Category Archive: Session Ideas

Sep 17

Collecting and sharing personal, family and community history

–[Proposals and areas of interest from participants as indicated on the THATCamp registration form.]–

I’m interested in exploring ways for people to share personal, family, and community history using digital tools. I’d like to gather and share ideas to help record, preserve, celebrate, and communicate the stories of our ancestors, communities, and organizations using digital/online media.

Sep 17

Design of digital humanities resources

–[Proposals and areas of interest from participants as indicated on the THATCamp registration form.]–

I am particularly interested in the design of digital humanities resources: there are plenty of powerful software and web tools for analysis and presentation in the humanities, but not many that are designed for portability/reuse, ease of use by non-technologists, or beauty of presentation. I want to build streamlined digital humanities tools that:
-apply state-of-the-art principles of MVC (Model-View-Controller) development, web design and typography to the display of complex humanities data;
-intelligently hide information based on context, to avoid overwhelming users (the dynamic, digital equivalent of end notes vs. foot/marginal notes);
-allow non-experts to explore texts and their digital reincarnations, in depth and in a manner as aesthetically pleasing as print reading.

Other interests: taxonomic information encoding vs. contrapuntal textual movement.

Sep 17

How do humanities scholars make use of digitized materials

–[Proposals and areas of interest from participants as indicated on the THATCamp registration form.]–

I’m launching a study this fall to examine how humanities scholars work with digitized materials from digital collections in their scholarly research. I have a couple initial research questions that I think would be good points of discussion for a THATcamp session: What are the features and services that would optimize a digital collection for scholarly research? How do scholars use digital collections in their research workflows? Also of note: this study is initially being conducted as a sub-project of the Bamboo Technology Project (, a multi-institutional research partnership that is developing an e-research environment for humanities scholars. This study will assist us we prepare to develop digital collections for research within the Bamboo e-research environment and I’d be happy to talk about what we’re doing with that too.

Sep 17

Scholarly Repositories and the Humanities

–(Proposals and areas of interest from participants as indicated on the THATCamp registration form.)–

I’d like to explore the question of whether individual scholarly repositories have a place in humanities scholarship. Such repositories are becoming increasingly popular in the sciences and, to some extent, the social sciences through services such as Mendeley (, Papers (, and Colwiz ( Some possible sub-topics for discussion: Do humanities scholars use such services? Are there missing features that would make such services more attractive? How could such services fit into a library’s technology offerings?

Sep 13

Engaging Students in Digital Humanities

I’m already teaching a workshop on this topic, but I’d love to see a session on the place of undergrads in the digital humanities.  Our workshop, Integrating Digital Humanities Projects into the Undergraduate Curriculum, covers one aspect of that integration, integrating an existing DH project into a class.  But, there are many more issues to discuss.

  • How do you train students in digital humanities?
  • Which methodologies do you teach and how?
  • How can we create a pipeline to graduate school or should we?
  • Which texts should you use?

I’m sure we can come up with more questions and some answers, too.

Sep 13

Finding Collaborators in Digital Humanities

In a recent whitepaper, “Divided and Conquered: How Multivarious Isolation Is Suppressing Digital Humanities Scholarship,” Quinn Dombrowski and I argued that isolation is a major challenge for the digital humanists, especially at the small liberal arts colleges that are members of the NITLE network, at primarily undergraduate institutions, or at other institutions without a digital humanities center.  Isolation is especially problematic since much digital humanities work is collaborative.  How can you effectively engage in digital humanities if you are the only digital humanist on your campus?  I would be interested in a session that discusses how to combat isolation in the digital humanities.

This session might include successful strategies and remaining challenges.  Regional THATCamps like this one help, as does social media.  Currently, we are also working on a project to combat that isolation by developing a project registry to link potential project collaborators.  DHCommons, short for Digital Humanities Commons, seeks to ameliorate the isolation that impacts digital humanists by developing an infrastructure that facilitates both collaboration and awareness of existing digital humanities projects. Although isolation from digital humanist colleagues and information about activities in the field is felt most acutely at smaller or non-research institutions that lack a digital humanities center, even scholars at institutions with well-supported centers may need reliable channels for connecting with potential collaborators beyond their institution, or discovering extramural projects without the resources for extensive outreach efforts. These disconnects between potential collaborators and existing projects result in duplicated effort. Rather than building on one another’s work or combining complimentary resource pools (e.g., skilled student labor on one side, and institutional funding on the other), scholars end up repeating or nearly repeating existing projects or redeveloping existing tools. To address these challenges, DHCommons will build an online project repository that provides faceted searching and browsing, where project leaders can post needs (e.g. technical assistance, beta testing, or content development), and potential collaborators can post their interests and availability. This tool will form the centerpiece of a larger effort to break down silos in the digital humanities community by changing practice.  What silos do you see and how can we break them down?


Sep 12

Digital resource brainstorming – session proposal

As newcomers to our respective fields (Mike Hernandez is an English MA student, Mackenzie Brooks is new librarian), we are interested in a general discussion and recommendation-giving on the topic of designing and implementing a humanities based digital resource, especially for use in the classroom. We are in the beginning stages of creating a Drupal-based website that will serve as an encyclopedic introduction to science-influenced approaches to the literature. We are interested in discussing such questions as:

-What features do you look for in a digital resource?
-What elements make you consider using a digital resource in a class and in what capacity?
-In your discipline, how would you go about creating and marketing a digital resource? What gap would you fill with it?
-What are examples of successful projects and how have you used them in your research or courses?
-What are some known stumbling blocks for web-based resources?

Sep 06

Anyone else interested in writing translators & styles for Zotero?

I’m not in a position to teach how to create a Zotero translator or citation style, but I’d very much like to learn.  I do not have any background in Javascript but would hope to learn just enough to do these two things.  Is anyone else interested in this topic?

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