All posts by aeblack

Writing Assignment 2: Bath Scene Archive Review

The Anime Bath Scene Wiki[1] uses the standard wikia format to catalog every bath scene from anime, manga, films, and video games. Despite that somewhat comical premise, the website maintains a sense of credibility. The basic site does not allow images of nudity and explicitly states that on the homepage. However, they do offer a link to a version of the website that allows explicit material.

To add to this credibility, every bath scene page provides the episode or volume number associated with it to ensure that, given interest, anyone could check whether that work actually had a bath scene. As well as providing a wealth of bathing scenes in the archive, they provide explanations of the terminology on other pages of the wikia. To make this inclusion clear to new users, they display “Featured Content,” which provides an image, abbreviated description, and link to a random term, alongside “Featured Bather” and “Featured Bath Scene” on the front page. Those features make the site navigable for any new user.

While I have not read every page on the wikia yet, the writing on the pages I have sampled reinforces that clarity by being simple and direct. Any interested party could both find their favorite anime bath scene on the site through the search engine or categories on the drop-down lists on the top of the page and read the site’s description. They organized every bath scene by date of release with timelines provided and by media including anime, manga, and video games. A “Content” drop-down list also provides links to all of the terminology used on the wikia.

Because of the wikia design, the site feels modern even though it was created 8 years ago. Also, due to the nature of wikias, an anonymous online community runs the site. While this sacrifices credibility by not being a professional project, it allows manipulability on the part of the user. An interested user could easily join the community and help with updating the site as new bath scenes come out every year. For more direct interactivity, the site provides a discussion board in which you may discuss your favorite bath scenes.

Due to the anonymous community, the site definitely has some problems. Some pages I sampled were comically terse, while others included links without destinations on the site. However, for such an absurd project, the website has a professional quality as an unexpected digital humanities archive. It hits all major points for a digital humanities archive. Anyone within reason may easily read the content and navigate the site. The website looks and feels modern with a color scheme, blue and white, that supports its argument. They even have community interaction with forums. Overall, I give this project a 10/10 for content and an 8/10 for display.

[1] “Anime Bath Scene Wiki.” Anime Bath Scene Wiki | Fandom powered by Wikia. Accessed February 14, 2017. http://animebaths.wikia.com/wiki/Main_Page.

Writing Assignment 1: What is Digital Humanities?

Fundamentally, digital humanities (DH) is the process of using modern technology to organize and interpret the humanities. This simplified definition follows directly from our discussions in class of process over product with respect to DH. Also, in discussion, we considered how every DH project argues for something, so we could ask what a project argues to generate an initial understanding. Then, because of the focus on process, we discussed how those projects argue. Asking how one may argue allows us to explore the new methods in which we may use technology to make arguments. That distinction of asking how separates projects concerning DH from manipulation of those projects for daily tasks such as reading emails or checking social media.

However, this distinction seemingly contradicts the view that DH is a spectrum [1] that extends to all people. However, to say DH is a spectrum and leave it there, while inclusive, is dangerously reductive, which, again, we brought up briefly in class discussion. If everyone is a digital humanist, then no one is a digital humanist, and that invalidates the work that digital humanists do. In defining DH, we question what digital humanists do. Based on the DH Resources guide from the blackboard page for our class, that answer also varies extensively. In that case, why define DH at all? The work done overwhelmingly varies, and even the website, whatisdigitalhumanities.com, [2] cannot provide a consistent answer with input from hundreds of professionals.

Based on the variety of articles we read and discussed, DH needs definition and distinction from the humanities, because humanities scholars refused to acknowledge technology as a relevant tool. Mullen [1] noticed this and pointed out a common distinction between the traditional scholar and digital humanist, where traditional scholars viewed their work as more meaningful due to their classical methodology. DH arrived as a reaction to the denial of modern technology’s usefulness in the humanities, but as the compass and straightedge became the Texas Instruments graphing calculator, the humanities have evolved from the writing of text to the Library of Babel [3]. Thus, DH is a natural extension of the humanities given a title to advertise the power of modern tools to traditional scholars.

[1] Mullen, Author Lincoln. “Digital humanities is a spectrum; or, we’re all digital humanists now.” The Backward Glance. January 14, 2017. Accessed February 06, 2017. http://lincolnmullen.com/blog/digital-humanities-is-a-spectrum-or-we8217re-all-digital-humanists-now/

[2] Heppler, Jason A. “What Is Digital Humanities?” What Is Digital Humanities? Accessed February 06, 2017. http://whatisdigitalhumanities.com/.

[3] Borges, Jonathan Basile Jorge Luis. “Library of Babel.” Library of Babel. Accessed February 06, 2017. https://libraryofbabel.info/.

DH Project Analysis: Mapping the Republic of Letters

What kind of files, data, objects are being used in the project in question?

  • The connections were made by referring to letters received and sent by different philosophers
  • Literature publications by different  
  • GPS and images of a world map

What’s the project research question? Or, questions?

  • Over the period of the enlightenment, what was the intellectual social network between different philosophers?
  • How can we visually display these networks?

What tools are being used? Created?

  • They created visual maps to display the network between these individuals
  • The creators of this project used traditional geographic maps, which are familiar, and added another layer of visual representation to display the networks.

What methods are being undertaken?

They used a graph theory model in conjunction with GPS to display the correspondences. In particular, they developed a weighted graph with a central vertex on a person of interest, such as John Locke. They then placed vertices at the locations of each of that person’s correspondences and an edge between those locations and the person. Finally, they magnified that edge based on the number of letters sent through the correspondence it represents.

Alex Black, Heson Oh