Soldier Speak

Michael Ellis's North Carolina English, 1861-1865: A Guide and Glossary is now available from the University of Tennessee Press. Ellis's book is the result of painstaking research into the letters of North Carolina soldiers who wrote "by ear." eHistory's Common Tongues project will make these letters available in the coming months.

A Virtual Cotton Club

University of Arizona assistant professor Bryan Carter is partnering with open source Utherverse to create a virtual version of Harlem's famed Cotton Club. Utherverse also hopes to build a virtual Montmartre, the famed district of Paris.

We Are All Scientists?

In an intriguing New Republic piece, Steven Pinker argues that science is not a subject but a methodology. Humanists, then, should embrace their inner scientist as they once did in the Age of Reason.

NEH DH Start-Up Grant Recipients Announced

The National Endowment for the Humanities has announced the 23 recipients of this year's digital humanities start-up grants. While one cannot generalize from the results of a single set of recipients, it is worth noting that eight of the twenty-three successful proposals had an historical component. The digital approaches varied widely from the creation of a digital studio for the optical and chemical analysis of fifteenth-century books to a game prototype based on the 1936 Negro Motorist Green Book, an advice guide for African Americans traveling in the Jim Crow South. Topic modeling and network mapping were dominant methodologies. Topic modeling approaches included a web-based metadata visualization tool that would be first tested on abolitionist newspapers, and Ted Underwood's literary genre-mapping-over-time project, the subject of an earlier blog entry. Network mapping approaches included mapping the social and professional networks of Renaissance musicians and mapping the reprint networks of nineteenth century American newspapers.

Dissertating in the Digital Age, continued

A consortium of graduate programs has announced the creation of the Praxis Network. All programs are "engaged in rethinking pedagogy and campus partnerships in relation to the digital." One promises to equip knowledge workers for faculty positions "at a moment when new questions can be asked and new systems built." Another intends to produce "thought leaders for the future of the field." And a third hopes to "provide an arena" in which students "can learn about new digital scholarship." While a little vague at present, the laudable point of all this is to nudge the occasional humanist from a "lone wolf" model of monograph production to a collaborative research model of pooled resources (financial and intellectual) and the production of larger projects that may outlive and outgrow their creators.