Digital Frontiers 2014 Conference Registration Open

Registration for Digital Frontiers 2014 and THATCamp Digital Frontiers 2014 is now open!

Visit the Registration page to view details of this year’s tiers, or jump right in and register here!

Miriam Posner, the coordinator and a core faculty member of the University of California-Los Angeles’ Digital Humanities Program, as our keynote speaker for Digital Frontiers 2014.

Dorothea Salo, a faculty associate at the University of Wisconsin’s School of Library and Information Studies, will be the conference’s plenary speaker.

2014 Digital Frontiers Conference – Call for Proposals

Call for Proposals:
The University of North Texas Libraries and Digital Scholarship Co-Operative seek submissions of conference presentations based on the use of digital archives, social media, and digital tools for humanities research for the third annual Digital Frontiers Conference and THATCamp, September 18-20, 2014 at UNT. Submissions may include individual papers, fully-constituted panels, birds-of-a-feather discussions, hands-on tutorials, audio-visual/multimedia, or posters.
We encourage contributions from anyone who creates or uses digital collections, including scholars, educators, genealogists, archivists, technologists, librarians, and students. We welcome submissions from local and regional historical and genealogical societies, and anyone working in the public humanities. The goals of this conference are to bring a broad community of users together to share their work across disciplinary and administrative boundaries, and to explore the value and impact that digital resources have on education and research.
Possible Topics
  • Specific ways digital libraries have changed the state of research
  • Digital tools and methods for conducting research
  • Using digital collections in the classroom
  • Using digital libraries for research on any humanities topic
Proposal Types
Digital Frontiers is accepting proposals for:
  • Individual papers/presentations
  • Panels or Roundtables
  • Birds-of-a-Feather Discussions
  • Hands-on Tutorials & Workshops
  • Posters (36” x 48”)
Individual Papers/Presentations
Abstracts should be no more than 250 words in length; proposals for fully constituted panels or roundtables should include abstracts for each presentation.
Toward achieving the conference goals, we encourage panels to be organized to represent a range of professional backgrounds and experience.  Proposals that include diverse perspectives (i.e. faculty, students, community members, and/or archivists) will be given preference over homogenous panels. We also encourage alternative panel formats (pecha kucha, lightning talks followed by small group discussions, or others) that will facilitate dialogue and enlarge participation.
Please submit one 100-word abstract for the overarching panel theme, along with 250-word abstracts for each paper.
Project updates, single-institution case studies, and preliminary research can be presented as an academic poster. Proposals should be in the form of an abstract of 250 words describing the topic to be presented. Please do not submit the final poster! Further guidelines and specifications will be provided upon acceptance.
Birds-of-a-Feather Briefs
Birds-of-a-feather sessions are networking opportunities in which presenters will lead an informal discussion about a chosen topic for fellow practitioners. Proposals should be in the form of an abstract of 250 words describing the topic to be discussed.
Hands-On Tutorials
Share your knowledge about a research tool, software, or methodology. In 250 words, explain what kind of tutorial you plan to provide and how this tutorial is intended to benefit the audience. 
Digital Frontiers is growing and we are excited to work with individuals to ensure that you are able to participate. Due to anticipated number of submissions, the program planning committee may request that an individual’s contribution be presented in an alternate format such as a Birds of a Feather Brief. 
Peer Review
A panel of scholars will review proposals and make recommendations to the Program Committee.
 April 15, 2014
  • Submit proposals online.
  • With all submissions, please include a brief professional bio (100 words or less – do not send CVs) and specify any A/V or other technical needs with your proposal.
Conference Timeline
  • April 15, 2014: proposals due
  • May 2, 2014: notification of acceptance
  • September 18-19, 2014: Conference
  • September 20, 2014: THATCamp
Jennifer Rowe, MLS
Liaison Librarian to the College of Public Affairs
& Community Service
Research & Instructional Services
University of North Texas Libraries

THATCamp Feminisms at Scripps March 15 & 16, 2013

–this is a repost by Jacque Wernimont, Scripps College Professor of English and THATCamp Organizer, the original appeared this morning on her blog

I’m looking forward to our upcoming THATCamp Feminisms, hosted at Scripps College, March 15th and 16th. Normally I’d link to our site so that you could check out our planned workshops, suggest a session, or register. Unfortunately, the THATCamp sites have been hacked and are down. While I’m generally not prone to conspiracy theories – this is the second time that the THATCamp Feminisms sites have been down and I’m beginning to feel a bit like someone wants to stand in the way.

