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End of the day

After the 3 hour Research Methods class we (most the students and I) went for a celebratory beer and pizza and a newish boutique place near campus. The place is under new management and the pizza is almost as good as what I used to eat in Rome when younger. Over exotic beers we discussed what theoretical frameworks in the digital humanities would look like and the results of cluster mining some information about tools.

On the way home I rented Metal Gear Rising: Revengance and played it after dinner. I’ve mixed feelings about the game. The main character is Raiden and the action is mostly visually rich samurai slashing of cyborgs. Metal Gear Solid 4 was more of a stealth game where you had time to take in the scenery. In Rising it is more about the spectacle of spiraling blades. There are lots of cut scenes with your character posing after bisecting some robot as if what people play for are the victory moments. I doubt I’ll finish it before its due back, but I need to play the recent Japanese games as I’m due to teach on Japanese game culture this summer in Japan.

Reflecting back on the day: Research Methods preparation

I spent most of the morning preparing my last Research Methods course. I spent the morning grading exercises I had assigned, checking what I had received or not and organizing materials for the class. One of the things I wanted to do to wrap up the geospatial section was show Orbis and RomeLab as different examples of how one can make arguments with spatial tools.

I don’t know about the rest of you, but my teaching works a lot better if I prep right before class. I like to think through the discussions we will have as I walk into work and then prep the class. If I have an early morning class then I get up extra early and prep so it is fresh.

Teaching Research Methods

It is the last class of Research Methods, a class I teach in our MA in Humanities Computing program. This year was the first time I taught the course so I had to decide what methods were important. I put together a list of methods from other sources that I think are relevant to the digital humanities, but that list got out of control. If the digital humanities are a “methods commons” then, by definition, we will have a different relationship to method. DH can’t be a discipline with a simple set of established methods – it will have to be an approach to the sharing of methods.

At the end of the class I’m going to ask students how the Day of DH is an example of a research method. We already had an interesting discussion about footnoting and whether it was a method or is a way to show methodical reading.