In an effort to make finding lessons more user-friendly, we’ve officially launched full-text searching for all our lessons. Previously you could use filter buttons to select lessons based on topic or activity, and sort them by date and difficulty. However, you weren’t able to find lessons based on their content.
Welcome to the section for the Disrupting Digital Monolingualism workshop, a one-and-a-half day event which will be held online on June 16th and 17th 2020. The workshop is hosted by the Language Acts & Worldmaking project with the support of the Cross-Language Dynamics: Reshaping Community project, both projects funded by the AHRC as part of its Open World Research Initiative.
Due to the COVID-19 health crisis we have re-factored the workshop as a virtual event with a series of synchronous/live and asynchronous/pre-recorded interventions, using a combination of audiovisual and text-based tools.
We like to complain about how data is messy, not in the right format, and how parts don’t make sense. Reality is complicated though. Data comes from the realities. Here are several guides to help with visualizing these realities, which seem especially important these days.
This semester my students made a podcast. I just realized that though I’ve talked a lot about the podcast, I haven’t actually linked to the podcast here. So here it is, for all three of you who read my blog.
I’m super proud of how the students did on this assignment despite the many, many barriers to their success. So here’s my request: if you listen to one or more of the episodes (and you should!).
One of the things that’s cool about a podcast like this is that the students can keep interacting with it after the class is done, and I hope they will, if people listen and have questions.
Digital Humanities Now will be taking a short break until June. This semester has been unlike any other, but we hope that DHNow has continued to be a useful resource as we navigate online teaching and learning, virtual conferences, working and researching from home, and broader changes and uncertainty in academia and beyond.
A big thank you goes out to our dedicated community of volunteer Editors-at-Large for being so generous with their time and expertise. This semester’s Editors-at-Large included: Alexandra Sarkozy, Benjamin Ottenstein, Je-an Cedric Cruz, Anna Ivanov, Yibing Du, Julia Ribeiro S C Thomaz, Sydni Meyer, Norman Rusin, Bibhushana Poudyal, Caterina Agostini, Dan Howlett, Kris Stinson, and Dana Meyer. Your participation is vital to DHNow’s success.
When DHNow returns in June, we will be trying out publishing just once a week. Another change is that Brandan Buck will serve as Managing Editor. I’m excited to see what the next year of publication holds for DHNow, but it’s bittersweet saying goodbye. I’ve served as Managing Editor for the last two years, and I’ve worked on DHNow during all four years of my time as a GRA at RRCHNM. I’ve truly appreciated the opportunity to shape this publication, and I’ve especially enjoyed working with all of our Editors-at-Large and Editors-in-Chief.
We hope you’ll return this summer for more digital humanities news and scholarship. If you already have an account and you’d like to volunteer as an Editor-at-Large, fill out this form. If you need an account, send an email to dhnow at pressforward.org.
In the meantime, keep nominating feeds:
Take care and stay safe.
From the resource:
This reflection explores the functionality of two different web mapping applications: D3.js and Leaflet.js. Both of these applications require mastering the coding required which often involves a steep learning curve, however knowing the possibilities of web mapping applications that are software agnostic as well as open-source are useful for mapping enthusiasts. In what follows I point out the broad strokes characterizing the language frameworks for each of these applications and explore the impact they may have on mapping historical phenomena related to my research.
About the report:
Today the journal History published the paper State of the Field: Digital History to which I had the pleasure to contribute together with Annemieke Romein, Julie Birkholz, James Baker, Michel de Gruijter, Albert Meroño-Peñuela, Thorsten Ries, Ruben Ros, and Stef Scagliola. In this paper we provide an overview of the current state of technologies and practices for data generation, analysis, and reflection for historical research. We hope the paper will provide a valuable introduction to historians and students interested in digital methods for historical research, with plenty of references for further exploration of the topic. The paper is available open access here.
Educational technology is strangely situated at many institutions (usually somewhere vaguely between academics and IT), which further frustrates necessary conversations across the teaching/technology divide. And, quite often, for-profit ed-tech companies take advantage of this situation through predatory marketing tactics — pitching their tools to the most powerful, least knowledgeable folks at an institution. The majority of ed-tech is driven by the bureaucratic traditions of education more than the pedagogical ones.
