I’m a student research fellow at Ryerson University’s Centre for Digital Humanities, and Tuesday happens to be my weekly CDH workday!
A bit about the CDH: the Centre emerged in the wake of The Yellow Nineties Online, an open access, peer-reviewed electronic resource for The Yellow Book and other avant-garde periodicals of late-nineteenth-century Britain. The lead investigators of the Y90s project, Lorraine Janzen Kooistra and Dennis Denisoff, founded a DH research centre with other Ryerson faculty and affiliates to nurture Ryerson’s growing DH community. Today, Lorraine Janzen Kooistra and Dennis Denisoff co-direct the centre with Jason Boyd; the CDH has over a dozen members and has supported many more undergrad and grad student RAs. The CDH’s Ryerson studio is a crucial hub for our DH community, though much of what we do happens off site—in other offices, in cafes, at home—as is probably the case for many DH folks.
Today I’ll blog about current projects and regular CDH tasks, taking lots of pictures of what I’m up to and sharing posts that other CDH members have written about their recent work. My own workday begins at 6:30, after I have made the day’s first cup of coffee. I take a moment to enjoy the first few sips on my front porch, marvelling at early summer sunlight, birdsong, and the morning glory vines that already threaten to take over the yard.
Then I bring my coffee inside, put on an Rdio playlist, and get to computering! I’m fortunate to be able to undertake some of my research at home, so I can forestall the morning commute to Ryerson, located in the heart of downtown Toronto, until after the first a.m. rush of cyclists. First tasks of the day: the CDH Twitter feed, emails, and browsing the Day of DH community of blogs. I’m blown away by the array of DDH participants; I’d be interested to see what the actual numbers are, if anyone knows them.
I’ve recently taken over the Centre’s Twitter activities. I had no interest in Twitter until my first Digital Humanities Summer Institute a few years ago; I quickly realized that I’d be missing out on a whole layer of academic and social engagement if I didn’t at least start eavesdropping on the DHSI Twitter feed. Twitter has become one of the top social media platforms for DH conversation, promotion, and info dissemination. For the CDH, Twitter allows us to promote the ideas of our community—CDH members, other DH research centres and projects—and participate in the broader knowledge exchange that happens so quickly and on such a large scale among tweeting. digital humanists. As someone fairly new to managing an institutional Twitter account (two, actually! @RUCDH and @Y90sOnline), my Twitter activity always feels akin to dipping my hand in the ocean and splashing a little water around as the waves roll past. I suppose this is a feature of idea exchange at the level of hyper-reading. There is always so much more out there.
After I promote Day of DH 2015 and our own DDH blog on Twitter, I put together the day’s task list: revise the Yellow Nineties Online list of xml IDs for contributors to the magazines featured on the website; revisit the practical and theoretical difficulties of our Yellow Nineties personography as I develop a prototype in TEI; and of course, participate in the Day of DH!