Introduction to Digital Humanities

Exploring The Tool Box

The philosopher and media theorist Marshall McLuhan is often credited with the idea that "We shape our tools and thereafter our tools shape us."

Annotation #2

 Keeping this idea in mind watch, read and collaboratively annotate:

1. Marshall McLuhan, "The Message is the Medium," in Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man (New York: McGraw-Hill, 1964). Hypothesis link.

2. Wilson Miner, "When we build," Build, Anaheim, California, 2011.

Assignment #2

As you think about our relationship with digital tools, locate and carry out a formal academic review of a DH tool from Alan Liu's DH Toychest that is not listed on the "Resources" page. Be sure to select a tool that (1) is specifically designed to support digital humanities work, (2) doesn't require an extraordinary amount of effort to install, and (3) pushes you to try something you haven’t done before. Once you have selected your tool, learn how to use it and document your work each step of the way (via notes and screenshots).  As you explore the basic functionality of the tool, consider two broad questions: (1) What are the affordances of the tool? In other words, what does the tool allow or encourage you to do? What does it make easy for you? (2) What are the constraints of the tool? In other words, how does the tool limit your ability to do things you want to do? What does it make difficult for you? Post the review to your "Assignment #2" page of our Scalar workbook and be prepared to present your selected tool to the class.

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