The Women Writers Project: A Look Under the Hood with Julia Flanders on April 29th

April 29th, 2016
12:15-1:30 P.M.
CTLR Lounge

Graphic of speakers by gender in the play the Convent of Pleasure

The Northeastern University Women Writers Project has been active for 28 years as a digital humanities research and publication effort. During that time, the academic digital landscape has changed enormously, and the WWP’s methods, tools, and publication methods have had to adapt in response. This presentation will introduce the project and explore what it publishes, how it is used, how it has developed over time, and how its underlying data provides the long-term potential for research, teaching, and analysis. We’ll also discuss issues such as how to train and mentor students working for digital research projects, how to maintain and document large-scale digital publication systems to ensure their stability and adaptability over time, and how techniques of digital editing and transcription intersect with larger questions of scholarly interpretation.

Julia Flanders is a professor of the practice in English and the director of the Digital Scholarship Group in the Northeastern University Library. She also directs the Women Writers Project and serves as editor in chief of Digital Humanities Quarterly, an open-access, peer-reviewed online journal of digital humanities.

Lunch will be provided, so please RSVP below.

The Women Writers Project: A Look Under the Hood

Date: April 29, 2016

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“The Shape of Data: A Research and Teaching Agenda for Digital Humanities”​ with Julia Flanders on April 28th

April 28th, 2016
4:30-6:00 P.M.
Hillcrest 103

The shaping of our data shapes modern digital humanities scholarship. This lecture will explore this proposition in detail, looking at the ways in which tools, working practices, research questions, and disciplinary identity intersect with questions of data modeling. As the field matures, we possess increasingly sophisticated models for expressing time, space, cultural formations, language structures, visual forms. What level of knowledge and control over models do we need to engage productively and responsibly as scholars in the digital age? What research and pedagogical agendas emerge at this stage in the development of the field?

Profile photo of Julia FlandersJulia Flanders is a professor of the practice in English and the director of the Digital Scholarship Group in the Northeastern University Library. She also directs the Women Writers Project and serves as editor in chief of Digital Humanities Quarterly, an open-access, peer-reviewed online journal of digital humanities.

The-Shape-Of-Data_02

“Digital Surrealism as Research Strategy” with Kevin Ferguson on April 5th

abstract image of film frames organized by colorMost digital humanities approaches pursue traditional forms of scholarship by extracting a single variable from cultural texts that is already legible to scholars. Instead, this talk advocates a mostly-ignored “digital-surrealism” that uses computer-based methods to transform film texts in radical ways not previously possible. The return to a surrealist and avant-garde tradition requires a unique kind of research, which is newly possible now that humanists have made the digital turn. I take a surrealist view of the hidden in order to imagine what aspects of media texts are literally impossible to see without special computer-assisted techniques. What in the archive is in plain sight but still invisible? What in the cinema is so buried that our naked eyes are unable to see it? Here I present one such method, using the z-projection function of the scientific image analysis software ImageJ, to sum film frames in order to create new composite images. I examine four corpora of what would normally be considered rather different types of film: (1) the animated features produced by Walt Disney Animation Studios, (2) a representative selection of the western genre (including American and Italian “spaghetti” westerns), (3) a group of gialli (stylish horror films originating from Italy that influenced American slasher films), and (4) the series of popular Japanese Zatoichi films, following the adventures of the titular blind masseuse and swordsman living in 1830s Japan.

Kevin Ferguson is an Assistant Professor of English and Director of Writing at Queens College (CUNY). He teaches undergraduate and graduate courses on college writing, contemporary literature, and film adaptation.

"Digital Surrealism as Research Strategy" with Kevin Ferguson

Date: April 5, 2016

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DLA Winter Speaker Dan Cohen on Feb. 19

“How the Digital Public Library of America is Changing Historical Research”

Friday, February 19th, 3:30 P.M., Hillcrest 103

In this public lecture Dan Cohen will discuss how new large-scale digital collections such as the Digital Public Library of America bring together millions of items from libraries, archives, and museums, and can form the basis for new kinds of research. Understanding how these collections are assembled, and how their data is structured and made available, is essential for envisioning such new uses and the scholarship that might now be possible.

