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ThatCamp Philadelphia: Digital Humanities Integration Into Regular Literature Classrooms

The final session I attended at ThatCamp Philadelphia was run bu Janine Utell on integrating the digital humanities into regular literature classrooms.

  • Amanda French defines the digital humanities as “open access”
  • How can student work be put online? WordPress, PBWorks, etc
  • Digital Humanities Quarterly given as example of open access
  • Should give students option to take down work at the end of the semester
  • I am going to try out commonplace blogs with my eng102 classes next semester
  • Utell: Digital humanities is essential to keeping the humanities alive
  • Some discussion about establishing comment policies
  • Crowd sourcing comment policy to students
  • Peer review is important before work goes online
  • Instructor comments on blogs tapers off as semester goes on
  • French and Siobhan Phillips bring out Google’s ngrams, wordles
  • I’ve had students A/B an Obama speech to a Jefferson speech
  • More incorportation of audio, video, etc into literary classes
  • Modernist Journals Project
  • Amanda French stresses the need to teach bibliographic software like Noodle, Evernote, and Zotero

ThatCamp Philadelphia: Digital Scholarship & The Unpress

A newer member of the Stockton family, Adeline Koh, ran a session on digital scholarship that was equally interesting and very engaging. Being off of the tenure track, and not at a university, I had a different perspective than some others brought to it. Others like Amanda French, who aren’t teaching right now, brought a unique perspective as well.

  • Ulyssesseen.com is an app for Ulysses. Cool.
  • Big question about whether digital publications count towards tenure.
  • Kathleen Fitzpatrick’s Planned Obselence and Shakespeare Quarterly’s move to open peer review are brought up.
  • Deb Gussman asks for a definition of what “open access” means.
  • Cost and institutional support are important.
  • Siobhan Phillips asks about differences in cost between open and closed peer review.
  • How much worth do you get out of a two year process for a scholarly journal?
  • I blurt out “very little!”
  • Amanda French asks at what point in the process should peer review come in?
  • Creating an epub is so easy now. I need to create an epub/mobi of my MA thesis.
  • Amanda also mentioned Press Forward.
  • Deb about two big factors in self publication…moving from format to format and lessening interest over time…
  • Siobhan Phillips had a great idea about having organizations in various fields creating open access bibliographies.
  • Discipline loyalties are more important than institutional loyalties.
  • Because I am not on tenure track, I definitely have different relationships to these issues than others in the room. I mentioned that I don’t feel comfortable publishing in something that couldn’t easily be accessed by my grandparents and there was definitely some amused looks. Whatever. I’d rather people have access to my work than worry about being “legitimate” or whatever.
  • Gussman wonders if outside tenure review can be applied to peer review? Digital Humanities Quarterly already does I believe.
  • Amanda and I discussed the impact of self published or open access published works. We both get comments, emails, and know where readers are coming from.
  • Janine Utell: Decide what your career could look like and make best case you can.

Adeline's notes on the white board. 

A good shot of some of the room including Siobhan, Deb, Adeline, and my TweetDeck. 

Amanda and Adeline listen to Janine Utell speak near the end of the session.

ThatCamp Philadelphia: An Overview

A few weeks ago, I had the great pleasure of attending ThatCamp Philadelphia at Chemical Heritage in Philadelphia. After getting a little lost (4th and Chestnut was closed for a protest), I made it to the conference and found out that the session I proposed a few days before had been picked. I really appreciate that, despite not being there, people still voted for my session. I met up with old friends like Amanda French (lots of ohhhs and ahhh when she mentions she is ThatCamp coordinator), Deb Gussman (10 years ago, she was my first literature professor and now she is attending my panels. Wow.), and John Theibault and settled in at the conference, which had very impressive coffee. I also met longtime Twitter friend Janine Utell and became acquainted at lunch with very awesome people like Siobhan Phillips and Rebecca Goldman and Adeline Koh, a new friend from the Stockton family.

(although I wish I could have been at lunch with John and Amanda because I hear they discussed Edna St. Vincent Millay, one of my favorite poets)

The main meeting room was packed by the time I got to the conference. I got a little lost on the way towards 4th street because of traffic being blocked by a protest march. Google Maps on my phone, run through my speakers, really saved me. 

I spent a lot of time during the day with Amanda French, who is That Camp Coordinator (oohhh, aahhh). 

One of the most interesting aspects of this unconference was how good the coffee is at Chemical Heritage. 

The day was planned via a series of poster boards. 

ThatCamp Jersey Shore: Amanda French’s Omeka Presentation

I attended a great presentation about Omeka by Amanda French sometime in the morning on the first day of ThatCamp Jersey Shore. I have become interested in Omeka recently, as I had been considering moving the flyer archive over to it. After hearing Amanda speak, I have decided not to move it, but i think there are plenty of great uses for Omeka.

  • Omeka was built for use by museums and archives
  • Omeka.org is server side software. Must have a server to publish on your own.
  • Dreamhost does one click installs of Omeka.
  • Omeka.net is a hosted version similar to wordpress.com
  • There is a lot of potential for metadata (Dublin Core) in Omeka. Standards are set by archivists and librarians.
  • The interface for Omeka is similar to WordPress. Adding an item is really easy.
  • A big downside I found was items only being in one collection at a time. Tagging may work better for that ala WordPress.
  • Plugins for adding an item to multiple collections may be coming soon.
  • Archives about Hurricane Katrina run on Omeka.
  • TEI looks very interesting. For example, in one of Washington’s letters would add “Martha Washington” to words “my wife.”


ThatCamp Jersey Shore: Engaging With Massive Humanities Datasets

The final panel of ThatCamp: Jersey Shore was run by Amanda French on engagement with massive humanities datasets. I’ve been tipping my toes into this field a bit recently, so I was eagerly awaiting this panel.

  • Franco Moretti’s very important Graphs, Maps, and Trees was discussed. Even with canon expansion, still only 10% of 19th century publications.
  • Digital humanities apply millions of pieces of data to Dickens instead of Foucault.
  • Moretti article Style Inc. looks at thousands of titles.
  • What does these large datasets do to applications like the Oxford English Dictionary? For example, the OED’s proclamation that OMG was first used in 1914.
  • Someone (Amanda?) wondered if these large datasets are leading to something like Borges’ Library of Babel.
  • Datasets more about questions than theory.

After ThatCamp was over, I headed out for lunch With Amanda, John Theibault, and Deb Gussman. A great end to an excellent conference.