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Rachael Hodder

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January 5, 2012

Reflecting on HASTAC V: Forking Scholarship

January 5, 2012 | By | 2 Comments

Like Alex, HASTAC V was the first digital humanities-centric conference I have attended. However, I have not had the pleasure of attending any THATcamps yet, so it was the first time I’d shared the same physical space with so many other scholars who are as excited as me about DH. It was invigorating and I left the conference feeling inspired and motivated.

The conference’s theme was digital scholarly publishing and many scholars’ talks focused on how they have been doing digital scholarly publishing already or their vision for why or how the current model of scholarly publishing is flawed and in need of change. Highlights for me include a keynote panel featuring Richard Nash, Dan Cohen, and Tara McPherson as well as Doug Eyman and Cheryl Ball’s discussion of managing Kairos, an online scholarly journal founded in 1996. These talks, both reflective and rallying, felt like exciting calls to action by scholars Read More

fayana.richards

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January 4, 2012

Defining Accessibility in Funding Applications

January 4, 2012 | By | No Comments

We’ve all done it. At the end of those funding proposals, we proclaim making our research more accessible through publications and conferences, which is fine and necessary for most academic disciplines. I myself have been guilty of this practice. A practice that has been drummed into my head after attending several grant writing workshops over the years. In retrospect, I realize that I wasn’t saying much at all. How is this anything different from what funding organizations are already assuming we would/should do if awarded? With that being said, is it really enough? Accessible is a nice word and an exceptional one for funding applications, but what does it really mean?

For medical anthropologists, especially those conducting research in the United States, the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) represent two significant largest funding sources. According to NSF’s Award and Administration Guide, it is expected that grantees Read More

alex.galarza

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January 2, 2012

HASTAC V Talks

January 2, 2012 | By | No Comments

Before December, my experience in DH conferences was limited to three THATCamps. I broke the unconference mold by attending HASTAC V at the University of Michigan. At THATCamps, I spent time talking, typing, and working for large portions of the day. At HASTAC (partially due to my own session selection and time constraints), I was primarily sitting and listening. I also presented a poster on footballscholars.org to showcase our contributions to online scholarly collaboration, but the poster session was held at a distant location at the end of the conference and had limited visibility. The highlights of the conference were three of the keynotes talks, in which I learned a great deal about publishing and thinking in the humanities.

Two talks on publishing provided the most provocative material in the conference. Siva Vaidhyanathan discussed the challenges of writing a book about Google. I found the talk to be most useful in simply Read More

alex.galarza

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December 29, 2011

Lessons from a NITLE Seminar on Digital Humanities Courses

December 29, 2011 | By | No Comments

On December 16th Jeff McClurken, Brian Croxall, and Ryan Cordell shared their courses in a NITLE Digital Scholarship Seminar Series session entitled “Teaching DH 101: Introduction to the Digital Humanities.” Each discussed teaching and designing courses with a digital humanities focus in the disciplines of English and history. Rebecca Davis and Rob Nelson hosted the seminar over WebEx, allowing over sixty participants to interact with the presenters, share links, and ask questions during the session.

Ryan Cordell began by discussing the design and approval process of a course he has yet to conduct, “Technologies of Text”. Ryan described how he decided not to design “Intro to Digital Humanities”, but instead a digital humanities course grounded in his discipline. By focusing the course on interpreting text and working under a disciplinary umbrella, Ryan was able to make the course understandable to his colleagues. Ryan wanted to incorporate an assignment to create a geospatial Read More

Rachael Hodder

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December 19, 2011

SOPA and Invention in Cultural Heritage Informatics

December 19, 2011 | By | 3 Comments


A doorway labelled "Internet" with black bars blocking entrance

If passed, legistlation like SOPA will have a detrimental effect on cultural heritage informatics work. (Photo by kyz; CC BY 2.0)

If you’re reading this, you’ve likely heard of a piece of US legislation called SOPA, more formally known as the Stop Internet Piracy Act. It is less formally – but perhaps more popularly! – known as The Internet Killer. Though SOPA is intended to give the government greater power in halting Internet piracy – the illegal downloading and streaming of copyrighted material – it is a highly dangerous bill that, if passed, will change the web as we know it and, as such, have a drastic effect on the field of cultural heritage informatics.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation describes the bill most succinctly in their one-pager on the topic [pdf]:

The Stop Online Privacy Act (SOPA, H.R. 3261) is a dangerous new “anti-piracy” bill being debated in the House Read More

Charlotte Marie Cable

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December 14, 2011

Composing in glass houses: Technology, social media, and the practice of writing

December 14, 2011 | By | 2 Comments

 

If you’re anything like me, scholarly writing is not the easiest or most exciting of activities. As useful as it is, I still rate it at about the level of fun as when I was 5 and accidentally smashed my own hand in the family minivan door.

