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CHI Articles & Discussions

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

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

Ethan Watrall

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August 19, 2011

Announcing New Book – Archaeology 2.0: New Tools for Communications & Collaboration

August 19, 2011 | By | 2 Comments

I’m very happy to announce the publication of Archaeology 2.0: New Tools for Communication and Collaboration. Co-edited by Eric C. Kansa, Sarah Whitcher Kansa, and myself, the volume explores how the web is transforming archaeology and is the first in the new Cotsen Digital Archaeology series published by UCLA Cotsen Institute of Archaeology Press.

The volume’s description reads:

How is the Web transforming the professional practice of archaeology? And as archaeologists accustomed to dealing with “deep time,” how can we best understand the possibilities and limitations of the Web in meeting the specialized needs of professionals in this field? These are among the many questions posed and addressed in Archaeology 2.0: New Approaches to Communication and Collaboration, edited by Eric Kansa, Sarah Whitcher Kansa, and Ethan Watrall. With contributions from a range of experts in archaeology and technology, this volume is organized around four key topics that illuminate how the revolution in Read More

Katy Meyers

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August 11, 2011

3D Modeling to Recreate and Understand Heritage

August 11, 2011 | By | 2 Comments

Three dimensional recreations of historical buildings, streets and cities are not anything new or exciting. Often the reconstructions are blocky, pixelated, and tend to represent a cleaned up and idealistic version of the past. Was Byzantine in 1200 CE really full of gleaming bricks and clean swept streets framed by the perfect blue sky? Probably not. Are these reconstructions valuable for historical learning, is there any benefit to a digital reconstruction, and are these projects actually worthwhile?

Rome Reborn is a project being undertaken by the Virtual World Heritage Lab at University of Virginia with international collaboration. The project’s reported goal is “the creation of 3D digital models illustrating the urban development of ancient Rome from the first settlement in the late Bronze Age (ca. 1000 B.C.) to the depopulation of the city in the early Middle Ages (ca. A.D. 550)”. The project involves dozens of archaeologists from Italy, USA, UK, France Read More

Jennifer Bengtson

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July 29, 2011

Some Thoughts on Community

July 29, 2011 | By | No Comments

I am an anthropologist. More specifically, I am an archaeologist. And even more specifically than that, I am interested in communities. Sounds simple and boring, but the concept of community is so complex and integral to being human. What is a community? Who decides who is “in” and who is “out”? What does community membership mean to individuals and what role do subcommunities play in relationship to other subcommunites?
When I entered into the Digital Humanities world earlier this year, it did not occur to me that this particular sliver of my anthropological interests would end up being in the forefront of my mind. But in my interactions with other DH scholars at conferences over the last couple of months, the thing I was perhaps most surprised and impressed with was the sense of community that is involved in creating, recreating, and using open-source content management systems and other digital tools. It’s Read More

Jennifer Sano-Franchini

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May 6, 2011

Digital Rhetorics at CCCC 2011

In early April, I took a trip down to Atlanta, Georgia, for this year’s Conference on College Composition and Communication (more commonly known as CCCC, Cs, or 4Cs). CCCC is the largest professional conference for the field of Rhetoric and Composition. For this post, I’d like to give a picture of the current state of digital rhetoric in the field of Rhetoric and Composition by discussing how people were talking and thinking about digital technologies at CCCC 2011.

To begin, this year’s theme, “All Our Relations: Contested Space, Contested Knowledge,” was a clear call for more listening across disciplinary subjectivities, between “digital rhetorician and second-language writing instructor, historian and 2-year college teacher, theorist and workplace studies scholar, methodologist and tech writing teacher, administrator and graduate student.” Program Chair/CCCC Associate Chair Malea Powell’s call for proposals encouraged better inclusivity as it did the work of staking space for those whose work might not Read More

Katy Meyers

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April 25, 2011

The Trials and Tribulations of Open Access Bioarchaeology

April 25, 2011 | By | 3 Comments

This past week was the annual Paleopathology Association conference, which took place in Minneapolis, MN on April 12-13th. During the final session of talks, Charlotte Roberts, a paleopathology professor from Durham University (and one of my academic heroes), discussed the need for an international database for bioarchaeological collections.

http://www.paleopathology.org/images/ppalogo2.jpg

Roberts reviewed 20 years of journal articles from the International Journal of Osteoarchaeology and found that two thirds of the material used was taken from only four collections: York, Bradford, Birmingham and the Museum of London. While restudies are a good way to test methods, the materials have been so overused that they are becoming damaged and other collections are being overlooked. Roberts argues that we need to consider the implications of all these restudies. In order to create more representative and nuanced interpretations of the past it is important to study a wide range of collections. If our Read More

Katy Meyers

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March 14, 2011

Linked Data: Uniting Scotland’s Past

March 14, 2011 | By | One Comment

One of the best parts of asking for research help at the library is the way that the librarians can link data. If I’m researching haggis, they can not only lead me to recipes and history of haggis, but will also know that overall Scottish history is pertinent and may suggest some sources I never would have thought of checking- like a biography of a Scottish chef. I am able to get access to sources that I wouldn’t have been able to find through a simple online search. Linked data, however, is changing this.

Linked data consists of any information which has been connected and integrated with other information within the semantic web. The semantic web is a way of building relationships between items that are often easily connected in the human mind but not in computers. By defining rules for connecting information, the semantic web allows for once disparate information to Read More

Jennifer Sano-Franchini

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March 7, 2011

Asian Pacific American Digital Archives: Three Examples

March 7, 2011 | By | 2 Comments

This week, I came across this post on Angry Asian Man about a new digital archive collection of posters, artwork, and photographs documenting the work of the Kearney Street Workshop, a multidisciplinary Asian Pacific American artist collective, founded in San Francisco in 1972. The collection includes works primarily from the 1970s and 80s. I thought this open access archive was a fantastic example of a collection focused on APA community activism. I decided to do a quick search to see what more is out there in terms of Asian Pacific American Digital Archives. For this blog, I’m going to talk about three that I found that I thought were quite good.

To say a bit more about the Kearney Street Workshop collection, it is housed at Calisphere, which is a University of California archival project focusing on “the diverse history and culture of California and its role in national and world history.” Read More