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 my presentation at Digital Humanities 2011 at Stanford, I am analyzing a collection of 134 syllabi to understand how the DH curriculum is being conceived. What kinds of assignments are being made? What works appear most frequently on reading lists? What are some major concepts that the courses explore?
One longstanding debate in the Digital Humanities has been the value of teaching programming skills in humanities courses. The main argument in favor of it: 21st century humanists need skills to harness growing amounts of (digital) data. The main argument against: it’s too technical a skill for a methodology that’s largely antithetical to why people go into the humanities. On this issue I have remained on the fence for some time, but as I continue to experiment with various text mining projects, and continue to fiddle with my digital history course, I am now convinced that basic techniques for data manipulation should be taught as part of the humanities curriculum.