The Importance of Place

By, Martha Joy Rose (you can call me Joy 🙂

Screen shot, Madonna, Material Girl video (1985)

Screen shot, Madonna, Material Girl video (1985)

To quote Madonna, “we live in a material world.” Bodies are the containers for our intellectual, sensation-filled, pleasurable, and of course painful lives. My material body is the place from which I interact with the world. The biological shape it takes interprets data and responds accordingly. It is my home, and its receptors process my life experiences. That’s why I titled this first blog for the Digital Praxis Seminar “The Importance of Place.” For people wishing to push past the limitations of the material world, online portals provide unique opportunities to connect beyond the place and space individuals physically occupy.

During the first Digital Humanities Seminar class participants wrote one-sentence definitions of DH. My short and sweet assessment was, “DH is the intersection between information and technology.” Expanding on that idea is the notion that every subject within the interdisciplinary humanities has the potential to be available via the internet. These systems have already begun to change the learning landscape through MOOCS (Massive Open Online Courses) and digital libraries. Optimally the internet expands opportunities and enhances the physical/mental landscape into information highways, hyperrealities and more. This is a fascinating new frontier with its own possibilities and limitations. We are still at the forefront of this burgeoning new “place” learning to manage the opportunities presented and the pitfalls created.

This summer I watched Morgan Spurlock’s special on CNN delving into Futurisms. You can see the YouTube video here. The episode is a sometimes-frightening glimpse into humanity’s technological future, of which each of us plays a part, like it or not.

Because I still live in a body, but because my body lives in a world of rapidly developing technologies, I embrace the importance of both spheres relatively. I exercise my body, eat right, and love my physical form (in all its stages), but I am diving full steam into the new important space of digital humanities where information and connections find scope and life online. I absolutely think it is the next important place to be.

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2 thoughts on “The Importance of Place

  1. Jojo Karlin (she/her/hers)

    Thanks for the interesting information; I’m enjoying the Morgan Spurlock “Inside Man”. In some congruence with Stephen Real’s expressed discomfort with the openness of DH, I am struck by a desire to manage the seeming overabundance of information available — in Spurlock’s case information about his health, but for me also in general (even the expressly-purposed links available in the DH Guide and even your post provide mines within mines of material). Spurlock’s assessment of his meeting at the Grossman longevity clinic somewhat reflects the feeling: “that was one of the most awesome and frightening meetings I’ve had in my life: awesome in the fact that suddenly you’ve got all this information about your life, and frightening at the same time because you’ve got all this information about your life.” (15:16) I imagine discussions of meta-data and text marking (as I, from my humanities background, understand from Hockey’s historical summary) will help.
    PS I feel I have much to learn from your tagging savvy.

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