Teaching with Digital Public History

Friday, February 19th, 12:30 P.M., CTLR Lounge

In this informal conversation, Dan Cohen, founding Executive Director of the Digital Public Library of American (DPLA) and former Professor of History at George Mason University, will share his experiences with incorporating public digital history into classrooms across the U.S. and lead a discussion around the opportunities and challenges of using digital objects in the classroom. There are no required readings for this session, but you may find this brief introduction to the DPLA useful. Lunch will be served, so please RSVP below so we can make sure there is enough food.

dan_cohen_bio_page_photo_300pxDan Cohen is the founding Executive Director of the Digital Public Library of America. Until 2013 Dan was a Professor of History in the Department of History and Art History at George Mason University and the Director of the Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media. He is the co-author of Digital History: A Guide to Gathering, Preserving, and Presenting the Past on the Web (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2005), author of Equations from God: Pure Mathematics and Victorian Faith (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2007), and co-editor of Hacking the Academy (University of Michigan Press, 2012). 

Current Sign-up Sheets

Title Date Open Spots  
Digital History as Team Sport: Applying Design Thinking to the Study of the Past N/A 0

Alicia Peaker to Give Carol Rifelj Lecture 2/24

February 24th, 2016
4:30-6:00 P.M.
Hillcrest 103

Photograph of moss
Photograph from Unsplash, released under Creative Commons Zero licensing.

DLA Postdoc Alicia Peaker will be sharing her digital work in progress as part of the Carol Rifelj lecture series on February 24th at 4:30 P.M., in Hillcrest 103. Her talk, “Digital Readings and ‘Ferny, Mossy Discoveries’: Visualizing the Natural Worlds of Thomas Hardy’s Tess of the d’Urbervilles and Mary Webb’s Gone to Earth,” emerges at the intersections of environmental humanities, digital humanities, and ecocriticism, and considers alternative ways of engaging the fictional natural worlds of novels through digital forms.

How might the ecosystems and biospheres of novels be represented digitally? Can we develop useful digital models for contextualizing human characters within the fictional natural worlds they inhabit? And what impacts might such models have on the ways we read and understand literatures of the environment? Beginning with Thomas Hardy’s Tess of the d’Urbervilles (1891) and Mary Webb’s Gone To Earth (1917), this project uses digital humanities methods to situate humans and nonhuman others within the ecosystems of the novels they inhabit.

Intro to Visualizing Data with Plot.ly

March 18th, 2016
1:30-3:00 P.M.
Wilson Media Lab
Davis Family Library 220

Are you new to working with data? Ryan Clement, Data Services Librarian, will lead a workshop on how to create effective and informative visualizations with data. He’ll cover some of the basic theory of visual communication, including how to choose the best visual representation for your data, and best practices for preparing visualizations for print, the web, or presenting. Participants will then work with a web application called Plot.ly to design their own visualizations. Space is limited, so reserve your spot today by signing up below.

Current Sign-up Sheets

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Liberal Arts Data Bootcamp – Winter Term 2016

See a retrospective video of this event:

January 19th-22nd, 2016, 1:00-4:00 P.M.
Location: Wilson Media Lab, 220 Davis Family Library
Open to all Middlebury faculty, staff, and students

Photograph of silhouette of woman in front of projected data art project
Photo by Flickr user r2hox, used under Creative Commons Licensing.

Are you new to working with data for digital scholarship? Alicia Peaker and Ryan Clement will be offering a workshop series, January 19-22, that will introduce participants to the basics of working with data as well as some free, web-based tools. The series includes one required course, “Working with Data,” as well as three à la carte courses over the following three days on mapping data, visualizing data, and analyzing textual data. Attend one, or attend all four! All courses will be 3 hours long and will include discussions of background concepts as well as hands-on work. Because these courses will be tailored to the participants’ interests and disciplines, the deadline for signing up is January 1st. Please contact Alicia Peaker or Ryan Clement with any questions.

Prerequisite Course

Working with Data

What is data and how do you work with it? In this course, participants will work in teams to interpret, clean, and understand a dataset provided by the instructors. We will then reflect on this exercise and discuss the process and products of working with data, while learning how to manage and make this practice more efficient. No experience working with data is expected, though some familiarity with MS Excel will be helpful. This course is required to participate in any of the next three session of the Liberal Arts Data Bootcamp.

