The Keynote Speaker will be Tara McPherson. Tara McPherson is Associate Professor of Critical Studies at the University of Southern California’s School of Cinematic Arts. She is a core faculty member of the IMAP program, USC’s innovative practice based-Ph.D., and also an affiliated faculty member in the American Studies and Ethnicity Department. Her research engages the cultural dimensions of media, including the intersection of gender, race, affect and place. She has a particular interest in digital media. Here, her research focuses on the digital humanities, early software histories, gender, and race, as well as upon the development of new tools and paradigms for digital publishing, learning, and authorship.
Her Reconstructing Dixie: Race, Gender and Nostalgia in the Imagined South (Duke UP: 2003) received the 2004 John G. Cawelti Award for the outstanding book published on American Culture, among other awards. She is co-editor of Hop on Pop: The Politics and Pleasures of Popular Culture (Duke UP: 2003) and editor of Digital Youth, Innovation and the Unexpected, part of the MacArthur Foundation series on Digital Media and Learning (MIT Press, 2008.) Her writing has appeared in numerous journals, including Camera Obscura, The Velvet Light Trap, Discourse, and Screen, and in edited anthologies such as Race and Cyberspace, The New Media Book, The Object Reader, Virtual Publics, The Visual Culture Reader 2.0, and Basketball Jones. The anthology, Interactive Frictions, co-edited with Marsha Kinder, is forthcoming from the University of California Press, and she is currently working on a manuscript examining the digital transformation of the archive as it mutates into the database.
She is the Founding Editor of Vectors, a multimedia peer-reviewed journal affiliated with the Open Humanities Press, and is a founding editor of the MacArthur-supported International Journal of Learning and Media (launched by MIT Press in 2009.) She is a widely sought-out speaker on the digital humanities, digital scholarship, and feminist technology studies. Tara was among the founding organizers of Race in Digital Space, a multi-year project supported by the Annenberg Center for Communication and the Ford and Rockefeller Foundations. She is on the advisory board of the Mellon-funded Scholarly Communications Institute, has frequently served as an AFI juror, is a core board member of HASTAC , and is on the boards of several journals and other organizations. At USC, she co-directs (with Phil Ethington) the new Center for Transformative Scholarship and is a fellow at the Center for Excellence in Teaching. With major support from the Mellon Foundation, she is currently working with colleagues from leading universities and with several academic presses, museums, scholarly societies, and archives to explore new modes of scholarship for visual culture research. She is the lead PI on the new authoring platform, Scalar, and for the Alliance for Networking Visual Culture.
Courses for 2014 include:
Project Development led by Simon Appleford, Clemson University and Jennifer Guiliano, MITH
This course will explore the fundamentals of project planning and design including, but not limited to: formulating appropriate disciplinary questions for digital humanities research, investigating digital humanities tools and resources, structuring your first project, critical path scheduling, understanding roles and responsibilities, risk management, documenting your project work, writing your first grant proposal, budget setting and controls, building the project team, and selecting and implementing project management tools and software. This is an advanced course and, as such, you are expected to have an understanding of the definition of digital humanities. Materials will be covered through lectures, discussions, presentations, and hands-on activities. Participants will get the most of the course if they arrive with at least some sense of a potential digital humanities project that they would like to develop throughout the course.
Introduction to Web Development, Design, and Principles led by Jeremy Boggs, Scholars’ Lab, and Jeri Wierenga, George Mason University
Humanities Programming led by Wayne Graham, Scholars’ Lab, and Brandon Walsh, University of Virginia
Games in the Humanities Classroom led by Anastasia Salter, University of Baltimore
Games can be a great way to add experiential and playful learning to the humanities classroom by integrating learning objectives with game mechanics. We’ll look at three main ways to integrate games into learning objectives: teaching and debriefing existing games, making games for students to play, and building games with your students. Along the way, we’ll discuss what makes an effective learning game and how integrating games can offer a gentle way to learn from failure while offering the opportunity for exploration, collaboration, and the probing of ideas through new lenses. Participants will engage in “critical play” of several examples of humanities board games, text games, and graphical games and learn simple tools for making games in these genres while building simple games. No programming experience is required or assumed.
Large-Scale Text Analysis with R led by Matt Jockers, University of Nebraska
Text collections such as the Google Books have provided scholars in many fields with convenient access to their materials in digital form, but text analysis at the scale of millions or billions of words still requires the use of tools and methods that may initially seem complex or esoteric to researchers in the humanities. Large-Scale Text Analysis with R will provide a practical introduction to a range of text analysis tools and methods. The course will include units on data extraction, stylistic analysis, authorship attribution, genre detection, gender detection, unsupervised clustering, supervised classification, topic modeling, and sentiment analysis. The main computing environment for the course will be R, “the open source programming language and software environment for statistical computing and graphics.” While no programming experience is required, students should have basic computer skills and be familiar with their computer’s file system and comfortable with the command line. The course will cover best practices in data gathering and preparation, as well as addressing some of the theoretical questions that arise when employing a quantitative methodology for the study of literature. Participants will be given a “sample corpus” to use in class exercises, but some class time will be available for independent work and participants are encouraged to bring their own text corpora and research questions so they may apply their newly learned skills to projects of their own.
