12.0576 course design for applied computing

Humanist Discussion Group (humanist@kcl.ac.uk)
Sat, 24 Apr 1999 20:15:51 +0100 (BST)

Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 12, No. 576.
Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King's College London

Date: Sat, 24 Apr 1999 20:04:38 +0100
From: Hope Greenberg <hope.greenberg@uvm.edu>
Subject: Re: 12.0556 guidelines

Willard McCarty wrote:

> The first major barrier to a genuine humanities computing is the mental
> adjustment. . . .By its nature humanities computing is interdisciplinary --
> just another piece of turf but all turf viewed in a particular way.
> The second major barrier is the social one, and that means making a very
> strong case. . . This evidence needs to be presented both in terms
> of the discipline of application and humanities computing.

Pardon the wholesale deleting. First I want to say thank you for these
words which came at a most opportune moment. Now I'm going to ask for
contributions that, while not directly related to the rest of the post
quoted from, certainly relates to those barriers.

I'm putting together a proposal for a course on electronic texts to be
taught in the English department here at the University of Vermont. As I
am not part of that department, and in fact not even really in that
discipline, the department is quite generous to even consider the

I've looked at several courses on the web and have found none that quite
match (though the "with applied computing" courses at Kings and Matt K's
course at UVA have been thoroughly mined!). The course would combine the
theoretical (thinking about electronic texts, what are they, what is the
context for their creation, what forms do they take) with the practical
(web portfolios of student's work and a big project that creates
TEI-encoded versions of textual artifacts from our Special Collections).
It is not focusing on hypertext. The biggest hurdle is convincing the
English department that this should indeed be an English course, or
perhaps a course taught through the Interdisciplinary Humanities
program, and not a Computer Science course. In other words, the emphasis
is on the discipline--the context, not the technical--not a TEI training

An incomplete draft syllabus (brainstorming, really) is at:

Any suggestions or comments, especially those that answer the question
"how does this relate to English students specifically?" or that help me
make the course align more closely with what one expects from an English
course, would be very much appreciated!

- Hope

hope.greenberg@uvm.edu, U of Vermont, http://www.uvm.edu/~hag

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