Because of the speed with which the academic disciplines surrounding the Digital Humanities are developing, relatively few of the course readings for ENGL668K took the form of conventionally published books or article. Instead, most of the weekly reading consisted of material available online, often in the form of blog posts or PDFs, frequently added to during the course of the week between class meetings by items that we became aware of via Twitter. It proved to be a major challenge just to keep track of all the different items we read, and Zotero proved to be an extremely useful tool for managing the readings.
We have created a Zotero sub-collection on How to Read a Million Books. It attempts to capture a representative sample of the discussions taking place in the part of the Digital Humanities community that is particularly concerned with computational analysis of large bodies of text between January and May 2013.
One of the major events during this period was the publication of Matt Jockers’s Macroanalysis on April 1st. Charity Hancock reviews the discussion surrounding the publication of Jockers’s book here, and has compiled a Zotero sub-collection documenting the reception of Macroanalysis.
Another major event was the online publication of Volume 2, Number 1 of Journal of Digital Humanities, which was devoted to the technique of Topic Modeling. Kathryn Skutlin reviews JDH here, and has compiled a Zotero sub-collection of items in and about Journal of Digital Humanities Winter 2012.
In addition to publications like Macroanalysis and JDH, conferences hosted by DH centers (like the weekly Digital Dialogs at UMD’s MITH) are also an important venue for scholarly communication and collaboration. Because of the connected nature of the DH community, shared learning from such events spreads quickly from presenters and the attendees who live-tweet the presentations to a wider virtual audience. ENGL668K students benefited from following a number of events in this manner, and Dan Kason reviews a gathering particularly relevant for the theme “How to Read a Million Books”, HASTAC’s “Visualization Across Disciplines” Forum, here. He has also created a Zotero sub-collection that presents a sample of the material presented at the HASTAC Visualization Across Disciples Forum.
Finally, an important part of our reading each week was to keep up with the ENGL668k Blog Posts, the public writing of the other members of the class. This, too, has a Zotero sub-collection. One of the features of Zotero is that it can easily generate bibliographies in any of a large number of user-selected formats. For online material, the bibliography includes the URL in a way that makes it particularly easy to access. Because of the length of the bibliographies, we’ve moved them to the bottom of this post, but we encourage you to follow the links to see a sample of the material we read and discussed this semester.