Courses in the Transcriptions project are designed not just to teach humanities students information technology skills but to integrate those skills with the themes of the curriculum (see Project Rationale). This course uses the following information technologies:
Graduate students in Transcriptions courses have access to the Transcriptions computing studio. They are encouraged to learn the concepts and software involved in Web-authoring at their own pace. (More on access to Transcriptions studio.)
General philosophy regarding technology in this course: Because much of the information technology used in the Transcriptions project is new to the humanities (and it is being personally configured, coded, or designed by Transcriptions instructors and research assistants), there are sure to be glitches, gotchas, and bugs. This is not a problem but an opportunity. Transcriptions -- and this course on "The Culture of Information" in particular -- encourages a philosophical approach to the experience of information technology. Problems should be reflected upon in the context of the overall life of contemporary information. For instance, if you are having trouble accessing a site or are experiencing delays, how might those practical problems be related to larger issues of access or time in contemporary culture? Why is the delay of a minute now so frustrating compared to the delays of days, weeks, or months that societies in the past accepted as part of the normal rhythm of human communication? "Reflecting" on technical problems is perhaps in the last analysis more a matter of attitude than of deliberate thought. In his Zen Computer, Philip Toshio Sudo suggests that as you sit down to boot up your computer you should first acknowledge it and what it means: "Before you start and after you finish working, make this one simple gesture toward your computer: Give it a nod" (fuller quote).