RESOURCE: Textual Artifacts and their Digital Representations: Teaching Graduate Students to Build Online Archives

The new issue of Digital Humanities Quarterly includes an article by Deena Engel and Marion Thain (NYU) on “Textual Artifacts and their Digital Representations: Teaching Graduate Students to Build Online Archives.” From the article abstract:

Co-teaching a digital archives course (ENGL-GA.2971) for graduate students in the English Department allowed us to bring together our expertise in both research and pedagogy from two fields: English Literature and Computer Science. The course built on a core pedagogical principle in Computer Science of teaching through projects rather than from unrelated one-off programming or web development assignments. Teaching the Text Encoding Initiative after students had completed hands-on projects (using xHTML, CSS, and a digital archive working in a standard content management system) enabled the building of technological skill sets in a logical and complementary manner. From a literary perspective, building a digital archive — and teaching text encoding — enabled an in-depth consideration of textual materiality, the processes through which literary scholarship must inform technological building decisions, and the ways in which the act of digitization can be used to ask new questions of the text (or to prompt the text to ask new questions of itself). This paper will survey our techniques and approaches to interdisciplinary teaching, culminating in our usage of text encoding for exploring issues of textuality through digital presentation.

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