Glancing over the latest issue of a certain classics journal that came to my door, and seeing nothing terribly interesting or new, I got to thinking . . . The web has made it possible to publish scholarly work in new ways, and that’s certainly what DCC is trying to do. Classical commentary is one of the oldest genres out there. What are some other types of scholarship that classicists could usefully embrace in the digital realm? How can we leverage digital media to make progress? Herewith, three suggestions. I’d love to hear more!
1. Critical reflections on pedagogy and descriptions of innovative teaching technique using digital tools. Pedagogy discussions in our field happen predominantly in informal venues like listservs and at conferences. The online journal Teaching Classical Languages (http://tcl.camws.org/) is a leader in making these important and interesting discussions more widely available and subjecting them to some peer review. What if we could do that not just with a traditional article, but with video, audio, and ancillary materials provided?
2. Distant Reading, a la Moretti’s Graphs, Maps, Trees. (“argues heretically that literature scholars should stop reading books and start counting, graphing, and mapping them instead.”) What can statistical analysis of classical texts, and the graphical display of that data, show us that is new and interesting? There is not much of this yet in classics as far as I know, but digital tools are making it more possible. Publishing it in digital form would allow for full publication of data and many more illustrations/vizualizations than in traditional print media. Related to this but more broad is . . .
3. Visualization projects (infographics etc.) made by scholars and conveying scholarly perspectives on the ancient world. These could be literary, or come from archaeologists and historians. Here again, as far as I am aware there is not much happening at the moment (but I’m not an archaeologist). Ramsay MacMullen did some fascinating work along these lines with inscriptional evidence. What can be done with coin hordes, word counts, anything countable that relates to the ancient world?