In “Teaching as Possibility: A Light in Dark Times,” Maxine Greene writes, “It is obvious enough that arguments for the values and possibilities of teaching acts (no matter how enlightened) within the presently existing system cannot be expressed through poetry, even as it is clear that the notion of ‘teaching as possibility’ cannot simply be asserted and left to do persuasive work.” What Greene describes is a conundrum. For her, the space of the imagination, the habitus of poetry, is necessary to the work of education. But how do we reconcile the philosophies of John Dewey with the fact of the learning management system? How does the work of Maria Montessori sit without combusting alongside the increasingly aggressive marketing of remote and algorithmic proctoring tools? How do bell hook’s words about self-actualization in the classroom not wither in a world of key-stroke monitoring and plagiarism-detection software? And how can we honestly approach Virginia Woolf’s A Room of One’s Own with students if we’re complicit in the monetization of their educational data by for-profit companies?
These crises aren’t existential, nor are my examples purely hypothetical. The technological tools we’ve widely adopted for education are increasingly out of step with what we say education is for. There’s a serious problem in education if we assume dishonesty on the part of students while failing to acknowledge that for-profit tech companies like Turnitin or ProctorU might care about their bottom line more than they care about students.
About the report:
The National Digital Stewardship Alliance (NDSA) Agenda Working Group has recently announced the publication of the 2020 NDSA Agenda for Digital Stewardship. According to the Working Group, made up of Micah Altman (MIT Libraries), Karen Cariani (WGBH Media Library and Archives), Bradley Daigle (Academic Preservation Trust), Christie Moffatt (National Library of Medicine (NLM)), Sibyl Schaefer (University of California, San Diego), Bethany Scott, (University of Houston Libraries’ Special Collections), and Lauren Work (University of Virginia Library), this newest update of the NDSA Agenda, “represents a complete update around current advances and needs within crucial areas of focus such as digital collections, technological infrastructure, organizational policy and practice, and research priorities.” Results from the 2018 NDSA Institutional Survey on Priority Areas in digital stewardship are also included “to better articulate key areas for building research and developing practice.”
Over the last decade and through several publications, I have shared the story of US Hispanic workers in their fight against fascism, which included fundraising for the victims, grassroots activism, and publication of periodicals. My book, Fighting Fascist Spain. Worker Protest from the Printing Press (2020), shows how workers’ print culture and politics, most prominently anarchism and socialism, shaped their antifascism. Likewise, my co-edited volume, Writing Revolution: Hispanic Anarchism in the United States (2019), examines the ways in which Spanish-language anarchist periodicals established and maintained transnational networks that fought for the emancipation for workers from the late nineteenth through twentieth centuries in the United States, and part of this fight was the eradication of fascism. With this in mind, I have recovered, transcribed, and compiled Spanish Civil War exile correspondence to show its effectiveness as a post-war communication method that antifascist leaders like Jesús González Malo employed to strengthen their resistance networks in the context of transnational anarchism in Correspondencia personal y política de una anarcosindicalista exiliado: Jesús González Malo (1950-1965) (2016).
I research this fascinating topic thanks to the Recovering the US Hispanic Literary Heritage program, which welcomed me as a research assistant while I was working on my PhD coursework. Interested in learning more about Spanish Civil War exile in the United States, I had applied to the University of Houston. My interest, both academic and personal, developed from the fragmented stories of anarchists, the Spanish Civil War, fascist terror, and transatlantic travels to the Americas I heard as a child. My research assistantship mainly consisted of recovering and cataloguing two Spanish Civil War Periodicals: Frente Popular (1936-1939) and España Libre (1939-1977). One of the first texts I catalogued was a refugee narrative. It portrayed refugees in their miles-long walk toward France at the end of the Spanish Civil War. The piece especially caught my attention because it described their crossing of my native hometown near Barcelona. From that moment, disseminating such hidden stories of resistance has been my calling, the root of much of my happiness, and the greatest privilege I have experienced.
Fighting Fascist Spain: The Exhibit, sponsored by the Grants-in-Aid of the US Latino Digital Humanites (USLDH) program, visualizes the story of the Sociedades Hispanas Confederadas (SHC) as told in Fighting Fascist Spain (2020)…
The fallout from our current crises has not yet settled. As we have adapted to online iterations of our work, we have also experienced a profound loss of life, paired with an unprecedented economic collapse. How these crises might affect higher education writ large is perhaps already glimpsed by present conditions of austerity. For Digital Humanities (DH), the uneven and combined effects of the crises could fundamentally alter our disciplinary practice.
