Detail of ‘People at the Station’, by Julien De Majo via unsplash.com. The best I could come up with for the idea ‘society’.
I suppose, with a title like that, I should explain, not society in a big ticket that-thing-sociologists-study, but rather, ‘society’ as in,
While it is possible to do good work on one’s own, in the dh realm, I have always been more excited, more energized, and have produced better research, better outreach, when I’ve been able to explore and play with things as part of a group. Participating in a variety of THATCamps in the early 2010s gave me that group, as well as various digital spaces over the years. As coordinator of the DH programme, I’ve tried to find similar opportunities for our students. This year, I am pleased to say that we seem to have gone through a phase transition - and the emergent result is a new student society.
Friends and fellow-travellers, I am delighted to introduce to you the first executive of the new CU Digital Humanities Graduate Students’ Society:
Alex approached me with the idea for a society after hearing from fellow students that they, like her, wanted to become more involved with social and educational activities within the program. Through her experiences as Events Coordinator in the Carleton English Graduate Student Society, and as the Arts Lead Mentor at the Ryerson University Tri-Mentoring Program, she recognized that a centralized, program specific, student organization could facilitate these desires, and so she began organizing meetings.
As a result, a vote was eventually held, resulting in the list of people above who are going to do their best to enhance everyone’s experience in DH at Carleton. Cassandra and Callum bring experience from previous student organizations, and have organized a number of events for students earlier in their academic careers. Emily and Jamie bring experience from the world of digital marketing and visual arts. Natalie has organized city-wide recreational sports, while Noah comes to us from Brock and its Interactive Arts program and is a jack-of-all-trades digitally speaking; together, the entire ensemble seems more than capable of making the vision a reality!
Reader, I am excited. I’ve always believed the best learning happens in social contexts. The DHGSS envision putting on a range of events, from student-led tech workshops, to social nights, to a full-blown online conference. Watch this space!
One aspect of our programme that I think will immediately intersect with the activities that DHGSS will put on, will be our DIGH5800 ‘professionalization’ course. It strikes me that contributing to the life of the programme, and supporting peers through putting on social and educational events, constitutes the kind of ‘professionalization’ one should want to see! So, for those enrolled in DIGH5800, get in touch with me about how participating in DHGSS activities can be recognized for the course.
‘Messy Hands’ by Quino Al, via unsplash.com
Speaking of professional development, another aspect of our program is DIGH5011, the DH practicum. I thought I’d share some of the details for the process of how a student embarks on one of these, should they desire.
The idea behind the practicum is that it recognizes an opportunity to get hands-on experience with an institution, organization, or business where one’s DH interests or skills can make a material difference. We can think of it as ‘applied DH’, as it were. The practicum is unpaid, however (but I am always interested in hearing suggestions or ways we can improve that situation). It is also important to note that if your home program also has a practicum or internship, you can have a maximum of 1.0 credits from practicum experiences. Our practicum is 0.5 credits, and imagines that you have spent about 110-120 hours on the practicum.
In recent years, students have used existing relationships (or sought out relationships) with various organizations to find projects to work on that helped those organizations, including:
As the DH coordinator, I can help you broach the subject of a practicum if you have an existing relationship with an organization, or indeed, help you figure out appropriate orgs to approach in the first place.
Assuming you have a relationship and a position lined up, and recognizing that practica are also often, but not always, done during the summer term
You begin the formal process in the term before you want to do the practicum:
Finally, with regard to the grading of the practicum:
…and now you know… the rest of the story.
Huma Kabakci via Unsplash.com
3 November From Analogue Woes to Digital Successes: Transforming the Archives** of the National Arts Centre
Robert VanderBerg (Archivist-Curator, National Arts Centre)
The archives at the National Arts Centre are something of a gold mine. The collection is full of rare objects, including costumes worn by the country’s most important actors, stage design maquettes by the top designers, and photos of world renown artists. Up to a few years ago, the collection was entirely analogue and access to it was onsite only. In this DH Toolbox session, Robert VanderBerg will discuss how recent digital collaborations with the University of Ottawa and Carleton University have enabled the NAC to expand beyond its walls by pushing the boundaries of classroom engagement and new technologies.
17 November GLAM does DAM: Ingenium’s Experience with Digital Asset Management
Kristy von Moos, Fiona Smith Hale, Erica Vanden Bosch, Adele Torrance (Ingenium)
How does Ingenium – Canada’s Museums of Science and Innovation use DAM to support the work of three museums, two historical archives, and a crown corporation? In this instalment of the DH Toolbox workshop series, Kristy von Moos, Fiona Smith Hale, Erica Vanden Bosch, and Adele Torrance will share the what, why, and how of this work, and then deliver hands-on exercises to give participants a window into the work they do.
Transkribus is a tool/environment for automatically transcribing handwritten text. Normally, one has to provide it with many examples of texts written in a particular ‘hand’ along with the transcription, for it to learn to recognize the different styles of cursive handwriting. But, after a lot of development, Transkribus is starting to come with handwriting recognition models for a lot of different styles of handwriting. Even better, Transkribus is starting to simplify how one might use it - if you’ve got German texts written in Kurrent or Sütterlin, you can drag-and-drop your text onto the interface at https://readcoop.eu/transkribus/kurrent-transcription/.
Finally, I leave you with Mapping Historical New York: A Digital Atlas
[The atlas] visualizes Manhattan’s and Brooklyn’s transformations during the late-nineteenth and early-twentieth centuries. Drawing on 1850, 1880, and 1910 census data, it shows how migration, residential, and occupational patterns shaped the city.
The Digital Atlas breaks new ground by locating each person counted in the Census at their home address, sometimes before the street grid was even established. This is a living project that will expand to include all five boroughs up to the 1940 census.
Check it out at mappinghny.com; what I particularly like is the way the atlas comes with a number of ‘stories’ ready to go that show not just how to use the atlas, but also the kinds of arguments/observations you can generate when you have this much material to work with.
until next time!