Archive for the ‘session descriptions’ Category

  • Dork Shorts notes


    Quick notes on what people shared at the Dork Shorts session:

    Katy Meyers
    Omeka-run online museum for the MSU campus archaeology program
    Goal: online exhibit to lok at twhat the program has done, locations, objects found, and they relationship with the MSU

    Mita Williams
    How we deal with individual silos in collections: digital collections, books, etc.
    Discovery layers in the library
    – relevancy is difficult
    – choosing the right result
    – how to bring local content up
    leddy by design:
    jamun –

    Amanda Sikarskie and Justine Richarson Quilt Index
    Any institution that has quilt collection can add the info on their wiki

    GradHacker: Katy Meyers, Alex Galarza, Micalee Sullivan
    Planning to introduce this to various conferences. Looking for content.

    Megan McCullen – Alma College
    Alma is planning on conference on human rights.
    Invite sessions on human rights in relation to the moral & ethics session.

    Harriett Green
    Project Bamboo –
    Collab w/ institutions; looking for researches on digital collections.

    Amanda French
    THATCamp –
    Use WordPress MultiSite; your THATCamp site can be hosted there.

    Rebecca Bizonet
    MakerFaire 2nd in Detroit Henry Ford
    July 30-31st

    Dejah Rubel & Randal Baier
    Gordy Motown Collections

  • Libraries, Archives Museums Convergence links

    This is not an easy topic. Different schema from archivist, museum, and library’s perspectives.
    Awesome collection stuff that we talked about:
    Archives of Amsterdam
  • Digital Media is dead — There is Only Software.


    According to Lev Manovich (

    “Depending on the software I am using, the “properties” of a media object can change dramatically. Exactly the same file with the same contents can take on a varirty of identities depending on the software being used.

    What does this finding means in relation to the persisting primacy of the term “digital” in understanding new media? Let me answer this as clear and direct as I can. There is no such thing as “digital media.” There is only software – as applied to media data (or “content”.)”

    Do we need to think differently about “digital media”? Manovich uses the example of a photo. Is a digital photo (perhaps especially objects “born digital”) the same as a physical photo. The physical photo is produced once; if you have the negative and create it again, perhaps to lighten the photo, then you have a new physical object with it’s own characteristics. The digital photo, to lighten it, you run software to show it lighter. You may or may not create a new file and even if you do, this new file can be transformed by software to look like the old one. For the digital object, the software used, define the object revealed.

    Is Manovich right? Is there only software?

  • Archives, Media and Scholarship


    I’m interested in looking at media-based geo-location software such as WhatWasThere and Broadcastr in order to explore how scholarly research can be enhanced with online visual and audio collections. In addition, new developments in archiving and digital exhibits are moving traditional finding aids and “back room” scholarship onto the open and visible Web. At Eastern Michigan University we are using these two tools and looking at others to explore those ideas.

    I would also like to look at how particular collections might be useful and enhanced for online scholarly research, and for this purpose I would like to offer EMU’s Gordy Motown Collection as a test case. How do we design the collection’s online presence to encourage open scholarship?

  • What colors is TEAL in digital humanties?


    <>: “The Technology Enabled Active Learning (TEAL) project has revamped the way Introductory Physics classes are taught at MIT. Physics is an experimental science, but many of the introductory level classes taught at MIT involve no hands-on laboratories. Modeled after the Studio Physics format instituted by Professor Jack Wilson at Rennsaeler Polytechnic Institute in 1994, the TEAL format combines lecture, recitation, and hands-on laboratory experiments into one classroom experience which, in this case, meant revamping the classroom itself. Animations and simulations have been incorporated into course materials to help students visualize and understand the complex interactions inherent in electromagnetism.”

    This past year I have been experimenting with “Technology Enabled Active Learning” (TEAL) in a humanities-heavy course, a 50 person, freshmen-level introduction to human origins and prehistory. The course discusses anthropological concepts of culture and cognition, but (caveat) also includes some physical science components. For one class a week, students are divided into groups for collaborative exercises related to the current class topic and their work may be continued outside of class. These exercises include literature research, evaluation of various sources, mapping, and information management. In-class technology is provided through one of the university’s portable laptop computer labs, which can bring 24 machines into the classroom and connect them through a dedicated router (for a minimum ratio of student:computer of about 2:1).

    This coming year, I am ramping-up the TEAL component by moving the class into a dedicated computer lab and making TEAL activities into a daily portion of class and homework activities. I want freshman and other students to learn to use our IT-infrastructure in order to meaningfully contribute as individuals to focused, collaborative products about humanities research. Student acceptance of the practices, and appropriate assessment of individual contributions will be key.

    I would like to have a brainstorming and knowledge-sharing session with other campers about the ways you’ve used TEAL-like practices in your class, or ways you would like to do so.

  • Creating teaching consortia using online learning


    What I’d like to discuss is how departments and academic programs at multiple universities might collaborate via the use of online or hybrid courses to a) fill gaps in their curricula that cannot be addressed locally and/or b) to create new teaching and research consortia that could jointly offer sets of courses or even new academic programs. Such consortia could draw upon particular areas of expertise from faculty members across institutions, enhancing scholarly collaboration and allowing institutions to respond more effectively to growing fields and to the interests of students.

    My interests in this topic are more than theoretical.  Several colleagues and I are in the early stages of creating a set of online courses that will be offered for credit by what I hope will become a new consortium of universities throughout the northeastern USA.  I’m as much interested in the model this might help to build for other fields, as it is for the field I’m focusing on: hockey studies.

    Having seen great success with an online course I developed at UVM on hockey in Canadian literature, my colleagues (all from other institutions) are planning to expand this to draw on courses offered at other universities on topics such as the connection between hockey and history, hockey and politics, and other more predictable areas of study such as sports psychology or management.

    We envision that students from the participating institutions might take this suite of courses either as online courses offered at their home institutions and taught by faculty from other consortia institutions or as courses offered online by the home institution of the faculty member and accepted for transfer credit at the student’s institution. The devil of course, is in the details, and determining how we will successfully persuade our home institutions to collaborate in such a way is by far the biggest challenge that lies ahead.

    I’d love to get some feedback on this broader idea of consortia that might help to build learning communities out of like-minded scholars and students working at a number of different universities. Any advice or ideas about how to facilitate such inter-university collaboration will be especially welcome.

  • On The Possibilities of New Publications


    Hi, all!

    I’m interested in having a conversation about emergent publishing models. Specifically, the way in which new media forms of publication have the potential to transform our definitions of scholarly work. Are traditional methods of academic publishing (e.g. journals, bound theses/dissertations) still the best way to share our ideas? The explosion of online print methods brings with it not only more options for getting our work out there, but different consequences, both positive and negative, for each option. In addition, authorship and readership are both transformed with each method we choose. Navigation of publications differ when we step into different arenas.  I can see this discussion fitting in nicely with Translating Text to Digital and Reviewing the Review.

    Some questions I’d like to explore: What do we stand to lose/gain when we move towards digital production and away from the old-school? If we choose to publish digitally, will we be taken seriously as scholars by people who are not yet DH converts (a question that lends itself to both To Tech or Not To Tech and DH Lite)? How do the possibilities for recognition of our work expand when our methods of publishing are less rigid, more undefined? For instance, does the value of a high quantity of readers on a blog exceed the value of potentially more influential readers of a printed journal? I have many more questions around this topic, and I’m sure you guys will think of even more!

  • DH Lite? Helping Untechie Students Do DH


    Apologies for posting so belatedly…I do have the advantage now of having read everyone else’s posts.  I’m excited to see so many about teaching.  I’m definitely in “that camp” (sorry!) when it comes to the Digital Humanities.

    I am hoping to talk to others about helping both undergraduates and grad students, though especially the latter, develop projects within digital humanities, even (or perhaps especially) if they are not specializing in that area (the Academic Luddite session will thus also be helpful to me, I think).  How do we assign, discuss, frame and evaluate such work?  I am hoping to generate discussion of others’ classroom or institutional experiments and hear ideas for criteria, rubrics, methods and standards.  And pace recent public definitions of our field, can students “do” digital humanities without code?  I think we can—I have seen students post fine work on (for example), work that taught them about site design, textual collection and selection, interpretive focus, and audience appeal—even though they did not learn even the rudiments of html.  I think of their DH work as apprenticing—it does not have to be ready for prime time yet, just as a seminar paper can be a solid performance without yet being publishable as a journal article.  However, I am open to learning why I may be wrong about this.  I also want to gather ideas about how to encourage students to “think beyond the site”—most projects I have received in my literature courses so far, especially from grad students, are very 1.0 in their thinking about information display (my undergrads are much more flexible in working in/with multi- and trans-media formats).  I have also found most students (again, especially grad students) reluctant to collaborate, which of course limits what they can achieve in the space of a one semester final project.

    My current assignment instructions and sample student projects are here; some supplemental ideas I provided are here.  Advice on improving these is especially welcome.

    Of course, all of these ideas should be couched in a more theoretical exploration of how the digital humanities have changed our understanding of terms like “assignment” and “evaluation,” but in the end, I want ideas for the classroom.  I especially hope some graduate students attending will share what inspired them to become digitally savvy (thus my topic, I think, links to the one on GradHacking, too).

  • Reviewing the review


    There is already a great deal of discussion about how to revamp pre-publication peer review in scholarly communication. However, lately I’ve been thinking about the other side of this coin: the post-publication (book) review, which (unlike blind reviewer comments) is a genre of publishable scholarly writing in its own right.

    I am the reviews editor for Digital Medievalist ( This is an open access online journal focused specifically on digital humanities research–and yet our reviews are almost exclusively of fixed products like books or electronic editions on disc.  I am often frustrated with this whole model (from the logistical–why, in 2011, am I shipping a year-old hardcover book from Michigan to Germany?–to the philosophical) Last year, we tried to make a shift to reviewing more open, web-based scholarly projects in addition to books, without much success. Many people nominated projects for review, but few stepped up to review.

    I imagine one factor is that publishing a fixed review, passing one-time judgment on a living, dynamic project, just doesn’t make much sense. (Another, I suspect, might be that DH folk prefer to help each other out than pen scathing indictments.)

    I’d like to chat with others about the function of the traditional book review, and in what ways it is still a useful genre (or not). I’d also like to strategize about how journals like Digital Medievalist can do a better job of engaging in the productive evaluation of published scholarship.

  • Digital Skills in Graduate School: What are the essentials?


    I propose a topic that will discuss ways to incorporate digital skills into graduate education. This topic hopes to stimulate conversation about ways digital skills can enhance the visibility and marketability of the student while in graduate school and beyond. We will also discuss ideas about what should happen once the student acquires digital skills. This topic will encourage participants to think about their respective field and discuss ways to contribute in the form of possible digital projects. Potential discussion questions are as follows: How do you teach digital skills? What is the essential background every graduate student should have? Should this be in the form of a course, a series of workshops, or both? Should it be student driven based on topics students want to cover?

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