Digital Durham: Past, Present, Future Rebooted!

Great News! Digital Durham: Past, Present, Future – a reboot of the now “historic” Digital Durham website and project – has been funded by Bass Connections: Information, Society & Culture + the Education and Human Development tracks, along with the Franklin Humanities Institute, for 2017-18! Trudi Abel and I will be upgrading the website, working on a high school AP history model focused on Durham, teaching an intro to DH course themed on Digital Durham where we work with maps, journals, photos, ledgers, etc. etc., and work with the students to develop all sorts of interesting new projects based on existing and new archive content. All of this will be in partnership with Rubenstein Library’s Special Collections and in coordination with the Duke Digital Humanities Initiative work at FHI. I’m also hoping our revamped DD website will serve as a hub for all sort of other interesting “Durham-as-a-Lab” projects, which we know are percolating all around campus. Stay tuned for more….This project will also tie in nicely to the Visualizing Cities work I’ve been doing in Venice and Durham, especially the location-based mobile experience design work… Fun fun fun!

MLA 2017

Looking forward to meeting up with friends old and new at the Modern Language Association conference in Philly this year. Looking forward to seeing the HASTAC community there as well.

I’ll be attending our Transdisciplinary Connections: Digital Humanities Forum sessions, among others. I’ll also be presenting on Saturday during the “Digital Pedagogies” panel organized by Fiona Somerset for the MLA Publications Committee on the occasion of the Digital Pedagogies Keywords project. My talk will be on”Place,” drawing on my recent teaching in Venice, while my colleagues will be focused on “Networks” and “Nature.” Should be a great conversation!

Presentation GARR “CreActive” Conference in Florence

On December 1, 2016 I had the opportunity to co-present at the Consortium GARR conference in Florence on “From landscape to cities. The digital co-creation of cultural heritage in Visuallogo_medioizing Venice and DOLOM.IT” with my colleagues Stefania Lacedelli Zardini and Giacomo Pompadin, who have their own cultural heritage non-profit that works with schools. We had a great time talking to people about our efforts to combine top-down and bottom-up cultural heritage projects in Venice (Ghett/App) and the Dolomites, focusing on intangible heritage as defined by UNESCO well as the more traditional art and culture varieties. We are excited to zoom out to the Veneto region scale when thinking about the relationships between Venice and the Dolomites for future collaborative work. Dreaming of an excuse to recreate the log transport raft trips down to Fondamente Nove – at least virtually!

Amsterdam talk on Visualizing Venice and Cultural Approaches to DH

Just back from giving a talk called “Digital Cultural Heritage: Concepts and Opportunities” in Amsterdam, where I talked about VV, Wired, and a bit about our thinking in making the version 1 of Ghett/App. I was invited by the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam program in Art and Culture and Research Institute CLUE+, along with the Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision. Such an great opportunity to discuss the intersection of DH with cultural heritage with these colleagues. I learned a lot about how such work in conceived in the Netherlandish context, and now have extreme envy for any academics who get to work with them and their resources! Trying to figure out a way do do a “Visualizing Cities: Amsterdam” project in the future…. I shared top billing with potted plans, and also debuted a rather silly but useful to make radial diagram designed to illustrate the interconnections of disciplines that go into VV.

Blog coverage of my talk (in Dutch).




Talk at the SE Music Librarians Association Conference

On Friday, October 21 I’ll be presenting with Trudi Abel at the Southeast Music Librarians Association (SEMLA) conference held at Duke University. We’ll be talking about NC Jukebox and getting expert advice from this group on how to move forward with the project.Since I’m teaching in Venice I’ll be Skyping in to a conference held at my own institution! Hoping I’ll be able to catch some of the other session from afar too.

Fall 2016: Course Descriptions at Venice International University

Fall courses at VIU begin on Monday! My course descriptions are listed on the VIU website:

Both courses are hands-on, seminar-sized, lab-based courses where the final projects will be related to digital cultural heritage topics. Venice itself is such a complex place and I look forward to seeing how the students engage with it in relation to digital media forms. In “Digital Storytelling” students will have the option of doing their final projects in Italian if they are also enrolled in the Intermediate Italian course – I am coordinating with the instructor on this.

They are also both Information Science + Studies courses back at Duke and count towards the ISS undergraduate Certificate there.

NC Jukebox Exhibition Up at Rubenstein

On September 1, 2016 the NC Jukebox exhibition at Rubenstein will be officially opening! This exhibit showcases some of the analog source materials being used for the digital archive project. It has been great to work with original media objects on this -all that AURA. Trudi Abel and Meghan O’Neil and I put the pieces together with Meg Brown, who was also coordinating a number of other exhibits within the larger show. Such a great team. Can’t wait till I get to meet some of the family members and descendants of the featured singers at the opening!


PhD Lab in Digital Knowledge Fellows Announced

phdlogoWe publicly announced the new PhD Lab in Digital Knowledge Fellows for 2016 on August 23, 2016. This heterogenous group of grad students from various departments and programs will work with Co-Directors Phil Stern, History, David Bell, Romance Studies, and me to think about how digital knowledge production can transform their scholarship, teaching, and communications. This project, initiated by Cathy Davidson and closely tied to HASTAC, will continue to evolve as we focus in this year on Duke students and their projects. We plan 2x/month lunch meetings plus a variety of programs, events, and workshops designed to foster conversation, exploration, and connection. As the director of the Digital Humanities Initiative I’m eager to see the PhD Lab scholars initiating and integrating into various projects, as well as bringing back to their departments and programs a sense of how digital tools and approaches can complement, supplement and potentially transform their academic practices – while at the same time honoring the standards and values of their home disciplines.

NCCU-Duke Digital Humanities Fellows Program

From August 19-21st we kicked off the NCCU-Duke Digital Humanities Fellows program. This is supported by Mellon Humanities Futures and was undertaken as an activity connected to the Duke Digital Humanities Initiative.  I co-taught the kickoff workshop with the help of my colleague Hannah Jacobs, who shared some of her tutorials on timelines, maps, and online archives with our group. We met some great colleagues who will be developing courses and DH projects over the next year and a half. One interesting and important challenge is thinking about how to do project-based courses when you don’t have fancy labs or TAs to help. We really had to fine down what the pedagogical and research purposes are of the “tools” we select, and also to consider how relying on public-facing, hosted tools impacts privacy and sustainability. We are looking forward to hosting some joint DH workshop events over the course of next year, and to find some good partners for parallel courses, shared course modules, and other experimental pedagogical strategies that will enable the NCCU and Duke colleagues to teach parts of courses together around topics of shared interest. Stay tuned!