THATCamp Philadelphia 2016: The Future Of THATCamp

A very interesting session I attended was on the future of THATCamp.

  • What is the purpose of a central place for THATCamp?
  • What is the future of the THATCamp branding?
  • THATCamp is a great place to meet people, but can be cliquey.
  • Lots of discussion about PhillyDH and what we get out of THATCamp.
  • What I love about THATCamp is how impressive everyone many people I can learn from. Makes me a better professor.
  • Discussions of workshops/small group work.
  • A THATCamp 101 session is a good idea. We may do it at RCBC.
  • Should there be a list of community member skills?
  • So much of THATCamp work is out of work time, which makes it harder.
  • Many of us have jobs where we do DH, but it is not in job description.
  • Virtual meetings are good ideas.
  • Discussion of means to fund a THATCamp.
  • Should there be a fee for THATCamp?

THATCamp Philadelphia 2016: Intersectional Feminism & The Digital Humanities

Here are my notes from this session. I was really tired by this part of the day, so I mostly sat back and listened to others lead the discussion.

  • Discussion of Wikipediathons and the work of people like Adeline Koh.
  • Wikipedia editing is a good way for students to see how inefficient representation of women and people of color is online.
  • Wikipedia not allowing primary sources can frustrate students.
  • Discussion of archiving early queer websites and a code of conduct for archiving.
  • I also brought up fanzine archiving issues and the ethics surrounding them.

What I Am Up To In Fall 2016

  • I took most of August off from the internet. Nothing in particular prompted this, but I needed a break. Regular posting and correspondence should resume starting today.
  • This semester I am teaching my normal assortment of composition courses, but new this semester will be our first ever honors section of ENG102. I am really excited about this after having been on a community to create it for the past few years. I will post a syllabus in a few days.
  • I am also teaching American Cinema again and, for the first time in a few years, Masterpieces of World Literature II.
  • My office hours for the fall are...
    • Monday/Wednesday 1230-1330
    • Tuesday/Thursday/Friday 1100-1200
  • News about the 2017 edition of THATCamp Community College will be coming soon. 
  • I will be attending THATCamp Philly next month at UPenn.
  • I will also be presenting a paper at Rowan University a week later. My paper is entitled “Peasants and Barbarians: How Valkyria Chronicles Uses The Tropes Of War To Reexamine The Past And Present.”


THATCamp Philadelphia: THATCamp Tips (Session Proposers/Moderators=William Patrick Wend/Chris Gazzara)

Chris and I proposed this session to discuss ways to move forward with THATCamp Community College. As you can see, session attendees had plenty of useful ideas.

  • Give some kind of credit to students for attending.

  • Can THATCamp be a part of career reorientation?

  • Budget planning needs to happen early.

  • What about service learning?

  • How about workshops for basics of retraining...Wikipedia, Wordpress, Google Drive, etc

  • “Six tools in an hour” workshop suggested.

  • Could there be connections made to career services in that regard too?

  • What can someone take from a workshop that can be immediately implemented in the classroom?

  • Could there be THATCamp sessions on project management?

  • A suggestion to put up a history of your THATCamp. We can definitely do that.

  • What about sponsorship?

  • Potential for some synchronization with our undergraduate research program here at RCBC and THATCamp.

  • What criteria is required for a workshop to “count” for something?

  • Workshops for students on how to use phones for notes/annotation? Active learning note taking strategies.

  • Possible workshop on whether _____ is useful in the classroom. Let attendees keep a scorecard.

  • A 30 minute summation workshop on previously done topics from our Center For Learning & Instruction.

THATCamp Philadelphia: Regional Digital Humanities (Session Proposer/Moderator=John Theibault)

John Theibault moderated this session on creating more regional digital humanities programs.

  • Connection between regionalism and nationalism.

  • How does unconference model help or hinder regionalism?

  • Are there other regional digital humanities programs like PhillyDH?

  • We discussed the Center For Learning & Instruction here at RCBC.

  • What else besides THATCamp can we do at local institutions to aide their projects?

  • What can be done virtually to facilitate meetups with likeminded people?

  • How do we get more non-academics involved in the digital humanities? (I offered some caution here to avoid corporate influence)

THATCamp Philadelphia: Getting Distance Education Students To Engage With Library Materials (Session Moderator/Proposer=William Patrick Wend)

I proposed a session on trying to get distance education students to work with library materials more. I have had a number of conversations with both faculty and administrators about this issue, so I thought it would be useful to speak to others at THATCamp about it.

  • University of Delaware does virtual tours of their library.

  • What if there were embedded videos of library tours?

  • Do we have romanticized ideas about libraries?

  • How do we get more distance students engaged with the community of the college?

  • Lee Skallerup-Bessette’s work may be helpful for this issue.