Digital History — Spring 2010

April 30, 2010

Questions for Professor Ulrich…

Filed under: Uncategorized — ths117 @ 4:03 am

Apologies for such a late post, at the end of the semester!

The readings for this week offered a wonderful blend of reflection on writing, thinking, researching, and teaching in the digital age. After designing a course website this semester (write-up to follow), I feel like I have a heightened appreciation for Professor Ulrich’s course websites, which manage to combine a wealth of information with easy navigability and an attractive design. As I’ve asked some previous presenters, I would love to hear some of your stories about teaching these courses: were they “born digital,” or did you incorporate a digital component into them later on? I would also be curious as to how flexible these websites are: with such a beautiful structure, do you and your students tend to treat the site like a museum, to be walked through and experienced? Or do you and your teaching assistants see the websites more as modular buildings, to be altered and shelved and expanded and contracted in response to the needs of the individual class?

Finally, I’d love to hear some of your thoughts about the footprint of A Midwife’s Tale, both in the field and in the public eye. Has your relationship to this unique project has changed over time, especially as it’s become symbolic of the vast potential audiences that exist for works that combine solid historical scholarship with approachable prose (and appealing central figures!)

April 10, 2010

The ghost in the machine?

Filed under: Uncategorized — ths117 @ 6:26 am

I can’t quite remember which of our recent readings it was that discussed the occasional presence of workers’ hands in the images of books scanned for the Google Books project…

…but in doing some background reading for my course website, I came across just that very thing (page 54, in case the link isn’t exact).

Not only is it a jarring reminder of the human labor that goes into this project, it’s just plain jarring and kind of creepy! (And makes it tough to read Lowell’s snark on Margaret Fuller, too.)

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