The fall term is imminent; new instructions on how to navigate the world appear in our inboxes every day. New courses, and a levelling up of expectations even when we feel like we’re just hanging on… For me, at least, everyday feels more and more like this:
A balancing act of uncommon grace and inspiration.
No? Anyone?.... No, I suppose not. I’ve been working from my basement for a long time now, and will continue to work from that space for the foreseable future. I expect many of you are too. Here’s to a safe return to campus though.
But at least there’s one bit of good news: The DHCU Irregular, the newsletter of the Carleton University Digital Humanities program is back for another year!
Each month, if I can manage it, I’ll be sending this newsletter to your email; do check your spam folders, just in case. I’ll be offering up information on various digital humanities events happening around Ottawa, talks and workshops, and putting the spotlight on the courses, projects, and people around Carleton that make us stop and say… wow!
If you check the DHCU archive you’ll see that from time to time I also give out advice on things like writing a DH-inflected thesis or major essay. How to ‘do’ DH is a constant theme - but it’s an exciting one. DH is changing all the time at the level of nuts-and-bolts, methods and approaches. The big ticket themes of examining the humanities with the tools/thinking of the digital, while at the same time interrogating the digital with the tools/thinking of the humanities… well that remains constant.
Oh, by the way, in case I haven’t met you yet, I’m Shawn Graham, and I’m the coordinator for the Digital Humanities program for the MA, and for the BA Minor. I’m a prof in the History department, though my background was originally in Roman archaeology. The emergence of the Digital Humanities (and boy, is there a lot of history behind that term) allowed me to expand my interests towards the ways digital tools and the study of material culture intersect. In archaeology, it is not uncommon to hear that tools change the way we think, how we think, and what we can think about: for me right now, my interest is in the tools that can think for themselves….
So enough about me; how about you?
If you’re receiving this newsletter, you’re a student in our program at some level, a faculty member, a fellow traveller, a friend; we’re all trying to figure this thing out together. I’m pleased to say the list of people receiving this newsletter has grown because this year is another banner year for new MA students joining us!
Welcome to a new season: May you keep everything in balance.
And maybe you know of someone starting their MA who might be interested in joining us? There’s still time to join, and we’ve got space! Put them in touch with me: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Roman Kraft, via unsplash.com
Dr. Trina Cooper-Bollam is teaching a public history course this fall where
students will explore a range of theory and practices used by public historians to interpret traumatic history and memory, with an emphasis on oral history and methods of collaboration with living survivors. Using a combination of analytical and performative methods, students will explore ethics and implement strategies of oral history research, narrativization, scenarization, and performance, developing interpretive and experiential design concepts to inform an exhibition on veterans’ experiences of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The course will progress through three parts. In Part 1, Evidence, students will encounter evidentiary dissonances through case studies contrasting testimonial and forensic truths. In Part 2, Evoking Trauma, students will examine ethics and methods of evoking trauma and cultivate curatorial judgement. In Part 3, Vicarious History & Memory, students will create experiential design concepts for public encounters with traumatic history and memory.
The students will be creating a virtual exhibition of veterans’ experiences of PTSD for the Centre of Excellence on PTSD at the Royal Ottawa Hospital.
Everyone should know who to talk to at the library whey they’re looking for DH Resources: Martha Attridge Bufton is your champion at Macodrum Library. Martha is the Interdisciplinary Studies Librarian in Research Support Services at the Carleton University Library and is responsible for digital humanities at the Carleton University Library.
As an historian, Martha’s research interests include labour and women’s history. In particular, she is interested in the intersections of class and gender in the mobilization of white-collar workers. Her short documentary film, Women at the bargaining table. White-collar unionization at Carleton University, tells the story of unionism at Carleton in the 1970s, with a focus on five women who took leadership roles in this movement.
Her library and information science research interests include culturally responsive instruction, digital humanities, and game-based learning. She is the co-creator of Sources, a card game designed to teach students about finding academic information. She has also created the digital version of this game using Twine. She has also created a digital repository in Omeka: Women at the bargaining table. This repository showcases the production of her documentary film.
Martha can advise you on the general collection includes access to digital humanities journals and books (print and electronic). There is also support available in the library for digital technologies such as Nvivo, Omeka, and Twine that can be used for text analysis, the curation of digital collections, and the creation of digital games and narratives.
