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Announcement DH Event off campus

CFP: Chesapeake Digital Humanities Consortium

The newly-formed Chesapeake Digital Humanities Consortium will be holding its first conference on February 21, 2020 at William and Mary. The Call for Proposals is now live! Learn more on the CDHC website. Proposals are due January 6th, 2020.

Catherine Knight Steele, Assistant Professor of Communication at the University of Maryland – College Park and Director of the Andrew W. Mellon funded African American Digital Humanities Initiative (AADHum), will be keynoting.

The Chesapeake Digital Humanities Consortium (CDHC) is an association of people and institutions committed to the cooperative development of teaching, learning, research, and community partnerships in the digital humanities. Because place and space shape collaboration, CDHC is focused on supporting digital humanities in the D.C, Virginia, and Maryland region.

CDHC has three guiding goals:

  • Identifying, developing, and communicating opportunities for members to pursue the digital humanities.
  • Building accessible, diverse, and equitable digital humanities communities.
  • Fostering sharing, collaboration, and innovation among people, places, and institutions.

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DH Event off campus Pedagogy UVA Collaboration

DH Pedagogy Roadshow

Crossposted to the scholarslab blog and Brandon Walsh’s blog.

[The following post was co-authored with Mackenzie Brooks, Digital Humanities Librarian at Washington and Lee University. It follows up on a previous post on digital pedagogy and the Praxis Program. So if you’re just joining us, you might start there first. The first section below offers Brandon’s thoughts on a sequence of collaborative events with W&L, and the second section offers Mackenzie’s thoughts on the same.]

Brandon’s Perspective

In my last post, I mentioned that the Scholars’ Lab piloted a unit on digital pedagogy for the Praxis Program this past year. Over the course of a few weeks, the students each drafted the materials they would need to deliver a low-tech workshop on a digital humanities method or concept relevant to their own interests. The unit gave the students the opportunity to explore their chosen topic in dialogue with one another as they felt their way through how they would go about teaching the material to a broader audience, and it also gave the program a chance to speak directly to each student’s own reasons for being in graduate school and for exploring digital humanities. I ended that last post on something of a cliffhanger – I had intended the unit on pedagogy to end there, with each student in possession of all the makings for a DH workshop of their own design. But the students wanted to go a step further – they wanted to actually use these materials and deliver these workshops. I wanted to honor this good energy, and I’ll use this monthly installment in the Scholars’ Lab year of blogging to write a quick note about how we did so.

At the same time that the Praxis Program was running, I was in contact with the digital humanities group at Washington and Lee University about an ongoing collaboration that brings UVA graduate students working in DH to W&L to deliver one-off workshops for undergraduate DH courses. For each of these visits, the students work with the relevant faculty member to design a workshop in line with both their own research interests and the course material. It’s a challenging program to coordinate logistically – for each of these visits, W&L’s DH Librarian Mackenzie Brooks and I have to align the schedules for faculty members and students while also making good matches between interests and course syllabi. In spirit, this collaboration seemed like it could be a good fit for the new set of workshops designed by the Praxis programs. But we were not quite sure how to make it work logistically. We didn’t have obvious course fits for some of the topics, and it’s difficult to coordinate a couple workshops a semester, let alone six.

So we decided on a slightly different approach. Rather than trying to spread the workshops out among six class visits, we consolidated them. As luck would have it, this spring semester Mackenzie and Sydney Bufkin, Visiting Assistant Professor of English and Mellon Digital Humanities Fellow at W&L, were co-teaching a small capstone course for W&L students minoring in Digital Culture and Information. As a part of the course, Mackenzie and Sydney were eager for their students to get broad exposure to a range of DH topics. Rather than coordinate six individual trips from UVA to W&L, Mackenzie and Sydney suggested bringing their W&L students to UVA. With this in mind, on two separate occasions, Mackenzie and Sydney brought a group of students to the Scholars’ Lab to take part in a series of workshop sessions by our Praxis students. Because these workshops fell under the purview of the workshop exchange component of W&L’s Mellon grant, we were able to pay the students a small honorarium to compensate the extra time required to prepare the workshops over and above what we would usually expect of Praxis participants. In conversations with our Praxis students I started calling the event the Praxis DH Roadshow.

We had a lot of conversation internally about how to handle invitations for these workshops. After all, while the Praxis students were eager to deliver their work and get feedback, they were still learning about the field. We worried that throwing the doors open to the general public would be unfair to these students who were, after all, teaching in public so as to learn. We wanted to construct a space that helped to mitigate these risks, so we settled on a partially open format, aiming for about fifteen participants total in each workshop. Besides the five participants from W&L, we also counted on about five participants from the Scholar’s Lab. For the remaining audience members, we selectively invited members of the UVA community: subject librarians who would be interested in the work being done by students in their departments, experienced and generous collaborators who we could count on to offer constructive feedback, and library colleagues who might simply be interested in learning about the method under discussion. We couldn’t invite everyone, but we hoped that these targeted invitations might give our students the chance to show off the work they were doing in the library in a supportive environment.