À la Carte Courses

Visualizing Data

In this session, we’ll cover some of the basic theory of visual communication, including how to choose the best visual representation for your data, and best practices for preparing visualizations for print, the web, or presenting. We’ll discuss traditional representations, including bar, line, and scatterplots, as well as touching on more advanced representations. After a discussion of how visualizations are used (and advanced) in humanistic research, we’ll use freely available web-based tools to create our own visualizations.

Mapping Data

In this session, we’ll work through how to prepare, use, and present spatial data. We’ll start with an overview of spatial literacy topics, including how to select a projection (and why it’s important), working with map layers, and basic cartographic theory. We’ll then explore some library resources for creating maps and obtaining spatial data, and then create our own maps using free, web-based tools.

Analyzing Textual Data

In this session, we’ll work through how to prepare, use, and analyze textual data (e.g. novels, newspapers, journals, plays, survey responses, etc.) to address humanistic research questions. While quantitative approaches may be appropriate for some research questions, this session will primarily focus on text mining as an exploratory practice that leads to or helps refine analysis.

Reserve your spot now for the Liberal Arts Data Bootcamp, co-taught by Alicia Peaker and Ryan Clement.

 

 

DLA Open House

December 4th, 2015, 3:30-5:00 P.M.
Location: Wilson Media Lab, 220 Davis Family Library
Open to all Middlebury faculty, staff, and students

From drone mapping to 3D animation, the Digital Liberal Arts initiative has supported nearly 50 digital projects and professional development opportunities for faculty, staff, and students from every division of the College. Come by the Open House on Friday, December 4th, from 3:30-5:00 P.M., in the newly renovated Wilson Media Lab, for a peek at some ongoing and completed projects that feature faculty, staff, and student collaborations. We’re excited to celebrate past accomplishments and hear your ideas for future collaborations we can support through the Digital Liberal Arts initiative.

Refreshments will be served. No need to RSVP.

Promotional flyer for DLA open house.

Introduction to Digital Text Analysis Workshop

November 13th, 2015, 1:30-3:00 P.M.
Location: Wilson Media Lab, 220 Davis Family Library
Open to all Middlebury faculty, staff, and students

Photo of letter tiles
Photo from Text Shuttle, used under Fair Use.

What is text mining? And how can it be used to read texts differently?

This workshop, led by DLA Postdoc Alicia Peaker, will introduce the varied ways humanists have used text mining tools and concepts (e.g. “distant reading”) to analyze texts. Participants will then be invited to explore a shared set of texts with the user-friendly text mining and visualization tool Voyant. Voyant is particularly well suited to the classroom and has been used successfully in many literature courses.

Absolutely no prior experience is necessary, but participants interested in getting a head start on digital text analysis prior to the workshop are encouraged to read Ted Underwood’s “Seven Ways Humanists are Using Computers to Understand Text.”

Current Sign-up Sheets

No sheets available at this time.

Introduction to Scholarly Markup and the TEI

October 30th, 2015, 10:30-12:00 P.M.
Location: Wilson Media Lab, 220 Davis Family Library

Photo of pen on page with red editing marks
Photo by Flickr user Nic McPhee, used under Creative Commons Licensing.

Sarah Stanley, an alumnus of the Northeastern University Women Writers Project, will lead a session on how to conduct research using scholarly markup. During the session, Sarah will provide an overview of the Text Encoding Initiative guidelines for markup and will also share some current projects that use the TEI. Finally, Sarah will provide a demonstration of the different tools and platforms you can use to create and publish TEI data. If you are looking to start a markup project, but don’t know where to begin, this session will provide you with a starting-point. No prior experience with markup is necessary.

Open to all Middlebury faculty, staff, and students.

Current Sign-up Sheets

No sheets available at this time.

By Any Media Necessary: The New Activism of American Youth

October 19th, 2015, 4:30-6:00 P.M.
Location: McCardell Bicentennial Hall 216
Livestream Feed: http://www.go.middlebury.edu/stream

Promotional poster for Henry Jenkins lecture
In a preview of his forthcoming book, Henry Jenkins shares some core observations about the ways that young activists are learning to tap the affordances of new media platforms and participatory culture practices in order to recruit and mobilize others of their generation. Drawing examples from Occupy, the DREAMer movement, #Blacklivesmatter, Invisible Children, and the Harry Potter Alliance, among other groups, this talk will ask some core questions about what democracy looks like in the 21st century. This talk is especially interested in the ways young activists are appropriating and remixing elements of their surrounding culture to foster new forms of the civic imagination. Recent accounts  of Twitter Revolution and Slacktivism do not begin to tell the story of young activists who are using every available media to tell their story and circulate their messages to the world. Many of them are disenchanted with institutional politics, but as a consequence, they are exploring models which seek to change the world through educational and cultural interventions.

