[CHWP Titles] [CHC 2004]

Canadian Humanities Computing 2004: The Spaces and Places of Technology

Maximiliaan Van Woudenberg, ed.

Sheridan Institute of Technology

maximiliaan.vanwoudenberg@sheridaninstitute.ca |||| http://www3.sympatico.ca/maximiliaan/ |||| About the Editor

 

CHWP April 2009. Editors of CHWP 2009.


Table of Contents


Introduction

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.