Day Two Summary

The second day of THATCamp DHSoCal proved as rewarding as the first. I left with a long list of tools to test and try out, along with some very smart strategies for implementation in teaching and research.

We left invigorated to continue the conversation, both virtually and online. If we captured your email in registration, watch for an invitation to join the DHSoCal email list. This will keep you updated on the latests in the DHSoCal regional network.

Session Summaries

Liz Losh presented on FemTechNet

Share, Play, Remix: a show and tell of cool digital tools and our uses of these tools.

Assessing Digital Projects

Creating Queer Spaces Online

Scalar powered ACLS Workbench

Topic Modelling

Closing Ideas

Great DH Projects and Resources Shared

Exemplary Topic Modelling Projects

Special issue of Journal of Digital Humanities on Topic Modelling

Article on Collaborative Peer Review

Collection of resources for Evaluating DH Practice


Day One

We had a great first day of THATCamp DHSoCal. Below are a few pages and docs that summarize the conversations of the day:

Day One Storified


Notes from sessions:

Visualizations Workshop

Starting up a Digital Humanities Center

Being a Digital Humanities Scholar

Text Analysis with Lexos Workshop


Links shared:
Resources for teaching with Wikipedia

Tools shared:



Mondrian: A visualization tool

Cool projects:

The Execeptional and the Everyday

Deformance & Interpretation

More than a Fence

Good resources:

ADA Initiative

Geek Feminism on conferences and anti-harassment

Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge

SAMR model

Gallery of Data Visualizations

Another Gallery of Data Visualizations

Fusion Table Gallery of Examples


Questions for making and thinking DH

Digital humanities is a broad term encompassing both the development of digital tools and methods in the pursuit of humanistic study (Lev Manovich’s work is one example), as well as connoting a burgeoning critical digital humanities, which looks at the sorts of political, epistemological and theoretical commitments that are embedded in such digital technologies as they encounter humanistic projects (as recently articulated by Johanna Drucker, Geoff Bowker, and others). How might we understand the goals of digital humanities writ large? When teaching digital humanities to students, what sorts of questions can find a balance between encouraging the design of digital tools and methodologies while instilling a rigorous examination of the epistemic issues such tools bring forth?

I propose we collectively identify key issues in the digital humanities by looking at a small number of specific digital humanities projects. This workshop would have participants form four or five smaller sub-groups, each choosing and looking at one particular exemplar. Together, each group would analyze the digital humanities project they chose with the aim of identifying key questions, looking to better unpack the methodological gains of the work, as well as the theoretical assumptions built in to its structure. The last part of the workshop would have each sub-group report their findings to the group at large. The result of this workshop would be a list of questions that participants can take away, using these to aid in designing novel projects in the digital humanities, as well as for pedagogical interventions in teaching both innovation and criticality to students interested in various forms of digital humanities.

Getting Started on a DH Project

I would like to propose a conversational session on getting digital humanities projects started and the benefits, issues, and obstacles involved in doing so. Many faculty members are now thinking about their (next) books when they might instead be thinking about representing their research in digital form (and/or performing their research with digital tools). Issues we might discuss could include locating resources and technical support; engaging undergraduates meaningfully in your research; finding funding; developing a feasible work plan; public vs coterie scholarship; modernizing tenure and promotion processes where they still fail to recognize digitally represented research as genuine scholarship…



Session Proposal: Where DH is Welcomed, Where it is not

Digital Humanities is a banner, a rallying point, and a buzzword with great value in many cases. Some administrators are happy to see work that seems up-to-date come out of humanities and soft social sciences that may seem antiquated or out of touch. Some graduate students are excited to use techniques that have proven their value in other sectors of the economy. Some faculty are excited to get new insights into old topics with new tools. Some scholars are happy to bring older methods to bear on digital topics. Some students are happy to gain job skills while still studying topics they love.

But there are also detractors. Many professors don’t see what all the commotion is about. Many grad students don’t know whether what they are doing is digital humanities or not.

If the Digital Humanities remains a contested term and a floating signifier, but has emerged as a particularly important one because it has proven useful to many individuals and groups, what are the ways it has proven useful? Where is it unwelcome? Are there cases where it is not helping and what are they?

In the tradition of an unconference, this session would be a place for allcomers to share what they have seen and what they imagine so we can all better understand the term, the movement, and the best ways forward.

Session Proposal: Textbook Free!

I don’t use commercial textbooks for my courses and neither should you! Textbooks are expensive and, worse, hamstring faculty in deciding what material students should read. If we ask students to buy a textbook, we feel we have to justify the expense by using a reasonable amount of it, even it it’s largely stuff that we don’t particularly like, and even if we have to supplement it with additional readings on library reserve or online.

There is a better, easier, cheaper way! Most readings for most humanities courses are available online, either out in the open for free or in journals which students can access through databases available to them through their colleges. Faculty can easily create websites that include online textbooks, created from links to material available on the internet, with no hassle for the end user. Where ever the material is, to students it’s all at the website and all they need to do is click the links to get the reading as well as syllabi, handouts, powerpoints and other course materials.

I will give a tour of my class websites (linked to my professional homepage at and explain how to set up structured, user-friendly websites for classes.

I have served on the Philosophy and Computers Committee of my professional society and given talks to members of my profession on open access and going textbook free.

Text Analysis Workshop with Lexos

I would look to offer a workshop on text analysis with Lexos. Lexos is a browser-based suite of tools that provides an easy entry to computational text analysis for humanities scholars and students. Situated within a clean and simple interface, Lexos provides a complete workflow from “scrubbing” texts to prepare them for analysis either by one of Lexos’ analytic tools or another text analysis tool like MALLET. Lexos provides a number of ways analyzing and visualizing text content with a particular emphasis on clustering methods to explore similarities between texts (or parts of texts). It is easy to learn and useful in the classroom as well as for scholarship.

The workshop will provide a hands on demonstration using sample texts. Anyone with a computer and an internet connection will be able to follow along.

Propose a Session

We invite you to begin proposing sessions for THATCamp DHSoCal. Sessions can cover topics such as how to use DH tools and build projects, plans for collaborating, coding, administering DH, preserving projects, funding, crowdsourcing, teaching, blogging, data and text mining, mapping, visualizations, open access, publishing, social media, getting started, making/crafting, and whatever else you connect to digital humanities. Bring your ideas, challenges, successes, and visions!

Check out the full details on how to propose as session.

“Diving into the Digital Humanities”

Welcome to “Diving into the Digital Humanities,” a ThatCamp for Southern California!

October 24-25
San Diego State University
@ The new Aztec Student Union

This ThatCamp is special because it is organized through a unique collaboration between 4 regional institutions: San Diego State University, UCSD, Cal State University at San Marcos, and University of San Diego. Inspired by the open, grass-roots efforts of our regional networking group, DHSoCal, this ThatCamp promotes working together and collaborating across disciplinary, departmental, and institutional divides.

All ThatCamps are open to all kinds of campers, but this one is envisioned as a way to get new folks engaged in the DH and to create new networks of collaboration. So, if you have any kind of inkling to learn about the Digital Humanities– whether you’re already a dedicated digital humanist researcher or an absolute newbie, whether you are a student, teacher, or curious community member– come to camp!

Our ThatCamp is about jumping into the Digital Humanities, getting wet, and learning to swim.


Dive in. The water’s fine!