Towards an Open Digital Humanities Notes

Barriers to access:

  • $
  • Suggestion: See “Grant Opportunities” from the National Endowment for the Humanities Office of Digital Humanities: www.neh.gov/odh/
  • Lack of understanding/knowledge of topics.
  • DH folks acting as if there ARE stupid questions
  • Suggestion: Check out “Digital Humanities Questions & Answers” – digitalhumanities.org/answers/
  • Not making “cultural” (behavioral/rhetorical/etc.) norms transparent
  • Acronyms–in order to do DH outreach we need to be better about jargon
  • Suggestion: A list of acronyms that need defining could be generated to aid in the creation of a DH lexicon
  • Age/generation/skill-level barriers
  • Skill level and timing–can we allow beginners in?
  • disability and tech interfaces
  • Suggestion: See “Getting Started with Web Accessibility” – www.w3.org/WAI/redesign/2011/gettingstarted2010.html
  • soundbite/tweet sloganeering easily misunderstood (“If you can’t code…”)
  • Publicity: Making sure Women/Gender Studies, Ethnic Studies, Cultural Studies, Information Science depts. KNOW about THATCamps and other DH things
  • also technology-based communities including data viz community, creative commons, wikimedia, open streetmap, internet archive, museum 2.0/3.0 community, code4lib, etc.

What gets recognized as DH and what doesn’t?

  • e.g. WOC feminist blogging?
  • How do “we” bring new/other things under the DH umbrella?
  • What practical means can be used to perform outreach to underrepresented people and forms of “DH” production? (Twitter is used more frequently and in more social capacities by black and latino users, yet they are noticeably absent from THATCamp and DH discourse.)
  • DH production outside of academia? (fandom, activism, arts, web2.0/mashups)
  • internal DH divisions – DH or new media studies?
  • Danger of a divide between DH and cultural studies. Cultural studies folk “don’t do” DH.

What are our assumptions about who participates in DH?

  • Main participants in DH are (or are perceived to be) privileged and white
  • Who attends THATCamp?
  • Who attends individual sessions? Self-segregation. e.g. Career talk vs. “tech talk”
  • Assumption: everyone’s at the same place in speaking/volunteering/leading/informality (they’re not for all kinds of reasons)
  • Identity categories and who uses/who makes/who’s comfortable with web 2.0/who’s hacking unique solutions for their own work

“What do I need to know?” Outreach/introductions/welcoming to DH

  • introductory session at start of first day
  • publish session proposals ahead of time? (so people know what to read up on beforehand if they want to)
  • Glossary of digital humanities terms, acronyms
  • Organizer sets the tone
  • look into “open space technologies” principals/practices en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Open_Space_Technology
  • Basic prelim info: images from previous events

How Do We Get People to THATCamp or Under DH Banner?

  • Day of week
  • Environment (where is it held? what kinds of rooms?)
  • Outreach to existing events, departments (e.g. ethnic studies)
  • THATCamp promotional materials need to be more explanatory
  • People to contact: data visualization bloggers, creative commons, internet archive, open library project.
  • Question: But why would they want to participate? What can we do to make the experience more open and useful?
  • Use a project based approach: present a problem and encourage participation.

This is the link to the diversity in DH Notes (still being edited quite actively!): is.gd/kzV44

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About PhDeviate

@PhDeviate I teach English, with a focus on PoCo--specifically Puerto Rican diasporic literature. American Studies, narrative, and theory, too! I'm very interested in the creation of digital editions.

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