Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Blogosphere 7 November-13 November

Below is a subjective—painfully incomplete—list of what happened last week in the academic blogosphere. I have put the individual items of the list into three categories: Early Modern Studies, Digital Humanities and Others, although I am aware that this categorization is erroneous, as whatever appears in the Early Modern set, may also appear in the Digital Humanities as well, since everything that is listed under Early Modern Studies is related to the digital world, thus with a generous heart could be related to Digital Humanities as well. For the sake of helping those who will read this review, still I have distinguished between these categories with the principle in mind that if a blog-post is related in any ways to EMS, it will end up in that category, and those DH posts that focus on aspects of DH and have nothing to do with EMS will be placed in the DH category. The third category consists of items that belong to neither categories, such as posts or applications that I have come across and found beneficial.

Early Modern Studies:

Last week seemed to revolve around Shakespeare, which may be due to the tempest around the authorship debate. Statistically speaking the next issue is Early Modern Philosophy focusing on questions of angelology and Newton’s natural philosophy.

1-2. Sylvia Morris contributed with two posts to Shakespeare in the blogosphere. First The Shakespeare blog hits 100!” she announced that she has arrived at the 100th blog post at The Shakespeare Blog. Congratulations to her for this. 
Second her next post discusses Robin Hood before, in, and after Shakespeare. Robin Hood and Shakespeare.

3. Holger Syme: Shakespearean Mythbusting II: The Fantasy of Astonishing Erudition is the authors second post in his Shakespearean Mythbusting series, in which the author argues against the anti-Stratfordian position in the authorship debate triggered by the release of Anonymous. In this second post, Holger Syme clarifies the claim that “Shakespeare wasn’t immensely erudite,” along with arguing for Shakespeare’s linguistic virtuosity, his knowledge of foreign languages, sources of information.

4. Paul Edmondson’s post “Creating Shakespeare’s Life”  at Blogging Shakespeare calls attention to Graham Holderness’s book, Nine Lives of William Shakespeare, along with an audio recording where the Holderness speaks about his book.

5-6. Stefan Heßbrüggen-Walter published two posts in his Early Modern Angels series at Early Modern Thought Online: the Blog. This week he published part 3: Early Modern Angels (III): Natural and supernatural angels in Leibniz, focusing now on Leibniz (after Hobbes and Descartes, the champions of the previous posts), and number 4: Early Modern Angels (IV): The ‘Fundamental Angelological Problem’, i.e. a post the draws the conclusions following from the previous three parts. In this post, last but one in the series, he explores the problem of integrating angels into a world view with mechanistic underpinnings.

6. Joad Raymond’s obituary at Early Modern News Networks is a moving post about Kevin Sharpe (1949-2011) who passed away on 5 November 2011. Kevin Sharpe was a scholar of Early Modern culture focusing on many aspects of Early Modern Studies with books from a monograph on Sir Robert Cotton (1979), to his outstanding Reading Revolutions (2000).

7. At Early Modern Experimental Philosophy one may read an illuminating post “The Aims of Newton’s Natural Philosophy,” exploring the difference between “what Newton wants to achieve, and what he thinks he can achieve” with reference to the General Scholium to the Principia (1713).

Digital Humanities:

The DH posts meditate about reform in higher education, on the importance of social media in academic blogging, on academic blogging, theory, web searches and historical research in the digital environment.

1. Bethany Nowviskie, published her “it starts on day one“ on the reform of Higher Education.

2-3. Digital Humanities Now featured last week—among many other things—two interesting posts listing contributions to two topics. One is entitled “OpenAccess and Social Media” gathering six fascinating takes on “the effects of social media on open access scholarship” at . The second one, “Digital Humanities and Theory Round-up Part II,” refers to fourteen posts illuminating different aspects of the relationship between DH and theory.

4. Natalia Cecire, who is a postdoctoral fellow at the Fox Center for Humanistic Inquiry at Emory University, showcases an interesting discussion on Twitter triggered by Patrick Murray-John’s post “Theory, DH, and Noticing.” This post rightly captures and presents the advantages of a scholarly discussion disciplined by the 140-character limitation.

4. Laura Larsell’s post “How Hashtagging the Web Could Improve Our Collective Intelligence” at Mashable discusses the advantages of the decision of the Library of Congress (2010) to archive tweets, and meditates about web searches functioning similarly to searches with hashtags in Twitter.

5. Tim Hitchcock in his “Historyonics” problematizes the discipline of history as is practiced in the digital age via claiming that historians “have restricted themselves to asking only the kind of questions books can answer.”

6. Dan Dohen highlights two writings on academic blogging in his “Evans and Cebula on Academic Blogging.”


What I found the most interesting cloud-based service last week was Spideroak, which is similar to Dropbox in a variety of respects.

1. Those who are of losing their documents, and are not friends of Dropbox, should check out Spideroak. Spideroak is similar to Dropbox, in many respects, such as offering 2 GB for free, automatic synchronisation, but for Spideroak one does not have to create a separate folder as with Dropbox, but clicks on the folders to be stored in the cloud as well and Spideroak does the rest.

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