Welcome to THATCamp Gainesville, a Digital Humanities unconference: April 24, 2015 (Smathers 100)

Welcome to THATCamp Gainesville, a Digital Humanities unconference.

THATCamp (The Humanities and Technology Camp) is an informal and free unconference where you can discuss digital projects, learn skills, and brainstorm DH initiatives.

Please join us on April 24th, at 8:30am in Smathers 100 (1A).

Browse through the list of session THATCamp Gainesville proposals below this post! If you are ready to propose your own session, please go to the Propose page, and follow the link included there. After you publish your post through that link, your session proposal will appear below. Session proposals don’t have to be sent to the organizers for review. Each session lasts for an hour, and usually involves a short presentation and then a group discussion.

If you are not yet ready to propose a session, please feel free to comment on other posts here. Comments let session organizers know that others are interested in that conversation.

You don’t have to propose a session in order to attend THATCamp Gainesville.

If you are attending THATCamp Gainesville to learn about something, please use the link on the Propose page to let others know. THATCamp is about pooling together our resources and skills.

Please don’t forget to Register!

Also, please join the conversation via Twitter with #tcgnv and @THATCampGNV!

Notes from the sessions can be posted to this Google Doc so that others can follow the conversation.

Categories: Uncategorized | Comments Off on Welcome to THATCamp Gainesville, a Digital Humanities unconference: April 24, 2015 (Smathers 100)

Schedule – updated


Link to the schedule

Link to session notes. Please add your notes too.

Please tweet at @thatcampgnv and use #tcgnv in all your tweets.

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Creating faculty collaborations in digital collections

New developments in digital humanities allow for more successful dissemination of information. Today’s library patrons make use of the cumulative innovations to optimize their research. Many valuable tools can be synchronized by creative minds to aid in that endeavor. Innovations such as SobekCM facilitate the spread of information in organized and easily accessible forms. Open Access is the general socio-cultural push for the democratization of information. Advanced scanning technology, as well as word processing and image processing programs, allow for the integration of information in a comprehensible and aesthetically pleasing manner.
As the collection manager intern for the IR, over the last six months, I have been in charge of creating and organizing Dr. T.J. Walker’s collection, found at ufdc.ufl.edu/tjwalker. Given my academic background in the humanities, organizing a STEM professor’s 58 years of research material seemed a daunting task. Challenges, such as adopting a new scientific vocabulary, tracking down lost materials from decades ago, making sense of the material enough to make an organized and intuitive collection, researching rights statements and copyright permissions and heading a pilot program in this effort, were overcome by creatively using the technologies at hand. In my presentation, I would like to demonstrate the work so far, discuss these challenges and how they were overcome, generally gauge the interest people may have in viewing or creating such collections of an individual researcher’s materials, and gather any other feedback. If anyone is working on similar projects or would want any questions answered, they would be welcome to bring those up.

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Apps to promote the “Make it” movement in the Humanities

androidifyI propose a Make session to create various Games to learn, play, and interact with content using various mobile apps.  We will make one game in pairs using Tiny Tap, Quizlet, Socrative and Kahoot!

Bring your own device, ideas and creativity. We will discuss tips, best practices and ideas to promote the maker movement in our classes.

I will discuss how I used these apps this semester to develop the learners language skills.  I will share what I learned from the experience.

Categories: Session: Make, Session: Teach, Uncategorized | Comments Off on Apps to promote the “Make it” movement in the Humanities

“The Swinging Bridge, Ramabai Espinet”: The Digital Reference Guide as Final Project

