Wednesday, 12 March 2014

follow up to today's class on sound and image

Various and sundry things to include here, in the spirit of today's composite lecture topic on sound and image.

First, those of you looking at doing an experiment of some kind for your paper might be interested in an upcoming iSkills workshop on HTML and CSS. Or if you've simply heard me mentioning these terms in class (especially HTML5 and CSS3) and wonder what all the fuss is about, this might be a good workshop for you, too.

For more on Martin Luther King's sermon "The Drum Major Instinct," including a downloadable mp3 recording and historical background, see Stanford's King Institute's page for the sermon: . Images of the original "drum major" inscription on the King memorial in Washington are easy to find with a Google image search; images of the recently erased monument, not so much. has a good collection of images of the inscription's erasure -- or is that the right word? -- taken some time since August of last year. On a bit of a tangent, but not unrelated, Sarah made a great point today about the nature of texts like sermons being intensely referential, and even built out of other texts. Her comment reminded me of the Viral Texts project at Northeastern University, which maps networks of reprinting in 19th-century newspapers and magazines. Finally, in the spirit of using visualizations to search for patterns, here's a visualization of the portion of the King sermon we listened to today -- all I did was open the mp3 file in the Audacity audio editor and zoom in to a 7-minute portion:

Even in this small snapshot, you can see the aural rhythm of this part of the sermon as it unfolds, building toward an intense section at the end. A visualization like this is useful for helping one notice patterns of silence, too. Of course, as with all important cultural works, there's a point at which one should put the visualization and analysis tools aside and just listen.

On Alice in Wonderland and the history of its publication and illustration, see the Harry Ransom's Center's description of John Tenniel's work. Also, the British Library has made available a digitization of Lewis Carroll's illustrated manuscript, which he gave to the original Alice in 1864. Finally, if you'd like to explore the Brabant Collection of Lewis Carroll material at the U of T's Fisher Rare Book Library, you can read about it here:

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