Welcome to h+d insights! Each week, we share current trends, discussions, and opportunities in the digital humanities.
The HyperStudio Team
Digital Humanities News
Synergies with digital humanities
The University of Maryland’s College of Arts and Humanities announces a new initiative called “Synergies among Digital Humanities and African American History and Culture.” Designed to “cultivate disciplinary transformation by bringing African Americanists together to develop the tools, methods, and archives needed to address their research questions in a digital humanities (DH) framework,” the initiative will center on a thematic focus of labor, migration, and artistic expression.
Sarah Ruth Jacobs traces the growth of the alt-ac movement and its connections to digital humanities, noting that “the rising profile of alt-ac jobs coincided with the rise of the digital humanities.” Jacobs compiles a list of online conversations and resources relating to the bridge between alt-ac and DH as well as providing material for scholars exploring these career paths.
Kalev Leetaru makes a case for transparency in web archiving practices, arguing against “black box” archival systems. Leetaru writes, “Understanding the decisions made by an archive’s crawlers is perhaps the most important obstacle to large-scale scholarly use of web archives,” and he proposes means of documentation and community organization to work toward that understanding.
Meredith Broussard digs into the infrastructure of web publishing and archiving in explaining how an article could become lost to future readers. Taking Adrienne LaFrance’s recent piece “Raiders of the Lost Web” both as a background on web preservation and as an artifact itself perhaps at risk of disappearance, Broussard notes that “The challenges of maintaining digital archives are as much social and institutional as technological.”
Focus: Doing history digitally
Allison Meier profiles the Field Book Project, centering her description of the scientific history archiving initiative on an intriguing finding about a prank between renowned naturalists. Citing this as “one of the more curious insights into the sometimes artificial history of biodiversity unearthed through the Field Book Project,” Meier emphasizes the digital record’s role in shedding light on scientific knowledge production.
Damian Shiels presents a mapping component of the Irish in the American Civil War project, displaying the different types of location data available about Irish-born veterans who lived in Alabama. Shiels reflects on the different strategies for visually communicating historical trends and density through spatial data, as well as on the path from historical record to digital map.
Kristen Gwinn-Becker argues that digital history must move beyond analog practices, drawing an analogy to how early websites merely reproduced print materials. Gwinn-Becker describes how an emergent design industry “transformed how companies used the Web and how people interacted with the information placed there. We must do the same with our shared cultural resources.”
Conferences, Fellowships, + Publications
Applications are due December 7 for a program in Culture Analytics at UCLA’s Institute for Pure & Applied Mathematics (Los Angeles, March 7-June 10)
Proposals are due December 10 for the Canadian Society for Digital Humanities conference (May 30-June 1, Calgary, AB)
Applications are due December 14 for a Mellon Fellowship in the Digital Humanities at the Harvard University Center for Italian Renaissance Studies in Florence
Paper proposals are due December 15 for the Rutgers Digital Blackness conference (New Brunswick, NJ, April 22-23)
Presentation proposals are due December 23 for the Digital Humanities Summer Institute Colloquium (Victoria, BC, June 6-17)
Applications are due December 24 for the Gerda Henkel Postdoctoral Fellowship for Digital History at George Mason University
Proposals are due January 1 from undergraduate scholars for the Re:Humanities conference (Philadelphia, PA March 31-April 1)
Registration is now open for THATCamp: Digital Pedagogy (Austin, TX, January 5-6)
Applications are due January 8 for a Mellon Postdoctoral Fellowship in the Digital Humanities at the University of California Berkeley