Comment on Nuts and Bolts

I wanted to add another voice of support in favor of the ideas expressed in Allegra Gonzalez’s post on Nuts and Bolts.  I couldn’t get the comment feature to work on this post, so I’m adding a new posting.

I think a session that delves into practical support for DH would be great, particularly if we can develop a set of core needs and best practices to support those needs.  This might involve skill sets for staff, physical and virtual spaces for working, tool kits to equip and encourage DH work, and implementable solutions for the grand question of how we encourage experimentation and provide support in ways that ensure success.

I think any of these topics could warrant sessions of their own, but starting as a mashup of previously proposed ideas might be a way to get started.  I appreciate the interest expressed by the other session proposals.


Categories: General | Comments Off on Comment on Nuts and Bolts

How much code do I need to know?

As we break our way into digital humanities, we run into more and more computer code. But do I need to know what it means? Or, better yet, how much of it do I need to know?

This has been a hot button question lately – do digital humanists need to know how to code? My take is that the answer is pretty nuanced and idiosyncratic. We must know how to understand some of the simple parts of the language that we use the most. And I think that we should know how to do some simple html/css – it’s too ubiquitous.

I’d like to see a session that talks about a few different things

  1. What kind of code do I need to know for what I do?
  2. How do I learn it?
  3. What don’t I need to know? How can I tell?
Categories: General | 1 Comment

Less Yack, More Hack

One of the mottoes of THATcamp is Less Yack, More Hack. This means we focus on doing along with our talking, which distinguishes THATcamps from most other conferences. For example, DHCommons came out of a session at THATcamp Chicago 2010. This post is not so much a session proposal than a reminder to include a concrete outcome in your session. That could be anything from some coding to starting a new DH project to a blog post to a proposal for a Digital Scholarship Seminar. We are always looking for new topics for NITLE’s Digital Scholarship Seminars, so, if you have a great discussion and would like to take it further, consider proposing a seminar. Just write a title and description and come up with a list of potential speakers.

Categories: Session Proposals | Comments Off on Less Yack, More Hack

Womens Studies and DH

I’ve had a request for a Digital Scholarship Seminar on Womens Studies and DH. I’d love some help in planning this online seminar. Who would be a good speaker? Let’s write a description.

This could be combined with or complementary to Jacque’s suggestion for a Transform DH session.

Categories: Session Proposals | Comments Off on Womens Studies and DH

THATCamp LAC on Twitter

At the very first THATCamp, the registration page required a participant’s Twitter handle.  The effect was to force all of the attendees who didn’t already have a Twitter account–which was most of us–to sign up.   Afterwards, the obvious next step was to follow the other participants, since maybe this Twitter thing would help us get to know each other before the unconference.  I don’t know if this was intentional on the part of the organizers, but I suspect that that one required field has played a role in making Twitter such a vibrant place for practitioners in the digital humanities.

THATCamp LAC has two hashtags (#thatcamp and #lac) for participants to use in addition to the THATCampLAC account used for organizational announcements.  It turns out that you can search for both hashtags at the same time, so it’s easy to follow discussions about the unconference.  I’ve also created a public list from all the participants who listed handles (all but me, actually, since I wasn’t able to figure out how to add myself to a list) which should track all the breakfast- and cat-related tweets from participants as well.


Categories: Social Media | Comments Off on THATCamp LAC on Twitter

Open Access and Research

I’d like to consider The Directory of Open Access Journals among other examples of portals to/repositories of open access texts. I’m hoping that this discussion can push beyond even traditional academic journal sites. What might these spaces offer us as teachers, librarians, students, practitioners of DH, etc. as sites of resistance to the ever-escalating commodification of knowledge?

Then again, how do we examine the structure of a site like DOAJ carefully and critically, as a text itself? There is an easy tendency to impart a heroic narrative to this movement (to which I certainly have felt prone), but if we were to look for its limits and omissions, what might we find? How can our discussions of open access engage more closely with materiality of technology, education, austerity? If we were to start to historicize the open access movement, what would inform the stories we tell ourselves and others? Engagement with queer, postcolonial, Marxist, and feminist theorizing around knowledge is especially exciting to me as I approach these questions, and imagine different futures for OA.

Categories: Libraries, Open Access, Research Methods | 1 Comment

Maps and mapping

I’d like to propose a session around questions of how mapping & design tools can help us both create and represent research on narratives and sociocultural structures whose impact is very real and significant but is often ‘naturalized’ as to be invisible. I can think, for example, of instances in which films and novels address how memory narratives are overlayed upon existing physical spaces, calling our attention to or intervening in the signification of these spaces. How could mapping tools help us visualize, analyze and communicate these intangible aspects of culture and society? How have maps been used to undermine or challenge certain intersections of narrative, power and place rather than to reinforce it in the “objective” tradition of mapping?

What is out there for mapping & presenting maps–or could be?

Categories: General | Comments Off on Maps and mapping


Ben Brumfield led a great session on crowdsourcing at THATCamp Texas 2011.  I’d love to see that session again.  In addition to talking about it, we could try our hand at one of the many crowdsourced manuscript transcription projects.

Categories: Crowdsourcing, Session Proposals | 4 Comments

Digital Humanities Glossary

Let’s crowdsource a glossary of digital humanities jargon.  One of the challenges for digital humanities newbies, is all the jargon. Help the DH community figure out what it’s jargon is. When you hear a term you don’t recognize write it on a sticky note (we’ll have a place for you to submit them) or add it to this glossary I’ve created in a google doc. If you are up on the jargon, please go to the glossary and help us out by adding the definition: Digital Humanities Glossary

Categories: General | Tags: | 1 Comment

Session idea: or mash-up of previous? nuts and bolts: the foundation for exploration

Possible conversation mash-up of previously proposed sessions; “DH Swiss Army Knife: What’s in your tool kit?”,  Dawn Dietrich’s “Academic Library and/or Digital Learning Commons?”,  and dschnaidt’s “Beyond the enthusiasts and demonstration projects, how do you embed the practice of digital humanities in a small liberal arts college? What kinds of advocacy encourage experimentation? What kinds of support ensure success, and where should it reside?”

Conversation around focus for those looking to advocate, build and expand support, facilities, tools, staff expertise in the direction of Digital Humanities needs. Speaking of needs – at your LAC what is provided and works, what is provided and doesn’t work, wish-list on a budget or wish-list on a bottomless vat of cash, tools dreamt of, tosser tools, ideal support person job description … in other words what would be immensely beneficial to building new or reshaping existing DH centers?

Anyone thinking about/ planning for/ working on digital preservation and copyright issues?

Useful resource to compare who is doing what and how in terms of DH support and engagement
ARL SPEC Kit 326

Categories: Collaboration, Project Management, Session Proposals | Comments Off on Session idea: or mash-up of previous? nuts and bolts: the foundation for exploration