Digital Humanities are an assemblage of academic tools and methods that demand intellectual evolution. This is, first, a fact of DH’s disciplinary formation–interdisciplinary and technologically driven–but one that is still frequently debated. Second, the demand to evolve is a political principle realized in DH’s practice. Among its many iterations, traits like collaboration, generative thinking, and making are centered, modeling an intellectual evolution meant to resist individualism in the rush to produce knowledge within larger structures of individual gain. How these disciplinary practices are distinguished from long-established modes of humanistic inquiry define DH as much as they create inevitable tension.
Despite its digital character, institutional space—particularly the laboratory space—is most often the control mechanism that allows DH to realize its disciplinary potential. The lab, and all of its attendant costs, provides the material conditions for DH to affect humanistic inquiry because it gives us space to occupy. The DH lab might mimic more traditional iterations of the space, but it is often housed within a communal space like a library, maximizing the lab’s interdisciplinary potential. The lab is the chapter house of DH praxis, tantamount to access, technology, affiliation, and so many more aspects of what DH scholarship assumes in its practice. But what happens when the lab is closed, in some cases, for good?
From the CFP:
This workshop will be an online event. More details will follow, Organized by the DHLab of the KNAW Humanities Cluster…
An important goal of this workshop is to find new ways of sharing our ‘research stories’. This includes the introduction of pre-registration of studies, which entails the submission of a registered report that includes theoretical justification, experimental design, and the proposed statistical analysis. Additionally, we want to rethink the reviewing process for interdisciplinary studies that rely on computational approaches to answer questions relevant to the humanities. Finally, the workshop aims to make all publications, code, and data freely available, thus encouraging research transparency and replication of studies.
From the report:
On Thursday, April 2nd 2020, at a time of extreme uncertainty and in the midst of social distancing, lockdowns and isolation due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Digital Curation Unit / ATHENA R.C. designed and carried out the first Greek-run international Digital Humanities conference which took place entirely on Twitter.
The event, under the title “DH in the Time of Virus”, was organized in the context of APOLLONIS, the Greek Infrastructure for Digital Arts, Humanities and Language Research and Innovation, a compound of DARIAH-GR and CLARIN:EL, which is co-ordinated by ATHENA R.C.
From the resource:
Statistical measures of similarity allow scholars to think computationally about how alike or different their objects of study may be, and these measures are the building blocks of many other clustering and classification techniques. In text analysis, the similarity of two texts can be assessed in its most basic form by representing each text as a series of word counts and calculating distance using those word counts as features. This tutorial will focus on measuring distance among texts by describing the advantages and disadvantages of three of the most common distance measures: city block or “Manhattan” distance, Euclidean distance, and cosine distance. In this lesson, you will learn when to use one measure over another and how to calculate these distances using the SciPy library in Python.
From the resource:
Technology changed how we create, produce, and organize our ideas. It also changed the ways in which we write a dissertation during graduate study. A dissertation is indeed a large endeavor, but it begins with small steps. It evolves over time, and small steps eventually turn complicated research into a cohesive project. As graduate students delve deeper into writing, there are many digital tools that can assist and create a more productive writing experience.
Jeff Painter and Autumn Painter
Autumn Painter and I are happy to announce the official launch of Archaeology 101 (archaeology101.com), a website designed to introduce elementary and middle school students to archaeology and the study of the past. In the website, we use written content and interactive elements to teach students about archaeology and some of the basic concepts and tools that archaeologists use to study past people. While aimed at students, this website is accessible for other interested parties as well, and can serve as a broader public education and outreach platform.Launching Volta River Commodities
My CHI project, Volta River Commodities, is built around a dataset that I created from West African colonial trade statistics. Officials from the Gold Coast (what is now Ghana) were stationed at preventative stations along the colony’s borders to control the movement of people and goods. The information that they recorded included descriptions of objects carried by traders, the amount carried, and the direction traveled. By translating the information from paper documents into digital tables, I created a dataset with a total of 7,735 records, which illustrate the diversity of objects carried across the Volta River and the changing trends in internal trade.MSU Digital Archaeology Collections
This is the launch post for Zach Francis’s 2019-2020 CHI fellowship project. Click to check out the MSU Digital Archaeology Collections website! At the beginning of this year, I knew that I wanted to do something to bring the archaeological collections held by the Michigan State anthropology department into the digital world. The main motivation for this was my previous work developing a metadata scheme to describe archaeological heritage assets being held by the department. Using this metadata scheme, I cataloged the archaeological heritage into a Kora digital repository which could provide an alternative and more accessible content management system than our paper records. The goal for this CHI project was to bring this digital repository into a website accessible to the public.Launching “Mapping the Young Lords”
Eric Manuel Rodriguez
I’m excited to announce the completion of my CHI project “Mapping the Young Lords”.
