little bit’a coding, little bit’a conversation

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?

About chad black

Assistant Prof. of Latin American History at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Bonafide, qualified, with a story to tell.

3 thoughts on “little bit’a coding, little bit’a conversation

  1. I am only understanding about half of what you just posted, but I think that I am, in theory, in favor of your session idea. Unless I would, in real life, understand less than half of it.

  2. As a die-hard early modernist (if one who focuses on the other side of the Atlantic), I heartily approve of this conversation and would love to be part of it. I’d add that the challenges of studying the period–large swaths of the population not leaving written records of their lives, different understandings of even basic notions of identity, etc–are methodological challenges that might be akin to those trying to examine the full range of today’s cultures.

  3. While I don’t know that I have much to contribute to the conversation, it sounds like something fascinating to listen to. I’m curious about the coding, however. What was the advantage of moving to static sites and away from CMS’d installs (which I’m assuming you’d run before)? I’d certainly be interested to learn from you about how to do this.

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