Disclosure: I will discuss DHCommons in this post. I am one of the primary contributors to the DHCommons project, and one of the organizers of the event I’m promoting here.
If you’re a regular reader of ProfHacker, there’s a good chance that you have some interest in the digital humanities (DH). Digital humanities panels were the buzz of the past two MLA Conventions, and the field has recently been featured in a series of articles, “Humanities 2.0,” in the New York Times. Many new scholars are entering the field, and exciting digital projects are multiplying.
However, for scholars who don’t have local access to a digital humanities center—or other community of colleagues—the path to becoming a digital humanist can be murky. How does one begin a project? How does one find collaborators with the necessary skills for a given project? How might one gain new digital skills? How does one find funding to support a digital humanities project? Last week George published an article here at ProfHacker of “starting points” for scholars interested in DH. Today I want to write about a specific opportunity for those looking to join the field.
At next year’s Modern Language Association Convention in Seattle, DHCommons will host a preconvention workshop aimed at helping scholars interested in the digital humanities gain a foothold in the field. I’ve included the full workshop description below, but in short, representatives from a range of prominent DH projects and centers will be available for training and personal consultation with workshop participants interested in joining the digital humanities conversation. If you’re interested in 1.) starting a new digital project, 2.) finding an existing project to contribute to, 3.) learning how to use digital projects in your own research, or 4.) learning how to incorporate digital projects into your teaching, then the DHCommons workshop might help you do that. If you’re interested, you can apply for the workshop on the DHCommons website.
This January workshop will serve as the launch party for the larger DHCommons project. In short, DHCommons will help digital humanists across a range of institutions—scholars with digital humanities centers and those without—discover and contact potential collaborators: to find and join projects. There will be more information about DHCommons as January approaches. You can follow current news about DHCommons on Twitter.
As promised, here is the full announcement:
Getting Started in Digital Humanities with DH Commons
Thursday, 5 January 2012, 8:30-11:30 am
Digital methodologies and new media are changing the landscape of research and teaching in modern languages and literatures. Scholars can now computationally analyze entire corpora of texts or preserve and share materials through digital archives. Students can engage in authentic applied research linking text to place, or study Shakespeare in a virtual Globe Theater. In the face of all the digital humanities buzz–from the MLA to the New York Times to Twitter–where can scholars interested in the field turn to get started? This three-hour preconvention workshop welcomes language and literature scholars who wish to learn about, start, or join digital scholarly projects for research and/or teaching. Representatives of major digital humanities projects and initiatives will share their expertise on project design and available resources, lead small-group training sessions on technologies and skills to help participants get started, and be available for follow-up one-on-one consultations later in the day. Experts will come from projects such as the Walt Whitman Archive, Blake Archive, Romantic Circles, Civil War Washington, NINES, 18th Connect, centerNet, The History Engine, Hypercities, and Spatial Humanities. Participants will leave with a plan for getting started in the digital humanities and a resource for connecting to scholars and projects in their disciplines.
When and where: This workshop will be held 8:30 – 11:30 a.m. on the first day of the MLA Convention (Thursday, January 5th, 2012). Panelists will hold one-on-one counseling sessions with participants after the workshop.
Sponsors: The workshop is co-sponsored by the National Institute for Technology in Liberal Education (NITLE) and the Texas A&M Initiative for Digital Humanities, Media, and Culture.
Organizers: Rebecca Davis (NITLE), Lisa Spiro (NITLE), Laura Mandell (Texas A&M University), Ryan Cordell (St. Norbert College), and Quinn Dombrowski (University of Chicago).
The workshop will serve as the launch of the Digital Humanities Commons (DHCommons), a new registry designed to match innovative scholars with opportunities for collaboration and expertise, and increase the community of participants engaged with established digital projects, initiatives, and centers.
Scholars must apply in advance for the workshop by either
- outlining a digital project they would like to undertake, or
- suggesting the type of project on which they would be interested in collaborating. This collaboration may include developing curriculum or pedagogical approaches to the use of the project.
The workshop aims to help new digital humanists find exciting work; thus, applications will not require scholars to have a fully-developed project idea. Small group training sessions will be determined by the needs of accepted participants.
Application and Deadlines: Review of applications will begin on September 15. The review board will consider applications and accept participants on a rolling basis until the workshop is full. Those whose applications were received by September 15 will be notified by September 30.
To apply or find more information, please visit http://www.dhcommons.org/mla2012.