This project has seen a few iterations since I first thought about what it would be in December. The goal of the site is to visualize the consequences of public health related direct action on behalf of the Young Lords organization in New York City during the early 1970s. My argument is that because of the visibility brought to the public health disparities experienced by Black and Latinx residents of Harlem and the Bronx, the Young Lords were ultimately successful in bettering health outcomes in their immediate communities. This is measured by the opening of hospital facilities in these neighborhoods. The project visualizes the explosion of out patient and other hospital facilities that occurred after 1976.Launching “After the Flood: How Nashville Neighborhoods Changed after the Great Flood of 2010”
Kyeesha M. Wilcox
Today, I launch my CHI project titled After the Flood. This website is intended to be a briefing of research that I conducted this semester about the neighborhood effects that were associated with Nashville, Tennessee’s Great Flood of 2010. May 1-2, 2020 marked the 10-year anniversary of the flood experience in Nashville and surrounding areas. To understand how neighborhoods changed since the flood, I used the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey to analyze the socioeconomic conditions of neighborhoods in Nashville five years before (2005-2009) and after the flood (2011-2015). Additionally, the racial composition changes of these neighborhoods were analyzed.Introducing River Borders!
I am thrilled to launch River Borders– a website/database of river borders across the world, an outcome of my senior CHI fellowship. This website aims to be an accessible pedagogical tool for educators, specifically high school educators, by offering a centralized repository of river borders across the world. Using data from the International River Boundaries Database (IRBD) at Durham University along other databases, this website is an open source database. It is not static, and information will be updated periodically. Furthermore, recognizing that river borders, indeed, all borders are not static, this website recognizes de-facto as well as formal boundaries.Project Launch: Mapping the Upper Missouri
I am so excited to announce the public launch of my project, Mapping the Upper Missouri: Visualizing Negotiation, Diplomacy, and Culture on the Northern Plains, 1801-1853. The story map and supplemental materials provide a geospatial history of the fur trade, intercultural exchange, and diplomacy in the upper Missouri River region (present-day Montana). It encompasses four historical themes: the global fur trade, the history of intertribal and colonial relations, the early history of capitalism in North America, and the evolving state of diplomacy from exchange to territoriality. Ultimately, two key arguments arise out of this project. First, that over the course of the first half of the nineteenth century the fur trade transitioned from sites of exchange into sites of administration and surveillance. Secondly, the upper Missouri Indigenous communities affected by these transitions strategically responded in ways that ensured their survival and persistence.Launching “Fan Culture”
This project “Fan Culture” is inspired by my previous CHI project “Multiculturalism in the German Football World,” which focuses primarily on the German National Football Team. Last year, I planned to work on the representations of multiculturalism on both national and regional levels. The national perspective went fairly well and I was able to map out the birthplaces of many players. As for the regional aspect, I found the annual reports published by the Central Sports Intelligence Unit and I saw the value of this source. However, I did not have time to intensively work on the data and I also lacked the technical knowledge to visualize them. This year, when I was accepted as a returning fellow, I decided to go back to the data and build a new project around the fan culture on the regional level and really focus on the fans of football clubs in Germany.Introducing “Mapping Action”
I’m proud to introduce “Mapping Action: Lesbian Avengers Actions in New York City.” As a companion to my dissertation entitled “Making as World-Making: What the Lesbian Avengers Can Teach about Communal Composing, Agency, and World-Building.” In my dissertation, through ethnographically informed qualitative interviews, I detail themes on making from former members of the Lesbian Avengers—an activist group prominent in the 1990s—to illuminate how the communal practice of making is a deliberate and complex rhetorical act of world-building, especially for marginalized communities.Launching Post for “American Tastes, Russian Eats”
I am very happy to launch my CHI fellowship project, American Tastes, Russian Eats, at the end of the 2019-20 academic year. The random idea of creating a website about some U.S. fast food’s footprint in Russia came to my mind when I worked as a graduate teаching assistant for Dr. Helen Veit’s course History of Food and Alcohol in fall 2019. Studying Russian history in the United States and being interested in tinkering with geospatial data, I decided to explore the history and geography of one of the U.S. cultural heritages in Russia- fast food restaurants. I am glad that I have eventually materialized the idea. I am very thankful for all the know-how I have acquired in CHI and all the generous help I have received from CHI fellows along the journey.Introducing: A Digital Domestic Cookbook
Dani M. Willcutt
I have known since the beginning of the CHI Fellowship that my project would revolve around Malinda Russell, the author of A Domestic Cookbook (1866). The exact shape of the project, however, changed numerous times throughout the year. I was determined to create a digital biography of Russell during the early stages of the project. It seemed only natural since I was in the middle of writing a first draft of her biography. Russell’s life story is particularly interesting and my original goal was to create a digital space where Russell’s story would be told to a wider audience, but the outcome has been quite different. Instead, Russell’s cookbook itself became the focal point of this project. In early March, I ditched the site I was working on and switched to Twine.