To my mind, the events were a success in many ways. The slate of workshops the students put together was broad and diverse:

  • Catherine Addington (Spanish) – Transcription and Digital Editions
  • Cho Jiang (Urban and Environmental Planning) – Sentiment Mapping
  • Emily Mellen (Music, Critical and Comparative Studies) – How to Cite and Work with Sound Sources in Writing
  • Eleanore Neumann (Art and Architectural History) – Digital Curation
  • Mathilda Shepard (Spanish) – Minimal Computing
  • Chris Whitehead (History) – Network Analysis w/ String

The lineup of topics was a tad scattershot to be sure, but the goal was never to cover the broad range of things possible in digital humanities. We engaged the graduate students where they were and had their interests set the agenda. To my mind, the workshops themselves were not really for the audience. They were a chance to offer the Praxis students a chance to teach with a safety net – an opportunity they don’t often have. It also gave the students a chance to watch each other teach – something that is even more rare. But I’m very pleased that we were able to turn this exercise for graduate students at UVA into something that could be of use to the group at W&L.

I’m so pleased that Praxis could become a supportive space for pedagogical growth this year, and I’m very thankful for everyone who made it possible. I’m especially grateful to the many library colleagues who attended and shared their constructive feedback with the students (with apologies if I miss anyone): Hanni Nabahe, Lauren Work, Abby Flanigan, Brandon Butler, Maggie Nunley, Regina Carter, Erin Pappas, Keith Weimer, and Sue Donovan. The events would not have been possible without the work of Mackenzie Brooks, Sydney Bufkin, Amanda Visconti, and Laura Miller. They were each instrumental in making sure that the events took the shape they did and that they proved productive for the students. And, of course, I am very proud of and grateful to the students for sharing their work with us.

Mackenzie’s Perspective

As one of the instructors of the capstone course that Brandon mentioned, I wanted to share my perspective on the workshop roadshow and its role in our course. At the Washington and Lee University Library, we are in our first year of offering a minor in Digital Culture and Information (DCI). Sydney Bufkin and I decided to design and co-teach the capstone course this year, before we had any declared minors, as a way to test out the structure and feasibility of an upper-level digital project-based course.

We embarked on this trial with two students, both of whom had some experience with DH projects, but not much coursework in DCI. Because it was such a small course, we were able to customize the schedule to fit the needs of the students and their projects. Katherine Dau ’19 was interested in building a web map to complement her honors thesis in art history and MaKayla Lorick ’19 wanted to design a digital exhibit to house an oral history project she began the previous summer. We quickly filled our 12-week schedule with the theoretical and technological grounding necessary for our students to meet their project goals. But we still wanted our students to get a sense of the breadth of DH work.

Moreover, I knew from previous experience with UVa graduate students that they could be a great model for our undergrads as they learned new digital modes of research. As part of our ongoing collaboration with Scholars’ Lab, I regularly bring in a UVa graduate student or two in my 100-level Data in the Humanities course to introduce a new methodology (text analysis or GIS for example) and share its use in their own research. It has been a great way for my students to see someone only a little bit older than they are engaged in scholarship and the kind of experimentation that often goes on at Scholars’ Lab. I try to schedule the visits when my students are beginning to form their research questions so that they can bounce ideas off the grad students and hear someone other than me engage with their ideas.

Therefore, I was delighted to find out that this year’s Praxis students had prepared workshops they wanted to deliver. Our small class size made for an easy field trip up to Charlottesville for two marathon workshop days. The visits fell in the latter half of the course, but I think they would have worked just as well in the earlier half when we were still surveying methods. Not only did we all learn a lot from each of the workshop leaders, but our students were (gently) forced to articulate their own work for a friendly and knowledgeable audience. By the sixth workshop, they were comfortable explaining Jekyll or the reasoning behind their project name. This is what I like best about our collaboration with Scholars’ Lab – it creates an opportunity for all the people involved to learn and grow in a welcoming, low-stakes space. The Praxis students even insisted on formal feedback from us, so we took class time to fill out an evaluation form and discuss the workshops. For us, this was just a continuation of an ongoing conversation about sharing your work. Both Katherine and MaKayla had been presenting their projects to various audiences throughout the term, but the workshops helped them see new possibilities for their own emerging pedagogical practice. Most capstones will involve some kind of public presentation, but this experience reminded us that there is room for sharing and reflecting on your work in incremental ways, not just at the end of a project.

