Notes from the Bucknell Digital Scholarship Conference


Collaborating Digitally: Engaging Students in Faculty Research, 14-16 November 2014

#BUDSC14 on twitter


“Performing Collaborative Scholarship”

Chris Long (Pennsylvania State University)


Of particular interest to me in Long’s talk were

  • His Digital Dialogue ( ) project , which “dedicated to cultivating the excellences of dialogue in a digital age. Colleagues are invited on the podcast to discuss their work, and in the course of the dialogue, my own scholarship is enriched. Please join the Digital Dialogue by participating on this blog.”
  • His upcoming publication (with Oxford) of Public Philosophy Journal ( ) which is exploring how to allow faculty who participate in useful ways in the peer-review process to receive credit for their contributions.
  • He also had queued up tweets that he then live-tweeted, which was a first: live tweeting your own talk.


Session One: Multi-modal Narratives and Cultural Engagement,


  • Visualizing Holocaust Testimony Anne Knowles and Laura Strom (Middlebury College) Anne and Laura showed some of the innovative maps that they have created as part of their work together, and also talked a great deal about their collaborative research process.
  • Building Communities of Collaborators at Our Marathon: The Boston Bombing Digital Archive Alicia Peaker (Middlebury College) and Joanne DeCaro (Northeastern University)  Alicia and Joanne talked about the process of creating their archive, with a particular emphasis on the outreach process, including many sessions in libraries across Boston.
  • Archiving Hindu Gaya: Temples, Shrines and Images of a Sacred Center in India Abhishek Amar and Lauren Scutt (Hamilton College)Abhishek and Lauren talked about the collaborative process of creating their archive, with a particular emphasis on the challenges of creating a robust metadata schema.



Taken together, the three sessions provide useful models for how to meaningfully engage undergraduates in research projects that both contribute to a larger research effort, but also provide the individual student with an authentic opportunity to do their own original research.

Session Two:  Faculty-Student Partnerships in the Hybrid Classroom,


  • Teaching Presence on the Rise: Engaging Undergraduate Students in Online Courses Kim Lacey and James Bowers (Saginaw Valley State) Kim and James discussed how their online teaching can be as or even more engaging as traditonal face to face instruction, the challenges they face with their faculty even in the face of compelling evidence in favor of this method, and the realities of how this approach is more labor intensive than face to face instruction.
  • Bringing Bank Street’s Progressive Pedagogy to iTunes U: A Collaborative Effort Across the College Steven Goss and Lindsey Wyckoff (Bank Street College of Education) Steven and Lindsey discussed their efforts to use  iTunes U as a platform for sharing resources within Bank Street’s archive as well as to promote other on-line resources.



While this session might not have been quite as on topic in terms of lessons for us as we engage in our digital liberal arts efforts, it was still useful to hear faculty and librarians reflect on how these experimental efforts in these new modes of teaching are changing their attitudes.

Keynote: “Researching Out Loud: Public Scholarship as a Process of Publishing Before and After Publishing”

Zeynep Tufekci (University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill)


Zeynep’s work on TechnoSociology was fascinating as she reflected on how her work studying the intersection of technology, and in particular social media, and social movements, transformed her thinking about the role of public writing and scholarship. As an untenured professor, it was revealing to hear her talk about how she wrestles with how to balance her time between her tweeting and blogging and her ‘traditional’ scholarship.


Session Three: Institutional Models for Digital Scholarship and Collaboration



  • Collaboration and Outreach through the Center for Digital Scholarship at the University of Notre Dame Matthew Sisk and Alexander Papson (University of Notre Dame) Matthew and Alexander shared Notre Dame’s recently formed digital scholarship project, and discussed how at a larger institution this is complicated by ‘competing’ departments offering similar services.



This session was useful as we embark on building up our own capacity to do this work, as it provided insights and connections with individuals, individual schools, and consortial efforts to develop DS programs that are sustainable, and provide meaningful experiences for undergraduates. It also points to the real challenges in developing sufficient technical and methodological expertise on any one campus.

Public Digital Scholarship: Engaging Faculty in Student Research Benjamin Rowles, Adam Haley and Chris Long (Penn State)


Ben talked about his research project of building a hub on the topic of Internet Trolls ( ) , and what he learned about doing scholarship through this process. Adam discussed what he learned when he taught  ‘unclass’ at Penn State during the summer where he was not paid and the students received no credit and did not pay tuition. Chris talked about the larger liberal arts and honors college frameworks at Penn State in which Ben and Adam’s work took place. There was some very real concern about the implications of Haley ‘teaching for free’ and Haley said that while it was a great experience, he would not and could not repeat it. Ben’s work did not strike me as scholarship per se; it seemed like it was a very helpful collection of resources and links, and that he learned a great deal and developed a great network of connections, but I wondered whether there was an argument to be found within the work.


The big themes and questions that I came away with upon reflecting on this experience are


  1. How do we meaningfully engage students in our digital liberal arts efforts so that they gain authentic research experiences through these efforts?
  2. How do we broker the gaps between current scholarly practices and some of these more public forms of scholarship for which there are not as many time-tested models?
  3. What is the role of public engagement in our efforts?
  4. How might we collaborate within and across institutions so that we are not all re-inventing the wheel? What are the necessary conditions to support this sort of collaboration?
  5. Do digital scholarship efforts overlap with other new modes of teaching (on-line, flipped) and if so, how?


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