My 2018 Reading Review

For 2018, I collected data on a few new aspects of my reading. I’ll look at those first, and then dig in to the comparisons to 2017 and 2016. The full list of everything I read is, as always, on Goodreads.

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My 2017 Reading Review

I track all of the books I read over at Goodreads, which gives me some great base data to examine my reading each year. They make a fun “year in books” page to kick things off with:

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Crosspost: Troubleshooting an assignment that almost worked

I’ve recently wrapped up teaching my first-ever class as a sole instructor, a summer session of The Digital Text. I’ll be reflecting on some parts of that process over at HASTAC, beginning with troubleshooting an essay prompt that almost worked.

(Archived version of that link here, captured Dec 29, 2018, to prevent linkrot.)

Crosspost: Professor Hélène Palma on Lady Hester Stanhope

I had the honour of interviewing Professor Hélène Palma for “Cosmopolitanism in the Archive,” a blog connecting papers for the CSECS & NEASECS 2017 conference with holdings in the Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library. Professor Palma provides a fascinating introduction to Lady Hester Stanhope, an eccentric female traveler who settled in the Middle East. Veronica Litt, who organized the blog, adds a description and photographs of Robert Wood’s The Ruins of Palmyra, otherwise known as Tedmore in the Desart (1753; call number: FO-1 00302), one of my favourite holdings at the Fisher. Please take a look!

Vintage “small data”: playing with an Index to Tears

I love indexes. They’re like spreadsheets in disguise, (and as previously established, I love spreadsheets). So when I was reading Henry Mackenzie’s Man of Feeling (1771) for my special fields exam, and I noticed that the Victorian edition digitized for Project Gutenberg included an “index to tears” for the novel… well, I got a little carried away.

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Spreadsheet tools as interpretive middleware

When friends ask me how to get started in “digital humanities” research, I usually suggest making a spreadsheet. Frankly, when my friends ask me how to think through any kind of problem, I usually recommend making a spreadsheet. This is because “spreadsheeting” is a particular way of thinking.

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