Starting the New Year: Two Summer Institute Deadlines

Lots of excitement as we start the new year. A couple of deadlines for applications coming up. I’m the primary PI on two Summer 2018 Institutes:

In my Chair of the ACM SIGGRAPH Digital Arts Community capacity I just closed the CFP for new curators for online digital art shows co-organized with us. I’ll be opening up a new CFP soon for contributions to an online show called Origins and Journeys to take place at the conference in August 2018. More details soon!

Spring 2018 Teaching

In Spring 2018 I will be teaching two classes. The Information Science + Studies Capstone, the culminating course of the ISS Certificate is always one of my favorites because we usually do a group project on a topic of shared interest amongst the students.App projects are often popular; I look forward to seeing what we come up with this time around!

I’ll also be co-teaching Digital Durham with my longtime collaborator, Trudi Abel, who leads the Archvies Alive initiative in Rubenstein Library.. This course is cross-listed in ISS/VMS/HISTORY/EDUCATION and counts as an ISS elective, as well as a VMS elective. We are busy working with our Bass Connections team this Fall to explore new content to integrate into the class, and working closely with Trinity Technology Services and the Library’s Data and Visualization Services to update our infrastructure for the existing Digital Durham website.  We also hope to connect with many of the other Durham-themed projects going on around campus and create a portal site to facilitate future collaborations. The course itself will focus on a key period in Durham history – the late 19th to mid-20th-century period industrialization, education, and shifting race relations. We also hope to tie in some of our work on NC Jukebox as it relates specifically to the Durham context. Our work preparing for the two summer institutes, on 3D Geospatial Networks, and on Virtual and Augmented Reality for the Humanities, should also find its way into this work, giving students lots of opportunities to explore how new technologies transform our abilities to to do research, teach, and invoke the presence of the past in contemporary lived experience.

Interdisciplinary, International PhD Academy at VIU

I recently had the opportunity to co-teach a workshop on “The Importance of Interdisciplinary Collaboration to Tackle Societal Challenges” at Venice International University. It took place from September 18 to 22, 2017 and brought together a fascinating group of faculty and students. I joined a team who developed an idea for a web platform to address the challenge of promoting participation in the electoral process. Rather than focus on “get out the vote” campaigns, our team was ultimately concerned with all the disinformation that spreads through social media and disreputable news sites. We designed a platform to facilitate community participation in discussions around contemporary issues. Of course, the most important part of the experience was realizing how much we all take for granted the assumptions of our own disciplines and national/regional contexts. What sounded liberatory to one group was oppressive to another. I look forward to trying to develop similar opportunities at home! I may even assign some students Pechua Kucha presentations in the future – something I definitely hadn’t been sold on before this.


Augmentality with the Incoming MA and PhD Students

On Wednesday, August 30, 2017, we visited Durham’s new Augmentality Labs arcade as a welcome/welcome back event for our graduate students in the MA in Digital Art History/Computational Media and the PhD in Computational Media, Arts & Cultures. After a trip to Bull City Burgers, we tried a number of single and multi-user Virtual Reality platforms and applications – and could even call it research for our upcoming Institute on Virtual and Augmented Reality for the Humanities!

FHI Open House and New PhD Lab Fellows

On August 31, 2017 we  welcomed the new PhD Lab Fellows and celebrated the Digital Humanities Initiative at the most recent Open House at FHI. Our 15 new Fellows come from a range of disciplines and will help us explore a range of topics this semester, including Digital Pedagogy, Digital Publishing, Medieval and Renaissance DH, and Global DH. In addition to workshopping individual projects within the group, the PhD Lab will sponsor and co-sponsor a variety of activities on campus, including discussions alongside the Versatile Humanist initiative around changing ideas of humanities work inside and outside academia. We’ll be joined for many of our sessions by the new FHI Digital Humanities Specialist, Amanda Starling-Gould, Duke PhD in Literature and Lab Alumna.

Fall 2017 Teaching

This Fall I’m teaching two courses. The first, Foundations of Web-Based Multimedia Communications, a core offering in the Information Science + Studies Certificate,  is a lecture-section course targeted at students interested in learning HTML/CSS/JS from scratch. Students will acquire the building blocks to code their own site, and then finish up with final projects of their own designs. I have a talented team of graduate students from the Computational Media, Arts & Cultures MA and PhD Programs as well as the MFA in Experimental and Documentary Arts. Last time I taught the course was as a seminar in Venice, so it is an interesting challenge to reconceive it as a large lecture class. Fortunately I’m building upon the work my colleagues have done in earlier semesters to explore those possibilities.

The other course is the Proseminar for the MA in Digital Art History/Computational Media. I’m teaching with teh assitance of Hannah Jacobs, Multimedia Analyst for the Wired Lab, and will be inviting in guests from the various Media Labs in Smith Warehouse. We look forward to exploring a wide range of DH and Comp Media topics together.

In addition to my courses, I’ll be meeting with my collaborator Trudi Abel and others on our Bass Connections Digital Durham: Past, Present Future team regularly to make progress on organizing our primary source materials for exhibition projects and a website revamp, as well as with the new crop of fellows in the PhD Lab for Digital Knowledge at the John Hope Franklin Humanities Institute, which I direct with Phil Stern in History. We have 15 Fellows joining us this year!

New Getty Grant for Advanced Topics in Digital Art History

Great news for friends of our Visualizing Venice Workshop series! Wired and the Visualizing Venice team have been awarded a grant by the Getty Foundation for a new worksop on “Advanced Topics in Digital Art History: 3D Geospatial Networks.” We are especially excited to work side by side with our collaborators on advancing the field of Digital Art History as a collaborative, interdisciplinary process.

Year 2 of North Carolina Central U-Duke DHI Fellows Program

We just launched year 2 of the North Carolina Central University/Duke University Digital Humanities Fellows program. This project is sponsored by the Humanities Writ Large initiative at the John Hope Franklin Humanities Institute, and supports the ongoing effort to connect with and support faculty in Historically Black Colleges and Universities. The new group of Fellows are interested both in project-based teaching opportunities for undergraduates and in establishing archive-oriented research projects. Digital storytelling was a recurring theme for our introductory workhop on August 16. We provided an overview of various Digital Humanities tools and topics and went into greater depth on Omeka and various web tools for timelines, storymaps etc. NCCU will be launching their own Digital Humanities Lab this Fall; we hope our next meeting will be in their new facility.


July 30-August 3, 2017 was my first SIGGRAPH annual conference as Chair of the ACM SIGGRAPH Digital Arts Community. This year we set up an on-site exhibition screen for the Immersive Expressions online show.Our next show, Designing Knowledge, just opened up a CFP. We will continue to share information through our Ning Site and our Facebook Page.

We also had a wonderful Art Party at the Los Angeles Center for Digital Arts (LACDA).

I also participated as a panelist in a special session on Women in Computer Graphics.