About the resource:
Inspired by the genre of YouTube videos where younger people listen to older music, The Pudding is running a project to find the generational music gaps. Enter your age, songs play, and you say if you know the song or not.
The aggregate results are shown as more people listen. For example, the above shows the percentage of people in a given age group who did not recognize the listed songs.
I’m looking forward to what they do with the finished dataset.
From the CFParticipation:
The English edition of The Programming Historian is seeking editors to work actively to solicit and edit lessons. These lessons should focus on providing humanities and social science scholars with the skills to interpret the outputs of digital methods, allowing readers to move from digital data to publishable research…
Interested candidates should submit a 1-page expression of interest outlining your interests, experience, and vision for the publication, to Sarah Melton ([email protected]) by 1 June 2020. Please direct any questions to Sarah in the first instance. Please note that this is a VOLUNTEER ACADEMIC SERVICE POSITION and there is no salary or stipend associated with this role.
From the CFParticipation:
Next weekend, 9-12 May 2020, is the #VisibleWikiWomen Edit-a-thon: Women in critical infrastructures of care. To acknowledge, affirm, support and raise awareness of these incredible women. During a time where we isolate ourselves physically, #VisibleWikiWomen is an opportunity where we can come together virtually, to introduce and celebrate online, the faces, work, and wisdom of women who have often been missing from the world’s shared knowledge and histories.
The goal of this online event is to gather and upload, good quality images of women, which are in the public domain, or under free license, to Wikimedia Commons (the image file repository for Wikipedia) under the VisibleWikiWomen category and have fun! These images could be photographs or drawings of women, as well as images of their work, with proper consent. If you are not sure where to start, there will be some online training sessions on how to upload images to Commons and also group conversations, where participants can ask questions and share their experiences participating in the campaign.
I was a guest speaker in the MA in Elearning class at Cork Institute of Technology this morning. Thanks very much to Gearóid Ó Súilleabháin for the invitation. Here’s a bit of what I said…
Thank you for inviting me to speak to your class today. This is such a strange and necessary time to talk about education technology, to take a class about education technology, to get a degree in education technology because what, in the past, was so often framed as optional or aspirational is now compulsory — and compulsory under some of the worst possible circumstances. So it’s a strange and necessary time to be a critic of education technology because, while I’ve made folks plenty angry before, now I am under even more pressure to say something, anything nice about ed-tech, to offer reassurance that — over time, by Fall Term surely — the tech will get better.
I can’t. I’m sorry.
It’s also an deeply uncomfortable time to be an American with any sort of subject matter expertise — it has been since well before the 2016 election, but particularly since then. I don’t want to come off today as making broad sweeping statements about all of education everywhere when I’m very much talking about the education system in the US and the education technology industry in the US. So grain of salt and my apologies and all that.
One of the reasons that I am less than sanguine about most education technology is because I don’t consider it this autonomous, context-free entity. Ed-tech is not a tool that exists only in the service of improving teaching and learning, although that’s very much how it gets talked about. There’s much more to think about than the pedagogy too, than whether ed-tech makes that better or worse or about the same just more expensive. Pedagogy doesn’t occur in a vacuum. It has an institutional history; pedagogies have politics. Tools have politics. They have histories. They’re developed and funded and adopted and rejected for a variety of reasons other than “what works.” Even the notion of “what works” should prompt us to ask all sorts of questions about “for whom,” “in what way,” and “why.”
I want to talk to you a bit today about what I think is going to be one of most important trends in education technology in the coming months and years. I can say this with some certainty because it’s been one of the most important trends in education technology for a very long time. And that’s surveillance.