Humanities Commons members are building wonderful and creative sites and blogs on our platform. We want to highlight your work, so over the next few months, I will be writing blog posts and conducting interviews to put a spotlight on individual users. We hope that these posts not only serve to celebrate HC members’ creations, but that they also work to provide members with a better understanding of the various possibilities that Humanities Commons offers. Above all, we hope these posts inspire you!
Before I dive into our first featured HC site, let me introduce myself. My name is Caitlin Duffy and I am a doctoral student in the English department at Stony Brook University. Last summer, I was fortunate enough to work as an intern with the Humanities Commons team (I definitely recommend interning with the MLA if you get the chance). As part of my continued connection with Humanities Commons, doing some freelance community engagement, I am writing some posts for this team blog.
For my first post, it seems only right to feature a site built by one of my professors. This semester I was fortunate enough to work as a TA with Dr. Andrew Newman for his American Literature I survey course for English majors. Rather than assigning an expensive anthology or multiple texts, Newman instead created an open access digital anthology, titled the “American Literature Anthology Project.” According to the description found on its home page, “This site presents a ground-up, dynamic, open-access anthology of American literature before 1900, developed by faculty and students in the English department at Stony Brook University. At present, it comprises most of the primary source texts for three Spring 2018 courses.”
Through this site, Newman has been able to design an entirely open access syllabus and has been able to share his anthology with other professors in his department. Additionally, by requiring the use of a Hypothes.is group, which allows users to annotate any web document privately, publicly, or to an assigned group, students in his class take control of their own learning by helping to create their own annotated edition of the anthology. While most of these are available only to members of the class, you can see some of the student-produced annotations through the “Public” layer of Hypothes.is.
I hope that this blog post and Newman’s work encourages other members to use sites in new and interesting ways, including as a teaching tool. In order to provide a deeper understanding of his project, Andrew Newman answered a few of my questions.