Thank you to everyone who made this event possible!

Categories
Conference DH Event off campus Undergraduate Fellows

DH Fellows Attend 2018 UNRH Conference

“The potential for digital humanities is essentially boundless because there are no rigid definitions for such pursuits, and there is so much information to be observed, studied, digitized, and presented—not just academically speaking, but socially as well.”
–Colby Gilley ’20

In February, DH fellows Katherine Dau ’19 and Colby Gilley ’20 attended the Undergraduate Network for Research in the Humanities Conference at Hope College in Holland, Michigan. The conference, which is held annually and aimed at building a network for collaboration and providing a platform for peers to share projects, gave Dau and Gilley the opportunity to learn more about Digital Humanities.

Photo originally posted on the UNRH Twitter page

Dau and Gilley were able to present their project Florence As It Was to fellow undergraduate researchers, receive feedback on it, and explore the projects of other students interested in Digital Humanities. In particular, they were able to learn about ArcGIS, a geographic information system for working with maps and geographic data, and how useful it could be to their own digital reconstruction project of early modern Florence.

The keynote speaker was Dr. Jacob Heil, the College of Wooster’s Digital Scholarship Librarian and the Director of its Collaborative Research Environment (CoRE). According to Dau and Gilley, Dr. Heil emphasized the significance of the “betweenness” that comes to represent Digital Humanities. Because Florence As It Was incorporates various skills and disciplines, including website design, photogrammetry, 3D design methods, art history, architecture, history and religion, Dau and Gilley, like many other DH fellows, understand the importance of being able to maneuver between and transcend traditional academic boundaries.

Overall, Dau and Gilley highly recommend attending the UNRH Conference to students who are interested in learning more about Digital Humanities projects from around the world, sharing challenges and goals with a community of undergraduate researchers, and becoming a part of the next generation of scholars in Digital Humanities and academia.

This post was written using interviews with Katherine Dau ’19 and Colby Gilley ’20.

-Jenny Bagger, DH Undergraduate Fellow

Categories
Conference DH Event off campus

Apps, Maps, & Models: A New View

[Crossposted on my personal blog.]

Last Monday several of us here at WLUDH traveled down to Duke University for their symposium on Apps, Maps & Models: Digital Pedagogy in Art History, Archaeology & Visual Studies. I found the trip to be enlightening and invigorating. If you are interested in the event, you can find videos of the talks here and here as well as a storify of the Twitter action here. That the event was so well documented is a testimony to how well organized it was by the Wired! Lab.

Many speakers at the event considered how the tools they were using might relate to more “traditional” modes for carrying out their research. They considered and responded to tough questions with and about their work. Are digital methods for tracing the topography of a surface, for example, fundamentally different in kind from analog means of doing so? If so, are they meant to displace those old tools? Why should we spend the time to learn the new technologies? A related question that comes up at almost every digital humanities presentation (though not at any of these): can digital humanities methods show us anything that we do not already know?

Such questions can be particularly troubling when we are investing such time and energy on the work they directly critique, but we nonetheless need to have answers for them that demonstrate the value of digital humanities work, in and out of the classroom. Numerous well-known scholars have offered justifications of digital work in a variety of venues, and, to my mind, the symposium offered many answers of its own, in part by showcasing amazing work that spanned a variety of fields related to preservation, public humanities, and academic scholarship. Presenters were using digital technology to rebuild the past, using digital modeling to piece together the fragments of a ruined church that have since been incorporated into other structures. They were using these tools to engage the present, to draw the attention of museum patrons to overlooked artifacts. The work on display at the symposium struck me, at its core, as engaging with questions and values that cut across disciplines, digital or otherwise.

Most compelling to me, the symposium drew attention to how the tools we use to examine the objects of our study change our relationship to them. The presenters acknowledged that such an idea does hold dangers – after all, we want museum-goers to consider the objects in a collection, not just spend time perusing an iPad application meant to enrich them. But just as new tools offer new complications, changes in medium also offer changes in perspective. As was illustrated repeatedly at the symposium, drone photography, for all its deeply problematic political and personal valences, can offer you a new way of seeing the world, a new way of looking that is more comprehensive than the one we see from the ground. Even as we hold new methodologies and tools up to critique we can still consider how they might cause us to consider an object, a project, or a classroom differently.

Seeing from a different angle allows us to ask new questions and re-evaluate old ones, an idea that speaks directly to my experience at the symposium. I work at the intersections of digital humanities, literary studies, and sound studies. So my participation in the symposium was as something of an outsider, someone ready to learn about an adjacent and overlapping field but, ultimately, not a home discipline. Thinking through my work from an outsider perspective made me want to ask many questions of my own work. The presenters here were deeply engaged in preserving and increasing access to the cultural record. How might I do the same through text analysis or through my work with audio artifacts? What questions and goals are common to all academic disciplines? How might I more thoroughly engage students in public humanities work?

