Canadian Humanities Computing 2004: The Spaces and Places of Technology
Maximiliaan Van Woudenberg, ed.
Sheridan Institute of Technology
|||| http://www3.sympatico.ca/maximiliaan/ |||| About the Editor
CHWP April 2009. © Editors of CHWP 2009.
Table of Contents
- CUNNINGHAM, Richard
(September 2008). “Coincidental Technologies: Moving Parts in Early
Books and in Early Hypertext”. CHWP A.47.
- GIBSON, Susan
(April 2009). “A Web of Possibilities: Faculty Sharing Ideas For
Technology Integration In Teaching”. CHWP A.48.
- GUERTIN, Carolyn
(April 2009). “From Complicity to Interactivity: Theories of Feminist
Game Play”. CHWP A.49.
- JUNKER, Marie-Odile and
Radu LUCHIAN (April 2009). “The
eastcree.org Web Databases: Participatory Action Research with
Information Technology”. CHWP A.50.
- SIEMENS, Ray
(April 2009). “Playing 'Shame': One Technique for Introducing Text
Analysis to the Literary Studies Classroom”. CHWP A.51.
- SINCLAIR, Don (April 2009). “The database as a vehicle for reconceiving place through
the new media art interface”. CHWP A.52.
The title, "The Spaces and Places of Technology," aptly describes the
unifying thread running through the articles in this issue, as well as
the technical and logistical challenges experienced in assembling it.
After some delay, comprised of a server crash and a few other
unforeseen technical problems, this issue of CHWP has finally found a
virtual space online. On the upside of technology, and in tune with the
issue's theme of the spaces and places of technology, Bill Winder (CHWP
Editor) and I facilitated our editorial communications via video
conferencing-a successful practice to bridge our different workspaces
and places; although the mediation of time differences in Canada and
the European Union was sometimes a real challenge.
This issue embodies a wide-array of articles exploring the various ways
in which technology occupies spaces and places in society as well as
how technology can unify and bridge these places and spaces.
In his article, Richard Cunningham bridges book history and
electronic publishing. Focusing on "mobile books" (i.e. books with
moveable parts) during the incunabula period, the reader is made aware
of books as technology which is sometimes overlooked in our own
electronically saturated society. In fact, Cunningham's research
provides a dual articulation: one an investigation into the book
history of mobile books-most notably Sacrobosco's Tractatus de spheara,
Peter Apian's Cosmogrpahia, and Richard Eden's The Arte of Navigation.
And, secondly, his comments on editorial principles of electronic
publishing aiming at producing an electronic edition of The Arte of
Navigation, include "Flash-enabled animations that require assembly and
that require the reader to manipulate the image after its assembly."
This is a most remarkable achievement in Humanities Computing as well
as for scholars of book history. Technically, these Flash-Animations
overcome the challenges of reproducing circular movements and objects
in computing environments that are mostly dependent on programming
square pixels. Scholarly, the user-interface enables the contemporary
reader/user to embody the space and place of a sixteenth-century reader
in their interaction with this intriguing text.
The first of the two articles in this issue to examine
technology and pedagogy, Susan E. Gibson's "A Web of Possibilities:
Faculty Sharing Ideas for Technology Integration in Teaching" discusses
how to create places and spaces for the sharing of "innovative teaching
methods." Since many instructors rely on "personal networks
and?manuals" for the integration of technology, Gibson provides an
overview of a model for an institutional website of "online tools and
resources." Interestingly, as Gibson outlines, such a website itself
needs to incorporate pedagogical strategies to realize the teaching and
learning instructors envision.
Carolyn Guertin's article, "From Complicity to Interactivity:
Theories of Feminist Game Play," explores the places subjectivity and
agency occupy in game spaces. "In an interactive environment," Guertin
argues, "subjectivity becomes motion, becomes the way we move and the
choices we make through our embodied location in space." Her analysis
of the use of embodiment in feminist computer games, specifically Diana
Reed Slattery's Glide, theorizes that through "interactive spaces, we
construct the text as we play within its walls, with our choices
forming the topology of the space of our voyaging." Rather that
post-modern theory which at times appropriates the technological moment
selectively as a verification of its own theoretical preoccupations, by
considering how feminist theory interfuses game practice, Guertin
presents an intriguing perspective of the possibility of theory and
technology engaging each other.
Marie-Odile Junker and Radu Luchian present their work on "The
eastcree.org Web Databases." To preserve the East Cree language, spoken
by "13 000 speakers spread over 9 different communities and a vast
geographical area" the implementation of information technology can be
of great assistance. Junker and Lachian explain their customization of
computer technology to accommodate many technical challenges, such as
the syllabics writing system of Cree, and preserving oral records in
numerous sound files. Their work in this area provides a model for
preserving language and culture.
In our second article to explore technology and pedagogy, Ray
Siemens presents a model for introducing text analysis to the literary
classroom. Siemens schematizes how adapting the "literary parlour game
most famous as 'Humiliation' (also called 'Shame'?)" can introduce
students to computer assisted text analysis. Through preparing a
Textbase and discussing basic analysis, students learn strategies to
explore and forge connections between collocates and the text. Siemens
makes clear that this method is "no substitute for thoughtful reading,"
but fosters students, even technologically-savy ones, to apply a method
in using contemporary technologies to analyze literary texts.
The final paper literally explores "those everyday spaces."
Don Sinclair's "Database, place and the new media art interface" traces
his daily bike-commutes over a 15-month period through the "gathering
[of] about 30,000 images and 80,000 GPS (Global Positioning System)
locations and hourly weather data from 3 local stations" into a
structured database. A unique project, both in substance and structure,
Sinclair overcomes the difficulty of databasing such two-dimensional
spatial data resulting in a fully querying database that returns
"sonified data" through a time-lapse video of images.