This is a follow-up to a previous article called, "Digital Humanities: Newspaper Mentions of Four MN Governors" and this short note on John Lind serves two purposes. The first is practical, the other political. (And yes, all history is political). First, there are few easily-accessible resources discussing Lind's politics. [...] Second, as Orwell said, "The most effective way to destroy people is to deny and obliterate their own understanding of their history." Having served on a Texas textbook review panel, I've seen firsthand historical revisionism. I've seen Tea Party rhetoric creep into how we write about the past: The framing that government has always been an unnecessary evil, taxes an infringement upon liberty. Yet, when it comes to workers and women's rights, public education, the social safety net -- all the things that allow people to live with dignity -- these were not gifts of the free market or God but rather the product of struggle. These came from grassroots organizing. These came from rising up against power. It came from the notion that a government of the people could be proactive and a force for good. Minnesota is full of such stories, and it's about time we've heard them.
Ever since I joined the Initiative on Neuroscience and Law, I've had a growing interest in big data analysis. With so much information being digitized -- whether it's criminal records, government documents, or historical archives -- researchers can engage with old resources in new ways and ask questions on scales previously unimaginable. Though I'm not too vocal about it here (yet), right now I'm working to apply what I've learned at the Initiative to the Library of Congress' "Chronicling America" archives. This crossing of fields, for those who are curious, is called the "Digital Humanities." (If you'd like to know more, I suggest checking out the historian Dan Cohen's blog. Fred Gibbs also has a helpful introduction to historical data analysis here). I won't reveal any of my graphics here (I'm saving them for a future post), but here's an example of the Digital Humanities that everyone's familiar with: Word clouds. Technically, these were possible before the digitization of famous works, but it's the kind of work that required slave labor teaching assistants. The following I put together in a few minutes using Project Gutenberg and Wordle.
Studying America in England While going through the University of Minnesota's online archives, I came across an article called "Studying America in England" from The Minnesota Alumni Weekly (December 12, 1931). Written by a fresh alumna named Mildred Boie (class of '27), in it she talks of her trip to Cambridge to study English literature. Specifically, she … Continue reading “I have never been there, but I have read Babbitt — and the villages are all Main Streetish, aren’t they?”
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Joshua Preston, Chairman of the Student Senate Email: Prest202@morris.umn.edu Contact: Kate Brickman, Press Secretary, Minnesotans United for All Families Phone: 815-343-9299 Email: Kate@mnunited.org UNVERSITY OF MINNESOTA STUDENT SENATE OFFICIALLY OPPOSES MARRIAGE AMENDMENT On March 1, 2012, the University Student Senate, which represents all 67,000 students of the University of Minnesota across … Continue reading UMN Student Senate Opposes Marriage Amendment
Hey everyone, My name is Joshua Preston and I am the Chairman of the University of Minnesota Student Senate, which represents all 67,000 students of the University system. One thing that we will be doing this Thursday, March 1, is voting on a resolution saying that we believe the marriage amendment to be antithetical to … Continue reading UMN Student Senate to reject proposed marriage amendment
In light of the terrible news coming out of Norway, the Minnesota Young DFL (MYDFL; an organization of which I am the “College Caucus Chair”) has decided to show solidarity with the Workers’ Youth League. After all, the shootings only served as a reminder that there are those in this world who would much rather … Continue reading The MYDFL’s Letter to the Workers’ Youth League
[Introduction: I did not intend for this to be particularly good. In fact, I know that it is flawed and lacking. I just figured that in my morning boredom it would be a good idea to follow my own advice.] Matt Feeney has a new article on Slate titled "Infinite Attention: David Foster Wallace and … Continue reading So Maybe I’m a Romantic – I Appreciate the Imagination
According to an article in The Nation (John Nichols 11/16/10) voter turnout plummeted 60% last year from the 2008 high, and if this trend continues there is no chance for our party in 2012. There just isn’t. And while it may be tempting to wallow and mourn about “how things used to be” doing so … Continue reading A Message to the DFL State Central Committee:
Even though my reading list is long and includes several titles that will, when I don’t get to them over break, slide onto the list of “Books I Should Ready but Somehow Never Find the Time for”, I decided to kick off my Winter 2010/11 with a more obscure title. Now, for as much of … Continue reading The Six Most-Interesting Excerpts from Vladimir Putin’s Autobiography
Morris Student DFL Column On Monday, October 11, from 4:00pm to 7:30pm on the Mall, your life is going to change. As you nestle yourself in the cool grass, look to the soft sky outlined by the auburn shades of autumn, counting its days until the first frost, sight will fade to black as you … Continue reading DFL Victory Rally – October 11, 2010!