Thursday, May 1, 2014

GWU Digital Humanities Institute: Spring '14 Events

"Having gone to GW for my M.A., very glad to see the university 
has a digital humanities program now."

The GW Digital Humanities Institute is a hub of research, teaching, and outreach activities around digital and new media. It is founded upon the core belief that the arts and humanities actively transform and are transformed by digital cultures. We support --through grants, workshops, symposia, exhibitions--collaborative endeavors in scholarship and multimodal venues of teaching and learning. We seek to increase public engagement with digital humanities projects within and beyond the GW community and greater DC area.

DHI: Year 1

For the year of 2014, I am operating as the Assistant to the new G.W.U. Digital Humanities Institute (DHI) under the leadership of its founders, Prof. Alexa Huang and Prof. Jonathan Hsy. The DHI's mission, stated above, has already seen a number of significant accomplishments.

Previously, I covered the Global Shakespeares Symposium, a widely attended event with hundreds of scholars tuned in through a variety of media. Featuring Julie Taymor and Harry Lennix, the event touched on the digital modes that are changing who, where, when and how Shakespeare's plays are being realized in the 20th and 21st century. Other events the Institute supported throughout the semester included talks by Joseph Harris, Holly Dugan, and Clare Pettitt

Many of these events have been highlighted on the new English Department Website, a central project for the year. This was one of many projects that I took over from Emily Russell, who helped in Fall 2013 to get the Institute off to a running start. As we entered into April and May, everyone that helped contribute to the first academic year of the DHI have been happy to see it come to a close with a bang!

Omeka Workshop

April was full of Digital Humanities events, including a productive collaboration between the Digital Humanities Institute and Digital Humanities Working Group to bring Patrick Murray-John to G.W.U. for an Omeka Workshop.

On April 19th, Rome 771 filled to the brim with faculty and graduates students to be brought up to speed on some of the new innovations in web-design technology currently on the market. Key features of Omeka is that it is offers free and open-source options for developers. Everyone present was given their chance to try out the software. 

Described as somewhere between "Wordpress" (a comparable platform as Blogger) and "Drupal" (software that powers the English Dept. website), Omeka is aimed at Digital Humanist projects focusing on scholarly collections and exhibits.


The first year of the Digital Humanities Institute came to a roaring close by helping to sponsor the 2014 Washington DC THATCamp (the Humanities and Technologies Camp). An "unconference," THATCamp brought together teachers, students, software developers, members from the Nation Endowment for the Humanities, the Sunlight Foundation, Tech Cocktail, Cuentos, the GWU Libraries, scholars from across DC, as well as members from the GWU DH Institute and Working Group (including many students from English and History). 

The event aimed to bring together DH-ers from many different areas and skill sets to have an organic event where talents, tricks, and technologies are offered and explored in a low pressure environment. Invested in digital networks, the conversations from the event can already be found in a variety of digital venues, including the THATCamp blog and Twitter - published below in a Storify, highlighting some of the conversations that were generated by this event. Please check below and don't forget to click "READ NEXT PAGE."

Special thanks for this event should also go to Prof. Diane H Cline and her many wonderful students from the History Department, and everyone else who volunteered their time to help make the day (and the end of the year) a success!


No comments:

Post a Comment