By John Painter on Fri, 04/24/2009
Digital humanities and the iPhone
In my first blog for iPhone Life I’d like to briefly introduce myself and my interests, as well as encourage people to share what they may know about happenings with iPhones in the humanities and social sciences.
I grew up in the state of Maine, and now live and work in central Maine with my wife Kati, son Kelen and mini-schnauzer Spaulding. Though I was born in Maine, I spent quite a few years on the West Coast in Olympia Washington as an undergrad at The Evergreen State College, then moving on to live in Koln, Germany and eventually Budapest, Hungary where my wife Kati is from, and eventually finding my way back to Maine. During the day, I’m a health care professional, working in behavioral health which is always exciting, but also very challenging helping people who struggle with a psychiatric disability is draining, so I like to recharge my batteries in a variety of ways. Life in Maine is is one of them, it's great, interspersed with the occasional poker game, I enjoy snowboarding, kayaking, fly fishing, lobster dinners, blueberry pie and just about every other stereotype of Maine you can think of.
So why am I blogging for iPhone Life? This is another way I recharge my batteries.
As if family life, work and recreation weren’t enough to occupy my time, I’m also a full time doctoral student in a Doctor of Arts (D.A.) program at Franklin Pierce University in New Hampshire. My dissertation interests are concerned with the Doctor of Arts degree itself. Though it is a research doctorate like the Ph.D, by history it has been viewed as “teaching doctorate” but I’m finding it was originally intended to be a true liberal arts doctorate, aimed at developing “cultured students” who were not as interested in conducting research as in understanding and applying the arts and sciences to every day life.
I was just reviewing an app by BeamItDown, Philosophy 2.0 and began to remember the concept of "will to power" by the philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche. Well, to me, part of a strong liberal arts education is developing an appreciation for, and active participation in, a variety of activities which promote intellectual development - will to power.
My studies led me to finding out about the “digital humanities” which include the digitization of existing works in the fine arts, music, philosophy, theater, etc and of special interest to me, new creations which are born-digital. For example the new works by artist Jorge Colombo who’s New York City inspired iPhone cityscapes are intriguing impressionistic interpretations of the urban landscape created with an iPhone. I find this sort of work inspiring at a point in time when we need this creativity and energy to help us interpret, envision and reinvent our world.
This is where you, the reader comes in, I’d really like to hear what’s going on out there, what’s being created with the iPhone. You can be sure I’m going to be blogging about what I find.