Lance Grandahl, unsplash.com
Hey there DH cohort of 2020! Yes, I’m looking at you.
You’ve made it through the first term of your MA, and DIGH5000, your introduction to digital humanities. This is just a short note to say, well done!
Now, for the really interesting work. DH isn’t a separate subject, is it, eh? It weaves. It braids. It interconnects, interpenetrates. It’s rhizomatic.
In botany and dendrology, a rhizome (/ˈraɪzoʊm/, from Ancient Greek: rhízōma “mass of roots”, from rhizóō “cause to strike root”) is a modified subterranean plant stem that sends out roots and shoots from its nodes. Rhizomes are also called creeping rootstalks or just rootstalks. Rhizomes develop from axillary buds and grow horizontally. The rhizome also retains the ability to allow new shoots to grow upwards. - (good ol’ wikipedia)
That means, in the terms to come, the things you’ve encountered this past term, the events you’ve gone to, the work you’ve produced, the webinars and virtual conferences you’ve sat it on, will be combining, remixing, growing, pushing, hiding underneath everything else you do, only to pop up unexpectedly in surprising places. While your next classes might not be ‘officially’ DH classes, you are certainly going to BE.... DH!
Rhizomatic learning is a variety of pedagogical practices informed by the work of Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari.Explored initially as an application of post-structural thought to education, it has more recently been identified as methodology for net-enabled education. In contrast to goal-directed and hierarchical theories of learning, it posits that learning is most effective when it allows participants to react to evolving circumstances, preserving lines of flight that allow a fluid and continually evolving redefinition of the task at hand. In such a structure, “the community is the curriculum”, subverting traditional notions of instructional design where objectives pre-exist student involvement.
So… let the snow come down. Let the old leaves of autumn decay and moulder away, for underground, new ideas are percolating, new roots are growing.
I’m looking forward to next term, as you bring yourselves into the wider DH community here at Carleton.
I’ve always felt that one of the strongest ways to persuade people to try our programme was through word-of-mouth. The problem with that of course, is finding people. And of course, we’re all of us zoomed-out. If there are folks who might be interested in brainstorming some ideas around what we, as a community, might do in this regard, do get in touch! My goal for next year is 20 new DH students. You heard it here first!
I’m sure there are interesting things that are happening this month. But you know what? Take some time off. Make this your month to switch off!
How about a fully open access book on ‘The Network Turn: Changing Perspectives in the Humanities’? Available here. The blurb:
We live in a networked world. Online social networking platforms and the World Wide Web have changed how society thinks about connectivity. Because of the technological nature of such networks, their study has predominantly taken place within the domains of computer science and related scientific fields. But arts and humanities scholars are increasingly using the same kinds of visual and quantitative analysis to shed light on aspects of culture and society hitherto concealed. This [book] contends that networks are a category of study that cuts across traditional academic barriers, uniting diverse disciplines through a shared understanding of complexity in our world. Moreover, we are at a moment in time when it is crucial that arts and humanities scholars join the critique of how large-scale network data and advanced network analysis are being harnessed for the purposes of power, surveillance, and commercial gain.
Priscilla du Preez, unsplash.com
In this issue, let’s focus on ‘joy’. The English Graduate Student Society is putting on a virtual conference in May (paper proposals due in February), on the topic of joy:
Carleton University’s English Graduate Student Society invites papers and presentation proposals which evoke, unpack, and recuperate joy as both an affective state and an act of struggle or resistance. This conference will consider how joy has been reimagined, reclaimed, and conjured in the zeitgeist of different times, places, and communities. How has joy been mobilized as a means of organizing cultural thinking and engagement? How has joy been galvanized as an act of resistance and entwined with struggles over utopian futures? What role does joy play in the deliberate and often revolutionary reimagining of our social, economic, or political conditions in the face of white supremacy, climate emergency, and economic scarcity? What affects and effects do acts or moments of joy have on our sense of self, our sense of time, our sense of place, or our sense of well-being?
Their website is still being built; in the meantime, drop a line to cuEGSSconference at gmail dot com for more information.
If you know of someone else who might like to receive The DHCU Irregular, please do forward this and send them to the sign up page.
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