For Tuesday (April 12)

Greetings.  Here’s what we have scheduled for Tuesday:

  1.  Instead of meeting in our classroom in the HUM building, we’ll be meeting virtually.  On Tuesday, April 11, at 11 a.m. (PST) browse over to our Google hangout.  We’ll meet in the hangout to talk about our readings for the day and chat about semester projects.  (If you have problems getting into the hangout, email me.)
  2. You have a choice of two readings for Tuesday: Chapter 1, “What Is Open Access?” from Peter Suber’s nice little book; or “The Open Scholar” by Gideon Burton.  Choose one reading and blog your response in the usual format: summary of main points of the writer’s argument, followed by commentary.
  3. Semester projects.  You should be past the conceptual phase at this point, e.g. defining a topic, formulating some research questions, identifying your data sources and tools.  Now, you should be digging into data and creating your dataset (in the form of a spreadsheet or Fusion table etc.).  Blog an update on your progress so that I can check-in and respond.  N.B. Your semester project is a major piece of work and will require some labor.  Get the ball rolling now.  You won’t be able to finish the project by pulling an over-nighter!
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For Thursday (4/7)

Let’s try to get a couple of things done for this Thursday:

  1. Read David Wiley’s blog post on openness.  This will take us a bit deeper into the nuts and bolts of openness.
  2. Spreadsheet Party!  I noticed that some of you expressed some apprehension about creating and using spreadsheets.  Perfectly understandable for folks who’ve spend a lot time reading and thinking about poems, novels, etc.  So, let’s have a “spreadsheet basics” workshop.  (Perhaps, Cate can lead this?) Some spreadsheet help: Google Sheets YouTube tutorial; Google Fusion Tables; DataScraper (Chrome extension).  And, let’s get started on “spreadsheets phase two,” e.g. cleaning up spreadsheet data. Take a look at the OpenRefine tutorials.  (Forget OpenRefine, the code has become much less usable and a lot more glitchier since its move from Google Sheets tool to open source app.  I’m exploring other data cleanup tools, starting with Trifacta Wrangler.  Update to follow.)

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For Tuesday (4/5)

Welcome back from a brief interregnum.  We have a lot of balls in the air, so maybe it’s time now to start putting some of them on the shelf.  For Tuesday, let’s:

  1.  Finish up the JStor project.  (For details and instructions and etc., refer to previous posts.)
  2. Finish up the Beats dataset.  (We’ll need to clean up our dataset before we can push it into Palladio.  To do this, we’ll use OpenRefine.  If you want to get a head start on cleaning up data, check out the tutorials at OpenRefine.  We’ll probably start cleaning up our data on Thursday, April 7)
  3. Read Eric Raymon’s most excellent essay, “The Cathedral and the Bazaar.”
  4. And, don’t forget – – blog your semester project.  Again, check previous posts for instructions and expectations.  For now, you definitely want to have a topic and a set of questions about the topic that you want to pursue.  In your blog post, speculate also about what kinds of data you’ll need to look at.

Questions?  Email me!

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For Tuesday (March 29)

Greetings!  I hope you’re enjoying your break.

For your return to campus on Tuesday, let’s get the following out of the way:

1.)  Read the George Landow essay on hypertext.

2.)  Complete the next stage of the project.

To do this: return to our “Chicago” page on Jstor.   Sign in to the sidebar using your credentials (e.g. student1, student 2, etc.).  When you click on our group tab (the two little silhouettes), you’ll see the questions already annotated by the rest of your classmates.  Pick a question that looks interesting.  Now, click on the Jstor tab (the one withe the fancy “J’ on it).  This will reveal a series of numbers to the right of each line of Sandburg’s poem – – these numbers represent the number of articles in the Jstor database related to this line.

Click on the number next to the line that your classmate has annotated with his or her question. Read the article excerpt and click the title of the article to read the full essay.  After digesting this information, return to your classmate’s question.  Use the linked Jstor references to answer the question.  Be sure to cite the articles that you use.  (You can use the last name of the article’s author.)

In short, your classmate has asked the poem a question.  You are using the Jstor database of articles to help answer that question.  Questions?  Let me know.

3.)  If you haven’t already blogged your semester project, do so immediately.

4.)  Our Beat dataset is looking better – -but the “what,” “where,” and “when” for individual writers need more work.  Look at our spreadsheet to see where the gaps are.  Use the SFSU databases – – especially biographical resources and Literature Online – – to gather more information about our Beat writers.