As of Monday morning, THATCamp Feminisms West is back up and running!

For those who are new to the THATCamp phenomenon – these events are “The Humanities and Technology Camps.” Designed as “unconferences,” these events are more free form, collaborative, and production-oriented than traditional academic conferences. No papers being read from lecterns here. THATCamps are also either low-cost or free – THATCamp Feminisms West (the one here at Scripps) is FREE!! Thanks to the generosity of the Scripps College Office of the President, Scripps English Department, Intercollegiate Media Studies, Intercollegiate Science, Technology, and Society, and Scripps Gender and Women’s Studies. We also have support from MSN Research.

I am particularly excited about the coordinated national effort of THATCamp Feminisms, what began as a west coast event will now also be a southern (@Emory) and eastern (@Barnard) event. We are also going to be participating in an exciting national Wikipedia editing event on Friday morning from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. You can visit our wiki page for more information, or check out Moya Bailey’s great write up of the event. This is both a virtual and in-person event. Here at Scripps we’ll be working at the Honnold-Mudd library in the future CCDH space and we’ll be joined by the fabulous Adrianne Wadewitz, who has helped host other recent WikiStorm events.

We currently plan to host two workshops:

Mia Ridge’s “Data visualisations as gateway to programming,” in which participants will be thinking about how to structure data for use in software, learning basic programming concepts, and moving towards tinkering with scripts. This is a great workshop for humanists who want a friendly intro to the world of programming.

Miriam Posner’s “Building Online Exhibits with Omeka,” in which participants will learn how to use Omeka to develop exhibits for classroom, research, and project use.

If we have enough interest, I will also be hosting an “Intro to DH” workshop for those who are attending their first THATCamp or who are new to the Digital Humanities field; we’ll discuss the origins of DH, it’s many different instantiations, and develop a common vocabulary for use during the rest of the THATCamp.

As with all THATCamps, the sessions will be decided upon during a welcome event and will be designed to focus on productive and collaborative work (feel free to suggest sessions in the comments below). Want to set an agenda for transnational feminisms in DH? -great, write that up. Want to design a syllabus or assignment for a feminist DH course? Wonderful! Have the skills to work with a group to build a lightweight mobile app? Get it done!

While most of the planning is going smoothly, the malicious attack on the THATCamp sites means that we have to hack our work flow just a bit – so please, spread the word that this site is here as a temporary substitute and that questions are most welcome. I’m looking forward to seeing what collective feminist engagement will yield!

THATCamp Feminisms at Scripps

In the latest local DH news, Scripps will be hosting a feminist “THATCamp” this March 15-17, 2013. THATCamps (The Humanities and Technology Camps) are digital humanities “unconferences” in which people can come together to discuss interdisciplinary approaches to learning, collaborating, and networking. They are quite a bit different (and generally more productive) than traditional conference-style events, as participants are encouraged to use session time to create, build, write, hack, and solve problems. THATCamp Feminisms will a multisite weekend of discussion about feminisms and the digital humanities. There will be workshops on various tools and technologies, as well as a day of discussion about feminist politics, gender, digital tools, and digital teaching. Students are welcome, but should register early to gain a spot as a Feminist DH Fellow.

We will also be hosting a feminist Wikistorm over the weekend in collaboration with THATCamp Feminisms South (and possibly Duke HASTAC and the Fembot Collective), in order to increase the feminist content on Wikipedia. If you’ve never heard of this before, here’s a link to an event that was hosted here in Claremont in the fall:

To register, and for more information, you can visit the official THATCamp Feminisms West website @ Registration is free. We can only accomodate 75 faculty/staff/graduate students and 25 Undergrad Fellows so register early!

THATCamp SoCal 2012

I spent Friday enjoying the great workshops and conversations at THATCamp SoCal, held at CalState Fullerton this year (this has been an annual event for a couple of years now). Due to family illness, I was only able to attend the first of the two days.

Morning Session:

After melting my brain with some Zotero API discussion, in which I was clearly in over my casual-Zotero-using-head, I moved over to the Project Management Session. This kind of session hoping is more than ok at THATCamps – it’s encouraged. As Amanda French reminded us “vote with your feet” – the objective of attending a THATCamp is to get some useful new skills/insights/connections. Campers are encouraged to go where they will be most productive.