Network Analysis and Visualization led by Elijah Meeks, Stanford University
This course will cover the principles of network analysis and representation with an emphasis on expressing network structures and measures using information visualization. The tool we’ll be using will be Gephi, which is freely available at gephi.org, with some time spent on learning how to deploy your network visualization in a dynamic or interactive manner on the web using a variety of frameworks. This course will introduce and explain a variety of traditional network statistics, such as various measures of centrality and clustering, and explain the appropriate use of network statistics to various classes of networks. The workshop will consist of lectures followed by discussion and hands-on activities. If participants can bring a sample of their network data, the activities will usually be applicable to all manner of networks, but a variety of sample network datasets will be available to explore different network phenomena. This workshop will cover traditional social networks, geographic networks, dynamic networks, and n-partite networks and will deal with issues of modeling networks, formatting data, and using information visualization best practices in representation of your network.
Born-Digital Forensics led by Kam Woods, University of North Carolina, and Porter Olsen, MITH
This course will introduce students to the role of digital forensics in the act of preserving, investigating, and curating born-digital culture artifacts. We will explore the technical underpinning and the physical materiality of the digital objects we frequently, in our screen-centric world, mistake as ephemeral. Using open source tools including Linux, The Sleuth Kit, and BitCurator, students will get hands-on training exploring a wide variety of digital media and learning how to look for deleted files, how to search and redact personally identifiable information, and how to produce information-rich metadata about a forensic disk image. In addition to practical skills, students will develop a theoretical understanding of digital storage media–and the forensics disk images produced from them–as objects of study in their own right and the importance of learning to read these objects as richly as we do more traditional texts. There are no essential prerequisite skills for this course; however, a working knowledge of Linux will be a great benefit. Students who have access to their own collection of born-digital materials to work with are encouraged to bring them to the course.
Crowdsourcing Cultural Heritage led by Ben Brumfield, Independent Developer, and Mia Ridge, Ph.D. Candidate, Open University
Successful crowdsourcing projects help organizations connect with audiences who enjoy engaging with their content and tasks, whether transcribing handwritten documents, correcting OCR errors, identifying animals on the Serengeti or folding proteins. Conversely, poorly-designed crowdsourcing projects find it difficult to attract or retain participants. This class will present international case studies of best practice crowdsourcing projects to illustrate the range of tasks that can be crowdsourced, the motivations of participants and the characteristics of well-designed projects. We’ll study crowdsourcing projects from the worlds of citizen science, investigative journalism, genealogy and free culture to look for lessons which might apply to humanities projects. We’ll discuss models for quality control over user-generated projects, explore the cross-overs between traditional in-house volunteer projects internet-enabled crowdsourcing, and look at the numbers behind real-world projects. Finally, the course will give students hands-on experience with several different crowdsourcing platforms for image annotation, manuscript transcription, and OCR correction. Students are encouraged to bring their project ideas and some scanned material for the lab sessions.
Critical Race and Gender in the Digital Humanities led by Jarah Moesh, Ph.D. Candidate, University of Maryland
The methods and tools used and produced by Digital Humanists function as organizing principles that frame how race, gender, sexuality, and ability are embodied and understood within and through projects, code-bases, and communities of practice. The very ‘making’ of tools and projects is an engagement with power and control. Through a critical theoretical exploration of the values in the design and use of these tools and methods, we begin to understand that these methods and practices are structures which are themselves marginalizing, tokenizing, and reductionist. By pairing hands-on learning/making with Critical Race Theory, Queer, and Gender Theories, we will interrogate the structures of the tools themselves while creating our own collaborative practices and methods for ‘doing’ (refracting) DH differently. To accomplish this, each day will focus on one tool or method. Mornings will be a combination of reading-based discussion and experimental structural/tools-based exercises, while afternoon sessions will focus on pulling it all together in collaborative analytical projects. While no prior technical experience is necessary, you will be experimenting with, and creating your own theoretical practice that incorporates key themes in critical race, gender and queer theories with digital humanities methods and tools. Therefore, the key requirement for this course is curiosity and a willingness to explore new ideas in order to fully engage with the materials. Students are also encouraged to bring their own research questions to explore through these theories and practices.
When: August 4–8, 2014
Where: University of Maryland
Cost: Non-student: $950/ Student: $500