Obviously, the event left me with more questions than answers, but I think that is ultimately the sign of a successful symposium. I would encourage you to check out the videos of the conference, as this short note is necessarily reductive of such a productive event. The talks will offer you new thoughts on old questions and new ways of thinking about digital scholarship no matter your discipline.

 

 

Categories
Event off campus Project Update

Professor Rebecca Benefiel presents on the Herculaneum Graffiti Project

Professor Rebecca Benefiel recently presented on the Herculaneum Graffiti Project at the Classical Association of Canada annual conference on the panel Let’s Get Digital:
http://www.torontocac2015.com/uploads/4/0/9/2/40926595/electronic_program.pdf
She also presented at the Inaugural Institute for Digital Archaeology conference in Oxford:
http://digitalarchaeology.org.uk/events/
Categories
Event off campus

Institute for Liberal Arts Digital Scholarship to be held at Hamilton College in Clinton, New York this summer

From July 26 to August 2, 2015 a partnership of 23 liberal arts institutions will host ILiADS, the Institute for Liberal Arts Digital Scholarship, at Hamilton College in Clinton, New York.  The institute will have both a team and project-based approach as well as a more traditional conference structure.  See http://iliads.org/ for more information.

Washington and Lee University is organizing a group to attend this institute.  Please contact Paul Youngman (youngmanp [at] wlu.edu) if you are interested in being a part of this group.

 

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Event off campus

Workshops at Scholars’ Lab

UVA’s Scholars’ Lab has a series of workshops that may be of interest to our faculty.

 

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Event off campus

Bucknell Digital Scholarship Conference – Call for Proposals

Bucknell Digital Scholarship Conference: 14-16 November 2014
Call for Proposals

Bucknell University, with support from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, will host its first annual international digital scholarship conference. The theme of the conference is “Collaborating Digitally: Engaging Students in Faculty Research” with the goal of gathering a broad community of scholar-practitioners engaged in collaborative digital scholarship in research and teaching.

This conference will bring together a broad community of scholar-practitioners engaged in collaborative digital scholarship in research and teaching. We encourage presentations that emphasize forms of collaboration: between institutions of higher education; across disciplines; between faculty, librarians, and technologists; and between faculty and students. We welcome contributions from scholars, educators, technologists, librarians, administrators, and students who use digital tools and methods, and encourage submissions from emerging and established scholar-practitioners alike, including those who are new to digital collaboration.

Submission topics may include but are not limited to: engaging with space and place; creating innovative teaching and learning environments; perspectives on implications for the individual’s own research and pedagogy within the institutional landscape, etc.

Presentations may take the form of short papers, project demos, electronic posters, panel discussions, or lightning talks.

For more information about submitting a presentation proposal, please go to the Bucknell Digital Initiatives website: http://goo.gl/eoOnK4 . The deadline for proposals is August 1, 2014.

If you have questions or would like more information about the submission process, please email conference coordinator Diane Jakacki: diane.jakacki@bucknell.edu.

Bucknell is a private liberal arts university located alongside the historic Susquehanna River in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania. At Bucknell “Digital Scholarship” is defined as any scholarly activity that makes extensive use of one or more of the new possibilities for teaching and research opened up by the unique affordances of digital media. These include, but are not limited to, new forms of collaboration, new forms of publication, and new methods for visualizing and analyzing data.

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Event off campus

Poet and Digital Author To Speak Thursday at VMI

This Thursday, March 20, dean’s speaker Amaranth Borsuk will read selections from her digital pop-up book, Between Page and Screen, and give a talk, “Material Poetics Between Page and Screen.” The presentation will take place at 7:45 p.m. in the Turman Room of Preston Library.

For further information see http://www.vmi.edu/Content.aspx?id=10737428334

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Event off campus

NEH – special Google+ Hangout event

Join the National Endowment for the Humanities on a special Google+ Hangout on Wednesday, December 11th, 2013 at 2pm ET—watch live from humanitiesinsights.wordpress.com. 

Watch live (here) as Ira Flatow, host of NPR’s Science Friday, interviews University of Richmond President Dr. Edward L. Ayers and his colleagues in the University of Richmond’s Digital Scholarship Lab, Dr. Robert K. Nelson and Dr. Scott Nesbit. The Digital Scholarship Lab (DSL) develops innovative digital humanities projects that contribute to research and teaching at and beyond the University of Richmond. It seeks to reach a wide audience by developing projects that integrate thoughtful interpretation in the humanities and social sciences with innovations in new media. Explore DSL projects here, including the NEH-funded website, Visualizing Emancipation.Live tweet with #DigHum.