Henry Jenkins, Provost’s Professor of Communication, Journalism, and Cinematic Arts at the University of Southern California, is one of the world’s most influential and prolific scholars of media and culture. He is the author and/or editor of twelve books on various aspects of media and popular culture, including Textual Poachers: Television Fans and Participatory Culture, Convergence Culture: Where Old and New Media Collide and Spreadable Media: Creating Value and Meaning in a Networked Culture.

This event is co-sponsored by the Film & Media Culture and Sociology & Anthropology departments and the American Studies program.

Professor Henry Jenkins will also be leading a lunchtime roundtable on Digital Literacies. For more information and to RSVP click here.

A recording of the lecture is available below:

 

Digital Literacies Roundtable with Henry Jenkins

October 19th, 2015, 12:15-1:30 P.M.
Location: CTLR Lounge, Davis Family Library

Profile photo of Henry JenkinsJoin us for an informal discussion about digital literacies with Henry Jenkins. He will lead us in a conversation about how high school graduates are arriving for college with transformed literacies fostered in both formal and informal educational experiences, and consider how a liberal education might best address our current and future students.

Henry Jenkins, Provost’s Professor of Communication, Journalism, and Cinematic Arts at the University of Southern California, is one of the world’s most influential and prolific scholars of media and culture. He is the author and/or editor of twelve books on various aspects of media and popular culture, including Textual Poachers: Television Fans and Participatory Culture, Convergence Culture: Where Old and New Media Collide and Spreadable Media: Creating Value and Meaning in a Networked Culture.

This roundtable is now full, but Professor Henry Jenkins will also be giving a public lecture later in the afternoon, titled “By Any Media Necessary: The New Activism of American Youth.”

Current Sign-up Sheets

Title Date Open Spots  
Digital History as Team Sport: Applying Design Thinking to the Study of the Past N/A 0

Behind the Scenes Luncheons – 2015-2016

Photograph of blue velvet theatre curtain.
Photo by Flickr user Dennis Hill, used under fair use.

Special Sessions

In spring 2015 the DLA launched a successful, new lunchtime series called “Behind the Scenes: Demystifying Projects in the Digital Liberal Arts.” During these informal lunches, Middlebury faculty and staff shared stories and tips from their experiences creating digital projects.

We are thrilled to announce that we will be hosting the Behind the Scenes series as a monthly luncheon in 2015-2016. We’re still arranging our lineup for the spring, so watch this space or sign-up for the DLA newsletter (in the right-hand column) for updates. If you would like to be featured in a Behind the Scenes luncheon, contact Alicia Peaker at dla@middlebury.edu.

Lunch will be provided, so please RSVP in the space below to ensure we have ordered enough food.

Past Sessions

“Using GitHub to Encourage Open Learning and Feedback”

May 3, 2016
12:15-1:30
Location TBA

Inspired by a humanist colleague’s approach to grading papers and discussions taking place in statistics pedagogy circles, I present my use of the GitHub web-based repository hosting service in my Introduction to Data Science course to encourage open and collaborative development of students’ coding skills and to facilitate the delivery of feedback from instructor to student. This short presentation will be followed by discussion of using digital tools for feedback in the classroom, so come with your questions. Lunch will be served, so please RSVP at go/DLAscenes.

Albert Y. Kim is originally from Montreal Quebec. After completing his PhD in statistics at the University of Washington in Seattle, he worked at Google as a Data Scientist for two years, followed by a two-year visiting stint at Reed College. He joined the Middlebury faculty in August 2015.

“The Collinwood Fire, 1908”

April 26, 2016
12:15-1:30
Axinn 232

DLA Faculty Fellow Michael Newbury (American Studies), Arts Technology Specialist Daniel Houghton, and their student research assistants will talk about the process of collaborating on The Collinwood Fire, 1908, an online project uniting digital animation and historical research. The project tells the story of an elementary school fire in Collinwood, Ohio that killed 172 children. In an animated film and written materials, the project offers paths into thinking about the horror of the event and the historical moment that surrounded it.

