How to Propose a Session (Step by Step)

  1. Log in with your username and password. If this is your first THATCamp, you received them in an email. If you’ve attended before, use your existing login. If you have forgotten, in either case, use the email address you registered with and click the “Forgot Password” link.
  2. You’ll see the WordPress dashboard. On the left, there is a column of things you can do. One entry is the “Posts”. Mouse over “Posts”, and click on “Add New”
  3. Add a session proposal – Give it a title, add a description, and make sure to click “Session Proposal” in the list of categories on the right. (Scroll down, it’s alphabetical). This will make it appear in the Session Proposal page. Click more categories if they apply.
  4. Click Publish. You can always go back and edit if you want to change anything. (To edit, mouse over “Posts”, click “All Posts”, find your post and click the “Edit” button.
Categories: General | 1 Comment

Comparative Tools overview and Sound sessions

I am totally new to DH and to THATCamps; still figuring out semantics of workshops, sessions etc. But would like to propose a session or two.

First, I briefly mentioned in a response to the workshops post that one that offered a comparative overview of the potential and limitations of different tools such as drupal and omeka for different types of projects would be helpful. Deb Sarlin commented a similar request here that  is worded more fully and clearly (and appropriately addressed to session topics). I bring it up here to make sure it gets put in the pot with the other session proposals.

I’d also like to propose a session on how DH scholars and practitioners are using sound and music in their projects and/or how sound and music scholars are participating in DH. As a director of a music archives and a jazz scholar with a pretty traditional background, I’d like to learn more about the tools that are available, how are they being put to use, and to what ends.

Categories: Session Proposals | 1 Comment

Digital Curation In the Classroom

In the context of a humanities classroom, students can engage with ideas and culture in a hands-on way as they figure out how to arrange and interpret digital objects. Curating digital material into meaningful collections has become a critical skill, not just for libraries figuring out how to organize and preserve digital content, but also for each of us trying to deal with information overload and filter failure in our own lives.

I propose a session in which we discuss how digital curation, broadly conceived, can be used in teaching. Our goal will be to assemble a collection of assignment case studies and tool reviews that can be shared with the larger group.

Participants will be invited to share:

  • Assignment Case Studies: What are good examples of assignments that involve organizing digital content, and what challenges can they sometimes present? For example, a case study could feature an assignment based around student-contributed content that requires an instructor to figure out ways to manage it so that it serves a pedagogical goal and doesn’t just end up becoming an overwhelming mass of disjointed material.
  • Tools: What tools are good for creating digital collections in a classroom setting?  This could included tools for curating social media and other web-based content (Storify,, Diigo, etc.) or other tools that draw on library resources (Artstor, for example) or digitized primary sources. For example, at Boston College we are using MediaKron, a tool we developed to help faculty collect and organize multimedia content for teaching that has created new opportunities for students to gather material as part of the learning process.
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Prepare for the Text Processing Workshop

If you’re interested in the Regular Expressions, Text Processing, and Web Scraping workshop on Friday, please make sure to bring a laptop and to have the following software on your computer:

  • Python — if you have a Mac OS X or Linux machine, this is already installed.  If you run Windows, you may have to download it.
  • A good text editor — on OS X, I like to use TextWrangler.  On Linux, nice options include kate, kedit, and gedit.  On Windows, Notepad++ is a popular favorite.
  • Though not a core part of the workshop, we’ll also be talking about command-line tools like wget (which is installed by default on Linux, easy to build on Mac OS X, and even available for Windows).  If you’re running Windows, try downloading and installing the standalone Unix-like text-based environment Cygwin.  Regardless of your system, make sure you know how to bring up a command-line terminal.

Please also bring an idea for a web site or text corpus that you’d like to slice and dice.

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Doing Digital History with Non-Digital Sources

In discussions about DH in my department, one of the concerns about DH that often surfaces is that digital history is considerably more difficult when the sources are, far from being digitized, not even in print. Where some scholars can grab huge amounts of data from digitized sources to create their networks, for instance, my colleague is building his network one manuscript at a time. Thus, some scholars shy away from DH because it makes research even more complicated rather than simplifying it.

I’d like to discuss how DH can be used for research even when the sources aren’t digital. Perhaps this manifests itself in a different method of using the tools; perhaps it’s merely a different analytical approach. Is there value in doing DH when the data does not fit well into the DH wheelhouse? If there isn’t, what then is the role of DH in researching “older” history?

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Physicality and Technology

It’s a little ironic that, despite the sizable quantity of conferencing technology available, we’re all bussing and training and carring and planing in to Providence to meet about the Digital Humanities. The situation illustrates how technology, from GPS’s to projectors to iPads, is located as a supplement to physical space. What happens when we look at it from the opposite angle? How does physicality have the potential to enhance, diminish or otherwise inform a technological experience? For example, consider geographical areas with limited internet access (or conversely, Silicon Valley), or technology that responds to your location and proximity to particular items, or the difference between a book and a Kindle, or an acoustic concert vs. computer music. How does information translate across the divide?

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Where are all the artists?

What excludes visual artists + designers from digital humanities discourses? Is it an external view of art + design as a surface activity, applied only after research, development and conceptualization? Is it a lack of interest from within art + design to engage in humanities-based thinking, despite traditional practices’ inherent connections with historical and text-based content? Is computer programming and data-mining too unattractive, despite contemporary art + design’s intimate relationship with the digital media and the web? What are some examples of collaborations within the digital humanities that have included artists + designers? What knowledges can artists + designers bring to the digital humanities? What can the digital humanities bring to art + design practice?

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Database Workshop Location Change

The Friday afternoon database workshop has been moved from the lovely historic JNBC seminar room to the brand spanking new Digital Scholarship in the Rockefeller Library.

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iOS- Advantages and Disadvantages of Mobile Devices

With high adoption rates for mobile devices, specifically iPads and the iPod Touch, efforts to support these devices continue to evolve.  Management of the devices, app recommendations and purchasing, loan programs, and general integration into Preschool-12 and Higher Education faculty practices and curriculum are all topics under the lens of support.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of these devices outside of portability? Which apps are useful in the humanities? What are your experiences with iOS devices?  This session is intended to garner answers to these questions through participation from the group. I can also share some of my experiences with a pack of iPads used by faculty in the College of Education and Social Services at the University of Vermont.


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Network Analysis in the Humanities: New Kinds of Networks (or Analysis)?

In many ways, my proposal echoes that of my new Northeastern colleague, David Smith. I’m working with David and others to discover and map reprinted texts in the nineteenth-century American press. As we’ve develop this project, I’ve delved more and more into network analysis as a way to make sense of the thousands of texts we’re uncovering.

I’d like to think with the THATCamp NE community about how network analysis—a methodology borrowed from the social sciences—could better serve humanities projects. In some ways I want to turn the typical DH conversation around. Instead of asking how the computation tool of network analysis can shape humanities research, I want to ask What unique perspectives on network analysis might emerge from the humanities. What kinds of networks can we map in literary studies, history, or other humanities fields that might not be apparent to researchers trained in social science methodologies? Are there ways that network analysis tools could better serve humanities research? What changes would we imagine for network analysis software if we could?

Categories: Session Proposals | 1 Comment