Thursday, November 10, 2011

CFP from ASIST: DH and Information Visualization

A call for papers from ASIST: 
"Call for papers: Digital Humanities and Information Visualization:
Innovation and Integration

"SIG-AH and SIG-VIS (Arts & Humanities, Visualization-Images-Sound) of ASIST are joining forces to examine the digital humanities and information visualization with a group of papers to be published in an upcoming special issue of the Bulletin of the American Society for Information Science and Technology. Geotags, participatory content, automatic classification methods, statistical analyses, visualization techniques and other technological methods have enhanced the pedagogy
and scholarship within the humanities in recent years. With this in mind papers are being sought which present an overview of the digital humanities and information visualization, or which address the current and potential future intersection of the two topics. Special topics for your consideration include: the development of digital technologies and digital humanities tools, data mining applications in the humanities, visualization techniques, the use and re-use of
historical data sets, and innovative practices and definitions within the digital humanities and information visualization. We also eagerly invite topics of your choosing which address any aspect of technology within humanities.

"Papers should be approximately 1000-2000 words in length and submitted
by December 31, 2011 to: Sarah Buchanan and Joan Beaudoin. We welcome you to contact either of us in the interim to discuss potential papers and we look forward
to hearing from you."

Friday, October 21, 2011

DH2012 CFP deadline is November 1st

Digital Humanities 2012 will be held in Hamburg, Germany in July 16-22, 2012.  The call for proposals has gone out and the deadline is November 1st, 2012.  I have been invited to be a reviewer for the proposals.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Getting Started in the Digital Humanities

Lisa Spiro has posted an excellent entry on her blog for newcomers titled 'Getting Started in the Digital Humanities':

"I’d like to offer some ideas for how a newcomer might get acquainted with the community and dive into DH work. I should emphasize that many in the DH community are to some extent self-taught and/or gained their knowledge through work on projects rather than through formal training. In my view, what’s most important is being open-minded, experimental, and playful, as well as grounding your learning in a specific project and finding insightful people with whom can you discuss your work."


  • Determine what goals or questions motivate you.
  • Get acquainted with the digital humanities
  • Participate in the DH community
  • Stay informed
  • Explore examples for inspiration and models
  • Pursue training
  • Online tutorials
  • Learn standards and best practices
  • Find collaborators
  • Plan a pilot project
  • Where possible, adopt/adapt existing tools
Some of the comments are from practicing DHers.

Friday, July 29, 2011

NEH Grants for 32 Start-up Digital Humanities projects

From the web site announcement:

"The Office of Digital Humanities is happy to announce thirty-two new awards from our Digital Humanities Start-Up Grant program from our February, 2011 deadline. These awards are part of a larger slate of 249 grants just announced by the NEH."

A taxonomy of projects, many of these being test cases:

  • Using established tools and software in new ways. e.g. Pleiades software to create a gazeteer for the ancient Near East.
  • Mobile software applications. e.g. creating an application for scholarly dance notation.
  • Texts organization and analysis.
  • Plugins for established software .e.g Creating annotated video content in Omeka.
  • Putting new projects on open access content management platforms. e.g Using Drupal to establish a critical edition of the philosopher Charles Pierce's works.
  • Curriculum design for students.
  • Exhibits. 
  • Using crowdsourcing to develop tools for annotating primary sources.
  • Games to teach about subjects. e.g. American Writers Project and the Great Depression.
  • Creating new publishing models. e.g. 
  • Conferences and workshops e.g. Creating an interface for Tapas (TEI Archival Publishing and Access Service).

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Video now available: Research Without Borders: Defining the Digital Humanities

Another discussion on what constitutes the digital humanities was held at Columbia University on April 6, 2011. 

Questions posed were: 
  • What do digital humanities scholars see as the potential of this interdisciplinary field? 
  • What are the important theoretical and methodological contributions digital humanities can offer to both the humanities and the sciences?
 Panelists included:
  • Daniel J. Cohen, Assoc. Professor of History and Director of the Center for History and New Media (CHNM) at George Mason University
  • Federica Frabetti, Senior Lecturer in the Communication, Media, and Culture Program at Oxford Brookes University
  • Dino Buzzetti from the Department of Philosophy at the University of Bologna

Digital Humanities defined (again)

Rafael Alvarado, Asso­ciate Direc­tor of SHANTI at the Uni­ver­sity of Vir­ginia, has written a blog posting titled " The Digital Humanities Situation."  Alvarado argues that there is no definition of DH.  Instead "we have a geneal­ogy, a net­work of fam­ily resem­blances among pro­vi­sional schools of thought, method­olog­i­cal inter­ests, and pre­ferred tools, a his­tory of peo­ple who have cho­sen to call them­selves dig­i­tal human­ists and who in the process of try­ing to define the term are cre­at­ing that def­i­n­i­tion....It is a social cat­e­gory, not an onto­log­i­cal one."

