Elizabeth Bennet, depicted by C.E.Brock – not the only complex heroine in British Literature, just the most well-known
I might be setting myself up for some backlash here, but I never used to be a huge Jane Austen fan. I signed up for a course on 18th century literature in my fourth year of undergrad, and the professor only announced on the first day of class that by 18th century, he really meant just Jane Austen. Four months of Austen would be a dream for some people, but I think I was too busy feeling tricked and indignant to really fall in love with her writing, at least initially. But then (predictably) I read Pride and Prejudice, Elizabeth Bennet forever, etc., etc. When the class ended, I never sought out another novel of manners, written by a woman, featuring biting social commentary and a feisty heroine, primarily because I didn’t really realize that there were others. Continue reading
I watched a lot of television growing up. As Lawrence Lessig points out, “the average TV is left on for 8.5 hours a day” and “the average American watches that average TV for about 4.5 hours a day” (Lessig 68). Now I didn’t clock the number of hours of television I watched a day growing up, but the TV was certainly on for most of the day. As that was the main medium through which I consumed information, I would argue that a lot of what I learned about literature I learned from television.
I watched Gilmore Girls religiously, where reference upon reference was being made. Gilmore Girls was a one-hour drama. Typically, a script for a show this length is around sixty pages, whereas a script for Gilmore Girls was about one hundred in order to accommodate the number of references, musical, cultural, literary, filmic the list goes on. In order to gain a comprehensive understanding about what is going on in that show you have to look up the references. The point is, the “remixing” of mediums and information can allow for self directed learning, which often times can be far more effective than traditional education. As Lessig quotes Mimi Ito, remix can be “a strategy to excite ‘interest-based learning’. As the name suggests, interest-based learning is the learning driven by found interests” (80). A lot of exposure to different things now often comes from secondary sources or remixes and references to “the original” since the growth of technology. And in turn, learning no longer has to be linear or begin with the so-called “original”.
Sir Ken Robinson gives a talk for the RSA (Royal Society of the encouragement of the Arts) on how education needs to be changing along with the technology of the 21st century. Ironically the linked video is actually an adaptation of the talk he gave and the RSA remixed it into an animated version. In this video, Robinson says that there are two types of academic ability—academic (smart people) and non-academic (non-smart people). Many people who are brilliant think they are not because they have been judged under this model (Robinson). He goes on to say that this old model maintains the idea that there is one answer: “don’t look! And don’t copy! Because that’s cheating,” whereas outside of schools that’s called collaboration”. Lessig makes a similar claim about academia, he says, ” ‘Entertainment’ is separate from ‘education’. So any skills learned in this ‘remix culture’ is ‘constructed oppositionally to academic achievement'” (Lessig 79). Remixing and collaboration are meant to benefit education and new generations, but if education is to continue in its traditional way many students and people will be severely hindered in any future growth personally, professionally, technologically etc.
Why rethinking education and academia in this way gives rise to questions of legitimacy and possible amateur takeover (The Cult of the Amateur), I’m not sure. Is it too optimistic to think that legitimate academia and creative collaboration can co-exist, work together or even learn more from one another? I should hope not.
This blog has been a reflection on the creation of Social Edition of The Tales of John Oliver Hobbes and has focused broadly on digitization in the Humanities. This week we focus on John Oliver Hobbes and her work. This list is by no means exhaustive but here are a few reasons we’ve come to ♥ John Oliver Hobbes.
Posted in Uncategorized, Week 9: Reflection on John Oliver Hobbes and her work
Tagged Aubrey Beardsley, Elizabeth Gaskell, George Eliot, Jane Austen, John Oliver Hobbes, Mildred David Harding, Pearl Mary Craigie, The Yellow Book, William Rothenstein, Women Writers
Marge’s post nicely opens up the discussion of remixing classic novels by focusing on Clueless, a rendition of Jane Austen’s Emma and discusses the creativity and originality needed in such renditions. A lot of the best movies of our generation are remixes of classic novels and plays by Shakespeare. One of my favourite movies is She’s The Man, which is a remix of Shakespeare’s The Twelfth Night. Another recent rendition of a Shakespeare play is 10 Things I Hate About You, a modernized version of Taming of the Shrew. Both of these movies were quite successful at the box office, together bringing in a total of approximately $111 million dollars – which speaks to the films’ popularity.
These modern adaptations and remixes of Shakespeare’s plays have popularized his work and made his plays accessible to the masses of the 21st century. When Shakespeare is introduced in high school and university english classes collective (and exaggerated) sighs can be heard across the country. Continue reading
Like Sydney and Julie have expressed in their posts this week, I too was off put by Keen’s negative perspective on the Internet in his book The Cult of the Amateur: How Today’s Internet is Killing Our Culture. As Julie has pointed out, Keen’s anxieties towards the internet stems from a fear of the “amateur cult” that he believes are contributing to a proliferation of truths via the internet, through blogs like this one, and as a result are distorting “real” truths. In his first chapter, entitled “The Great Seduction,” Keen suggests that “in a world in which audience and author are increasingly indistinguishable, and where authenticity is almost impossible to verify, the idea of intellectual property has been seriously compromised” (23), and that “the value once placed on a book by a great author is being challenged by the dream of a collective community of authors who endlessly annotate and revise it” (25). While I think most of us would agree that this deterioration between author and audience perpetuated by the Internet is accurate, I don’t think this has to be as horrific as Keen implies. As Margaret suggests in her post this week, “remixing actually makes originality achievable,” and I think the same is possible with this “increasingly indistinguishable” line between author and audience that Keen seems so appalled by. Continue reading