Tag Archives: DH

Wittgenstein Source

I’ve been reading some Wittgenstein for another course, and his writing seems organized specifically for the purposes of DH — so I poked around to see what people have done. Found this remarkable website out of University of Bergen — after playing with a number of wordpress sites (for myself/roommate/sister), I found the navigation really cool. It’s also impressive in terms of archiving material. (At the library’s ProQuest presentation this week about dissertations, the idea of hard copy microfilms housed deep in a Pennsylvania mountain legible with a candle and a magnifying glass brought me back around to the zombie apocalypse mentality of outcome planning).


Just wanted to share.


the interventionists

“To the rescue, many librarians believe computers are the only means to effectively cope with their bulging bookshelves”. 1966. New York World-Telegram and the Sun Newspaper Photograph Collection (Library of Congress).

I must admit that I am still belaboring the idea of the field of DH as a (partial) means to subvert the strong focus on research and publishing for tenure to instead promote and enhance teaching & learning. Not to throw CUNY & the Academic Commons under the proverbial bus — it’s great, really! And I find it beneficial on many levels, academically and professionally — but the AC as a collaborative place limited to faculty, staff, and doctoral students is perhaps just redefining self-inclusive nature of academia*. The AC is also still imbedded within an institution where tenure is a reality. Sink or swim. Publish or perish (or my personal favorite, “It does not have to be good, it just has to be published,” which has said to me at least once at CUNY).

With all that said, having a centralized, digital place to provide such support and education to peers/faculty is, or could be, extremely progressive. In Digital Humanities Pedagogy Simon Mahony and Elena Pierazzo write, “what is needed is the development of a group space that exists somewhere between study and social areas” (217). The AC could directly answer to the need for such a group space should it eventually allow for a structure to accommodate it.

Within this process is the need to include the teaching parties by fostering their interest in engaging in digital technology into the classroom. Let’s be honest, part of the problem with academia/tenure is not just publishing fees, the subsequent pay-walls, and the cost of journals to libraries, but it’s also JOB COMPLACENCY. In some ways as students of DH we are being trained as the next generation of instructors who can then be on the front lines to promote and support continued efforts to get research, publishing, and tenure out of the ground and into the cloud(s). In Debates in the Digital Humanities Luke Waltzer writes, “More so than just about any other sub-field, the digital humanities possess the capability to invigorate humanities instruction in higher education and to reassert how the humanities can help us understand and shape the world around us.” DH doesn’t need to stop at humanities. It’s important to have that emphasis there, for the “learning for the sake of learning” and “lifelong learning” aspects of a humanities-driven education may become idioms of the recent past when still yet other disciplines can benefit from the tools DHers employ. For instance, teaching with DH concepts could become a gateway to future STEM interests and Open Access awareness. DH as a gateway drug, perhaps?

I almost wish DH had been instead titled “Interventionists”**. Academia needs a lot of creative intervention before true change can take place. Beginning the process in instruction is an excellent place to start as long as the institution supports the mission completely. That is to say, the process of instruction isn’t as wrapped up in the bottom line as publishing for tenure, and perhaps the trickle down effect of emphasizing digital technologies within traditional analysis can bring change overall.

*I believe this situation was mentioned in one of our first classes, and with good reason for the current design. If the AC is going toward the greater goal of community based digital collaboration, then I would argue that the place would need to evolve away from social media (i.e.: profiles and resumes, friendships, meeting announcements) to a platform that is used in undergraduate coursework and within workshops. A repository to instruct on new technologies and collaborate for pedagogical purposes. I imagine it being used as we are I’m DH praxis, but more widely (even within the GC).

**While the name “The Interventionists” is already taken, the concepts remain in tact to appropriate it for DH here: creative disruption.


Gold, Matthew K., ed. Debates in the digital humanities. U of Minnesota Press, 2012.
Hirsch, Brett D., ed. Digital Humanities Pedagogy: Practices, Principles and Politics. Vol. 3. Open Book Publishers, 2012.

