I would be interested to hear from faculty who have met with resistance from other faculty to incorporating DH projects or multimodal composing into their courses. I can share some resources on assessment and multimodal composing that I have found helpful, but I am especially interested in hearing what has worked/not worked for others.
The purpose of this session will be to discuss the shaping of a nascent university program in digital scholarship and pedagogy. What should the goals be of such an initiative? What hiring is necessary? What kinds of courses should be taught by its faculty? How do we mobilize available campus resources, faculty, professional staff, and students to contribute to the program? How do we make a case to administration for funding? More broadly, how do we make the digital humanities a part of the campus culture in places where it isn’t already? As someone who is involved in fostering such a program on my campus, I am hoping to learn from the insights of those who have experienced (or are experiencing) program development on their campuses. I also hope that the session will have something to offer grad students and other junior faculty who might find themselves in institutions (like mine) that are just getting off the ground with this work.
This session proposal is a confession and a cry for help. I’ve been charged with producing the Proceedings of THATCamp, and I’ve been struggling with it. Hoped we could have a therapeutic session where I can try to explain the problems with the project and you all can tell me how to get over them. Or myself. 🙂
This is a very nebulous proposal indeed, but lately I’ve been feeling a bit of a dearth in DH with regard to, oh, I don’t know, beauty. Inspiration. The kind of things you get from poetry and literature, right? Not that there’s always much emphasis on beauty in non-DH literary studies, either, of course, perhaps for good reason. I thought we might sit around and shoot the breeze about whether and how digital tools can or should provide interfaces to the aesthetic properties of literature. I’m thinking here primarily of originally analog literature (“Beauty is truth” etc.), but perhaps the folks who are studying e-literature are the ones who are addressing issues of aesthetics and technology. Or perhaps the critical code studies people (including especially those responsible for 10 Print) have a lock on it by getting into the larger cultural meaning as well as the aesthetics of code.
In proposing this, I’m thinking partly of a very interesting presentation I heard at the University of Kansas DH Forum by a poet and a scholar (Katharine Coles and Julie Lein) who are working with some technologists at Oxford to treat individual poems as “big data” and to create visualizations that would reveal their numinous nature. Basically, they reported failure (which I thought was awesome of them): they haven’t yet come up with a way of visualizing an individual poem’s gorgeous complexity. I wound up thinking that perhaps it simply isn’t possible. The abstract for their paper, “A World in a Grain of Sand,” is at kansas2012.thatcamp.org/big-data/ and their slides and a video of the presentation are at idrh.ku.edu/dh-forum-2012/.
I’ve been working intermittently on a project to create a digital catalog of the personal library of Edna St. Vincent Millay, who died in 1950. Her sister inherited her house and kept all her books (pretty much), and the house became a small museum in 2010. There’s a draft of the catalog up at www.zotero.org/groups/steepletop_library and a project description at dhcommons.org/projects/edna-st-vincent-millay-personal-library-catalog
One of the things I want to do with the catalog is put in a lot of tags creating links between the items, things like which books were written by women. If anyone wants to sit around with me and tag items for an hour or so (there are about 1000 item) with whatever you like, and incidentally learn more about Zotero group libraries if you’re into that, that’d be a big help. It’s kind of fun, I think, to see what she had. Lots of obscure poetic monographs from the 20s and 30s.
I have read all the proposal made so far and I am very excited about tomorrow’s thatcamp.
I noticed that most of the proposal are open questions (rather than volunteering to lead discussions) which could be organized in some sort of clusters for discussion, instead of separate sessions.
I can see different areas of interest around which the conversation(s) could be organized. Mainly I would cluster them in two-three areas:
Digital Humanities as a field
I think one fundamental question is if Digital Humanities is a discipline in its own right, in which case you would need to discuss the creation of a common network for researcher in the field, as proposed in DH info hubs: what are we missing?. Also important is to enter into mainstream computing, which is something that both IT wishlist and
In the path forward for usable systems for productive academics are emphasising.
In this cluster also Building DH community fits very well. That’s Not My Department could also bring an interesting perspective (sort of “un-disciplinarization” – bringing the un-conference to another level).
MLA Commons and Capturing Tweets could provide a practical outcome to the discussions.
Tools and Technologies
A second cluster is related to tools and technologies that can be used, both as workshops for existing ones and proposal/discussion for new ones. A further specification could be made between research-centered and teaching-centered tools (although overlapping occurs).
Among the ones more related to teaching there are
A session that could somewhat give general overview of the teaching side could be Designing DH Projects.
On the research side, the general overview could be given at the Digital Literary Studies – for which an helpful starting point is the Bamboo Dirt website.
Also (self-servingly) I would say that the idea of a Humanist’s Operating System could be part of this discussion.
Amongst the more research-centered are
I am not sure this idea of clustering, instead of separate sessions, fits into the thatcamp philosophy, but I think things are clustered it will help when discussing the unfolding of the day and also in making connections between different topics.
Anyway, I am looking forward to meet you tomorrow. Happy New Year to everybody.
Just on a whim: Is anyone coming through (or departing) the New Haven area in the wee hours of Wednesday morning who could give me a ride? I’m trying to make my transit more sensible, but have to work it out so I’m up to Boston and back on Wednesday.
Central IT often plays a minor role in supporting innovative digital humanities work, which is frequently concentrated in (digital) humanities centers and libraries. One of the factors contributing to this is the central IT tendency to pursue one-size-fits-all/none systems that target extremely generic needs (e.g. hosting for static web page, file storage space, etc.) If you could choose what the fundamental systems, platforms, and staff expertise central IT would have to provide a reasonable level of support for digital humanities (and free up resources elsewhere for projects with needs beyond the core supported tools), what would they be?
There’s no shortage of portals of information about digital humanities, from DH Answers for Q&A, NINES/ARC for temporally-oriented resources, DHCommons for projects, Bamboo DiRT for tools, TAPoR for text analysis, THATCamp, Day of DH, MLA Commons, and many others. Are we missing something? Are there ways that these resources could work better together? (Better data exchange or cross-site workflows? Not having to remember a different set of credentials for each site?) I’m interested in hearing people’s wish lists for how to improve the information ecosystem around technology and the humanities.