Archive for the ‘Session: Talk’ Category

  • Link to Data Dump/Analyze/Display Session


    Hi ThatCampers,

    Here is the link to the document where we gathered recommended programs to approach this problem with modular solutions.

    At this point there is not one overall program that we could come up with to do all these things at once.

    I am interested as a person squarely in the humanities to partner with an IT/library science people to help to develop something that would be usable and very user friendly for humanities-types.





  • Digitally inflecting a class


    Jeff McClurken’s terrific pedagogy workshop made me want to sneak in one more session proposal. We spent a fair bit of time in the workshop talking about Jeff’s remarkable digitally-focused classes, but not as much time talking about how to digitally inflect more traditional courses. This might fit into the session Susan proposed about teaching critical thinking with the digital humanities. I’d like to propose a hands-on discussion of ways that participants are digital inflecting their classes–sort of like the small group exercise Jeff pointed to in his document but that we didn’t have time for this afternoon. By the end, I hope that we’d have some tentative plans for ways we could digitally inflect our own traditional courses.

  • Teaching Critical Thinking via Digital Projects


    Hello Campers – I’m proposing an informal “Talk” session on the intersection of the digital realm and teaching critical thinking. I’m interested in exploring teaching strategies with this aim in mind. I thought we might exchange stories from the classroom or workshop, brainstorm projects, and consider the complexities.

    In the THATCamp spirit, I’m anticipating the conversation as wide-open, workshop-format, and look forward to a diverse range of perspectives and experiences.

    Among my own lines of thought, I’m intrigued by the ways in which the digital realm may help to complicate the category of “critical thinking” itself, and esp. interested in new kinds of knowledge creation through digital projects (as well as more common invocations of critique itself.)

    A second, and closely related topic, might be that of audiences for this broader project. My immediate interest is in undergraduate pedagogy, but we might explore early graduate training, and also the ways in related projects might be extended beyond the university for collaborative projects with a broader community.

    p.s. One question that I found myself chewing on earlier this fall, inspired by the excellent “RailsGirls” event at GMU in Sept: what’s the relationship between teaching code and teaching critical thinking, especially to an undergrad audience in the humanities?


  • Tools for exploring big sound archives


    Brandon Walsh has already proposed a session about tools for curating sound, so what I’m proposing here might well fit into his session, but in case what I’m proposing is too different, I wanted to elaborate.

    At THATCamp VA 2012, I proposed and then participated in a discussion about how digital tools could help us not just think about tidily marked plain-text files, but also the messier multimedia data of image files, sound files, movie files, etc. We ended up talking at length about commercial tools that search images with other images (for example, Google’s Search By Image) and that search sound with sound (for example, Shazam). A lot of our discussion revolved around the limitations of such tools–yes, we can use them to search images with other images, but, we asked, would a digital tool ever be able to tell that a certain satiric cartoon is meant to represent a certain artwork. For example, would a computer ever be able to tell that this cartoon represents this artwork?



    Our conversation was largely speculative (and if anyone wanted to continue it, I’d be happy to have a similar session this time around).

    Since then, however, I’ve become involved with a project that takes such thinking beyond speculation. As a participant in the HiPSTAS institute, I’ve been experimenting with ARLO, a tool originally designed to train supercomputers to recognize birdcalls. With it, we can, for example, try to teach the computer to recognize instances of laughter, and have it query all of PennSound, a large archive of poetry recordings, for similar sounds. We might be able, then, to track intentional and unintentional instances when audiences laugh at poetry readings.

    The project involves both archivists and scholars–the archivists are interested in adding value to their collections (for example, by identifying instances of song in the StoryCorps archive), and the scholars are interested in how this new tool might help us better visualize and explore poetic sound and historical sound recordings.

    My sound-related proposal, then, is this: to have a conversation about potential use cases for this and similar tools. Now that we know we can identify certain kinds of sounds in large sound collections, how should we use such a tool? Since Brandon’s already interested in developing sound collections using Audacity, I thought we might also add this big-data/machine-learning tool into the mix of the conversation.

  • Data Dumping, Data Analyzing, Data Displaying


    Hello fellow ThatCampers, I am in the field of Religious Studies and a big portion of my work involves gathering lots of data from contemporary settings (such as sermons from Christian churches, archival data, interviews, etc.; Drupal seems like one program that is good for this), analyzing the data (looking at patterns of logic and hermeneutics) and then mapping this analysis visually (I’ve used prezi to do this before). I’d like to propose a session that would brainstorm the best program(s) and way(s) to do all of this digitally. I think that such a session should be interesting to anyone that gathers, analyzes and displays data, not just folks from Religious Studies, but perhaps Anthropology, Sociology, Geography, etc.

  • Brainstorm some ideas for 3D printing the past


    3D printers today are like HTML in the early 1990’s. We just know something big is going to come of it, but what? I propose a session on sitting around and thinking up ways to use 3D printing for the humanities (history is my field, but any and all are welcome). How can we use 3D printers in the class room (practical experiences, fantastical ideas, lessons to learn)? How does 3D printing help us understand humanities now? Let’s prophesy what the future may bring for 3D printing and humanities. How will it evolve, as did HTML, to be a tool for disseminating knowledge and facilitate learning?

  • Exploring Altmetrics


    Altmetrics offer a new way to analyze the impact of scholarly research.  I would like to explore what altmetrics are exactly and how are the being used.  What tools can you use to track altmetrics?  We can look into tools like Altmetric, ImpactStory, and PlumAnalytics.  What are the risk and rewards of relying on altmetrics?  What are the advantages and disadvantages of altmetrics, in terms of timeliness, impact of non-publication research outputs, and gaming the system?  Will this change scholarly publishing in the future?  How might individual scholars and their departments use and respond to altmetrics?  I want to take this as an opportunity to learn and share about altmetrics and generate ideas for use and their impact.