Theorizing Motherhood In DH

This week I am requesting permission to create an Individualized MALS degree that combines Digital Humanities with Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. The purpose of this combined major is to weave DH praxis (theory and practice) and feminist maternal perspectives into a thesis project that identifies “Mother Studies” as potential new area of inter-disciplinary coursework within the academy.


As we all know (here in this class and on the blog) — Digital Humanities is a relatively new field that is currently exploring its relevance, theory, and action. “Attempts to define the digital humanities represents a foray into contested terrain” (Matthew Gold, Digital Humanities), and yet DH has been successful in a) accessing funding, b) perpetuating a discussion of itself, c) offering classes at universities around the world. While MOOCS are just one arena where DH exercises its muscle, there is much to explore that could be useful in examining and developing “Mother Studies.” A few of those platforms are: interactive texts (such as the ones featured on the Commons), feminist archives, online exhibits, and projects like UCLA’s Hypercities; which could facilitate a mapping of history that includes aspects of HERstory (populations that have not been included in normative discussions of the recorded past. See also, Cold Spring Harbor Library.

If Digital Humanities offers a glimpse into theory and practice of “Mother Studies,” then the starting place for accessing content will be drawn from existing sources in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies literature, popular culture, and identity politics. These things shaped the feminist movement(s) of the sixties, seventies, and eighties and have continued to inform subsequent generations of procreators. GC’s own Barbara Katz Rothman has been writing about birth and motherhood since the 1980s. I suggest multiple perspectives can be added as theoretical and material resources expand to include a social, philosophical, psychological, economic, and global discussion as it pertains to m/otherhood, fatherhood, and family study.

An examination into “Mother Studies” is the logical symbolic daughter of the ever expanding, and microscoping feminist discourse. In 2011 Sage Publishing released The Encyclopedia of Motherhood. The three-volume work included feminist arts organizations, activist agencies, and academics spearheading new work about motherhood. At the same time here in New York City I began a three-year museum project on the Upper East Side. The Museum of Motherhood focused on exploring and exhibiting academic and artistic works about women, mothers, and families.

Intellectuals who believe this subject has merit have laid much groundwork. In conclusion, by combining Digital Humanities with Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies I aim to construct my thesis project interactively. I will take an interdisciplinary approach to shaping the theory and practice of “Mother Studies” by a) pulling from existing sources, b) engaging the academic “collective,” c) establishing a framework with which to view the topic as a scholarly endeavor, b) utilizing DH theory and tools to enhance evaluation and discussion.

*Photo credit:

Photo Credit:
Company: TBWA\, SPAIN, Madrid
Executive Creative Director: Guillermo Gines and Juan Sanchez
Creative Director: Bernardo Hernandez
Copywriter: Vicente Rodríguez
Art Director: Bernardo Hernández and Ely Sánchez
Account Supervisor: Inés DIaz-Casariego
Advertiser’s Supervisor: Criistina Infante and Jorge Huguet
Photographer: Sara Zorraquino
Producer: Nuria Mazarío
The Outdoor Advert titled UMBILICAL CORD was done by Tbwa\ advertising agency for brand: Sony Playstation in Spain. It was released in the Apr 2007. Business sectors are: Cannes 2007 Press Bronze, Cannes 2007 Press, Point of Purchase posters.

Eversion, Conversion and the Role of DH?

As I was reading ‘Eversion’ by Steven Jones, I couldn’t help but engage the subject with my personal experiences in South Korea, where I was born and raised, until I moved to New York in 2007. South Korea has the fastest average internet connection speed (AICS) in the world. In a report by Akamai Technologies in 2014, South Korea recorded 21.9mbps AICS with an average of 68.5mbps at peaks speeds, which is almost twice as fast as Japan (2nd) and China (3rd). AICS in the U.S. recorded 10.0mbps, which has generally improved over the past few years. (http://www.xconomy.com/boston/2014/04/23/u-s-10th-in-average-internet-speed-rankings-s-korea-still-no-1/) I still clearly remember the emergence of the internet, and its development to its current ultra-high-speed broadband service in Korea, which is why I could relate the reading to my experiences. The reading raised the question: What is the relationship between the internet speed (based on broadband service) and eversion?”