“Digital Surrealism as Research Strategy”

April 5, 2016
12:15-1:30
CTLR Lounge

Most digital humanities approaches pursue traditional forms of scholarship by extracting a single variable from cultural texts that is already legible to scholars. Instead, this talk advocates a mostly-ignored “digital-surrealism” that uses computer-based methods to transform film texts in radical ways not previously possible. Kevin Ferguson (Queens College, CUNY) scientific image analysis software to compare for corpora of different genres of film: (1) the animated features produced by Walt Disney Animation Studios, (2) a representative selection of the western genre (including American and Italian “spaghetti” westerns), (3) a group of gialli (stylish horror films originating from Italy that influenced American slasher films), and (4) the series of popular Japanese Zatoichi films, following the adventures of the titular blind masseuse and swordsman living in 1830s Japan.

“The Real Work”

March 1st, 2016
12:15-1:30
Axinn 232

DLA Faculty Fellow Jamie McCallum (SOAN) will screen his short film “The Real Work,” produced during his DLA fellowship. He will then discuss the challenges of conveying sociological ideas through film and the tension between creating a documentary and constructing a scripted narrative through which those sociological ideas emerge.

“Midd Italiano”

December 15th, 2015
12:30-1:15
CTLR Lounge

Join Tom Van Order (Italian) and Mikaela Taylor ‘15.5 (co-author, Post Graduate Fellow for Special Collections and Archives) as they discuss Midd Italiano, a new online text for introductory Italian courses. Beginning this fall, the Italian dept. has moved to its own online text and lab/workbook. Tom and Mikaela will discuss the challenges of putting the program together, as well as the many advantages that Midd Italiano offers to students and faculty.

“Body and Earth: Seven Web-Based Somatic Excursions”

November 3rd, 2015
12:30-1:15
Axinn 232

Join professor Andrea Olsen, dance & digital media artist  Scotty Hardwig, DLA staff members Daniel Houghton and Matt Lennon, and performer Miguel Castillo ‘17 for a short screening and discussion of the process of creating a web-based learning series for courses linking the environment with the deep intelligence of the body. Discuss the challenges and invitations of shaping an educational and artistic experiential film in international locations. See body-earth.org to preview the films.

“Fifty Years of Green: A Digital Exhibition”

October 20th, 2015
12:30-1:15
CTLR Lounge

Professor Kathy Morse (History) and Postdoc Alicia Peaker (DLA) will discuss the goals, process, successes and stumbles in having students build a series of collaborative, digital exhibits to mark 50 years of environmental studies at Middlebury. Fifty Years of Green, built using Omeka & Neatline, showcases the work of students in a Spring 2015 Environmental History course (HIST 222). During their talk, Kathy and Alicia will reflect on collaborative digital work; modifying an existing course with an experimental project; and student reactions to learning new software and skills.

“What is Videographic Criticism?”

September 22nd, 2015
12:30-1:15
CTLR Lounge

Join Film & Media Culture professors Christian Keathley and Jason Mittell as they provide a behind-the-scenes glimpse of their NEH-funded summer workshop on creating video essays as a form of academic criticism. See the workshop’s website for more information and resources.

Building Digital Exhibits with Omeka Workshop

October 16th, 2015, 1:30-3:00 P.M.
Location: Wilson Media Lab, 220 Davis Family Library

Seeking alternative models for research essays?
Looking for ways to engage your students with public audiences?
In need of a digital supplement to your book project? 

With Omeka, you can create beautiful online exhibits of your art, videos, documents, or other collections. Omeka, sometimes referred to as “WordPress for museums,” is a free, flexible, and open source web-publishing platform for the display of library, museum, archives, and scholarly collections and exhibitions. It was created at the Center for History and New Media (CHNM) at George Mason University and is one of the most widely implemented digital humanities tools.

This workshop will introduce you to the basics of planning a digital exhibit and get you started with your own Omeka.net digital exhibit. DLA Postdoc Alicia Peaker will be leading the workshop. She has also worked as the Director of Our Marathon, a digital archive, ​built with Omeka, of crowdsourced materials related to the 2013 Boston bombings.

While enrollment is limited, materials used in the workshop, including the presentation slide deck, can be found at go.middlebury.edu/omeka.

Current Sign-up Sheets

No sheets available at this time.

omekanetlogo