It is for that very reason that the writing group was invented: for encouragement, commiseration, accountability, perspective, and yes, honing written communication. The writing group teaches us to write transparently: to demystify the writing process and make every step, from idea to final product, as clear to the reader as it is to the writer. This transparency can be frightening. There’s a lingering fear that showing people my work-in-progress will be like showing everyone my glass house: it’s fine if I have time to clean it up for planned visits, but if passers-by peeked in they would see it in complete disarray. And how Read More

Emily Niespodziewanski

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December 12, 2011

Institutional Tweeting: Bridging the gap

December 12, 2011 | By | One Comment

A few months ago, I initiated a push to create social media accounts for the lab in which I am graduate student (read: free) labor. The Lab Director was curious whether such accounts would be appropriate for the Michigan State University Forensic Anthropology Laboratory (@MSUForensicAnth). After all, the lab consults with law enforcement across the state on sensitive cases. There are very real legal reasons in addition to the obvious ethical ones not to tweet: “We’re off to CityName to recovery a body from ClandestineLocation!” Nearly all lab activity is confidential. Although the reasons in our case are unique, hesitant bosses/leaders usually question whether their group has anything worth sharing when approached by someone eager to branch into social media.

The anthem of the resistant “I don’t care when someone’s eating a sandwich” appeared in my own conversations with other lab employees. It was difficult for me to articulate what is tweeted Read More

Katy Meyers

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November 18, 2011

New Face of Scholarly Communication in Archaeology

November 18, 2011 | By | No Comments

Scholarly communication is changing. By reading this blog post you are part of the change. By tweeting about this post, you are part of the change. The internet is drastically altering academia at all stages of research, with dissemination at the forefront of this change. The landscape of scholarly communication is no longer between individuals, or limited to conferences, and resources are not only found in libraries. The rise of Web 2.0 has created new methods for communication and dissemination of information. While some academic disciplines have shifted their practices and evaluation of scholarship with the changes in technology, others cling to their traditional roots. Change in technology does not mean correlating changes in academic practice or evaluation. As Kathleen Fitzpatrick notes in “Planned Obsolesence”, the change is institutional and social, we need to change the way that we perceive scholarship. This is especially relevant to archaeology, a discipline that could Read More

Katy Meyers

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October 27, 2011

Cyberinfrastructure and Archaeology

October 27, 2011 | By | No Comments

Cyberinfrastructure is a digital research environment. Imagine the Matrix, only instead of fighting Smith you are completing a site report with an 11th century ceramics specialist in the United Kingdom and an epigrapher from an Australian Museum, while using primary data from a medieval cemetery in Poland. Cyberinfrastructure includes all of the platforms, standards, hard and soft technology, as well as the human resources that facilitate digital research. When thinking about these digital research environments there is a tendency to focus on the virtual tools and technologies which allow for sharing, using, preserving, and combining of data from disparate collections. However the human component is just as vital since the cyberinfrastructure requires both technical expertise to create these interoperable workspaces, but also content expertise about the materials and data that are being used.

Archaeologists greatly benefit from the construction of cyberinfrastructures. The nature of our work requires specialist knowledge, large quantities of Read More

Rachael Hodder

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October 25, 2011

Rachael Hodder: aspiring maker of cool things

October 25, 2011 | By | No Comments

My name is Rachael, but online I go by @zenparty. The name that I use in digital spaces is as important to me as the one that’s on my driver’s license. Check out my blog post at rachaelhodder.com for more information about my online identity.

Here’s a quick and dirty introduction:

A picture of Rachael Hodder's face

Greetings, Earthlings.

In my MA studies as a rhetoric student thus far, I’ve focused on building technical skills in web development and a theoretical foundation for how to do ethical, user-centered work. I place a high value on the ability to produce work that is accessible and useful to its intended users and stakeholders. At the core of my philosophy for composition and design is user advocacy, open access, and beauty in simplicity. Previously, I earned my BA from MSU in American Studies where I focused on postcolonial histories and cultural studies. Although I am now a rhetoric student, Read More