Spring Symposium

Reflecting on the DH@CC Spring Symposium: A Smash Hit!

On February 18, 2015, the DH@CC kicked off its inaugural event with Dr. Alan Liu’s provocative talk, “Key Trends in the Digital Humanities: How the Digital Humanities Challenge the Idea of the Humanities.” Thanks to the generosity of Pomona’s English and IT departments, the welcoming event was held at Rose Hills Theater.

Dr. Liu, an English professor at UC Santa Barbara, has been an active participant in DH debates, raising important questions about the nature and direction of DH. He is the author of Local Transcendence: Essays on Postmodern Historicism and the Data Base, and also wrote a pertinent article on the development of a DH landscape which is largely void of the kind of critical focus the humanities are born from. The article is titled “Where is Cultural Criticism in the Digital Humanities.”

Dr. Liu’s keynote talk, which is documented in the video below, addresses the general lack of humanist focus in much DH work and questions the meaning and purpose of data driven DH tools and projects. Dr. Liu also asks humanists who are new to DH, to consider the social and cultural implications of their future DH endeavors.

Dr. Alan Liu, “Key Trends in the Digital Humanities” from Claremont DH on Vimeo.

The following Friday was our Spring Symposium, a casual conference where 5C faculty and staff socialized, asked questions, presented DH related material and projects, and learned about key DH tools and topics. The morning began with a fantastic look at defining DH with Dr. Miriam Posner’s talk, “Framing Digital Humanities.”

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Dr. Posner, the DH Program Coordinator at UCLA, is the author of No Half Measures: Overcoming Common Challenges to Doing Digital Humanities in the Library. She has given talks on DH at universities across the US, and is currently working on a book titled, Depth Perception: Narrative and the Body in American Medical Filmmaking. A comprehensive post on Dr. Posner’s presentation can be found here.

Dr. Posner’s talk was followed by a series of faculty and staff presentations. Among them was a fascinating look at story mapping by GIS Specialist, Warren Roberts.

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The generosity and hospitality of the Honnold Mudd library staff made the DH@CC Spring Symposium a well-attended success with over 50 participants. Thanks to the support of Kate Crocker and Ashley Sanders, the event was well announced, coordinated, and assessed. Library Dean, Kevin Mulroy, provided comfortable spaces and catered lunch, which also served as a platform for a Best Practices presentation.

Because the Honnold Mudd Library and its staff is already deeply vested in digital scholarship at the 5Cs, it will function as a central programming hub for the future of DH@CC. Honnold Mudd Library has a wide range of staff members who can provide support and guidance for DH@CC work.

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Allegra Swift, head of Scholarly Communications and Publishing at the library, presented an important look at the implications of online publishing and distributing scholarly work. Allegra covered all things share-related from ethical responsibility to using citation management tools like Zotero.

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The day concluded with an un-conference meeting that focused on the future of the Honnold Mudd Library “Green Room,” a space that will become the official DH@CC lab. A lively discussion was had over what kind of equipment would best suit the space. Many faculty were quite interested in practical tools like a projector and moveable white board. Fun and interesting possibilities also came up, like the “Mobile Maker Cart,” which features craft-like tools and an inexpensive 3D printer. It was also suggested during this discussion that, rather than filling the space with equipment which will need maintenance and support, event programming is an option. A highly favored suggestion included the possibility of an equipment loan program, where each of the 5Cs would take turns loaning an exciting tool to the DH@CC space. Programming would then revolve around the tool for an entire month; demonstrations and hands-on learning events would be the expected outcome.

Additional representations of the presentations that took place at the DH@CC Spring Symposium can be found here. This link is expected to grow as faculty and staff continue to provide ephemera from their talks.

DH@CC 2015 Spring Symposium Presentations

DH@CC Spring Symposium Presentations

DH@CC is proud to present the following 5C speakers at the 2015 Inaugural Spring Symposium, which will be held on February 20th at the Honnold Mudd Library. Times and locations will be posted in the coming weeks.

