Since 2010, I have been using the authoring and publishing platform, Scalar, for various research, teaching, and learning projects. Intended for long-form scholarship, the platform particularly facilitates work with visual materials and dynamic media (such as video and audio). A project of the Alliance for Networking Visual Culture (ANVC) in association with Vectors, the Institute for Multimedia Literacy, and the USC Center for Transformative Scholarship (with support from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and the National Endowment for the Humanities), it enables writers to assemble content from multiple sources and juxtapose them with their own compositions. The Scalar team is working hard toward a beta release of the platform.
—my multimodal dissertation (now a book project), which used Scalar for (among other things) the annotation of historical audio, the enactment of boundary object theory, and non-sequential approaches to scholarly argumentation
“Writing with Sound”
— a “middle state” publication on producing scholarly communication with dynamic media; written for Rough Cuts: Media and Design in Process (Ed. Kari Kraus, forthcoming in The New Everyday)
— a University of Victoria graduate seminar where students use Scalar to collaboratively document the trajectories and intersections of their learning
— a University of Victoria undergraduate digital humanities course where students use Scalar to: (1) collaboratively annotate James Baldwin’s Another Country and related media (e.g., video and images), (2) express multiple interpretations of and contexts for the novel, and (3) visualize relationships across those interpretations and contexts
“Authoring and Publishing with Scalar: Some Considerations for Context-Sensitive Design”
— an essay I wrote with Craig Dietrich; it is currently under revision
Scalar compellingly demonstrates why we are in an exciting moment for scholarly communication. Thus far, the platform has become a vehicle for me to compose, argue, speculate, and teach through new media, graphical expression, collaboration, context-sensitive design, metadata, and various ontologies. While I still have much to learn, at this juncture in my research I have realized the degree to which such platforms facilitate interpretation via dynamic content and computation, which need not be rendered positivist, determinist, or value-neutral in character.
(All images on the left are screen shots of Scalar projects to which I am currently contributing.)