• Campers

    Lisa Maruca

    • English, Wayne State University
    • Twitter: @lmaruca

    I am an Associate Professor at Wayne State University and the author of The Work of Print: Authorship and the English Text Trades, 1660-1760 (2007), as well as articles on the book trade, copyright and plagiarism. I have presented my research on the history and future of literacy technologies in a variety of national and international venues. As part of the English Department’s Digital Literacies Initiative, I am committed to teaching classes in literature and cultural studies that also help students understand, gain access to, and effectively use a variety of new media forms. In 1998 I started teaching online courses; since then, I have presented local faculty workshops on best practices for e-learning and am currently helping the university develop standards and benchmarks in this area at as part of our Online Task Force. I was a member of Wayne State’s Working Group on Digital Humanities, and a founding member of its offshoot, the Digital Humanities Collaboratory (http://www.otl.wayne.edu/support_dhc.php). I am a board member of Blogging Pedagogy, an online resource for pedagogy in English Studies at the University of Texas, and am participating in the development of 18thConnect. On sabbatical this semester, I am at work on my book project on eighteenth-century educational technologies, provisionally entitled Writing Readers: Literature, Literacy, and the Print Trade in Eighteenth-Century England.

    My Posts

    DH Lite? Helping Untechie Students Do DH

    Thursday, April 28th, 2011 | LMaruca

    Apologies for posting so belatedly…I do have the advantage now of having read everyone else’s posts.  I’m excited to see so many about teaching.  I’m definitely in “that camp” (sorry!) when it comes to the Digital Humanities.

    I am hoping to talk to others about helping both undergraduates and grad students, though especially the latter, develop projects within digital humanities, even (or perhaps especially) if they are not specializing in that area (the Academic Luddite session will thus also be helpful to me, I think).  How do we assign, discuss, frame and evaluate such work?  I am hoping to generate discussion of others’ classroom or institutional experiments and hear ideas for criteria, rubrics, methods and standards.  And pace recent public definitions of our field, can students “do” digital humanities without code?  I think we can—I have seen students post fine work on (for example) weebly.com, work that taught them about site design, textual collection and selection, interpretive focus, and audience appeal—even though they did not learn even the rudiments of html.  I think of their DH work as apprenticing—it does not have to be ready for prime time yet, just as a seminar paper can be a solid performance without yet being publishable as a journal article.  However, I am open to learning why I may be wrong about this.  I also want to gather ideas about how to encourage students to “think beyond the site”—most projects I have received in my literature courses so far, especially from grad students, are very 1.0 in their thinking about information display (my undergrads are much more flexible in working in/with multi- and trans-media formats).  I have also found most students (again, especially grad students) reluctant to collaborate, which of course limits what they can achieve in the space of a one semester final project.

    My current assignment instructions and sample student projects are here; some supplemental ideas I provided are here.  Advice on improving these is especially welcome.

    Of course, all of these ideas should be couched in a more theoretical exploration of how the digital humanities have changed our understanding of terms like “assignment” and “evaluation,” but in the end, I want ideas for the classroom.  I especially hope some graduate students attending will share what inspired them to become digitally savvy (thus my topic, I think, links to the one on GradHacking, too).