Monday, May 9, 2011

What are the Digital Humanities?

Kathleen Fitzpatrick, Professor of Media Studies at Pomona College, has written a short essay on the history of  "the Digital Humanities" in The Humanities, Done Digitally, in the Chronicle of Higher Education, Digital Campus (May 8, 2011).

Some quotes:

"Just as there are scholars who write about film from perspectives that don't take into account the intellectual history of film studies, and thus are not considered part of the field, there are scholars who work with digital materials but who remain outside the traditions and assumptions of the digital humanities."
" The state of things in digital humanities today rests in that creative tension, between those who've been in the field for a long time and those who are coming to it today, between disciplinarity and interdisciplinarity, between making and interpreting, between the field's history and its future. Scholarly work across the humanities, as in all academic fields, is increasingly being done digitally. The particular contribution of the digital humanities, however, lies in its exploration of the difference that the digital can make to the kinds of work that we do, as well as to the ways that we communicate with one another."

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Day in the Life of the Digital Humanities 2011

The 3rd annual Day in the Life of the Digital Humanities will take place on Friday, March 18th, 2011.  The deadline to participate is March 15th. You can register here. The event is supported by
The project: " A Day in the Life of the Digital Humanities (Day of DH) is a community publication project that will bring together digital humanists from around the world to document what they do on one day, March 18th. The goal of the project is to create a web site that weaves together the journals of the participants into a picture that answers the question, “Just what do computing humanists really do?” Participants will document their day through photographs and commentary in a blog-like journal. The collection of these journals with links, tags, and comments will make up the final work which will be published online."

Over 151 participants have signed up so far!

Another project that day is the "How do you define Humanities Computing / Digital Humanities?"  Participants are invited to share their conceptions of the Digital Humanities.  There are some 2011 entries already on the site.  You can see the 2009 and 2010 responses as well.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Scholar-Librarian collaboration: a review of THATCamp Southeast

A review by Miriam Posner's blog of the March 4-6, 2011 THATCamp Southeast held at Emory University.  This THATCamp focused on librarian-scholar collaboration.  My three favorite ideas from the post:

1.  "We get paid to be interrupted!"

"The academics in the room started out by saying that they weren’t sure when it was appropriate to ask for assistance from a librarian. At what point, they wondered, are we impinging on the librarian’s time? Librarians responded that it sounded as though they needed to give out better information about the specific services librarians offer, like research interviews. In general, they said, they welcome any kind of consultation. “We get paid to be interrupted!” one librarian said."

My additional comment would be that we librarians are there to save the scholar's time.  Our time--up to a certain point--is theirs.

2.  Professional expectations inform our behavior

"It emerged that both librarians and scholars are subject to professional pressures that inform their expectations of each other. Scholars were surprised to hear that it’s professionally important for librarians to claim research interviews. “You like that?” one faculty member asked. “I always thought I was bothering you!” Scholars were also surprised to hear what a great professional boon it would be for librarians to be credited as collaborators. “I had no idea about the professional expectations for librarians,” a faculty member said. Librarians told scholars how much they’d appreciate professional recognition like inclusion on a dissertation committee."

Some of my faculty and graduate students understand this with the result being that I have been credited in their monographs and dissertations. 

3.  Non-judgmental mentors for grad students

"Ted Friedman asked librarians whether they go to the professional conferences for their subject areas, like MLA. Jason Puckett estimated that perhaps one-third of librarians do. The grad students in particular mentioned how useful it would be to consult with a subject-area expert who is not a professor, and therefore wouldn’t judge him or her for a lack of knowledge. We talked about the possibility of librarians offering frank, nonjudgmental advice to grad students — say, the top 100 books you need to be able to say you’ve read in your field. Grad students were enthusiastic about this kind of role."

I am the subject librarian for five disciplines; art, philosophy, English, drama, and modern languages so attending conferences would be a stretch in time and money. I have a graduate degree in philosophy so that would be the natural choice but I wonder if that would be shortchanging the other disciplines.  I do have students coming to ask me questions of a library nature and not about an intellectual problem within their discipline.