Debates in the Digital Humanities: Lecture & Reception with Matthew Gold

Location/Date/Time: The Gleeson Library Rare Book Room, Gleeson 3rd Floor. Thursday February 7, 2013 11:40 lecture and 12:40 reception. Twitter #USFDH

The University of San Francisco will be hosting a lecture and reception with Matthew Gold, Editor of Debates in the Digital Humanities (U of Minnesota Press, 2012).

Matthew K. Gold, Assistant Professor of English at New York City College of Technology, discusses his newly edited work, Debates in the Digital Humanities This event is part of the University of San Francisco’s continuing College of Arts and Sciences Dean’s Lecture Series and is co-sponsored by the Gleeson Library | Geschke Learning Resource Center at USF.MattGold

Gold is a faculty member in the Interactive Technology and Pedagogy Doctoral Certificate Program at the CUNY Graduate Center, where he also serves as Advisor to the Provost for Master’s Programs and Digital Initiatives.  Matthew is also the Project Director of Looking for Whitman: The Poetry of Place in the Life and Work of Walt Whitman, an NEH-funded experiment in online multi-campus pedagogy, and Project Director of the CUNY Academic Commons, an open-source academic social network dedicated to building community across CUNY’s 23 campuses.

Debates in the Digital Humanities brings together leading figures in the field to explore its theories, methods, and practices and to clarify its multiple possibilities and tensions. Together, the essays—which will be published later as an ongoing, open-access website—suggest that the digital humanities is uniquely positioned to contribute to the revival of the humanities and academic life.

This event is free and open to the public.

Debates in the Digital Humanities – USF Reading Group Dinner

The DH reading group met for dinner at Jannah restaurant off campus (thanks Dean Camperi!) the evening of January 24, 2013. The folks around the table for the lively discussion included Tracy Seeley, Michael Rozendal, Peter Williamson, Ron Sundstom, Marjolein Oele, Colette Hayes, Shawn P. Calhoun, Xavier Gomez and Chris Brooks. debates_book_image_mini

The conversations were wide ranging and covered many issues related to DH as presented in Debates. While Debates provided a number of starting points to our conversations, the groups discussions about DH, pedagogy and instruction at USF were particularly interesting. While there were a number of themes that emerged from our conversations, a few in particular that stood out to me (Shawn) include:

  • The definitions of DH in Debates were at times difficult to pin down, at least as they relate to medium-sized liberal arts colleges like USF
  • The pedagogical opportunities and implications of DH appear to be an area that might benefit from additional attention
  • We are already ‘doing DH’ at USF (but the definitions of DH continue to confound…)

As the conversations wound down at the end of the evening, a few possible next steps were discussed. One thing that will hopefully happen is that this blog will become one of many places on campus where conversations regarding DH will continue to take shape. USF has an strong set of existing resources upon which all of our DH work can be built – but getting the word out about these resources needs to happen.  Also, this blog and the USF DH website should become a stepping off point for USF faculty, students and staff to learn more about practical DH strategies, tools and methods that can be integrated into both research and teaching.

Once again, thanks to Arts and Sciences dean Marcelo Camperi for hosting the event and a heart-felt thank you to all of the folks who made it out for dinner. Stay tuned!

Beginnings

Early in the Fall 2012 semester Chris Brooks called a meeting (open to all) to begin a campus-wide discussion about digital humanities. From Chris’ meeting request:

We would like to invite you all to an informal gathering on Thursday September 6 from 11:30-1 in McLaren 252 to talk with other colleagues about potential collaborations in Digital Humanities. This is a very interesting new field that combines computational approaches and humanities questions, looking at topics from digitally curating archives to data mining on large historical records to applying GIS and mapping techniques to geographic or cultural data sets, and much more. Please feel free to invite any other colleagues you think might be interested as well.

We don’t have a particular agenda beyond getting scholars who might be interested in collaborating in a room together and learning what can be done to enable this. That said, an item of particular interest is the development of the NEH’s Office of Digital Humanities (more information included below) which provides support for scholars in this area.

I hope to see you all there, and look forward to learning more about your research!

Chris Brooks
Associate Dean for Sciences
University of San Francisco

While the number of USF faculty who wanted to stop in was greater than those who could make it (link to #4), the discussions began in earnest.

The conversation covered everything from what is digital humanities (see a document that circulated before the meeting) to what does digital humanities look like at USF.

A good part of the discussion involved grant options from NEH as well as next steps (such as the creation of this USF DH website – LINK). An important next step that is being organized now with the help of David Sliver and Chris Brooks is inviting speakers to USF who are experts in digital humanities. Look for another blog post on speakers as soon as we have the details.

Michael Rozendal 
Shawn P. Calhoun