Tag Archive: session ideas

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?


Aug 30

THATCamp 101: How will our unconference work?

Day 1 of our Digital Humanities Forum is a series of hands-on workshops. Day 3 is a conference with papers and poster sessions. The format of these sessions will be familiar to most participants, and the schedule and session titles for both these days are already on the website.

But for those who are new to THATCamp, you may be wondering what to expect from Day 2. As you will notice, the schedule is completely open….and it will stay that way until the day of the Camp.

First held at George Mason University’s Center for History and New Media in 2008, THATCamp follows an “unconference” model in which the participants themselves set the agenda. There are no papers or presentations—instead each session is intended for discussion, sharing of information, and interaction. Every unconference is different, depending on the number of participants and their interests. Here’s is how we are planning to organize THATCamp Kansas:

1) Prior to the conference, participants can post to this blog ideas or topics they think would make for interesting sessions (please use the “Session Ideas” category to make it easy for others to find). Others can then respond with expressions of interest, or their own suggestions.

2) On the morning of THATCamp (Friday, Sep 23rd) the organizers will post the ideas on large sheets of paper, and as participants arrive, register and drink coffee, they can vote or sign up for sessions that interest them. We will then schedule the most popular topics into one of the rooms and time slots for that day. With four rooms available, and 5 hours of session time for each room, there will be plenty of time for a variety of topics!

For more information on proposing a session, including many examples of of sessions from previous THATCamps, please see our Propose a Session page.

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