Down the Canal you’ll find another whole world of DH work going on. I’d like to highlight their excellent Toolbox Series that all are welcome to attend:
The DH Toolbox workshops are a series of hands-on sessions introducing tools and techniques and/or exploring theoretical and methodological approaches to digital scholarship. These sessions unfold bi-weekly on Wednesdays, between 11:30 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. and will be held virtually again this year.
Whether working with musical scores and poetry, engagement with visual arts, or museum and archival collections, issues related to discovery and access – of resources and project tasks – are critical to project development and management. This Fall, the DH Toolbox series will explore different research processes from researchers, archivists, and curators here in the National Capital region, and get a tour of their processes when working toward discoverability, access and accessibility, and management. Join us virtually for a series of workshops on discovery, access, and management!
The full DH Toolbox sessions and speakers will be announced on Friday, September 10, 2021! Follow them on Twitter or check out their website for the schedule and registration details as they become available.
Tim Mossholder, via unsplash.com
What now? I’ll tell you what now: awesomeness!
(Unless otherwise specified, these are open to all.)
Hey DIGH5800 students: these can count towards the course too!
The University of North Carolina’s School of Information and Library Science is holding a symposium on ‘AI and Knowledge Work’. The first webinar takes place on Septmber 10th, 10 AM - 2.30pm, and features an incredible line-up of thinkers, including Zeynep Tufekci, Victoria Szabo, and Tressie McMillan Cottom. Register to attend via this form
The Interdisciplinary Research and Informatics Scholarship Centre Southern Illinois University Edwardsville is having their first Morning Bytes brown bag is on 9/17 to talk about web accessibility standards and making DH projects accessible.
Utrecht University, Centre for Digital Humanities: On data and care in migration contexts “Situated in the emerging interdisciplinary research focus area of digital migration studies, this talk probes how researchers can care for data. Drawing on critical and feminist theories of care, this intervention was developed in response to the recent trend of seeing migration as a laboratory to carry out experiments with big data.”
Date(s) - 17-09-2021
15:00 - 16:00 Utrecht Time.
From DigVentures “Apply to become a Pastronaut on Deep Time – a brand new experimental mission to search for previously unknown archaeological sites from aerial LiDAR images, using a combination of Collective and Artificial Intelligence. It’s our most exciting mission yet – and that’s saying something!
When: 21 September – 14 November 2021
Duration: 8 weeks
Experience level: All levels welcome! No previous experience required as full training will be provided.
Requirements: Internet connection, and the ability to commit 3-5 hours per week
How to apply: See https://digventures.com/product/deep-time-2021/ and apply by 09 September 2021
DH Workshops on Data Visualization at U of O Part 1: September 27 and October 4, 10:30 am to 12:00 PM with Jarno van der Kolk and Peter Darveau. (Part 2: Nov 1 and Nov 8).
In collaboration with uOttawa’s IT Solutions, Digital Humanities in the Faculty of Arts will offer a virtual Data Visualization workshop series. These workshops will unfold in two parts to allow for participants to first learn the tool and techniques and then have time to work on them between sessions.
Part One: Visualization of data is usually one of the most important steps when interpreting the data and also for conveying the results. In the first part of the Data Visualization workshop series, we’ll use Gephi to investigate visualizing networks. For example, these can be networks of people and how they are connected to each other. While this can be done manually for a few dozen people, when you get to a few hundred, you will want some automation to help you.
As I write this, the 2021 inkJam is coming to a close - but take a look anyway to see what folks have created! Ink is a narrative scripting language for games; you might call it interactive fiction. If you’ve played Heaven’s Vault or 80 Days you’ve experienced the richness that is possible using Ink!
So let’s have our own DHCU Ink Jam. The theme: “A New Season”. The only stipulation: you have to write with Ink.
And, in terms of content, I’m going to quote the original inkJam: “It should go without saying but: inkJam is an event where everybody should feel safe, no matter who they are. As a matter of fact, hateful comments, language or visuals won’t be tolerated both in the games submitted and the communication platforms used during the event.”
Let’s say: submit during Fall Break, October 25 - 29. Voting will take place during November. More details in the next issue of the DHCU Irregular.
DHCU Ink Jam: No prizes, only glory!
‘Golden Hour’ by Photoholgic, unsplash.com