Author Archives: Matthew Tesoro

DH Thesis

This is a message from my friend Anderson who was handing out a paper about his thesis during our last class:

Well this is embarrassing…

Everyone who attempted to access my app, I really appreciate it, but Amy Wolfe was kind enough to let me know that I had incorrectly transcribed the URL.

The correct URL for the site is: or

I hope you all will check it out.

Thanks again, Anderson Evans e-mail: twitter: @Anderson_Evans

The Gentle Introduction Resource

The G.I.R. is a Rails based web app that hopes to collect a specific collection of crowdsourced academic resources. This app is maintained by Anderson Evans as the core of his thesis for the MALS degree in Digital Humanities at CUNY Graduate Center.

“Twitter and Blogs are first drafts of scholarship…”

Borrowing that line from samplereality’s Tweet, the writer Mark Sample was correcting a statement after realizing the project George Mason University’s Center for History and New Media and Tom Scheinfeldt was launching, Anthologize, planned to give ‘better binding’ to such scholarly works. As we have learned however, the One Week | One Tool project has done more than just provide an application for “publicizing” blogs and mapping texts with possibly related and funky imagery. Analyzing collaboration within a new realm of scholarship is the real gift of the seven day, twelve person project.

However, as was said by Ms. Stevens earlier, the One Week… project was an experiment in highly irregular circumstances. Time is an issue which obviously will present itself in any situation. Gioia is correct though: The focus should not be on “crash programs” strategy and management. Any group forming a consensus will run into problems of disagreement and the question of internal leadership may or may not also rise. But with regards to DH, how could people facing ordinary constraints (time, money, jobs, families, multiple competing projects, laundry etc.), complete projects with greater efficiency.

Unfortunately, I am unsure what more can really be added from the previous post.

“Community of Practice”

In response to our readings, the talk and workshop involving Raymond Siemens, the consummation of knowledge one can leave with is as described perfectly by Ann before me; knowledge is messy. It was wise that Ray initiated the worksop with this question to the group: What is knowledge? As also stated prior, the lectures featuring Siemens and Kathleen Fitzpatrick  speak as to how knowledge has historically been made accessible via the authoritative governance. “Knowledge” is – according to the Merriam-Webster Encyclopedia – “information, understanding, or skill that you get from experience or education.” For our purposes we’ll focus solely on experience and education as it pertains to ‘social knowledge creation’.

Despite what Nancy Fjällbrant writes regarding the origins of peer review, “the [scholarly] journal had significant ties with the concurrent birth of learned societies (i.e. the Royal Society of London and the Académie des Sciences in Paris),” the Devonshire Manuscript exhibits, as per Siemens’ work denotes, an earlier example of social knowledge creation. Another way to say this concept is ‘social knowledge production,’ which Ray declared as having “always been really messy.” Part of the reason why such developments are messy is because of this idea, “community of practice.” As described in the Toward Modeling the Social Edition: An Approach to Understanding the Electronic Scholarly Edition in the Context of New and Emerging Social Media article, a community of practice:

Refers to a group that forms around a particular interest, where individual members participate in collaborative activities of various kinds. Active involvement in the group is key; through this involvement, group members ‘develop a shared repertoire of resources: experiences, stories, tools, ways of addressing recurring problems – in short a shared practice’

Creation and consensus on knowledge is not simple or perfect. However, the practice and symbolization of the book being the source of knowledge (essentially an extension of an exclusive authority), has influenced an often misconceived notion of physically published infallibility, at least until the next edition! which will repeat that declaration. It is this erroneously defended and long held tradition which castigates the potentiality of collaborative knowledge producing sites like Wikipedia.


Initial Definition: Academic research pertaining to the focus of the humanities with utilization of ever-advancing technology existing as the sole mechanism for publication and instruction.

Revised Definition: The application of digital methods for use of research, collaboration, pedagogy, publication, or cataloguing across a wide array of academic disciplines.

Post-Class Analysis: From the discourse in class to the thoughts posted thus far, I am hesitant to posit a theory on whether or not DH is best looked at as more than a set of new tools for previous methodologies of mused, “analog,” humanities. However, I do agree with others that the theoretical implications of DH’s practices is worthy of investigation and debate.