Spring 2017 HIA Clinic Course

Graduate seminar GR8975 W 4:10-6, and labs Friday 2:10-4pm

Course Title: What Is a Book in the 21st Century?

Working with Historical Texts in a Digital Environment Instructors:

Pamela Smith and Terence Catapano

Course Title: What Is a Book in the 21st Century? Working with Historical Texts in a Digital Environment Instructors: Pamela Smith and Terence Catapano Course summary: This course will introduce humanities and social science graduate students, with little to no experience in digital platforms, to the Digital Humanities. In the process of equipping them with the digital skills to collectively create a minimal digital edition using content from the Making and Knowing Project, it will also give them a foundation in digital scholarly methods and approaches, and a project exhibiting their acquired competencies for their professional portfolio.

The edition will consist of a full English translation of Ms. Fr. 640, an anonymous 16th-century compilation of technical recipes. The Making and Knowing Project has “disassembled” this manuscript through research seminars and workshops involving multidisciplinary teams of students and faculty, and is now creating the final critical digital edition as a “reassembly” of this manuscript for the 21st century.

In the course, students will be active participants in the Project’s exploration of technologies that allow not just a reading of the text but an interaction with its content. This is in direct resonance with the ways that this 16th-century recipe collection moves from text to knowledge when the techniques contained within it are practiced, whether in the 16th century or in the Making and Knowing Laboratory reconstructions today. Through this exploration, we aim to foster reflection on the constraints of the book as a framework and vehicle for the production of knowledge, and to re-think the technology of the book and the reading of a text. To this end, in the second half of the semester, students will work with collaborators from Professor Steven Feiner’s Computer Graphics and User Interfaces Lab.

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