Reverse-Engineering Digital Humanities Projects

Reverse-Engineering The Clio:

  1. Continue seeking sponsors
  2. Coming up with training videos, continuing responses to users, etc.
  3. Received grant funding
  4. Applied for a grant to seek funding to make improvements.
  5. Launched; now has thousands of submissions.
  6. Same PhP database. Had to have a prototype. It was important to be able to figure how systems could work with each other. Everything they create was in a draft mode. Institutions and classrooms. Three diff ways for entries to be created. Making sure double entries didn’t happen. Testing happened.
  7. Recruited friends and colleagues to test.
  8. Created paper versions of Clio. Testing to avoid miscommunications, etc.
  9. DIY approach. Came up with one semester project with students. Everybody picked five historic sites that they cared about.
  10. Contact Yelp and others about the project; wanted to include links to articles, books, etc.


Notes from Remix and Mash-Up Session

Remixing  Malcolm X’s The Ballot or the Bullet

The bullet.  The bullet.  The bullet.

All of us have suffered here, in this country, political oppression at the hands of the white man, economic exploitation at the hands of the white man, and social degradation at the hands of the white man.

I believe in action on all fronts by

whatever means necessary.

I  just can’t believe everyone in here is a friend, and I

don’t want to leave anybody out. The question tonight, as I

understand it, is “The Negro Revolt, and Where Do We Go From Here?” or

What Next?” In my little humble way of understanding it, it points toward either the ballot or the bullet.


Proposal: Virtual & Augmented Reality for Academic and Research Projects

Image of student wearing an Oculus Rift headset

In 2016, virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) devices like the Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, and Microsoft HoloLens are expected to launch in the consumer entertainment market, and many of these devices can also serve a dual purpose for use in educational and research contexts.  Join the UCIT Center for Simulations & Virtual Environments Research (UCSIM) to explore potential use-cases for traditional, hybrid, or online courses, and special considerations for designing studies using AR/VR technologies.

Proposal: Acknowledging new sorts of digital evidence

Last fall, I had the pleasure of teaching one of our department’s flagship courses: Introduction to English Studies (ENGL 3000). Part of my mindset in designing the course was an understanding that beyond traditional modes of academic writing, students needed to develop literacies and strategies for working with and through media types outside of print texts. I aimed to provide a basic introduction to thinking and writing critically about audio, video, visual arts (along with object histories and etymological explorations), and set aside the second half of the course for a critical workshop in which students would write several posts for a course blog organized around a loose theme (Red and Black).

While there were a lot of great posts of the sorts I expected (musical reviews were particularly possible) there were also a number of students who took on more novel topics like video games, internet phenomena, etc. More importantly I quickly realized (and noted) that students were very effectively using traditional evidence alongside the sorts of media I would have expected (audio and video embeds), but also wholly new and unique sorts of proof like memes, screen caps, tweets, GIFs, infographics, etc. These media types were really only available to students because we were working in an online venue instead of the traditional paper format, and moreover they weren’t simply embellishment, but were often more effective and eye-catching than traditional forms of evidence.

I’d propose this panel as a space for teachers to discuss their classroom exposure to evidence of this sort, a place to work through strategies for making good use of these tools, and a way to help develop literacies in these modes for teachers who aren’t quite as familiar or comfortable with them.

Proposal: Ethics and privacy in social media archives

As archivists and other records professionals begin to capture more hashtags, social media feeds, and websites as part of contemporary archival activities, how should we re-conceive of these activities within an ethical framework? There are significant privacy concerns associated with capturing a hashtag used by marginalized groups, activists, and those at risk of harassment online and offline. On the other hand, without acting quickly to capture ephemeral social media content, it is often impossible to recover it at a later date (for example, the Twitter API only provides the last 7 days of tweets).

This discussion will look at current developments within the archivist community to address these issues, as well as formulating possible responses for how UC archivists and librarians should contend with such issues.

Virtual Play as a Tool to Understand Implications of Technology


Virtual communities are being used extensively in online education to create learning communities and foster collaborative learning. I would like to speak on my experience using Second Life as an inquiry-based, collaborative tool in an online implications of technology class where students were asked to explore the social, legal, and ethical aspects of computing technology by treating Second Life (SL) as a microcosmic representation of real life. This virtual play project lead to interesting critical reflections by students on the effect of virtual environments, and by extension, various technological tools on our individual digital lives. I hope this presentation would help other educators/technologists generate ideas on more innovative uses of technology as a critical pedagogical tool.

Proposal: Explore the Medical Humanities

Medical humanities has positioned itself at the crossroads of digital humanities, the arts, and medical ethics. This session will explore some renowned medical humanities projects from the National Library of Medicine. These projects include: The Visible Human Project, Turning the Pages, and Native Voices.
The session will primarily focus on the Native Voices exhibit. This exhibit centers on Native Peoples’ concepts of health and wellness. Native Voices features interactive timelines, interviews, lesson plans, and multimedia games and activities.
In 2018, the Native Voices exhibit will travel to UC and be temporarily installed in the UC Health Sciences Library and Winkler Center.  Feedback and ideas generated at this THATCamp session will be shared with the committee that is preparing for the arrival of the Native Voices exhibit.


Proposal: “Hello World” Arduino

“The surprise was this: going through this thing was not only not-scary, it was incredibly fun.” – , “Getting Under the Hood With Arduino” Scholars’ Lab

Work together to learn about Arduino microcontrollers and make a LED blink. As a group, we will work through the Adafruit Getting Started Lessons to learn the basic components, download the necessary software, download or write a sketch, and run our first programs. We will also discuss and explore potential applications for libraries and the digital humanities.

Participants will need a laptop and be able to install the Arduino IDE. 10 kits will be available to session attendees.

Working Document – Arduino & the Digital Humanities



Digital Humanities: Infrastructure & Sustainability

Digital Humanities -or any new form of digital scholarship- can also bring new technical challenges.  In a 2015 EDUCAUSE article The Digital Humanities Are Alive and Well and Blooming: Now What?, the author raised the question “what about those innovative digital resources that are not quite large enough to be self-sustaining?”  Examples of such (DHs) projects might include: digital archives, online exhibits, digital storytelling sites, wiki or blog sites for presenting research results, companion sites for print publications, etc.  In this session, let’s talk about the infrastructure and sustainability aspects of DHs projects.  Potential leading/discussion points can include: best practices for running popular and stable software tools for DHs, hosting options (local vs cloud) for DHs, funding options for DHs after they “end”, DHs ownership and responsibilities for “finished” projects, etc.