Students in this year’s Digital Humanities Studio (DGHM 150): Archaeology in a Digital Age have spent the first half of the semester critically examining digital platforms and digitally curated data. Twitter, in particular, has got a bad rep. When most people think about the social media platform, they imagine brief snippets of news containing links to additional information, or the unsolicited thoughts of celebrities and the general public. Few conceive of Twitter and other social media platforms as effective means of teaching concise writing with a creative twist for pedagogical purposes. In a recent studio assignment, Microblogging as Scholarship, that coincided with Dr. Donna Zuckerberg’s lecture, “How Deep the Rabbit Hole Goes”: The Alt-Right’s Infatuation with Stoic Philosophy, students in the studio “live-tweeted” to this end.
Live-tweeting has the potential to change the way audience members listen to, process, and engage with research, and this practice is consequently growing in popularity at conferences and academic lectures. Live-tweeting is posting a series of focused tweets that offer a minute-by-minute rundown on what is being shared by the speaker/panelists and what questions are being asked by the audience—all in real-time. Why are scholars and students live-tweeting in the first place? We live in an age where many of us own smart phones. For this reason, many of us have the ability to promote and communicate knowledge on a globally accessible platform with just the click of a button. By broadcasting information via platforms like Twitter, we can uphold our fundamental responsibility as scholars to openly share our work with a broad audience rather than only with other academics behind closed doors.
Because this was the first time many of the students had been encouraged to formally engage with a platform like Twitter, they composed their “tweets” in a form set up specifically for this assignment. Their collective “tweets” not only demonstrate their engagement with the topic but also provide a useful summary of the talk, readily accessible to those who weren’t able to attend. You can learn all about their take on this important subject, a play-by-play of the lecture itself, and some thoughtful reflections on microblogging as scholarship by accessing their “tweets” here.
For more information about the Digital Humanities Studio (DGHM 150), visit the course website.