Current Activities and Announcements:
- 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.
- Psychasthenia 3 at EVA London
I presented the latest art-game in Joyce Rudinsky and my Psychasthenia 3 series, “Dupes,” at EVA London on July 12, 2017.
This version of the game explores the relationship of contemporary HR practices to an increasingly gamified experience of contemporary culture. For the session I presented a walk through of the current game and talked through some of our underlying themes and challenges. We had a fruitful discussion about how to present it as an installation-based work in the coming months.
- Ca’ Foscari affiliation
Just got the official word that I’m officially a Visiting Professor at Ca’ Foscari in Venice. This is an honor and a very nice opportunity to connect further with people and resources there.
All of which also reminds me: the Wired Lab etc. really need to create a seal.
- 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.
- 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
We 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!
- Digital Humanities at Duke Website Launch
The Digital Humanities Initiative website at Duke soft-launched on August 18, 2016. We are continuing to develop the project profiles and other resources on the site, but it is exciting to see it in place. Tremendous credit goes to the DH Klatch group, a team of mostly Duke staff from around campus who have been working hard on identifying the different strands of DH on campus, developing training and support services, and thinking through some of the tough questions on how we do scholarly work in the digital age. Kudos too to Trinity Technology Services for pulling it together over the summer, teasing out of our complex imaginings something that is usable and extensible. We will be officially launching it at a public reception at the Franklin Humanities Institute as part of the Fall 2016 DHI kickoff and introduction of the new PhD Lab Fellows.
- SIGGRAPH 2016 and the Digital Arts Community Committee
I hadn’t planned to go this year (after a number of years running volunteering for the conference) because I was doing so much traveling this year, but I got the happy news that I’d been selected and approved as the new Chair of the ACM SIGGRAPH Digital Arts Community Committee, so headed out to Anaheim to meet with the committee and begin planning. My term officially begins September 1, but I was already busy learning more about the inner workings of the DAC and its projects during my time there. The group has been putting together some fine online exhibitions, and has been working on an ACM SIGGRAPH Digital Art History project for several years.
It is very interesting to have this window on the year-round committee when most of my experience so far has been with the annual conference art shows and art papers. We are in the middle of setting up some new projects, upgrading the social media presence, and finding more ways to connect members with each other and with related organizations and events.
Oh, and how cool is this? I got to be on the back cover of the ACM magazine earlier this year. Will need to scan the back cover, but in the meantime, this pic from the glamorous photo shoot says it all. (Can’t imagine why they didn’t pick this one for the mag though.)
- DH2016 and the wonders of Krakow
I had the fantastic opportunity to attend DH 2016 in Krakow this year. I had never been to Central/Eastern Europe, which, considering my ancestors come from the region, seemed overdue. It was wonderful to experience history as represented through museums and heritage sites in both Budapest and Krakow before heading to the conference itself. Hannah Jacobs and I taught an Omeka/Curatescape pre-conference workshop, and then I gave a talk, “The North Carolina Jukebox Project: Archives Alive and the Making of Digital Cultural Heritage” and chaired an additional session. What struck me about the conference experience was how much overlap there was between my concerns about creating an online archive of North Carolina mountain music and the concerns of other grappling with similar heritage projects in terms of organization, transformation, appropriation, and ethics. I look forward to continuing some of the conversations begun in one of my ancestral cities!
Now if I can just convince someone we need to do a Visualizing Krakow project…