This session addresses the opportunities and challenges posed by digital projects as final, collaborative assignments by examining “The Swinging Bridge, Ramabai Espinet,” a digital reference and teaching guide to Ramabai Espinet’s novel The Swinging Bridge produced by Kayli Smendec, Berta Gonzalez, and Christine Csencsitz. This project was begun by four groups of students as part of LIT 4192 “Migration, Money, and the Making of Modern Caribbean Literature” (Spring 2014) and then completed by Smendec, Csenscitz, and Gonzalez as an undergraduate research project the following semester. They combined the original collaborative projects, revising and adding to their colleagues’ work to produce a website that functions as a reference guide to The Swinging Bridge. The project contains a map of key locations, a glossary of historical and cultural references, short essays on key themes, a list of key passages organized thematically, and an annotated bibliography. Their digital project constitutes a unique resource for the novel as there now exist only biographical information and specialized scholarly articles. The project has particular value because it addresses the work of an Indo-Caribbean woman author, who represents a new and often overlooked literary tradition that needs a scholarly infrastructure, in order to retain and increase the presence of that tradition in scholarship and curricula. In other words, this body of work is at risk of going out of print and disappearing from circulation unless a significant body of criticism remains available — open access. The goal is to make the project available through the open access Digital Library of the Caribbean (www.dloc.com) and thus to help students and instructors and at the same time help to build the infrastructure necessary to assure the presence of the novel in future scholarship and curricula. Berta Gonzalez, Kayli Smendec, and Leah Rosenberg will discuss the objectives and challenges of creating such digital projects as class assignments from students’ perspectives from that of the instructor.

Leah Rosenberg, Kayli Smendec, and Berta Gonzalez

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Making Difficult Transitions

This session looks at how we make transitions work for us rather than becoming moments of failure in archival and digital history work. Donors and communities rarely share the same expectations of a relationship with an institutional partner as an archivist, a scholar or project designer. After the project starts, we start to see that the words we use actually mean different things. “Preserve” can equate to a sense that an artifact will be permanently displayed. “Create access” can suggest that physical objects should be loaned out for community events. Donors may interpret deviation from their own perspectives to be a betrayal of the promise to “tell the story” of a community.

These mismatches are teaching moments, even opportunities for reconciliation between social groups in a community, as well as between community people and those of heritage institutions. Professionals and scholars engaged in documentary projects with non-academics who help us to preserve, create access to and tell the stories of a community’s past need to be resilient enough for handling difficult discussions with our partners. Only through those conversations can we find agreement about our common vocabulary and how to put it into practice.

Bring your stories of how your projects have earned trust or missed opportunities because critical connections were not made, as well as what you have learned about deciding when to sunset or dramatically revise a community project. What conversations and skills can make that an honorable process?

Proposed by Haven Hawley, who has experience working in a community museum and with ethnic archives, and who is currently chair of Special and Area Studies Collections at UF.


Categories: Archives, Collaboration, Diversity, Libraries, Project Management, Session Proposals, Session: Talk | 1 Comment

Digital engagement outside the classroom

I propose a session to share ideas about engaging students in course themes through digital means (hey, that rhymes!).

Currently I teach a course on analytical thinking and writing that explores the child as Other. Through the Challenge Project, a participatory out-of-class engagement project, we ask students to explore course concepts, essays, and materials in a way that is meaningful to them. Some of my students have used social media outlets like instagram and Twitter or collage/archiving programs like Storify and Pinterest to explore ideas and characters. Originally this assignment was developed by Jamie Marks (anthropology graduate student) to address participation for those students who were apprehensive about participating during classtime but who still had questions and ideas to explore.

And this project is the catalyst for this session. I would like a roundtable discussion about how we can encourage and guide students through engagement activities that make use of the digital ways they communicate.

I imagine participants sharing their stories about learning the platforms and developing course assignments.

I imagine participants sharing challenges they face and questions they have.

I imagine participants offering suggestions, critiques, and expertise.

I imagine participants leaving this session with practical ideas to engage their students outside of class.

Categories: Mobile, Project Management, Session Proposals, Session: Make, Session: Talk, Session: Teach | Comments Off on Digital engagement outside the classroom

Wikipedia Edit-a-thon

You’d expect that Gainesville’s history would be on Wikipedia, but not much is. In case you didn’t know, Gainesville was fundamental to the national women’s movement, anti-war, and anti-racist movements in the 1970s and has a rich history of other Civil Rights activism.

