Journal #1

My principal goal for ENGL 665B is to achieve an enhanced understanding of the digital humanities especially as my academic and personal research usually begins online. Being far from technologically savvy however, I hope to acquire basic technical skills which include first and foremost a better grasp of technical terms and language (HTTP, HTML, XML, PHP, MySQL, etc.). I also hope to gain elementary aptitudes in web design and (dare I say it?!) programming.

Intrigued by Alan Liu’s paper “Where is Cultural Criticism in the Digital Humanities,” I wish to work through the theoretical issue that he presents in his writing. Liu writes that “the digital humanities will need to show that it can also take a leadership role.” I hope that my work on the digital editing practicum and my own personal engagement with the digital humanities will help me to appreciate the progressive facets and functionality of the digital humanities and therefore to realize the ways in which it can take on this leadership role. In doing so; I hope to construe how this leadership position will promote cultural criticism especially as Liu states that an otherwise “lack of cultural criticism in the digital humanities … will stunt the growth of [the] field.” Overall, I hope to interpret how the digital humanities can become as sufficiently stable as print in the future.

In keeping with my objectives for this course, I would like to dive right in and take on the ambitious role of programmer in the digital editing practicum. Although I have no previous experience in this area, I hope to advance quickly in order to carry out the role efficiently and effectively. However, if someone else in the team is better qualified to fulfill this role, then I propose the secondary team role of web designer in terms of the graphic layout and the “look” of the web page. Either way, it is important for me to exercise my organizational skills while building a technological foundation for myself.

My plan for the following week is to become familiar with the project at hand and after establishing our team roles, to define my responsibilities as I prepare to commence my part.


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