I was about 12 years old, which was approximately 1997, when I first noticed that my classmates and friends were consistently going to a place called PC Bahng (literally a computer room).” As soon as school ended, students ran off to PC rooms near school. I was never drawn to video games, but I too visited these rooms to meet with my friends. My first impression was not so pleasurable. It was a small, smoky dark room with rows of computers lined next to each other, facing the wall. There was also a huge stack of routers by which high-speed internet was made possible. A bunch of teenagers in their school uniforms were playing “Role-playing games”, like Warcraft and Starcraft, or “Simulation games,” mostly involving warfare. Regardless of the genre, I noticed something they shared in common; gamers were communicating with each other through online “chat rooms”. Besides the games, cyber chatting had become very popular among the students. Often times, online chatting would lead to in person meeting, which became socially controversial. In this respect, “eversion” was already occurring in South Korea, Yet, most adults viewed using computers as distraction until then. The culture of PC rooms, however, was much more prevalent than the adults had imagined. Despite the skepticism, the numbers of PC rooms have increased tremendously, and have become hyper-mature, mainly for its monetary value (it became the most promising entrepreneurial opportunity), and soon I could see PC rooms on every other block. It had become ubiquitous in a couple years since its emergence. With its expansion, adults’ perceptions on internet had gradually changed in a positive way. They started to see the possibility of productive uses of internet for education. Consequently, AICS in Korea had become even faster around 2001. People were able to play their video games at home without experiencing any connection issues. The only reason students continued to visit PC rooms was to keep their parents from finding out that they were playing games. However, the development of high-speed broadband internet service did not occur autonomously. The Korean government started its subsidy on high-speed-internet from 1995, and by 1999, 10 million people were using the internet. It was only a little less than one quarter of the entire population. Also, with the government’s support, Korean mega-corporation, represented by Samsung, L.G., SK Telecom and etc., started investing a preponderance of money and dominating this industry.

Around 2000 or 2001, a good portion of high school students possessed mobile phones, and the mobile connection speed was significantly advanced as well. Soon, virtually every area was provided with cellular data and WiFi service. People were even able to stream online television on their phones underground on subway stations and even in trains, and this was nearly twelve years ago. In comparison, New York has just started to provide WiFi in select train stations, and is still unable to provide connection in most areas underground. Already by this time in Korea, noticeably less people read books or newspapers in the trains, and more people looked at their mobile phones, playing video games, watching TV shows and messaging their friends. When I visited Korea in 2008, I remember I was quite surprised to see people video chat so casually on their cell phones without any kind of lag, even in high-resolution. Independent Korean IT companies have developed their own search engines and blogs, represented by NAVER(http://www.naver.com/), which, according to Korean people, is still used more frequently  than Google in South Korea. I also noticed that popular social media platforms in the United States, like Twitter and Facebook were unable to gain the same popularity in South Korea. This is because Korea has developed their own media platforms and systems which they believe to be more effective and ergonomic. South Korea currently seems to be rather “converted” than “everted”. The people’s daily lives heavily depend on the internet; they are simply lost without it. According to CNN’s article, In 2010, 94% of the population has access to high-speed in South Korea (http://www.cnn.com/2010/TECH/03/31/broadband.south.korea/). Except for their times of labor and sleep (although most times they use computers at work), they spend their lives online via their computers, tablets or phones. Socializing, entertaining, cultural or intellectual cultivating, and etc. all happen online these days. To me, it seems like its world’s leading AICS and the characteristic of the citizens (which I need to talk about) resulted this converted phenomena. The mixed reality has become replaced by the substitute reality. They’ve created alternative egos and personas in their cyberworld (or rather the real world to them) with different social que and culture, feeling more comfortable and secure than when they are in the external world. It seems their actuality is compromised by the virtuality; it’s converted. Another interesting concept is that the public spaces are not limited for public usage anymore. As long as people have computers or phones, the public areas become their private/personal (online)spaces. Korean citizens mostly communicate via texting and messaging. I’ve met a number of young people who claim that they experience a slight phobia of speaking on the phone or having conversation in person, especially when speaking strangers. The youth in South Korea have difficulties speaking formally because they are so accustomed to communicating through a specific manner and abbreviations commonly used online. Soon people began to use these terms and abbreviations while their conversations in the real world. At first, it seemed to be started as a joke, but over the past few years, it’s become quite common to speak, especially among younger generation, in this manner.