I think it’s important to share this history and to make it available to everyone on Wikipedia. I propose that we hold an informal, yet structured, Edit-A-Thon to add information to Wikipedia articles about the history of Gainesville. Edit-A-Thons are events designed for people to work together to make changes to a specific genre or region. Attending these events are a great way to learn more about Wikipedia and how to write articles with others on the largest and most popular encyclopedia available.

Have you edited Wikipedia? Great! Never edited before? Don’t worry about it! We’ll work through the kinks together and make some helpful contributions about our history. We can use primary source materials from Florida Memory, the Samuel Proctor Oral History Program, the Florida NOW Archive, and UF Digital Collections. If all goes well, this session will result in the creation of great articles that will continue to be edited and watched after the session.

Categories: Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Virtual Virtues: What works and does not work for presenting manuscript material online

This is an open discussion about what makes the contents of a digital archive (letters, papers, diaries, etc.), either easy to use or frustrating to use. I thought we might look at the Bexar Archives (UT-Austin), Free People of Color in Louisiana (LSU), the Papers of Andrew Jackson (UTenn-Knoxville), and UFDC’s own Pioneer Days in Florida.

Bexar Archives: www.cah.utexas.edu/projects/bexar/index.php

Free People of Color: cdm16313.contentdm.oclc.org/cdm/search/collection/p16313coll51

Jackson: thepapersofandrewjackson.utk.edu/

Pioneer Days: ufdc.ufl.edu/pioneerdays

James Cusick
Curator, P.K. Yonge Library of Florida History, UF

Categories: Archives, Research Methods, Session: Talk, Teaching, Text Mining | 2 Comments

TRACE UF initiative: What is Sequentials?

The TRACE innovation initiative is a research endeavor developed and maintained by the University of Florida’s Department of English. TRACE works at the intersection of ecology, posthumanism, and writing studies. Invoking the mission of TRACE, Sequentials recognizes the unique capability of images to relay knowledge by soliciting and publishing interpretations of various academic subjects or themes drawn and explained through the comics medium. This session will be of particular interest to anyone interested in visual rhetoric, graphic storytelling, and comics.

By “comics,” we loosely mean illustrated, sequential images that may or may not incorporate words and may or may not be bounded within panels or other boundary markers. Because the term “comics” is still a contested one and has thus far evaded definition, this TRACE project asks contributors to (re)imagine the meanings of both the subject they are drawing about and the form that their interpretation takes. By encouraging contributors to conceptualize their work in a distinctly visual way, this project highlights the unique creative capabilities of the comics medium and reflects TRACE’s overall focus on innovative research and production.

A large focus of the Sequentials project is on developments of form. Given that chosen submissions will be published online, the framing of the page and screen will inevitably provide boundaries to what can be presented or created. We recognize the limitations of this two-dimensional space, but believe in the enormous creative potential of the comics form. Therefore, we ask contributors to consider how the form of their illustrations and panel structures might influence how viewers receive creative interpretations. The Sequentials team will circulate a CFC (call for comics) bi-monthly and will publish submissions accordingly. Subjects will range from theoretical terms like “deconstructivism” to fields of study such as “ecocriticism” or “animal studies.” In seeking visual submissions, we hope to destabilize the notion that words alone are the most effective way of conveying knowledge; we encourage contributors utilize the comics medium to its fullest, exploring how meaning can be displayed in creative ways. Contributors from all academic disciplines, regardless of their level of experience or illustration “skill” are welcome to submit. Further, submissions are encouraged from non-academics as well, and the editorial team will consider all submissions equally.

Categories: Session Proposals, Session: Make, Session: Talk | Tags: , , , , | 3 Comments

TRACE UF: What is augmented reality criticism?

The TRACE innovation initiative is a research endeavor developed and maintained by the University of Florida’s Department of English. TRACE works at the intersection of ecology, posthumanism, and writing studies. Augmented reality criticism (ARCs),or  the use of augmented reality (AR) applications as a medium in critical public discourse, is one of several distinct projects supported by TRACE. This session will provide a forum for discussion of novel applications of AR and how these can be used in academia and beyond.

