Archive for the ‘Session Proposals’ Category

  • Dreaming of the DH-poiesis is one thing. Realizing it, quite another.


    I have an idea for the DH project, and I would like  your advice on how to get started.

    My aim is to produce an electronic editions of the modern American poet, Wallace Stevens (1879-1955), to study and illustrate the rationale behind the making of poems. I aim to begin my experiment with of Stevens’ best known poems, “Sunday Morning.”

    Three texts of the poem exit in print, and may easily be digitized in such a way as to facilitate comparison of them. First is the text published in 1915 in a wartime edition of Poetry magazine, at the time a preeminent venue for new poetry. Harriet Monroe, then editor of the magazine, asked Stevens to substantially rearrange the poem, and to omit parts of it, lest “Sunday Morning” might be taken as an open challenge to Christianity–something, Monroe thought, best avoided during a time of war. Stevens, for his part, followed Monroe’s advice, adopting a more tentative position with respect to Christianity. However, Stevens restored what, for my purposes, I will call the “original” version of the poem in his 1923 book Harmonium, and then again in the 1954 second edition of that book. These texts differ remarkably from the 1915 text.

    Setting all available texts alongside one another in a flexible and nimble digital edition will urge readers, including those who do not specialize in literature, to reconsider what we mean in speaking of “the true text” of a literary work, and how the works come to be. Even readers who have never read the 1915 text in which Stevens and Monroe collaborated  will find themselves reading the 1923 text with fresh eyes: the parts that troubled Monroe will be more salient. I propose further to enhance this thought-provoking process by the addition, in a form easily accessible even to non-academic readers, of another set of digitized data: namely, relevant editorial correspondence and reviews…

    I could go on, and with the ever-increasing excitement. But here’s the rub: how can I actually get to work?

  • Using mobile devices to support situated learning and cultural engagement


    I propose a session to discuss opportunities mobile devices provide to connect us with arts and cultural artifacts in our communities. Mobile devices, coupled with ubiquitous connectivity, now offer unprecedented opportunities for these connections. Two projects I am engaged in can serve as case studies to launch discussion. TourGuide is a cross-platform mobile tour creation app geared at connecting students and the public with significant places in their communities by facilitating easy creation of location aware tours. Our Augmented Reality Project weaves together architecture, historical and cultural objects, and scientific concepts by overlaying informational and historical data on present day landscapes. Questions we may consider include: How might we best leverage the opportunities these technologies for humanities teaching, research and outreach? How to engage our own students in this type of work? What devices and platforms are we and others using, and what seem to hold the most promise? What opportunities are there for cross institutional collaboration?

  • Creating a Hybrid, Multi-Institutional Introduction to the “Digital Liberal Arts”


    As part of a new, Mellon-funded initiative, some members of the Great Lakes Colleges Association are considering the development of a multi-institutional, hybrid course in the digital humanities (or the “digital liberal arts”).  The goals of such a project might include stimulating faculty engagement and development, “naturalizing” digital scholarship in general education as well more specialized, disciplinary work, and fostering collaboration–and the leveraging of resources–across our 13 member institutions and regional, university-based digital humanities centers.  We are looking for experiences with appropriate platforms and models for such collaborations on hybrid digital humanities courses, as well as seeking potential partners for regional collaboration on related projects in any disciplinary area.

  • The value of data visualization for academic/library search engines


    Academic search engines like Google Scholar or citation indices like Web of Science offer important information about academic articles through citation counts. And there is a whole field of research called citation analysis which is dedicated to analyzing journal impact factors and other bibliometrics. The Web of Science citation index has a rudimentary visualization component, but it’s also clearly aimed at more advanced scholars. I’m interested in the possibilities of using information visualization to enhance the research not just of scholars but of students as well. Greater visualization can lead to greater discoverability: of important sources, trends, and emerging scholarship. To take this proposition to its radical limits, maybe we could even consider replacing the entire traditional list of search results with an interface that puts greater emphasis on visual learning and discoverability.

    To broaden the scope of this session proposal, I’d be interested in joining up with anyone interested in pushing further the use of information visualization generally within the digital humanities.

