Tying Up Some Loose EndsPosted: September 12, 2011
I was glad that we were assigned to read, Stephen Ramsay’s “On Building” because so many of us in class were left to wonder what he meant by “building.” I was also glad that he mentioned mapping because after reading “Maps” I was still skeptical about the nature of DH. I thought this article touched on and fused a lot of the elements we are learning about in this class.
Ramsay helped clarify what he meant by building when he elaborated on what constitutes building. When he writes, “All the technai of Digital Humanities – data mining, XML encoding, text analysis, GIS, Web design, visualization, programming, tool design, database design, etc – involve building; only a few of them require programming, per se,” I can have a more concrete idea of what DH even though I do not have a clue what most of those processes are. I simply hoped we would eventually learn what some of those are in this course.
When Ramsay explained how mapping is an entirely different process, and a “process of creation yields insights that are difficult to acquire otherwise”, I could see how mapping Mrs. Dalloway would help us to understand DH further. This is my third time reading Mrs. Dalloway, but this time, I’m already reading it in a completely different way because I’m paying closer attention to the places Clarissa goes to. I’m still skeptical about how much the mapping will affect our interpretation of the novel in the end. However, I can already see that having this mapping assignment has changed my reading of it.
Lastly, I couldn’t help but agree in calling this “DH whine” only when I attempted to read the comment thread and failed less than halfway through. However, I still see the importance of active discussion in order to further theorize this field of Digital Humanities.