    You can read the classic altmetrics manifesto here.

  • Connecting the personal story to public history for academia and journalism


    I have been interested in connecting an individual, personal story to a public sense of histories of places, events, timelines. That is, I think there is a potential paradigm for threading stories, histories, archives and communities.

    There is nothing new about this thought. Fields like oral histories/public history have well established research around these themes. But I want to put this proposal out there as a part-talk, part-make, part-teach session. I have very, very tiny seeds of the project that I can share, and it will be good to brainstorm around it, or see if there are folks interested in collaborating, too.

    I am very much an outsider to digital humanities but I am hoping to learn and share (I am a research engineer who works with x-ray optics, and a journalist/amateur oral historian). I had been collecting oral histories at a physics research lab for half of 2009. Felt like it told a rich layered history of state-individual collaborations in science. That, then, broadened to interest in the intersection of scientific research and people’s histories….which then broadened to oral histories in other fields of work. The seeds I can talk about or illustrate are histories from two physicists who discuss the origin of a set of champagne bottles in a particle accelerator control room, and some other stories on dying traditions (woodwork for making musical instruments in India, shorthand and typing instruction schools). That is to say, each story is an independent experiment and is not connected to the other at all. But each offers a seed or point of departure.

    All this finally led to some more plotting on oral history concepts. Here’s the premise (naivety and ignorance on my part will also become evident!):
    — Each storyteller has many different stories.
    — Each story has many different storytellers.
    — Each story has many different theme and vice-versa, and so on…
    — There must be a way to connect a personal history with public events and places.
    — Each personal history can be connected to another using some categories/keywords/whatever-else: person, place (geography), timeline (when, year), event (is the story referring to an event like say, the SF earthquake of 1989 that someone else may also talk about in a seemingly unconnected way?).
    — A story may have weak or strong associations to a set of attributes. This association can be weighted.
    — There is an incredible range of stories recorded in university archives and other stand-alone oral history projects. The point is not to re-store them in a new space on the web. But there must be a way to re-point to them in a new scheme. That is, make the connections explicit.
    — There is an incredible range of stories among all of us that feel like they are so irrelevant and unimportant to a wider audience. Can we make them relevant?
    — Have multiple ways to add stories: upload, relink to existing, give contact for a volunteer to reach out, call in (toll free number), visit a recording center.
    — Map out origin of each story. A map with dots shows where a particular thread has received stories from, providing an incentive to fill geographical gaps.
    — Each story gets multiple keywords attached to it, reflecting the themes that the story touches on, besides the main subject matter thread.
    — Cross links: The keywords are a point of entry into the many storytellers-many stories paradigm.

    What’s the point?
    Let’s say something like this exists. Call it DH-Mosaic. Let’s say there’s a sociologist out there who is researching the history of wine making in the San Francisco Bay Area from 1850 to 2000. She has access to the usual set of archives at universities, and the state/national archives. She has access to archives of newspapers, books, papers, and such. And she does field work that gets her access to families in the industry. And she has access to DH-Mosaic, and she logs on and searches this clearinghouse/repository. Meanwhile, a few years ago, someone who was researching the history of high energy physics in the San Francisco bay area put out a book, and he had raw unused data. One of those pieces was an interview of a technician at a high energy physics lab in the region who mentioned that his family used to be in the wine making industry in the early 1980s and he left it in search of better opportunities. The high energy physics research didn’t have the space for this story. But the raw data is on (or linked on) DH-Mosaic, logged with metadata that points to: high energy physics, 1980, wine history, <name>, janitorial, magnets research, San Francisco bay area, Menlo Park. Our wine history researcher comes across this, and gets in touch with the author/owner of the story. In the course of talking to a new source, she finds out more first-hand sources about say, a labor struggle in the wine making industry in the 1980s, which takes her research in a slightly different direction….Similarly a reporter investigating the domino effect of the Vietnam War protests in 1970 in California may find a story and follow up with <name> after listening to his story of clearing up broken glass following the 1970 Stanford student protesters.

    What are some questions?
    — How to make these links?!
    — If you have a story, how do you define its relevance to a place/event/timeline/person/theme?
    — Who defines the relevance?
    — Within a specific story, how do you weight different aspects discussed?
    — Who defines this relevance?
    — How can this be done easily for a user interface?
    — Is it possible to get users and researchers to shape the categorization?
    — How do we get raw unused data (before it becomes a produced story/research paper) that just piles up for every researcher/reporter become a relevant trail of history?
    — There is the larger issue of copyright, censorship, spam and what-not. But I am not even going there yet :)!


    Loved this little quote from Michael Ondaatje’s book, Divisadero: “For we live with those retrievals from childhood that coalesce and echo throughout our lives, the way shattered pieces of glass in a kaleidoscope reappear in new forms and are song-like in their refrains and rhymes, making up a single monologue. We live permanently in the recurrence of our own stories, whatever story we tell. ”



  • data mining bodies in motion


    Although there are projects considering parsing pedestrian movement (e.g. sitting, walking, waving), there is a great deal of abstract movement going on in the world. The DOD would really like to be able to mine 2D film for patterns to prevent and or locate actions…but I want to look at possible tools for mining 3D and 2D data. For instance, how can GIS help map stage settings and flow? might seem to be an off-the-wall idea, but those of us studying movement in and out of performing arts, are desirous of the ability to mine our texts…non-verbal texts. well, it’s a thought!

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