Instead of looking at the history behind IT development in South Korea to me, it seems more imperative to analyze the socio-economic influences that results from it. South Korea, from my experience as a native, is a highly implicit, domesticated, and conformed society. The people tend to be very self-conscious about different opinions or lifestyles as opposed to the norm. Being “different” means often times being “wrong”. For the same reason, debating culture is an alienated concept among the general public and even among intellectuals and politicians. The education system and pedagogy are heavily geared to recitation and memorization, rather than a more progressive and creative form of learning. The people consider art as a substitute to scholarship. Their prejudices and stereotypes overpower their rationality, conformity is a virtue, critical thinking is a vice, the efficacy of the humanities is ignored, and women are still repressed in a patriarchal society as they are objectified as (sexual)commodity in the media. Additionally, the gap between the minority of opulent and the majority of the rest continues to  increase. What i’m trying to say is, due to the characteristics of their repressed culture, as the cyberspace has prevailed among their lives, Koreans have been developed cultic and almost dogmatic cultures in their online world. Most major online platforms including social media have been dominated by vulgar talks and series of meaningless images among citizens. Online platforms and mobile phone applications emancipated their regressed emotions and expressions. We can also look at the phenomenon in a psychological lens, and it seems quite plausible to say it is a neurotic symptom that is massively and gradually emerged among the general public in Korea, prompted by their long-time-repression, and released by the advent of the anonymous world of cyberspace. And as I’ve foreseen, fanatic culture in South Korea has become like a secularized religion to the point where watching a bunch of almost naked 16-year-old girls dance to the psychedelic songs on a television and internet has become the norm. Even more shocking thing is they export this culture to other parts of Asia (now even in Europe and America), supported by the government, saying “It’s our great cultural asset.” I see it’s no different from subsidized exported pornography. It is, so-called, K-pop. Slovenian marxist philosopher, Slavoj Zizek, once warned Korean people about the danger of undermining quality of K-pop and trance music during his visit (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m8kzbsT8e_k – It starts at 14:00). However, this kind of political topic, unfortunately, does not usually disseminate on their online platforms. Even if it does, they’ve lost the objective and critical eyes to look at political issues.

Although I point to these extreme cases of conversion in South Korea, this phenomena is present in many other cultures, varied by the distribution of the internet technology. An everted world seems irresistible. The problem is how we can deviate this subversive culture into a productive and progressive one. In my opinion, not because I’ve been taking this class, but I think Digital Humanities is the key to it. Utilizing advanced internet technologies and channeling people’s conforming characteristic to the interest in academia would be a great challenge of DH to accomplish. We can also utilize digital platforms to replace the old reciting and implicit education system (especially for the case of Korea) to a discursive one, provoking participations from the students who are more comfortable on the online platforms. Practices and discussions online will draw more attentions from the young students. And, of course, the primary nature of DH,  egalitarian pedagogy will be necessary for this process so the students from various fields (including myself) such as art and design have more opportunities to be involved with interdisciplinary  praxis, collaborating with the students from the scholarly fields.