  • Users of Blogging and Social Media in an Academic Environment


    I would like to propose a discussion on blogging and social media.  Both are frequently used to promote academic departments, institutions, organizations, etc. but who are the users?  I would really like to discuss how the different platforms are used in promoting these academic environment and who the users are in each platform.  Who are the intended users? Who are the actual users? And who are the potential users? Also, with the term user in mind, what is the definition of a user in social media.  Is this the person that simply follows or likes a page?  Or is it a person that actually interacts with the content by posting, commenting, and providing feedback?  I think that there are multiple approaches to these questions, and that different groups may have different desires in terms of social media strategies, but am looking forward to discussing these differences and why they exist.

  • How can libraries support digital humanities work, even when there isn’t an official center?


    The vast majority of college campuses and research institutions do not have an official DH center, yet there is still a lot of support for researchers. We would like to propose a discussion on the ways that the Library and other institutional departments can support DH scholars on different levels (technically, topically, and pedagogically). Some questions we will consider include what type of support do DH scholars need and how much? How can the we facilitate DH experimentation for scholars who just want to try it out? How can the institutions effectively reach out to individuals and foster community?

    [This is a joint proposal with Melissa Gomis.]

  • Creating a History of Computers and Writing/Digital Humanities for the Sweetland DRC


    At the Sweetland Digital Rhetoric Collaborative, we are working to expand our resources section. In particular, we want to build a representative history of our field. Since “our field” is such a diverse term, we want to talk to as many people as we can about what our history(ies) might look like. How can we outline our history? What would we include? How do we want to represent ourselves, and see ourselves represented on the DRC website? I would love to get feedback about our current resources, as well as suggestions for improvement.

  • Game History and Preservation


    I’d like to propose a session for the discussion of game history and preservation. Here are some of the issues (in no particular order) I see confronting work in this area:

    • The vast majority of work in game studies is video game centered
    • Digital distribution models including DRM pose a serious threat to preservation
    • The preservation of game equipment/hardware is expensive, requires a lot of space, and requires in-depth knowledge
    • Obsolescence
    • Emulation
    • Copyright
    • Fan-based preservation and piracy
    • Haptics and Human Computer Interfaces

    Much of my interest here comes from my own writing and the Preserving Virtual Worlds project at Maryland. At the least, it would be nice to network with other scholars in the area with similar interests. I am also open to considering new DH projects which might involve game history and preservation.


  • Professional Development and the Art of Persuasion


    I would like to have a conversation/brainstorming session that centers on the problem of tech-focused professional development.  I (along with two other faculty members) work as a “Faculty Tech Consultant” for Mott Community College‘s Center for Teaching and Learning.  We get a bit of overload pay to hold office hours and run workshops for faculty and staff in which we teach them about new tech tools and try to get them to think about the best ways to use the tools they may already be familiar with.  While our focus is usually on teaching, since we serve staff as well, we do a healthy amount of work on productivity and the like.

    It’s a fun gig, and I enjoy it but I’m concerned that we’re not doing enough to promote (and support) truly innovative uses of technology.  Part of this is us–we don’t have as much time to do things as we might like–and part is the fact that no one else has a whole lot of extra time either.

    So, what I’m looking for is to share experiences in training, teaching, and coaching faculty and staff in being (for want of a better term) technologically innovative.  What works, what doesn’t?  How do we overcome resistance to new ideas, techniques and tools without being nagging or denigrating to our peers?  How do other institutions support technological innovation by faculty and staff?

    Although I and my fellow tech consultants are faculty, our remit is to serve faculty, staff, and administrators, so anyone from any field or position would have a lot to contribute to this conversation!

  • Getting a new digital humanities project off the ground


    In this session I propose a discussion of challenges and solutions that attendees have found for the initial steps of a digital humanities project: identifying collaborators, funding sources, tools, required skills, data sources, methods of data extraction and preparation. These considerations often take a back seat to the final display/dissemination of data analysis and the conclusions that arise from it, but they are essential to any project’s success. I would like to focus in particular on data extraction and preparation, since these steps often take a great deal of effort to implement, but documentation of these steps does not necessarily exist even when tools/code are publicly available, so that projects may unknowingly replicate work already done by others. Have you used unstructured textual data for a digital humanities project? What did you need to do to prepare it for analysis? What do you wish you had known before you started or along the way? What kinds of support did you find? OR Are you thinking about starting a new project? How do you anticipate finding and using your data? What kinds of documentation would be most useful to you?

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