HUMANITIES  School Field
Warren Liu SCR English
Carina Johnson PIT History/Religion
Richard McKirahan POM Classics
Laura Trombley via video PIT English
Kevin Mulroy CCL American Studies
Mark Andrejevic POM Media Studies
Jeff Groves HMC Literature
PEDAGOGY School Field
Max Benavidez CMC New Media, Communications and Higher Education
Ashley Sanders CCL Digital Scholarship
Nancy Macko SCR Art
Alex Juhasz PIT Media Studies
Vida Mia Garcia and Tom Maiorana POM/Red Cover Studios Ethnographer and Designer
Jonathan Hall POM Media Studies
Cynthia Humes CMC Religion/IT
TOOLS School Field
Eric Doehne SCR Art Conservation
AJ Strout CC Video
Warren Roberts CCL GIS
David Bachman PIT Math
Rachel Mayeri HMC MS
Dan Michon CMC Religion
Rachel Levy HMC Mathematics

Dr. Alan Liu and Dr. Miriam Posner Featured at the DH@CC Spring Symposium

Dr. Alan Liu


On February 18, 2015, 7 pm, Rose Hill Theater, Pomona College, Dr. Alan Liu (Professor of English, UCSB) will present the opening address for the CC@DH Spring Symposium, “Key Trends in the Digital Humanities: How Digital Humanities Challenge the Idea of the Humanities.” He will consider, “how such key methods in the digital humanities as data mining, mapping, visualization, social network analysis, and topic modeling make an essential difference in the idea of the humanities, and vice versa?” Using examples of digital humanities research, Dr. Liu will speculate on the large questions that confront the humanities in the face of computational media–most importantly, questions about the nature and function of interpretive “meaning.”

Refreshments will be served. For more information about Dr. Liu’s work in the Digital Humanities, read his article titled, “Where is Cultural Criticism in the Humanities.” You can also read his profile at UCSB.

Dr. Miriam Posner


On February 20th, 2015, Dr. Miriam Posner will open the CC@DH day-long Symposium with a presentation, “Framing the Digital Humanities,” defining the Digital Humanities by its uses, tools, and methods. “Digital humanities gets a lot of buzz, but what is it, fundamentally? What can you do with digital humanities tools and methods, and how might it be useful in a liberal arts context? We’ll look at some example projects and talk about where DH might be heading in coming years.”

Dr. Posner’s presentation will be held at 9am in the Honnold Mudd Library. A series of informal workshops and presentations on the Digital Humanities at the Claremont Colleges, addressing the Humanities, Pedagogy, and Tools, will follow.

For additional information about Dr. Miriam Posner’s work in DH, you can visit her blog or check out her bio.

DH@CC Spring Symposium Meeting December 19, 2014

Spring Symposium Meeting December 19th from 11am to 12:30pm

Overall major topics discussed:

  • The Spring Symposium will act as an inaugural event—an announcement to the community that the Mellon DH grant has been initiated. Conversation is the focus of the symposium to answer the larger question of what DH is and to educate members of the community about how this might improve their work.
  • We do not need to keep the focus completely on the term DH. The focus can be more open: digital projects, digital methods, digital resources for humanities work. Keeping the conversation open will allow more individuals the space needed to feel comfortable in the space of DH.
  • It is important for us to focus on humanities within this effort, and not just building new digital tools or spending the money on the usual tech-centered activities like mapping and data mining. It is important for us to ask political questions and highlight tool use as there will be an audience for both. There are two focuses, then: Humanities/Humanist work and tools.
  • We will consider a keynote speaker who asks big questions regarding the political, the humanities.
  • We will do an unconference for the all day event: The morning will be a series of speakers, some of whom will demonstrate their digital humanist work. The afternoon will be a break-out session determined through feedback given after the lunch break by those who participated in the morning.
  • The 4 themes of the Spring Symposium: Pedagogy, The Humanities, DH, and tools
  • So that we don’t overwhelm the morning event, there will be an opening speech on DH (Miriam     Posner) in the founder’s room, and then 3 simultaneous panels to follow. These panels will be themed with one of the 4 themes previously mentioned; Pedagogy, The Humanities, Tools.
  • The Spring Symposium will take place over two days: Keynote event on Wednesday, February 18th in the evening at Rose Hills, Pomona Campus (to be confirmed) and Friday, February 20th all day panels in the Honnold Mudd Library. We may be using HM’s Lecture Capture to share the event.
  •  Wednesday, Feb. 18, 2015 from 7-10pm: Keynote Lecture at Rose Hills, Pomona
  • Friday, Feb. 20, 2015:
    • Plenary 9 a.m. – DH (field of study)
    • Session 1 – 10 a.m.: Humanities (Bigger than DH; critical thinking; liberal arts)
    • Session 2 – 11 a.m.: Pedagogy
    • Session 3 – 12 noon: Tools
    • LUNCH 1-2 p.m: The library will present “Best Practices”
    • Unconference 2-4 p.m.