by Chuck Rybak/@chuckrybak
As the new academic year begins, I thought a quick look at Digital Humanities (DH) projects, tools, and resources was in order, especially those that might prove useful for students, teachers, staff members, and researchers alike. (In other words, I hope to write a lot more of these.)
My motivation is twofold: first, I appreciate when people do the same for me; that’s how I know about resources like Voyant Tools, Commons in a Box, Gephi, and Juxta. These are good things that anyone can use, and I want to help spread the word while soliciting teaching ideas and feedback (a la the superlative ProfHacker).
Second, and of equal importance, are calls for the DH Community to become more politically vocal and to articulate specific, sometimes collective positions on important cultural conditions and events. I agree with this call. But I also believe making is a form of speech (as speech is a form of making), and that this articulation is already happening, regularly—we must position ourselves to hear it. When individuals or groups make and give something to the public to use, for free, in the furtherance of their own expression, whether it be for education and/or activism, a powerful statement is made. Supporting the potential for expression is often as important as the expression itself.
With that very dramatic preface completed, on to the first “DH Toe Dip”: the Serendip-o-matic.
Serendip-o-matic was produced by the intense “One Week|One Tool” project, where a group of smart, dedicated mad scientists hunker down for a week and create something the public can use; I repeat, they imagine and build the tool in a week. (!) As the name of this tool indicates, serendipity is the goal—if you’re just a plain dipity like me, this is welcome news. You can take any text—your own writing, a scholarly article, the full dataset of Dolly Parton lyrics—paste it into the Serendip-o-matic, and then kazam-a-bob, the magic happens. Here is that magic, described by the makers: Continue reading DH Toe Dip: The Serendip-o-matic” href=”http://twitter.com/share?via=%40ChuckRybak&count=horizontal&related=&lang=en&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.sadiron.com%2Fdh-toe-dip-the-serendip-o-matic%2F&text=%3Cspan%20class%3D%22caps%22%3EDH%3C%2Fspan%3E%20Toe%20Dip%3A%20The%20Serendip-o-matic” >Tweet