DH 2011@Stanford

News from DH 2011

The DH 2011 conference held from June 19-22, 2011, Stanford University, had for its theme, Big Tent Digital Humanities. 

For more:
Digital Humanities 2011
June 19-22, 2011, Stanford University

Twitter Archives posted by Glen Worthey

ProfHacker: Big Announcements at DH 2011

Recent Articles: "Big Tent Digital Humanities," a View from the Edge by William Pannapacker
The Chronicle of Higher Education: Advice (July 31, 2011) (Part I of a two-part article)

June 22: Selected Sessions

The "#alt-ac" Track: Digital Humanists off the Straight and Narrow Path to Tenure   Abstracts
Chair: Stéfan Sinclair
Bethany Nowviskie, Julia Flanders, Tanya Clement, Doug Reside, Dot Porter, & Eric Rochester

This lively session opened with the real-time announcement by Bethany Nowviskie that #alt-academy: a media commons project had been launched on June 22, 2011. Published by NYU's MediaCommons, the site "features contributions by and for scholars with deep training and experience in the humanities, who are working or seeking employment — off the tenure track — within universities and colleges, or in allied knowledge and cultural heritage institutions such as museums, libraries, academic presses, historical societies, and governmental humanities organizations." Some of the speakers were authors of the open-access essay collection published on the site. All had insights into the realities of the alt-ac track and shared their perspectives in concert with this grassroots initiative. Nowiskie expressed her gratitude for their contributions and that of Willard McCarty, Professor of Humanities Computing at King's College London, who wrote one of the lead pieces, "Working Digitally."

#alt-ac: alternate academic careers for humanities scholars: post by B. Nowviskie, Jan 3rd, 2010.
Media Commons post, Jan. 22, 2011.

Featured Speakers

Opening Session

David Rumsey's talk, "Reading Historical Maps Digitally: How Spatial Technologies Can Enable Close, Distant and Dynamic Interpretations," opened the DH 2011 conference.

Rumsey gave a dazzling tour of exemplars of the over 27,000 digitized maps in the David Rumsey Historical Map Collection. He demonstrated the MapRank Search viewer, a newly developed tool currently applied to 12,000 maps, that allows for searching the collection by map location and coverage in a Google Map window. Other tools permit both close and distant reading of maps, readings of layers of maps and the ability to compare large images. The collection can be viewed with these applications: LUNA Browser, Google Earth, Google Maps, Second Life, 2D GIS, 3D GIS, Insight Java Client.

Rumsey also spoke about the "Collections Ticker," a thumbnail viewer showing maps with short descriptions. The scrolling function resembles a stock ticker of clickable images, providing a continuous feed from which to select images for closer examination.

Some of the collection's highlights were also described in the talk:
Cartouches or decorative map titles (artistic and narrative elements of maps), a topographical map of the Yosemite Valley (G.M. Wheeler, 1893), described by Rumsey as "3D before Google Earth," and the georeferencing of the Cassini Terrestrial and Celestial Globes, 1790-1792, creating virtual globes that resemble satellite images. (For full descriptions and many more marvels, see Featured Maps).

"Re-Imagining Digital Scholarship in the Digital Age," Zampolli Prize Lecture by Chad Gaffield

Abstract & Bio

Gaffield sees digital humanities scholarship as central to re-imaginging scholarship and emphasized the challenge created by this vision. In his words, "the world needs to hear more about the digital humanities' beacon role." Following Zampolli's example in the 1960s in shaping the Pisa summer schools, Gaffield gave a personal history of his work in the field, linking his own role with that of many other thinkers, who influenced developments leading to the creation of the current Canadian research infrastructure. To Gaffield, the challenge involves solving "wicked problems" of daunting complexity (something humanists are well positioned to do). The remainder of his talk outlined his recommendations for accelerating the reimagining of scholarship:

  • teaching and learning: encouraging students to pursue digital projects of all kinds, globecampus.ca as one example of fruitful collaborations to this end;
  • reimagining research through both contextualization and specialization--referring to survey data collected by the SSHRC as a basis for rethinking ways to approach the "two cultures")
  • reimagining campus community connections (Digging into Data as an example)
  • "bridging solitudes" in the arts and sciences citing the GRAND network as an example of exciting work (GRAND: Graphics, animation and new media / Graphisme, animation, nouveaux média)
  • ensuring digital sustainability (citing the example of unreadable 1961 Canadian census data as a reminder of the importance of sustainability)
  • managing open innovation and intellectual property
  • measuring what matters
  • examining purposes, values, consequences and implications of projects and programs

Program Links

June 20th: Selected Sessions

Summaries to follow soon on the following sessions:

Virtual Cities/Digital Histories    Abstracts
Chair: Elizabeth M. Lorang with Speakers: Robert C. Allen, Natasha Smith, Pamella Lach, Richard Marciano, Chris Speed, Todd Presner, Philip Ethington, David Shepard, Chien-Yi Hou, & Christopher Johanson       Summary

Networks, Literature, Culture   Abstracts

Chair: Neil R. Fraistat with Speakers: Franco Moretti, Zephyr Frank, Rhiannon Lewis & Ed Finn     Summary

Panels: Chair: Bethany Nowviskie
   Joshua Sternfeld on Reforming Digital Historical PeerReview: Guidelines for Applying Digital Historiography to the Evaluative Process   Abstract    Summary

   Sharon Webb, Aja Teehan, John G. Keating on The Born Digital Graduate: Multiple representations of and within Digital Humanities PhD theses  
         Abstract    Summary

   Lisa Spiro on Knowing and Doing: Understanding the Digital Humanities Curriculum    Abstract
   A report on a survey of digital humanities courses through syllabi.    Summary

June 21st: Selected Sessions

New Models of Digital Materialities     Abstracts    Summaries
Chair: Trevor Muñoz
Jean-Francois Blanchette, Johanna Drucker, & Matthew Kirschenbaum

The Interface of the Collection     Abstracts   Summary
Chair: Claire Warwick
Geoffrey Rockwell, Stan Ruecker, Mihaela Ilovan, Daniel Sondheim, Milena Radzikowska, Peter Organisciak, & Susan Brown