Greetings all. To start in the confessional mode…: my name’s Elton Barker and I’m a lecturer in Classical Studies at the Open University. That means that I study and teach all things ancient Greek and Roman – from language and literature to pictures on pots and the ideas that underpin the culture.
I’m prepared to accept that classics might not strike everyone as being particularly sexy and even less to do with the modern world. So, why am I starting a blog? Well, the immediate answer is that I’m curious to get feedback on a project that I’m currently running. Project HESTIA is using the latest ICT to explore the world of an ancient Greek historian (called Herodotus) and to bring that world into everybody’s home. (For more info go to: http://www.open.ac.uk/Arts/hestia/index.html.) Therefore, I’d like to use this blog, at least initially, to tell the story of how this project came about and of the journey on which it’s taken us. But, since we’re making use of the latest ICT (a digital text, web-mapping tools including GoogleEarth, etc), I hope too that our experiences may prove of interest or even of benefit for anyone else venturing out of their dusty library into the world wide web.
Questions that this blog will endeavour to discuss over the forthcoming months include the following:
- Can only established scholars afford to blog?
- I dig hums, do you? What digital humanities can – and can’t – do for you.
- Where will the infrastructure to support digital projects come from? Considering top-down and bottom-up models.
- What happens when the money runs out? – and other horror stories arising from questions of sustainability.
- I’m excited by having Herodotus in GoogleEarth – but will the cool kids be? Trying to make our data exciting and reusable.
- How much ICT do you need to know to be a digital humanist?
- The university of the air: what’s the potential to use the web to engage the public with our research, and how can we do it better?
I’ll also try to describe and comment on seminars, meetings or other projects that catch my eye. But, as with any such venture, this blog will only work if you get involved. So, comments and suggestions will always be welcome, starting now. Together I hope that we’ll make this both interesting and even fun.