This week focuses on the issue of digital history and the commons. We will start with a discussion on the commons. We will follow this with some recent work on the relation of the commons to the digital humanities.
I. Discussion: The Commons (1 hr 15 min)
II. Break (10 min)
III. Discussion: Digital History and the Commons (1 hr 15 min)
Assignments (due before class)
- Weekly Twitter Assignment
We will begin our discussion be examining the classic article, “The Tragedy of the Commons” by Garrett Hardin in 1968. While there have been many responses to Hardin, one of the most influential writers on the commons was Elinor Ostrom. We will read her reflections on the literature on the commons, published in 1999, as well as an essay on collective action.
- Garrett Hardin, “The Tragedy of the Commons,” Science 162, no. 3859 (December 1968): 1243-48.
- Elinor Ostrom, et al., “Revisiting the Commons,” Science 284, no. 5412 (April 1999): 278-82
- Elinor Ostrom, “Collective Action and the Evolution of Social Norms,” Journal of Economic Perspectives 14, no.3 (2000): 137-58.
Transitioning to the notion of “digital commons,” we will read a chapter about the so-called “knowledge commons,” which defines some of the problems facing the digital commons. Then, we will read a recent article which discusses the digital as a common pool resource as well as the idea of community governance.
- Charlotte Hess and Elinor Ostrom, “Introduction: An Overview of the Knowledge Commons” in Understanding Knowledge as a Commons, ed. Hess and Ostrom (MIT Press, 2006), 3-18.
- Mélanie Dulong de Rosnay and Hervé Le Crosnier, “An Introduction to the Digital Commons: From Common-Pool Resources to Community Governance” (Hyper Article en Ligne – Sciences de l’Homme et de la Société, 2012).