Novel applications of augmented reality (AR) continue to emerge alongside the unprecedented rise in mobile computing technologies. Museums and historical sites are beginning to integrate AR content into their displays, companies are promoting AR apps in lieu of print or even web-based catalogs, and engineering firms are creating AR applications that reveal their often invisible work. Although such uses of AR are certainly interesting in their capacity to redefine the role of technical and professional writing for many disciplines, they do not utilize AR’s potential as a medium for social and cultural change.

Digital artists and activists continue to lead the pack when it comes to shaping AR’s future as a medium for critical public discourse. For instance, artists working as part of the Manifest.AR collective have been pursuing AR “interventionist public art” since at least 2010. During the Occupy movement, artist/activist Will Pappenheimer created an AR application that uses text from Occupy protester’s signs to generate digital skywriting. According to Pappenheimer’s website, the project, titled Skywrite AR, seeks to give everyday citizens an opportunity to “occupy” a space of public writing “normally out of [their] financial reach.”

In its unique rhetorical capacity to promote compelling interactions between physical and digital content, AR is the perfect platform for creating critical, digital texts whose salience is more clearly discerned when placed within specific physical locations. Indeed, as mobile/ubiquitous computing continues its ascendance and eventual merger with predicted advances in wearable augmented/virtual reality technologies, this type of “writing” will only continue to proliferate. Trace ARCs seek to build upon the AR work of digital artists by more explicitly situating AR within writing studies scholarship as an emerging medium for creating and disseminating critical public texts.

Categories: Session Proposals, Session: Talk | Tags: , , , , | 2 Comments

DIY Workshop: 3D Scanning and 3D Printing

Do you want to create a digital collection of 3D objects? Statues, vases, coins, inscriptions, or anything else you may want to study professionally?

This workshop will demonstrate live 3D scanning using 5 of the state-of-the-art 3D scanners (by Artec3D, Occipital, Microsoft, Autodesk, and Cyberware) and play with real examples of 3D printed objects. The workshop will answer the following questions:

  • How can I scan in 3D for free or with low budget?
  • What type of 3D scanner should I use?
  • How to disseminate my 3D collection on-line as an open-access digital collection?
  • How to print in 3D my scanned objects with low budget?
  • What type of 3D printer should I use and what parameters should I choose?

You will play with the 3D scanners and learn how to use them and play with several 3D printed objects to understand the differences between the various 3D scanning and 3D printing technologies.

Categories: Libraries, Open Access, Session Proposals, Session: Play, Visualizations | 1 Comment

Expanding access to historical content

In August of 2013, the UF George A Smathers Libraries received a $325,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) to digitize 100,000 pages of historic newspapers. The UF libraries are working in conjunction with the library system at the University of Puerto Rico-Rio Piedras to participate in the National Digital Newspaper Program (NDNP), a program created from a partnership between the NEH and the Library of Congress. As part of our participation in the program we are digitizing newspapers from both Florida and Puerto Rico that were published between 1836 and 1922. With this session I hope to inform you of what the project entails, the overall process, as well as update you on our progress thus far.

Categories: Archives, Libraries, Open Access, Project Management | 2 Comments

Timeline Apps for Online Exhibits

Every time I work on an online exhibit, it seems that a timeline would enhance the content and sometimes could even cover the entire exhibit.  An interactive timeline would be even better.  In this session, we look at a variety of timeline applications available online, some free, some not, discuss the strengths and weaknesses of each, and consider different ways timelines can be used in or as online exhibits and as tools for course assignments.  Applications will include, but not be limited to, Tiki-Toki, Dipity, Capzles, and MyHistro.

Categories: Archives, Collaboration, Libraries, Mapping, Open Access, Teaching, Visualizations | 2 Comments

TEI, Poetic Analysis, and Interchange

Using my recently completed dissertation as a starting point, I’d like to explore how the approach I’ve adopted might be improved upon, extended, or simply serve as a discussion point for other projects.

