DiSc website

February 27, 2011 at 6:08 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

If you are interested in Digital Scholarship, please join and create a profile on the Digital Scholarship Drupal Commons website at: http://disc.oise.utoronto.ca/

If you have a digital project, please add it to the wiki on the Digital Projects Directory.


4Humanities: Advocating for the Humanities

November 25, 2010 at 6:15 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

4Humanities is an important new initiative. From the Mission Statement:

4Humanities is both a platform and a resource for humanities advocacy. As a platform, 4Humanities stages the efforts of humanities advocates to reach out to the public. We are a combination newspaper, magazine, channel, blog, wiki, and social network. We solicit well-reasoned or creative demonstrations, examples, testimonials, arguments, opinion pieces, open letters, press releases, print posters, video “advertisements,” write-in campaigns, social-media campaigns, short films, and other innovative forms of humanities advocacy, along with accessibly-written scholarly works grounding the whole in research or reflection about the state of the humanities.

As a resource, 4Humanities provides humanities advocates with a stockpile of digital tools, collaboration methods, royalty-free designs and images, best practices, new-media expertise, and customizable newsfeeds of issues and events relevant to the state of the humanities in any local or national context. Whether humanities advocates choose to conduct their publicity on 4Humanities itself or instead through their own newsletter, Web site, blog, and so on, we want to help with the best that digital-humanities experts have to offer.

THATCamp BootCamps

November 23, 2010 at 5:40 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

To follow up on one aspect of our discussions at the last Digital Humanities Collaboratory meeting —  the lack of oppourtunities for DH skills training — one solution might be a THATCamp BootCamp. It would be great to have, not a UofT exclusive THATCamp BootCamp, but a Toronto-area or Southern Ontario-wide BootCamp. There’s a lot a great DH-related expertise around that really needs to be shared!

CUNY Digital Humanities Initiative

November 23, 2010 at 5:32 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Here’s a very compelling model for grass-roots DH action: The CUNY Digital Humanities Initiative, “an effort to build momentum and community around Digital Humanities practitioners at CUNY.” The Initiative’s website allows DH practioners at CUNY to learn about who else on campus is interested in DH, keeps the public informed about their activities, and offers helpful DH resources.


Stephen Ramsay on creating a Digital Humanities Centre

October 8, 2010 at 4:22 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Stephen Ramsay gave a talk today at Emory University, which has been consulting experts on the creation of a digital humanities centre. Ramsay warned of one of the pitfalls to avoid when a DH centre is located in the library, as it often is:

Emory will become a great center for Digital Humanities to the degree that it allows its scholars to act more like librarians, and allows its librarians to act more like scholars.

The alternative — a “center” that is really nothing more than another service point in the library for scholars interested in setting up blogs or creating web sites — might curry some local favor. The President of the University Libraries can present that to the powers above as another way that the library serves the Emory community. And it’s not a bad thing, certainly, to engage in such service. But Emory will never do serious cutting-edge research in Digital Humanities with this model. It will, at best, become a place that is not falling too far behind.

During the year or so I’ve been involved with this project, I’ve tried to offer the best advice I can. But in the end, I’ve just repeated the secret formula for becoming a place for the care of the soul: create a space in which the conventional separations among faculty, librarians, students, and staff become malleable — even, to use a term popular among hackers, fungible.

Recent Chronicle Articles

June 3, 2010 at 5:52 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Issues of concern for the working groups are featured in a number of Chronicle of Higher Education articles:

Jennifer Howard, “No Reviews of Digital Scholarship = No Respect” (subscription required)

Here’s a germane quotation from the above:

Brett Bobley, director of the NEH’s Office of Digital Humanities, put it like this in an e-mail to me: “In the past, an edition was judged almost entirely on the scholarship (rightly so). But in the digital realm, we also need to judge it on their digital infrastructure. Do they have useful metadata? A sustainability plan? Are they conforming with library/archive standards? Do they have an API [application programming interface] to enable others to repurpose the data or mash it up with other data? Etc. These are all important issues.”