The project management session was great for me. USC’s Tim Stanton was great – clear, concise, and to the point. I can see why he’s good a managing projects. You can see what we covered in the collaboratively authored GoogleDoc – another common feature of THATCamps. Much of what I took away was re-emphasizing the value of project management and the need to deal with infrastructural challenges before the work gets started. The questions around how to measure time and compensation don’t get any easier once you’ve secured the grant. There is little else that can wreck as much havoc on a project timeline than running into staffing issues.


We’re in the middle of what’s known as the “Dork Shorts” session, in which a speaker gets five minutes to share a project, talk about an idea, ask a questions. This is a genre of presentation popular within DH circles. It’s sibling, the PechaKucha session is more formal, with 20 or so timed slides. Both are designed to imbue knowledge transfer with fun – something most of our conferences could use more of.

In the course of the dork shorts there have been a couple of great projects mentioned that I’d like share:

Grace Ye is talking about the Re/Collecting Project, which “is an “ethnic studies memory project of California’s Central Coast”—you can call it Re/Co for short. Our aim is to digitally capture and make publicly accessible the rich history of the diverse—yet under-documented—communities of the region, which includes San Luis Obispo and northern Santa Barbara counties. The images, documents, stories, and mementos that we digitize generally cannot be found in any public repositories. Instead, they reside with individuals—in their family albums, in their attics or garages, in their memories. By digitizing these materials, this project will make centrally and publicly available historically significant materials and stories. We thus seek to encourage community and academic research by providing information-rich materials for a regional understanding of these local communities.”

The photo montage that she’s displaying while talking is absolutely gorgeous and I’m struck by the great connections that she’s made with the local community. When the project holds  “Re/Collecting Days,” they invite families and individuals to recollect their stories as well as to participate in collecting their story materials for digital preservation and access. From what I can see here, these events do a beautiful job of integrating oral history, art and visual culture curation, and community-engaged learning. For more information you can follow the jump above and/or contact Grace at  (gyeh – at- calpoly – dot- edu).

This next tidbit came as a response to an open query that someone made during his short – basically he’s looking for a variety of image recognition tools. One particularly good example was cited: The Real Face of White Australia, which uses a face detection script to generate its content. The  experimental browser forces a user to think about the paths through the collection and does something different in terms of navigation. It’s a cool project and it certainly offers some facial recognition technologies that might be leveraged elsewhere.

Afternoon session:

We’re in the big room and I’m learning about both Scalar and Text Modeling/Data Mining this afternoon.


Matt Delmont’s Nicest Kids In Town Scalar project was already familiar to me (we’re family), but I’d not had the chance to work with the interface myself since it had gone into its more public mode this spring. Scalar is a platform for  “born digital, media rich, scholarly publishing” and it comes out of the Alliance for Networking Visual Culture at USC. You can see the video that Craig Dietrich shared with us that introduces the platform and its affordances. While a networked publishing platform that can create a variety of narrative paths might sound daunting, it was dead easy. We made our own little books right there in about a half of an hour. Sure, we were using some provided content, but in terms of working with the interface and authoring architecture, I’m not sure it gets much easier. What is particularly exciting for me about this ease of use is that it makes possible envisioning bringing students into the authoring process. I was so tickled that I’m exploring using the platform to have my Creating Archives students author a scalar book this fall.

Text Modeling/Mining

The last session for today is Scott Kleinman’s  intro to text modeling and mining. This is a big topic (no pun intended here) for the “Big Data” folks within DH and Ted Underwood was virtually present as the guru in the room by way of frequent citation.

As Scott pointed out, text modeling can be used for:

improving search and retrieval

text classification (genre)

text clustering (revealing similarities and differences)

Text modeling (revealing meaningful components)

text visualization (rendering imperceptible patterns visible, esp in ‘big data’)

He walked us through the workflow – from tokenization to visualization – and introduced a variety of algorithms that might be used. We also looked at some sample projects, like the Lexomics work at Wheaton and Matthew Jocker’s analysis of 19th century fiction.

Scott, citing @Ted_Underwood on topic modeling: argues that its “a way of working backward from texts to find topics that COULD have generated them.” That is, one can use big data to think not only about a large number of texts, but also to think about possible cultural contexts out of which those texts arose. We had a brief bit of discussion on issues around certainty and positivism, which are critiques that seem lurk at the edges of the more quantitative DH methods. I’m sympathetic to the critiques, given that I’m more interested in understanding interpretation as an act of poeisis, but that hasn’t stopped me from trying to understand more about text modeling and big data – in fact, I like to wonder if the two are actually harmonious, but that’s for another post.