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Cat Sidh on Flickr

Evaluation and Critique of DH Projects

THATCamp Theory | October 13, 2012
Shannon Mattern | The New School |

What Scholarship Makes


The multimodal humanistbrings together databases, scholarly tools, networked writing, and peer-to-peer commentary while also leveraging the potential of visual and aural (and interactive) media that so dominate contemporary life She aims to produce work that reconfigures the relationships among author, reader, and technology while investigating the computer [or another technological tool] simultaneously as a platform, a medium, and a visualization device. She thinks carefully about the relationship of form to content, expression to idea
(Tara McPherson, Introduction: Media Studies and the Digital Humanities Cinema Journal 48:2 (Winter 2009): 120).

hands-on engagement with digital forms reorients the scholarly imagination, not because the tools are cool or new (even if they are) or because the audience for our work might be expanded (even if it is), but because scholars come to realize that they understand their arguments and their objects of study differently, even better, when they approach them through multiple modalities and emergent and interconnected forms of literacy. The ability to deploy new experiential, emotional and even tactile aspects of argument and expression can open up fresh avenues of inquiry and research
(McPherson 121)

Practice / Production is research

if and only if it is (1) a systematic investigation, (2) conducted intentionally, (3) to acquire new knowledge, understanding, insights, etc., (4) justified, and (5) communicated, (6) about a subject
research is purposive, inquisitive (seeking to acquire new knowledge), informed, methodical, and communicable
(Stephen A. R. Scrivener, The Roles of Art and Design Process and Object In Research In Nithikul Nimkulrat & Tim ORiley, Eds., Reflections and Connections: On the Relationship Between Creative Production and Academic Research (Helsinki: University of Art and Design, 2009): 71)

Tubes & Wires, Cables & Waves: Walking Tour of Cell Phone / Internet Infrastructure Theoretical Framework: Media Archaeology

Process Blogs
Map Critique + Prototype Individual Project Proposal Intellectual Tradition: Digital Humanities + Evaluation Rubrics Individual Research Dossier + Draft Map Final Map + Self-/ Group Assessment

Project Presentations + Research Strategies

Mapping Theory + Critique Visit: Jesse Shapins, Harvard metaLab; media artist Matt Knutzen, NYPL Geospatial Librarian Lize Mogel, map artist; editor, An Atlas of Radical Cartography Spatialized Data Modeling Pecha Kucha + Conceptual Design Feedback (Critics: Interaction/Graphic Designer, Urban Historian)

User Scenarios + Paper Prototyping

Cartographic Arguments Presentations + Peer Review

Evaluation Stage 1

Evaluation Stage 2


Evaluation Stage 3

Research/ information organization

Writing/ essayistic Visualization/ mapping

Evaluation Stage 4

Your intro text offers a really nice crystallization of your larger goals. It attempts to tell us what your map show and it articulately identifies the conceptual concerns that are at the core of your project, i.e., that radio takes places. There are some really intriguing issues you raise in this intro text that, obviously because of time and technical limitations, you werent able to fully develop (e.g., imagined maps). But if what you said in your last Process Blog is true that you want to continue your work on URT Id love to see some of these other dimensions of your project fleshed out!
Your map does a great job of presenting the historical part of your argument. As I said in class yesterday, I think your tagging system is BRILLIANT. I regret that we werent able to develop URT to a point where it could support a timeline of some sort but you devised a fantastic work-around: date tags! This was a really creative, and effective, work-around.

Evaluation Stage 5: Feedback from Me

James Yang via The Chronicle:

Evaluation Stage 6: Peer Review


Concept + Content Content-/ Concept-Driven Design + Technique Documentation + Transparent, Collaborative Development Academic Integrity + Openness Review + Critique

Assess the Concept + Content and ConceptContent-Driven Design + Technique of a few sample DH projects and reverse-engineer that theories that mightve informed their creation
Via Obscure Associate on Flickr: