Archive for the ‘stuff and things’ Category

  • 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?

  • Important Great Lakes THATCamp 2011 Info


    Great Lakes THATCamp 2011 is rapidly approaching, and we are all very excited to meet everyone when they get here. I just wanted to sshare some important details.

    Topic Proposals:

    If you haven’t already, please post a brief description of your topic on the Great Lakes THATCamp website. This is an absolutely vital part of the process as it allows attendees to get to know each other virtually (before they meet physically). Attendees are strongly encouraged to read and comment upon all of the topic proposals as they appear on the site. Posting your topic proposal also helps enormously with the process of collective and collaborative scheduling (which will take place in the opening session on Saturday). Remember, when you post your topic proposal, you are essentially signaling the topic that you wish to talk about (and coming prepared to talk about). Feel free to propose more than one topic if you want.

    If you’ve lost your account information, send me an email ASAP and I’ll get it to you.

    Registration and Check In

    Check in will take place on the second floor of the Residential College of Arts & Humanities/Snyder-Phillips Hall right outside the LookOut! Gallery starting at 7:30. An assortment of light breakfast-type foods (including coffee and tea) will be available. there will be plenty of signs scattered around the building to help you get to where you need to go.

    The registration fee ($25) will be due at check in. All registration fees go directly to the cost of running Great Lakes THATCamp 2011. We will accept cash or checks (makes checks payable to Michigan State University). We will also gladly provide a receipt. If attendees are feeling generous, they are more than welcome to include an additional donation with their registration fee.


    Thankfully, parking is free to the public on the MSU campus on the weekends. Unless otherwise noted (there are some places on campus where you cannot park at on the weekend), feel free to park in guest parking, metered parking, or faculty/staff parking areas.

    Opening Session

    The opening session will run from 8:30-10 in the Snyder Hall Theatre (CB020 – 2 floors down from where you check in). In the opening session, we’ll introduce attendees to the whole idea of THATCamp, cover some ground rules, and generally talk about logistics. The most important part of the opening session is the scheduling. All THATCamps do scheduling a little differently. At Great Lakes THATCamp 2011, we completely embrace collaborative and collective scheduling. We start out with a blank Google Calendar (and room full of awesome ideas and awesome people) and end up with finished schedule. In between, there is much friendly debate, discussion, and negotiation. The process is fluid (some might say messy), glorious, and like nothing you’ve ever experiences at an academic conference.

    If you have any other questions, please don’t hesitate to let us know.

    See everyone this weekend!

  • Announcing Great Lakes THATCamp 2011


    We’d like to welcome everyone to Great Lakes THATCamp 2011! Thats right…after the success of Great Lakes THATCamp 2010, we decided to do it again!

    For those who are unfamiliar, Great Lakes THATCamp (The Humanities And Technology Camp) is a user-generated “unconference” on digital humanities originally inspired by the Center for History and New Media (CHNM) at George Mason University.

    Great Lakes THATCamp will take place on the beautiful campus of Michigan State University on April 30th and May 1st, 2011 in the Residential College of Arts & Humanities.

    We will be accepting applications until March 11th, 2011 – but don’t wait too long because we can only accept 100 attendees.  To apply, just visit the Apply section of this website, fill out the form, and you are good to go.  Its really that easy!  No complicated submission processes like other academic conferences.

    If you are interested in digging deeper into how Great Lakes THATCamp works, who should apply, or what constitutes the “digital humanities” (hint: it isn’t just for humanists), check out the About section.

    We encourage all applicants, participants, organizers, and onlookers to sign up for a Twitter account and follow news, announcements, discussions, and general hype coming from our profile (@GLTHATCamp) and the global THATcamp hashtag (#thatcamp).  Also, if you don’t already have one, go sign up for a Gravatar account.

    For more info, check out the About page or send an email to Ethan Watrall (watrall [at] msu [dot] edu)