Fall 2016 Teaching

sanservol1In Fall 2016 I will be teaching two courses at Venice International University, through their Globalization Program. I’ve returned to VIU for the last five years co-teaching the Visualizing Venice summer workshops, and also taught at VIU in Fall 2013, so this is a welcome return.I’m very much looking forward to meeting my new colleagues and students!

Both courses, Digital Storytelling, and Web-Based Multimedia Communications, are Information Science+Studies/Visual and Media Studies courses at Duke that I will be adapting to the Venetian context. The courses are listed as part of viu-logothe Cultural Heritage Track at VIU, and students will be doing hands-on digital projects related to the heritage of Venice as part of both. We’ll be in VIU’s lovely Mac Lab, which was modeled on the Wired Lab back home. While I’m at VIU I’ll also be developing a book project on augmented reality and cultural heritage, as well as continuing to work on Visualizing Venice digital projects, with which I hope to involve Duke students upon my return. ( I also expect to drop in virtually to the NC Jukebox project, Wired, the PhD Lab Duke periodically.)

Teaching: Spring 2017

In Spring 2017 I will be teaching two Capstones – for the Visual and Media Studies Major in Art, Art History & Visual Studies and for the Information Science + Studies Certificate Program. Both courses will meet concurrently, with two sections total.

I will also be consulting on the NC Jukebox course, which will be offered through the History Department with cross-lists in Information Science + Studies and Music.

In addition, I will be participating as a facilitator in the FHI the PhD Lab Fellows seminar.

NC Jukebox at HASTAC and DH2016

Looking forward to sharing the NC Jukebox project at HASTAC in Tempe, AZ and at DH2016 in Krakow!



HASTAC is always a great experience, of course.  I’m also exceptionally excited for the latter, however, both because getting conected to the international, big-tent DH community is great – and b/c Krakow is one of the family’s ancestral homelands. Will there be time to find out about my great-great-great (maybe a couple more greats in there?) grandfather who had some sort of military leadership role in the Tatra Mountains sometime back in the day, according to our late great-Aunt?  How do I even begin to figure that one out? Back to the archives….

This makes me wonder about how much useful overlap there might be between digital cultural heritage and ideas of personal identity and histories as they relate to variously-hyphenated descendants. There is so much crowd-sourced, navel-gazing energy in the latter arena. Could it be deployed for DCH in academically useful ways?

Procedural Art: Game Platforms for Creative Expression at CAA 2016

More fun at College Art Association! I’m co-chairing a session with my collaborator Joyce Rudinsky on “Procedural Art: Game Platforms for Creative Expression” at CAA in a few weeks. This session is part of the New Media Caucus offerings at the conference:


Time: 02/05/2016, 3:00 PM—5:00 PM
Location: Thurgood Marshall Ballroom West, Mezzanine Level

This panel will focus on the design, aesthetics, and affordances of game platforms for new media art, as well as in critical approaches to this emerging genre. Participants will share projects that demonstrate the creative use of game platforms in fine art contexts, and in highlighting the full range of possibilities this new medium offers.

Moderators: Victoria Szabo, Duke University; Joyce Rudinsky, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill


Hye Young Kim, Winston-Salem State University
Soraya Murray, University of California, Santa Cruz
Paolo Pedercini, Carnegie Mellon University
Susana Ruiz, University of California, Santa Cruz
Myfanwy Ashmore, independent artist

Digital Cultural Heritage as Public Humanities Collaboration

In a couple of weeks I will be leading a session called “Digital Cultural Heritage as Public Humanities Collaboration” at the College Art Association’s annual conference in Washington DC. We have a fantastic panel of presenters who will share their projects in a “project fair” and then we will switch over to a roundtable discussion format. Join us!

Session Site


Time: 02/04/2016, 2:30 PM—5:00 PM
Location: Washington 1, Exhibition Level

Chair: Victoria E. Szabo, Duke University

The Regium Lepidi Project 2200
Maurizio Forte, Duke University; Nevio Danelon, Duke University

Earthquakes, Volcanoes and Bombs. Restoring the Monumental Landscape of South Italy (The Kingdom of Sicily Image Database)
Caroline A. Bruzelius, Duke University

Experimenting with 3D Visualizations of the Lost 17th Century Labyrinth of Versailles
Copper Frances Giloth, University of Massachusetts

Mapping Ararat and Beyond: Augmented Reality Walking Tours for Imagined Jewish Homelands
Louis P. Kaplan, University of Toronto; Melissa Shiff, York University

