Link to session schedule

I thought it would be useful to post the Google Docs public link to the session schedule:

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I would like to talk about Islandora!!


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History of the book and code

As someone who works in the intersection of history of the book and history of science, I’ve been interested in the technology that has enabled the transmission of knowledge produced (we can think of volvelles, flapbooks and other cut-out books) and pre-computer multimedia formats that one see even in early modern books (dialectic marginalia, 2-D folds and cut-outs, and manicules) and how that is translated into a computerized setting (surprisingly, except for narratives turned into a game, is still limited).

Of course, many of the tools appropriated in digital humanities for knowledge transmission and research work has already been practiced for decades by the people in the sciences (doctype formatting via Latex and Postscript for instance) who create modules and programs to expedite the work they need to perform,  we see a growing number of tools to help non-scientists visualize the sort of data they work with.  I am interested in questions that go beyond TEI, XSLT and all publishing tags and mark-ups, but how do we engage with the tools we have decided to work with more critically, and thereby, create critical tools that help us reflexively negotiate the work we do. Should all of those engaging with computer-based humanities be required to learn to write codes at least sufficiently to buid their own modules when required?

On a different scale, how do we deal with the many issues relating to bibliography in the humanities for material that do not subscribe to more formal document types (a memo, a handwritten note or even chat discussion). How do we deal with the history of the book in connecting its past with its present condition. What makes the book intrinsic to the humanities (I do not just mean just in literary or historical fields, but yet, especially in these fields) in a way that is different in the social and natural sciences? How does DH contribute to rethinking the meaning and purpose of the book?

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Intermediation and Network Behavior

I would be interested in chatting about how feedback (& feed-forward) loops that cross back and forth between digital and analog practices change (or not) the way we think about how network technology influences teaching, culture, and social interaction at the level of the individual. I’ve thought about this in the past as a conversation that puts Hayles’s concept of Intermediation side-by-side with Galloway’s readings of the fundamental differences between protocological and bureaucratic behavior patterns. The results of these ponderings have helped me rethink how individuals steeped in network culture frame themselves as possessive (hence, proprietary) individuals. I’m curious to hear how folks who have spent time thinking about and working in DH might frame this kind of interplay on a more-or-less atomistic level.

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Digital Humanities + Social Justice = “Does Not Compute?”

Over the past several months the world has witnessed the impact of social networking tools to advance democracy and social justice in the Middle East, and websites such as, among others, have chosen to critically confront issues of social inequality, race, and genocide. However, few digital humanists to date include the role of social justice in the digital humanities in their ongoing discussions. Attempts to discuss social justice as an outcome of work in the digital humanities have been raised at previous national conferences, including DH2009 and HASTAC 2010, with little success. Most recently THATCamp SoCal’s session on Diversity in Digital Humanities issued a GoogleDoc, “Towards an Open Digital Humanities” that argued “… [the] digital humanities must take active strides to include all the areas of study that comprise the humanities and must strive to include participants of diverse age, generation, sex, skill, race, ethnicity, sexuality, gender, ability, nationality, culture, discipline, areas of interest. Without open participation and broad outreach, the digital humanities movement limits its capacity for critical engagement.” Unfortunately, the phrase “social justice” does not appear anywhere in that call to action. Instead, it maintains that diversity in the digital humanities can be reduced to issues of access and inclusion. “Digital Humanities + Social Justice = ‘Does Not Compute?'” seeks to look beyond the digital divide and considers how social justice can be both a pedagogical goal in our research and teaching, and also a part of our methodologies in the digital humanities.

This session looks to address the following:
1. Why are issues of social justice seemingly incompatible with the digital humanities?
2. What is required for broader, more critical conversations among digital humanists to emerge regarding issues of social justice?

Categories: Proceedings of THATCamp, Session Ideas | Tags: , , , , , | 7 Comments

Hacking DH

I’d like some brainstorming for a newby beginning to work in the field of DH… and (like GhostProf) applying for funding. I’m worried that I don’t know (yet) what I don’t know (yet?!). But I’d also like to explore setting up a community of DH-ers who work on long nineteenth-century projects (for advice, support and encouragement…and help).

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  1. Text analysis tools  | I’m really interested in hearing more about the text-analysis tools that others are learning about here at DHSI. I took the Text Encoding Fundamentals course and have been encoding with TEI, but need to learn a lot more about what this code enables–and what I can do with already-encoded texts. I’ve spent some time looking through TAPoR and Voyeur but feel there’s so much there I don’t yet know how to try. And I’ve used Wordhoard for the early modern texts I teach and study.
  2. Teaching DH  | What are the ‘big ideas’ and ‘essential understandings’ for courses (grad and undergrad) in DH? What are the key topics? How do you teach writing skills alongside/using DH? I’m teaching “Hamlet in the Humanities Lab” next year and would love suggestions / comments.
  3. Early Modern DH  | I’d like to start a collaboratory of people doing early modern DH projects (roughly 1450-1700) involving TEI: best practices, shared ‘ographies, &c.
  4. DevonThink, Bookends, Scrivener  | Is anyone else using any of these programs to manage their information/bibliographies, and to write? Let’s share methods.
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Session Idea

I’m new to DH approaches, but would really like a session that deals with funding issues — how to get it, where it comes from, how to make sure your project is maintained when done, etc.

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GIS Projects

I’m interested in hearing a bit about GIS and what people are doing with it.

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Sustainability of DH tools and user-centered development

I’m interested in talking about a couple things involving the sustainability of DH tools and  promoting user-centered development of DH tools.

My questions about these issues come from the project I’m currently conducting that is a type of user assessment of MONK ( MONK is a web-based text-mining tool  that originated as a DH research project ( and is now a research resource hosted by the University of Illinois Library. In this study, I ask: How are humanities scholars learning about and using MONK in their research?  How can this tool be revised and improved to fit the broadest range of research needs for humanities scholars?  What can and should be done to sustain this tool, and who should be involved?

These questions have also been asked this past week at DHSI, especially at the grad colloquium:  student scholars have presented these amazing tools and resources they’ve built, but many of the projects have an uncertain future for their sustained support and longevity.  So I think a great discussion could revolve around these questions, and I hope enough other people are interested in this topic to join me in a session!


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