This last year, I moved all my course sites to static sites generated with hyde, a python site generator inspired by ruby’s jekyll. Together with Twitter’s bootstrap framework, one can make a pretty attractive and functional site, publishable through a simple git or hg push. Even better, if we can figure out what to do with pdfs that need to be password protected, one could move the course site to github, making them totally forkable. So, a session on static site generators could make for some fun hacking.
On the conversation front, and piggy-backing on some of the ideas in Trevor’s proposal, I’m interested in the way that digital work and objects of study can open new paths to understanding the long ago past. In many ways, the period we find ourselves in has close analogues to issues early modernists deal with frequently: 1. dispersed networks of power; 2. virtual presences; 3. spectrums of identity; 4. imprecise orthography; 5. textual protocols and mediations; 6. revolutionary transformation of communications infrastructure; etc. How do the two periods, broadly considered, open new ways of understanding each other?