Lab Journal #1 – James Mason

The first day of class was much more exciting than I thought it would be. Sort of like The Hunger Games, but with more desks…. I’ve never actually seen/read The Hunger Games–did they have desks? Well then, I guess it was more like the Tri-Wizard tournament, they TOTALLY had desks:

Each competing school is allowed one Champion to represent them during the Tournament. Students wishing to participate write their names and the school they attend on a piece of parchment, and enter it into the Goblet of Fire. The Goblet is an impartial judge, and selects what it considers to be the best student from each school. At the appointed time, the Goblet ejects the names, making each selected student the official Champion for their school. Each selected Champion is then bound by a magical contract to see the Tournament through to the end.” –Thanks Harry Potter Wiki.

Sure, there are some differences, but let’s roll with it. We write our name on the parchment and cast it into the flames… those flames being the will of our peers. This isn’t exactly how I thought the process would go; I figured we’d come in on day one and the projects would already be selected for us by the teachers… less dirty, but less fun as well.

As for my project, I am still on the fence about pitching it, and it being so close to the eleventh hour means that I might shelve it for the time being. A few others have expressed interest in seeing it come to fruition, and I think that it would also be a good “refuge” project for those who are afraid of serious coding and development. Not only that, but as many skillset posts have suggested, we have a group very strong in outreach. Those truly looking for a challenge in that regard might have found one…. if I were pitching it.

Let’s suppose for a moment I were to pitch it. Not only is the project itself a work of DH, but it would create new opportunities to develop additional DH projects. Every podcast, curated via CUNYCast or not, is an object of Digital Humanities, specifically they are as Matthew Kirschenbaum puts it, born-digital objects. While this seems a mundane classification, that they are born digital allows them to be manipulated in ways that true-material artifacts cannot be. That said, I notice the aim of many projects proposed seems to be taking these true-material artifacts and digitizing them, such they might be as malleable as born-digital objects already are. In that regard, working with born-digital media skips several steps, and allows us to instead focus on different ways of making these artifacts even more useful and more malleable. I’m not the only one who thinks this, as I’ve already heard several great ideas from other students, such as Min’s desire for interactivity via podcasting and Julia’s ideas of creating a way to automatically tack on intro and outros without editing the audio feed. Already two awesome ideas in the FIRST WEEK…

…you know, if I were pitching it.



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