MQUADRO: a Platform Model for Cultural Heritage
Stefania Zardini Lacedelli, Regole of Ampezzo, Cortina; Giacomo Pompanin, ADOMultimedia, Cortina

Playing the Scales: the Human Scale in Digital Data Visualization
Radu Leon, Ca’ Foscari University of Venice, Università Iuav di Venezia

Program in Interactive Cultural Technology (PICT): a Partnership between New Mexico Highlands University and the New Mexico State Department of Cultural Affairs
Kerry Loewen, New Mexico Highlands University

The Will to Adorn: African American Diversity, Style, and Identity
Diana Ndiaye, Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage, Smithsonian

Discussant: Mark J.V. Olson, Duke University

NC Jukebox Renewed with Bass Connections; Open House on 1/27/2016

The NC Jukebox project was renewed within the Bass Connections Information, Society, and Culture theme. We are also supported by the Franklin Humanities Institute. This means we will be able to develop our exhibitions at the Rubenstein Library and in Western NC further this summer, and to offer another class in Spring 2017. Trudi Abel will also offer a MALS MA course in Summer 2016 with students who will help do background research on the singers and songs.
We will be advertising for new participants at the January 27, 2016 Bass Connections Open House event. We are especially interested in undergraduates and graduates who can help with the following:

  • Categorizing the NC Jukebox music according to key, chords, genres and other musical categories. This is so the archive is more useful to contemporary musicians who continue to play this music.
  • Documenting conversations (video) with the families and descendants of the original performers. Editing the video for use online and in our exhibition.
  • Engineering a physical “jukebox” for the exhibitions in Rubenstein and in Western NC. We might repurpose an old jukebox, take out the innards of an old radio, or create an entirely new device for music playback.
  • Researching the specific songs in the collection to see how the lyrics have changed over time and space. These will be presented as side-by-side transcriptions, as well as in searchable metadata suitable future future text-analysis and map-based visualization.
  • Helping design the database infrastructure to facilitate “distant reading” and “distant listening” of the tracks in the collection.
  • Researching the singers and their lives using census data, city directories, and other archival tools.
  • Discovering historically-relevant imagery to use in our exhibitions and online in Duke’s archives, Library of Congress, NYPL etc.
  • Working on an experimental NC Ghosts VR installation in the Duke DiVE VR space. This will involve creating 3D models of an rural NC porch, a kitchen, and perhaps other locales where users can rez “ghosts” by focusing their attention via mind entrainment.

STEAM Challenge Deadline February 1, 2016

We are hosting several info sessions for the STEAM Challenge, which is thematized around “Digital Humanities” this year as part of the Duke Digital Humanities Initiative and co-sponsored by the Vice Provost for Academic Affairs. The initial project proposal deadline is February 1, 2016. Members of the STEAM Challenge Advisory Board will be on hand at the info sessions, and are also available for consultation about potential projects.


CLIR “Hidden Collections Grant”

iphone-music-nohandGreat news! CLIR funded the Rubenstein Library’s Hidden Collections grant to digitize the rest of the Frank Clyde Brown collection of wax cylinders and aluminum disks. These recordings of western NC singers and songs from the early 20th c. are a tremendous resource for historians, ethnomusicologists, and folk musicians as well as the current community members descended from the original performers.  This will be a great boon to the project, which we started up this past Fall with a class centered around exploring, researching, and categorizing these materials for public sharing. This summer we’ll mount an exhibit in Rubenstein Library and present on the project to the SE Music Librarians Association conference in October.

Update: Check out the announcement from Duke Libraries


Bass Connections: Information, Society, and Culture

Just announced that I’m the new co-director, with Robert Calderbank, of the Bass Connections: Information, Society, and Culture theme. This is pretty exciting because it brings together a lot of my interests. Given that the Information Science + Studies Program Certificate is also the Bass ISC Certificate, and that I’m working on increasing visibility and opportunities on campus through the Digital Humanities Initiative at FHI this all comes together nicely. Looking forward to working on this with everyone/


Spring 2016 Teaching

I will not be teaching courses in Spring 2016 as I will be on leave working on augmented reality research projects and reading upon the latest theories and possibilities for augmenting the public presence of the humanities through digital cultural heritage application development. In addition, I will continue to develop the Bass Connections NC Jukebox project with our team of faculty/staff/students/partners, as well as explore alternatives to Metaio, and work on plans for the Visualizing Venice Ghetto and Duke/Durham Ghosts mobile applications. I’ll also continue to develop the Digital Humanities Initiative at FHI and co-direct the PhD Lab in Digital Knowledge.