So if you're not quite ready to take the Twitter plunge, and prefer your tech to be old fashioned like rotary phones and VCRs, two blogs to add to your subscription list are the wonderful site Allan Mitchell has created for his seminar Becoming Human, and Elaine Treherne's History of Text Technologies. In case you missed it, Anne Harris's Medieval Meets World is also terrific (and has been around for quite some time).
I'm being tongue in cheek, of course: blogs are not old tech so much as a comfortable expanse within our current scholarly landscape. If they don't seem especially new any more, that doesn't mean they are any less useful. Or inspiring.
And speaking of inspiration, my wonderful colleague Holly Dugan sent out a series of tweets last night that exactly get at one of the promises inherent in digital humanities, including blogs. She wrote:
I like both these observations because they reveal another change in the way we conceptualize and disseminate scholarship: in a wired world, patiently waiting for conventional print to do its work is an option (as is watching coral reefs grow at one centimeter per year), but not necessarily the best option. We need to enhance its agency. No one likes over-the-top self promotion, and we can all spot obnoxious or arrogant horn tooting when we hear its blare. But there is nothing wrong with being a firm advocate for the scholarship you have accomplished and for the expertise that you possess. There is nothing wrong with bringing your research skill to as wide an audience as possible. If you have labored over figuring out a problem or a context, if you have worked to possess a knowledge about an issue or text, then being humble and awaiting the reader who will find your insight buried in a $90 book or within a paywall guarded journal might not be the best method for instigating the conversations that are in fact the way our work lives, breathes and changes. A scholar's work is at its midpoint once something appears in print or electronically: that isn't the time to walk away and see what happens from afar. Don't we teach our undergraduates that no question is ever fully answered, that no project is ever really done? Shouldn't we take responsibility for the (potentially change-filled) future of our work rather than think that at a certain point it is petrified, inert?
#Altac tweets from #mla12 emphasize author responsibility to promote and disseminate, not just produce and research
Their point was about new modes of publishing and new platforms, but the take away also resonated with me about gender and the profession.
It's a daunting challenge, isn't it, to be responsible not only for ushering your work into conventional print but then to nurture its life after it appears. Many scholars won't want to do so (and that is OK, honestly: sometimes you are so tired of a project that you need to walk away after its release, at least for a while); many others lack the technological savvy to be their own best advocate. Training in DH needs, at a minimum, to be part of the graduate curriculum. It starts on day one -- or, better, as Ryan Cordell has written, it starts as part of undergraduate humanities training.