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For Thursday (March 17)

For Thursday, let’s:

  1. Talk about your semester project.  First, you’ll need to think of a good, literary- or culture-based topic.  (An author, a novel, a poem, a movement,a movie, a genre, a form, an event, etc.)  This should be something that genuinely interests you.  Next, you’ll have to think of some good, open-ended questions about your topic.  What do you want to find out about this topic?  What kind of curiosity will keep you moving forward as you explore the topic and decide how to “digitize” it?  Blog this first set of reflections.
  2. Start the JStor project.  Here’s a brief description of the project.  Browse over to Carl Sandburg’s poem, “Chicago,” and read it.  Can you see the JStor button: ?  If so, click on the button (at the bottom of the hypothesis tabs (see below).  Notice that each line of the poem has a certain number of article associated with it.  Click on a number and the article associated with that line will appear in the hypothesis sidebar.  If you click on the excerpt, you will be taken to the complete article.  For now, don’t worry if all of this isn’t working perfectly.  We’ll take care of that in class.


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For Tuesday (3/15)

For Tuesday, let’s do two things:

  1. We’ve pretty much completed the “who” section of our Beats dataset.  Now let’s move on to our “when,” “where,” and “what.”  When did these Beats live in SF? Enter dates.  What did they do here? Enter dates.  Where did they live? Where did they do things?  Enter locations.  (For now, enter a name of the location and a street address.) 10 entries will earn you a check; 15 or more will earn you a check plus!
  2. We’ll talk about the Genius comparisons on Tuesday.  E.g. having looked at annotations for a song and a literary text, what differences do you notice between these annotation?
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For Thursday (3/10)

For Thursday, let’s:

  1. Finish talking about Jane McGonigle’s “Why I Love Bees.”
  2. Continue our Palladio project.  Go to Cate’s spreadsheet and: a) make sure we’re not missing any SF Beats; b) fill in birth, date, place of birth info for the writers we have.  (Remember to sign your work with your initials in the appropriate box.)
  3. Browse over to  Pick one “Song/Lyric” text and one “Lit” text.  Look at the annotations and think about any differences you may (or may not) see between the ways these different texts are annotated.
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For Tuesday (3/8)

For Tuesday, you’ll want to:

  1. Read one of two essays on our syllabus, either Alan Liu’s “From Reading to Social Computing” or Jane McGonigal’s “Why I Love Bees.”  Which essay you read depends on which group I arbitrarily assigned you to on Thursday.  If you don’t remember or were absent, pick one essay.  Blog a response to the essay you read.
  2. Collect data.  Cate has done an incredible job starting our Beats Project spreadsheet.  Surf over to her Google sheet and: add a writer if you see that he or she is missing; start filling in as much information as you can for individual writers.  (If you’ve never used a spreadsheet before, relax and take your time.  If you make a mistake, hit the “Undo” button under the “Edit” menu.)
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For Thursday (3/3)

For this Thursday (March 3), you’ll want to:

1.  Read the two pieces by Clay Shirky: “Social Software and the Politics of Groups” and “Communities, Audiences, and Scale.”  Blog a response to these essays.

2.  Start compiling a list of SF Beat figures.  To help us with this, I’ve set up a forum on the motherblog.     In the “Navigation” menu to the right, click on “Forums.”   This will take you to our new forums page.  Click on “Beat Project.”  Click on the topic: “List of SF Beat writers and figures.”  Enter one or two or many names and dates of births for SF-associated Beats in the reply box.  Sign your reply with your first name.  Click on “Submit.”

3.  Let’s go back and revise your “trees, graphs, maps” blog post.  In your WordPress dashboard, click on the edit button beneath the blog post you’ve already published.  Now you can edit your post.  Reorganize your proposed project by: naming the topic, composing a couple or more questions about this topic that you want to explore through your project, indicate what kind of data you’ll be using (e.g. your corpus), and explain why you’ve chosen either a tree, graph, or map approach to your project.

PS I’ve changed our motherblog theme and tweaked some things to make the forum easier to use.  Let’s see how this theme works.

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For Tuesday (3/1)

silhouette with a question mark vector illusration

On Tuesday, we’ll continue playing with Palladio.

You’ll also want to blog about a a proposed project involving Moretti-style trees, graphs, or maps.  Think about what kinds of questions you might ask about a genre (the most important element of literary history for Moretti).  Or, think about how genre – – and the tools Moretti uses to analyze genre (trees, graphs, and maps) – – might help you to pose new questions a text you’re already familiar with.  Your blog post should explain the question(s) you’re interested in pursuing, the project, and how a tree, graph, or map might help you to answer your question(s).  Some other questions to consider: what kind of corpus would you use? what makes your choice of Moretti’s distant reading techniques – – map, tree, graph – – appropriate for your question and your corpus?

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