Patricia Cohen articles

The “spatial humanities” mentioned in the “Geographic Information Systems” is an excellent resource for classrooms. For example, the National Library of Spain now has an interactive webpage for Don Quixote, mapping out his adventures with citations from the text. This is clearly an area of scholarship that can take classic literature, classic battles, classic event, etc., and bring them to life on the internet in a way never seen before. I can imagine, for example, an interactive geographical website demonstrating┬áNapoleon’s invasion of Russia as described in War and Peace.

“Giving Literature Virtual Life” describes a Shakespeare class as recreated in a digital format. While the idea is certainly fascinating, I feel a bit more skeptical of this course. That is, there seems to be playing down the rich universe of human emotions that Shakespeare was so brilliant at capturing in his characters. Not to mention the skill of acting and interpreting those emotions in a┬álive format. That seems to me the true heart and soul of a Shakespeare play.

In the article “For Bentham and Others…,” the “crowd-sourcing” method of transcribing handwritten documents is an interesting historical endeavor. Clearly using the internet instead of physical archives saves times and money for research. But the question, as raised in the article, is “can anyone do this”? While there are clear merits in having the transcribed versions, I’m curious if it would be better just to put the original material online and let researchers read for themselves?

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