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  • Ceasar outside of Rome … Crossing the Rubicon
  • Ceasar outside of Rome … Crossing the Rubicon
  • http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/datablog/2010/apr/29/mcchrystal-afghanistan-powerpoint-slide#zoomed-picture
  • Compare Guernica image to this …
  • Here’s a way to think about post moderminsm. See http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VF8dm9sK8as&feature=youtu.be&t=5m Or http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VF8dm9sK8as&feature=youtu.be&t=8m30s
  • http://valley.lib.virginia.edu/VoS/choosepart.html
  • http://www2.vcdh.virginia.edu/AHR/


  • 1. Hypertext and History Prof. Alvarado MDST 3703 1 October 2013
  • 2. Business • Quizzes due before class on Thursday
  • 3. Review: Text • We began by looking at texts as isolated units – stories, folktales, myths, dramas, etc. • We showed how texts have been modeled digitally, e.g. by OHCO, XML, TEI, HTML • We also saw that the individual text is not simple – It has levels: Structure, Content, and Style – It has overlapping structures
  • 4. Review: Hypertext • Last week, we saw that when viewed from the perspective of the library, this model breaks down • Texts appear more as intersections in a network of lexia rather than as stand-alone objects • The idea of hypertext decomposes the unitary text as a temporary formation within a universe of possibilities (the Library)
  • 5. This week, we move from modeling the text to the text as model Text as a model of history How are history and text related?
  • 6. Historians tells stories Stories, according to Aristotle, describe action What kind of action?
  • 7. [The Action of Heroes]
  • 8. So, histories tells stories about people They are also written from different perspectives and motivations What are some kinds of perspectives?
  • 9. [Great man theory] The Great Man theory of history
  • 10. Historical Materialism
  • 11. Christian Eschatology
  • 12. It’s Complicated http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/datablog/2010/apr/29/mcchrystal-afghanistan-powerpoint- slide#zoomed-picture
  • 13. Are these kinds of history told in the same way?
  • 14. Is there a connection between medium and message? Let’s take art as an example
  • 15. [Napoleon]
  • 16. Picasso’s Guernica (1937) [Guernica]
  • 17. Ayer’s book, The Promise of the New South, tries to create this kind of experience in textual form How does the book do it?
  • 18. Open vs. Fixed Narrative • Fixed narrative – Traditional, linear story showing cause-and-effect or logical sequence – Makes an argument • Open narrative – Many narratives – Questions of cause-and-effect left open, argument left to the reader to surmise
  • 19. [Quote]
  • 20. To move away from this
  • 21. What from this course does this opposition remind you of?
  • 22. The problem of overlap Competing narratives are like overlapping structures OHCO : Fixed Narrative :: Structure : Content
  • 23. What media form does Ayers develop after Promise?
  • 24. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. (from Psalm 23)
  • 25. The Valley of the Shadow moves beyond Promise toward open narrative model The database as radical hypertext
  • 26. Back story: IATH • Institute for Advanced Technology in the Humanities http://www.iath.virginia.edu • Established in 1992 • Funded by IBM • VOS one of two founding projects • A demonstration project for IBM; pitched as "as a research library in a box, enabling students at places without a large archive to do the same kind of research as a professional historian."
  • 27. The Library/Archive Metaphor
  • 28. What does the site contain?
  • 29. What’s in the Archive • Content – Thousands of primary sources – Newpapers, letters, diaries, maps, images, gov docs • Coverage – Space: Augusta Co, VA and Franklin Co, PA – Time: 1859 to 1870 • “Value-added” Interfaces – Search and browse – Timelines – Animations • http://valley.lib.virginia.edu/VoS/MAPDEMO/Theater/TheTheater. html – Resources for using the site
  • 30. How hypertextual is the site? How is “associative indexing” handled? (Associative indexing described by Bush as function of Memex)
  • 31. Site Structure • Organized hierarchically • Terminal nodes (lexia) not connected laterally • No cross-site searching • Minimal narrative
  • 32. Does the site fulfill the goals of open narrative?
  • 33. No, Ayers put too much faith in the database to produce the desired effects
  • 34. The Differences Slavery Made An experimental form of historical publication created in response to criticisms of VOTS
  • 35. “an applied experiment in digital scholarship”
  • 36. What is the specific problem that TDSM tries to solve? What was the experiment about?
  • 37. To give full access to the scholarly argument and its evidence And to relate the two
  • 38. How were these problems addressed by Differences?
  • 39. Technology • XML is used to organize content – The is is made from one big XML file, 24,000 lines long – XML used to markup sources and argument • XSL is used to transform content – We are not learning XSL, but it is similar to CSS but more powerful • GIS is used for map data – Geographic Information Systems – Allows maps to display statistical data
  • 40. Devices used by TDSM • Narrative overlay (the Argument) • References provided links to lexia (Historiography and Evidence) • Conventions for making citations • Content divided into broad groups, reflecting the craft of history
  • 41. Major Categories of Site Content • Narrative – Summary of argument – Points of analysis • Historiography – Secondary sources – Annotated bibliographic references • Evidence – Primary sources – Documents – Tables (data) – Maps (This exposes a model of how history is done)
  • 42. Site Structure • Hierarchy with links – Menu A: Introduction, Summary, Points, Methods – Menu B: Evidence, Historiography, Tools – Each menu item has sub-menus • How does Differences connect to Valley?
  • 43. Darnton’s Pyramid Concise account Expanded versions of aspects Documentation with interpretive essays Theoretical and historiographical material Pedagogic material
  • 44. Core TDSM “Prismatic” Structure Historiography Points of Analysis Evidence Summary of Argument VOS
  • 45. How hypertextual is the site? How is “associative indexing” handled?
  • 46. Categories used to organize content • Geography • Politics – Election of 1860 – Political activtivists • Economics – Commerce – Crops – Labor – Property • Social structure • Race • Culture – Religion – Education (“school”) – Urbanization (“Town Development”) • Information and communications
  • 47. Categories used to organize content • Geography • Politics – Election of 1860 – Political activtivists • Economics – Commerce – Crops – Labor – Property • Social structure • Race • Culture – Religion – Education (“school”) – Urbanization (“Town Development”) • Information and communications Missed opportunity?
  • 48. Criticisms • Nothing inherently hypertextual about the site • Thesis is not that complicated – Modernity and slavery not opposites • Why not put exhibits inline? • Why not show points of comparison in context? – Need for transclusion • Why explain relationship in historiography? Why not create links or use tags?
  • 49. Criticism • Worst of both worlds – Neither random access nor rich narrative – Exploits neither the potentials of a real library or a digital library • Document-centric – Subject matter remains buried in the documents • It’s strength is in the integrity of the materials • But criticized for being difficult to use • Is it scholarship?
  • 50. Themes • The site exposes the process of history as a form of storytelling • We move from narrative to database to hyper- narrative • How would you improve the site?