felt about being in that 'category.' Jen noted that she feels more like an English Major after working online/ with the Internet. So can the Internet be seen as a way to spread this category/make it personal and meaningful?

The class then discussed the Digital Humanities Manifesto, noting differences between the 1.0 and the 2.0. There was a vocal majority (??) who appreciated the 2.0 version more (a helpful note was that not only was it a manifesto, it was also parodying a manifesto, going overboard in language and content to declare itself as such). 2.0 was also lauded as being more open and free to the general public (by wording, access was the same for both). Still, it was declared as being 'high level thinking'. The idea of a manifesto as a 'genre in a hurry' was also questioned, some saying the hurried nature made it not all academic, others feeling the setting made it more prone to the academic form (or is it that the academic form can be looser than we think?). Does the fact that it is by two tenured professors make a difference? Someone answered: yes. (There were not many conclusions reached on this Manifesto --good or bad?)

The discussion then moved to Jen's projects and the links she provided (although they did not work --our internet cable was unplugged). She mentioned the CROWD archive and the goal of turning Library into Lab (having English with a lab component, research and archiving, curating). The idea of a thesis without a paper was then discussed: it was noted that it is perfectly legitimate to have a thesis be a project (could this not at some points be even clearer/more pointed than a too-wordy paper?).  Access would also be improved by such actions.

Nicole then provided the class with some pictures, asked us to look at them, tell her what we saw. Theoretically, she asked while there was along pause. "As a parody?" This led to a discussion of parody: that parody gives more meaning to your own work (rather than copying?). The parody as empowering and ironic, where form meets informality. Discussion of access and intellectual property-- parody as escape route? There were two ideas presented on the topic of government control/intellectual property: 1) Intellectual property might be the only property and right available to some people in non-western countries and 2) If knowledge is not property, the government could not stop the use of that knowledge. So is it not then safer for ideas and free thought to state that ideas are free?

Afterward, we had a brief discussion of scholarly conferences mostly led by Nicole. noting the lack of transnational speakers at a recent conference she attended. There were then some points of housekeeping, mostly having to do with the upcoming proposal for a new genre topic(s) for the next quarter. The class took a few moments to look back at the 'overwhelming' topics covered in the last hour and then commenced some brainstorming for new genre topics: science fiction, comics (web as well as graphic novels), contemporary works vs. farther back.

We closed up class with another few moments to ponder the Digital Humanities Manifesto. Someone mentioned their own notion of originality as it was stretched by the thought that nothing was original. Ideas: the thing itself does not need to be new? but you MUST contribute to create something new (back to chatter --without chatter, no world?).

And then we ran out of time...



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