I’m writing this amidst a whirl of thoughts and tracks. Kathleen Fitzpatrick’s views on authorship and the status of private scholarship are impinging on my decision to write to a paper for the final assignment. On one hand, I am glad I read her while battling the dataset project, on the other, she is making me think where my final paper fits in the evolving landscape of scholarship. I am suddenly not satisfied to leave the paper to seclusion. And I am beginning to see the wisdom of having a blog and our instructors’ encouragement of documenting our ‘play’ with datasets. Even as blogs give ‘voice’, it also seems that the essential output remains writing, which, contrary to my decision to write a paper, I’m not entirely comfortable with. I’m still wondering why thoughts presented in writing alone qualify as scholarship; can’t a painting or music do the same? I know there are brave folk who’ve battled this, Nick Sousanis and his dissertation, written and drawn entirely in comic book format, comes to mind. But none of that is considered mainstream. It seems that exchange and communication can expand when ‘intermedia’ becomes a reality, moving beyond the notion of ‘interdiscipline’? In the light of DH being a challenger of notions, how ‘other’ forms of expression can be included in scholarship is a thought to ponder.
For further reading on unusual dissertation forms, I invite you to browse through the following
I think that’s what makes this class interesting. We’re trying to break some new ground, bit by bit.
I certainly have my own trepidations (I like writing about the implications of these data visualization tools, but it’s an uphill battle learning how to use them).
This might be a tad snake-eating-it’s-own-tale, but it would be interesting to use the class and the other students as a form of data. Tracking what subjects they gravitate towards, which ones opt to do project proposals and which want to do papers, or generally use the progress of the class to see if students are working towards some kind of common objective (consciously or unconsciously). This information could be gathered by comparing projects or programs used, but it would also be interesting to sit students down in front of a camera, have them give their thoughts about DH, then use those videos to act as points of interest on a map of progress for the class.
I am also really interested in doing academic scholarship in different ways, or using different forms to embody ideas. I think it is also good to realize that though it might seem dangerous to do something that isn’t mainstream, or taking formal risks might be officially discouraged, if such projects succeed, they are often lauded for these very risk-taking qualities. For instance, I think Cathy Davidson mentioned the other day that Nick Sousanis got some kind of really great recognition for his dissertation (though I can’t remember exactly what it was).
I’m thinking of creating a survey monkey to ask classmates to help me decide on my final project!
I appreciate you sharing the link to some alternative projects. It’s wonderful the way academic projects are potentially “opening up.”