- 174 posts [27 by JH (15%), 147 by class (85%)]
- 583 comments
Process, Affordances, and Constraints (9:05—10:35)
Let’s talk about your experiences in writing your digital essays in groups of four, talk back, and then move on to the next group.
We’ll move up to the third floor, set up our essays, read, and talk.
Come see our garden in New Castle! 32 E 4th St
A Day in New Castle, Sat, 5/17, 10:00 am–3:00 pm
Following Socrates Online: What the Humanities can Learn from Philosophy’s Successful Online Adaptation
Using digital media to communicate ideas is too often looked down upon by those in the humanities. It makes perfect sense. After all, creating digital things which aren’t just “fluffy” or “empty” takes a lot of work and thought. I can’t just take an essay and make it into a blog and then expect the blog to become well-read. Though some of us humanists have been bumping around with this concept awkwardly for a while—still debating over issues like “is technology a good thing for academia”—philosophers have transitioned really successfully online. My website examines how philosophers have managed to do this so successfully, with hopes that those of us in other, related fields can take hope and think about how we can do the same.
I began with a conversation with my partner (a philosopher) about why philosophers are all over the internet. He knew how to find out all sorts of field-gossip, as well as what universities to avoid applying to (for jobs), and he had a really sophisticated sense of some of the important issues in academia. I wanted this for English, but it’s not really there in the same way.
I did lots of consulting David for important sites (and discussing them with him) during my conceptual process. The actual writing was mostly done in two days (I never felt really ready to write this website), but I’ve been tinkering with the website since before spring break.
Affordances and Constraints
The medium of the website is one of my favorite things about this project. As a person who loves having control over certain things (creative projects ESPECIALLY), it was really important for me to be able to, say, change the font size or pick the exact color scheme I wanted. The website allowed me to do this. I also like the flexibility of adding/subtracting pages at a whim, or even making pages invisible while I work on them (also, I can put them in any order I want!).
There were two constraints which really bugged me, though. First, I could not get the header to look exactly the way that I envisioned (stupid search bar). Second, I haven’t figured out yet how to get a blog to post as one of my pages (I want to avoid the whole “click on this link to see my blog” thing). This will be a summer project.
I’d like us to spend our last class meeting presenting your digital essays. Our closing celebration of your work will be in two stages.
Presentations: Process, affordances, and constraints
I’d like each of you to offer a brief presentation of your digital essay to the class. I’ll project your project on the screen. You should then plan to speak about it for about five minutes—no more! In the second half of the class, people will have plenty of time to read through your piece and talk with you about the substance of your work. So in your presentation, I’d like you to focus instead on what composing for the digital media allowed you to do, and what it made difficult. Please point to moments in your essay that help you talk about:
- How you developed your project, from idea through drafts and revisions to final version (process).
- What you feel you were able to express that you could not have done as well in print (affordances).
- What proved difficult for you in working in this medium (constraints).
At the start of this course, I asked the question: What changes when you write for the screen rather than the page? This is your chance to offer an answer.
Final drafts: A digital arcade
Please post a link to the final version of your essay to this website. We’ll spend the last half of the class walking about the room, viewing and discussing one another’s work.
In the body of your post, write a version of your presentation of your project to the class. The written form of your presentation may be read by people outside this class, so you might want to:
- Offer a somewhat more detailed description of your actual project—a “teaser” to attract readers;
- Say a little more about the history of your project, how you developed it;
- Insert an image from your project.
Please post your work to this site by 11:59 pm on Thurs, 5/15. Please use both digital essay and x12 as your categories. I look forward to a fun last class!