This will be a short issue folks because, well, with one thing or another, we finally made it through the academic year. More or less.
I don’t know about you, but I am knackered.
Here in DHCU Mission Control, we’re working on getting the next cohort of students enrolled, upcoming courses sorted out, and supporting last year’s cohort of students as they hurtle towards the finish line with their MREs or theses. The rhythms of the academic year, eh?
The thing about rhythm is that there are pauses, silences, and rests in the music. So as we hit this long weekend, try to find the silences and the pauses in the music and disconnect for a while.
We’ll still be here when you get back.
HeritageJam 2021 kicked off on March 31st; I apologise for not including it in the last newsletter (I think, I should go check). It was great to see so many DH folks there! Don’t worry if you weren’t because it runs for the entire month of April.
So what is HeritageJam? It’s an opportunity to make, to be creative, to use parts of your brain that maybe have had to take a back seat in recent months. It’s an opportunity to remix our expectations and materials about the past to create something new and compelling, in public.
How the past is conceptualised - how it is presented graphically, acoustically, haptically, olfactorily, vocally, and in other performative capacities - has a significant impact upon people’s understanding of themselves and the world around them. It is fundamental to influencing the degree of importance that individuals and communities assign to their environment, and how they care for that environment in the present and build upon it in the future. The artistry and enquiry that are invested into this creative work have known effects not only on public perception but on the whole trajectory of heritage study and practice – from research to policy-making to protection and conservation. The HeritageJam is about showcasing the presentation of the past, and drawing together the many people invested in such presentation.
The Heritage Jam begun in 2014 at the University of York in the UK as a way to bring people together to design and create forward-thinking pieces of heritage visualisation in a short space of time. This year, it’s hosted by Shawn Graham at Carleton U, Katherine Cook at the Universite de Montreal, and Stuart Eve of L-P Archaeology plc. The Heritage Jam is open to anyone interested in the way heritage is visualised: we call to artists, animators, game designers, programmers, archaeologists, historians, conservators, museum professionals, heritage practitioners, and any interested members of the public to join forces and collaborate. The outcomes of the Jam are hugely varied - ranging from fine art pieces, 3D models and games through to stories, sketches and videos. The only limits on creation are the theme, time and your imagination!
The Jam will take place entirely online over the month of April, 2021. Submissions will be due at Midnight (eastern), on April 30th.
Make sure to register your intent to participate in the jam via the sign-up form. The Jam hosts a Discord server where you can casually drop in to have some company while you jam. Once you register, you can get access to the discord.
The theme for this year is ‘sensation’. We’ve all had to endure multiple lockdowns and isolation as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. As the snow melts here in Ottawa, and we begin to feel the sun again on our faces, our senses perhaps are overwhelmed… what does ‘sensation’ mean to you in terms of heritage, history, and archaeology, as we approach another summer? (Some resources are available here to help you get started; for inspiration, see past HeritageJam entries!)
Entries are welcome in either English or French; there will be separate awards in both languages. Winning entries and Runners-Up will be invited to publish their work in Epoiesen: A Journal for Creative Engagement in History and Archaeology. A submission page for your entries will be made available on this site towards the end of April.
Even if you intend to create something as part of a team, please complete the sign-up sheet as an individual; when you submit your entry, you will be able to indicate whether or not it’s part of a team entry (and who the team members are!) then. Make sure to also tweet about it using the #thj2021 tag.
The final DH Toolbox event of the year happens April 7th; if you’re interested in the semantic web and linked open data (or what happens if you embed semantic meaning into the structure of the web itself, and put your data there), this’ll be a good one for you to join - see this info here for details on registering.
I initially set up the ‘X-Lab‘ a few years ago as a virtual home on the web for a variety of projects happening out of the history department. This spring, I took steps to make it more real, and gathered together a group of like minded folks. We submitted a proposal to Carleton to create a formal Cultural Heritage Informatics Collaboratory (the Greek letter CHI, or X, gives us the ‘X-Lab’). The goal is to foster CHI as an interdisciplinary field studying and pursuing the effective use of cultural heritage data, information, and knowledge for humanistic or scientific inquiry, problem solving, and decision making, motivated by efforts to improve human well-being.
And we got the grant!! More information here
To this year’s cohort, please doublecheck your entries in DIGH5800 to make sure they’re up to date and reflect everything you’ve been up to this year. The HeritageJam kickoff event can count (as well as participating in the jam itself).
And I think that’s everything, which will draw this season of the DHCU Irregular to a close. See you in the Autumn; good luck with everything going on as the winter term draws to an end.