Some responses to Howard’s piece :
Stan Katz, “Reviewing Digital Scholarship”
Alex Reid, “On Not Getting Digital Scholarship”

Marc Parry, “The Humanities Go Google”

Kelly Truong, “Scholars Compile Academic Book from Twitter and Blogs”

Research and the Internet

May 25, 2010 at 8:08 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

I like the ambiguity of this cartoon. I think it sums up the dilemma we are trying to grapple with (I love the visual reductionism of the opposed images, and the stark juxtaposition of the two.)

Source: http://photos-e.ak.fbcdn.net/photos-ak-snc1/v377/93/29/4202638/n4202638_31460904_2993.jpg

‘The Unintended Value of the Humanities’

May 25, 2010 at 5:03 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

An article by Stephen J. Mexal, “The Unintended Value of the Humanities” from The Chronicle Review touches upon one of the issues that Working Group proposes to discuss: What is the social value of humanities research? Mexal sees the value of humanities scholarship only manifesting itself in the long term through a series of mediations that usually end up being far removed from the scholarship itself, being filtered through university-educated people who go on to use that education in what are traditionally regarded as socially valuable ways.

But Mexal doesn’t talk about how making humanities research publically-accessible online might generate different unintended value. What kind of impact might humanities research presented to a variegated online audience have? Are there examples of this impact?

JHI Working Group 2010-11 Proposal

May 18, 2010 at 11:04 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

VERSION 3 (draft)

Rethinking Humanities Scholarship in the Digital Age

Recent discussion about the ‘crisis in the Humanities’ has identified a number of contributing factors, including the troubled economics of scholarly publishing, the tyranny of the monograph, the casualization of the academic workforce, and the general public’s indifference and even hostility to the humanities. And yet, amidst this crisis, scholarly practice and communication in the humanities still largely consists of scholars presenting their developing work to other scholars at conferences and disseminating completed work in academic print journal articles and monographs, despite the proliferation of alternate modes of communication and new audiences enabled by the digital age. This lack of change in how humanities scholarship is done, evaluated, disseminated and consumed has recently led to a call by the President of the Modern Language Association (MLA) to reinvent the monograph-like dissertation as a means by which students can “navigate a scholarly environment in which the modes of production are increasingly collaborative, the vehicles of scholarly dissemination increasingly interactive, the circulation of knowledge more openly accessible, and the audiences…purposely varied” (http://www.mla.org/fromthepres). Such a scholarly environment would not only transform scholarly communication, but would require new partnerships with librarians and information technologists: how would such scholarly work be preserved, maintained, upgraded, catalogued, aggregated, accessed and made usable for multiple audiences?

This working group’s purpose is to examine how the digital age impacts on modes of humanities scholarship, the criteria used to evaluate this scholarship, the audiences for this scholarship, and the ways in which this scholarship is designed, developed, curated and preserved. In the digital age, social impact and relevance is integrally related to being accessible online – not just in presenting static content online, but in collaborating on and sharing content and providing feedback. Given this situation, what is of more value: an article published in a ‘prestigious’ print-only journal with a small and specialized academic readership (only some of whom actually read the article), or a series of blog postings that are tweeted about, stumbled upon, declared delicious, garnering a wide and diverse readership, and engendering an extended online discussion and new perspectives and insights? Thinking about an expanded audience for humanities scholarship – including scholars in other disciplines, teachers and students of all levels, librarians, university administrators, policy makers and grant officers, the general public – requires serious consideration of new models of collaboration involving a wide range of participants involved in new forms of scholarly communication, which must be evaluated using new metrics for scholarly value.

This group’s membership consists of faculty, graduate students, librarians, technicians, and researchers at UofT. Through regular meetings and online discussion, this working group intends to build an online repository that collects material relating to the issues of humanities scholarly communication and the criteria for evaluating scholarship in the digital age. This collection will inform the report this group will produce outlining current problems in humanities scholarship, proposed solutions and future challenges.

JHI news

March 25, 2010 at 11:02 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The Jackman Humanities Institute is hosting a THATcamp on 28 May 2010. Registration opens on 26 March and closes 20 April.

Cornell University’s Society for the Humanities has announced that it has formed a Digital Humanities Consortium with the JHI. Details are still skecthy at this point.

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