For my dissertation, I digitized and marked up a 1794 English blank-verse translation of Virgil’s Aeneid using a customized TEI schema to identify common poetic figures and tropes used by the translator. Once complete, the XML document was rendered separately within two different content management systems (also customized) to display the various encoded features for assistance in poetic analysis.

How viable is the sharing of my schema with other texts or projects for poetic figure analysis? I know how I would apply it to more texts, but knowing how others might use it could vastly change the customization (most likely for the better!). If the schema itself lacks applicability to others’ projects, at least the project’s single-source model and the process I followed could prove of use to others, specifically: 1) digitization of a physical artifact; 2) production of a custom TEI schema; 3) production of a TEI-encoded document; 4) insertion of said TEI-document into content management systems such as XTF and TEI Boilerplate; and 5) customization of content management systems to display desired textual features.

Categories: Archives, Coding, Collaboration, Project Management, Scholarly Editions, Visualizations | Tags: , , , , , | 3 Comments

Service Learning and DH in the Technical Writing Classroom: the iFixit Project

For this panel, I will discuss and promote a service learning project with a company called iFixit that I was involved with as an instructor of technical writing at the University of South Florida. iFixit advocates self-repair of electronic devices to help reduce the global spread of e-waste (pollution caused by the dumping of used electronic devices into third-world countries). To assist the self-repair movement, iFixit publishes repair guides on their website, and we at USF had engineering students work with the company to create some of these guides. To do this, students researched a device they were given to find common problems, and then write a troubleshooting guide, device page, and sets of instructions to remove specific components of the device for repair. Students also had to take their own photographs and write accompanying text to walk users through the replacement of components. The assignment relates to DH not only in that it requires students to perform web design using a wiki-based program, but also in that it requires them to think about the lives of their electronic devices and what happens to these devices after they’re discarded.

Categories: Uncategorized | 3 Comments

Stories of Grant-seeking Adventures in the DH

Have you wondered about how successful DH grant-seeking is achieved? It begins with conversations about what we have in terms of resources, what we have done in the past, and what we want to do in the future. “Sharing experiences through stories is emerging ….as a powerful way to exchange and consolidate knowledge.” (Storytelling in organizations, Deborah Sole, 2002) Join us for a Talk session to explore the birthing of collaborative grant-seeking projects awarded to the Smathers Libraries and its partners. We also will brainstorm possible projects that might be hidden among session participants, and talk about the first steps to turn these project ideas into competitive proposals.

Categories: Administrative, Archives, Collaboration, Funding, Libraries, Session: Talk | 1 Comment

What support can libraries offer digital humanities?

As librarians who work with digital scholarship, particularly undergraduate and graduate Theses and Dissertations and other items that find their home in Institutional Repositories, we understand that the landscape of the content is changing. Our “Talk” session is envisioned as a conversation between scholars and those who help make projects, research, and supporting materials available in a digital world. What kinds of materials, and in what formats, should we seek to support?

While our initial conversation topic was sparked by the needs of undergraduate and graduate students as they work on their theses, dissertations and other requirements for graduation, we recognize this conversation has broader impact in the digital humanities community. What technologies and solutions should we be looking at – what are the problems (current and upcoming) faced by scholars that we could help address?

-Submitted by Christy Shorey and Sarah Norris

Categories: Libraries, Session: Talk | 2 Comments

Using Social Media to Bring the Past to Life

Because history museums tend to attract older audiences, it can be challenging to find new ways to engage the younger generations. Moreover, many museums and universities feel proprietary about their collections and might be reluctant to put elements of their collections online for the masses.

However, using Facebook, Twitter, and other forms of social media to attract new audiences and educate them about the past is a highly promising and interactive form of community outreach with no borders. This un-panel will explore different groups’ experiences using social media as a tool to connect to new audiences and bring the past to life. Examples of different Florida and national digital collections that are interactive and educational will be explored.

