Cut and Paste, Then and Now

Last week, we had the rare opportunity to chat with this year’s Andrew W. Mellon Undergraduate Fellows in the Humanities thanks to Kimberly Kolor, a fellow who is also in the Hoesley Digital Literacy Fellows Program. We prepared by brainstorming around this year’s theme of “Color”, a wonderfully flexible and creative theme indeed. Vickie Karasic, Katie Rawson and Rebecca Stuhr joined me in providing a whirlwind tour of tools (Artemis, Instagram, Gephi, Excel, PhotoShop, and more). We talked about how fast the tools are changing, and how one is never really ever up-to-date. As I was listening to the students describe individual research projects and the presenters explain how digital humanities tools make new types of inquiry possible, I was struck once again by how useful metaphors can be for sense-making across contexts and disciplines. In a recent post on the Schoenberg Institute’s blog for example, Dot Porter provides a beautifully detailed tour of reuse and adaptation over the centuries. I loved this image of medieval cut-and-paste followed swiftly by find-and-replace in XML. As we explore ways to “mashup” video and images, I wonder if future generations will look through our creations, painstakingly reconstruct the steps we took, and speculate about our motivations and logic!

One thought on “Cut and Paste, Then and Now

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s