Category Archives: Session Proposals

Proposals for unconference sessions from THATCamp participants.

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.

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.

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.