Categories: Uncategorized | 2 Comments

NO MORE! Servers in Our Homes

For too long humanities researchers (and all researchers) have had too limited resources, which has resulted in servers in homes and personally supported servers by researchers for research. There are certainly times when having a server of one’s own is wanted and appropriate. However, this should not be the default. At UF, researchers have fabulous resources readily available through UF Research Computing.

This talk session will be about the options with Research Computing for server supports, contact people with Research Computing, and options for collaboration with the Libraries, which have just started our investment in Research Computing to have a small incubator space for graduate students and faculty researchers who are undertaking collaborative research and projects with the Libraries. There are better options than having a server in your home.

Come and hear about the options!

Come and learn about how utilizing and leveraging amazing resources like Research Computing can make your research more sustainable and fundable, with examples like MassMine!

Categories: Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Hacking TEI Boilerplate

A number of textually-oriented DH projects are using TEI (the Text Encoding Initiative) as a data format, and so far the easiest way to get TEI out to the reader is via TEI Boilerplate.  Boilerplate was designed with customization in mind, and there are some good examples online, like the Petrarchive, which goes beyond custom colors and fonts by using the CSS switcher and <choice> blocks to allow the reader to switch between a transcription and edited text.  Beyond customization, there is room for improvement: the default installation of Boilerplate is slow to load, throws some Javascript errors (relating to JQuery BlockUI, which might be part of the speed problem), and uses an outdated version of JQuery (1.10.2, while the latest is 2.1.3).  I’d like to propose a hacking session in which we sit down with our copies of Boilerplate and our favorite text editors or IDE’s to address any or all of the following:

  1. gain some collective, hands-on experience in customizing Boilerplate,
  2. try to speed up Boilerplate (perhaps by fixing those BlockUI errors?), and
  3. modernize our Boilerplate installations by upgrading JQuery to the latest version, fixing anything that breaks along the way.

This session would be more praxis than theory, but we should be able to generalize from our experiences; bring a laptop, not a tablet, and bring a copy of a TEI project you’d like to share and work on customizing together with the group.

Categories: Coding, Open Access, Scholarly Editions | Tags: , , , , | 1 Comment

Engaging Students in the Creation of Electronic Editions

This “talk” session is envisioned as an opportunity to share experiences in using TEI in the classroom or working with students in the creation of electronic editions. Participants will be invited to briefly describe past, current, or future projects, and to consider questions such as the following:

  • What should be the goals of using TEI with students? Should our objectives be different when working with undergraduates and graduates?
  • How do we create projects that are manageable, in terms of size, difficulty, etc., in such a context?
  • How can we best communicate to colleagues and administrators the importance of this type of work?
  • What are some recommended approaches to building relationships between faculty in the Humanities/Social Sciences and in Computer and Information Science, in support of such projects?
  • How can we design and teach Digital Humanities courses in which both Humanities/Social Sciences and Computer and Information Science students will enroll and in which they can successfully collaborate?
  • What role can university libraries play?
  • How should ongoing editorial projects involving students best be managed, in terms of faculty oversight and resources?



Categories: Uncategorized | 3 Comments

Innovation and Bureaucracy

Digital humanities needs space to experiment and explore, but as David Graeber’s recent study reminds us university bureaucracies often make it hard to create or maintain that sort of sustained creative space (Graeber, The Utopia of Rules: On Technology, Stupidity, and the Secret Joys of Bureaucracy). That means that to pursue digital humanities we need to understand bureaucracy and think about how to subvert it. In this session, I propose we use Graeber’s book as a starting point and brainstorm about ways to create successful spaces for experimentation, by carving out areas within the bureaucracy’s domain, by working at its margins, or acting outside its range.

Categories: Administrative, Collaboration | 3 Comments

Wikipedia Buttons for Edit-a-thon

Wikipedia Buttons for Edit-a-thon at THATCamp Gainesville 2015

For a Wikipedia Edit-a-thon related to the UF Samuel Proctor Oral History Program (SPOHP) and/or other UF Digital Collections, possibly including the Florida NOW!

Categories: Uncategorized | 1 Comment