THATCamp Kansas 2012 The Humanities and Technology Camp Thu, 27 Sep 2012 00:48:05 +0000 en-US hourly 1 My Notes Mon, 24 Sep 2012 15:19:13 +0000

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Many thanks to the University of Kansas and all of the organizers of the Digital Humanities Forum! In the spirit of THATCamp, I wanted to share my notes from all of the sessions—Thursday-Saturday—that I was able to attend. Please feel free to do with these what you want: reuse, remix, add, etc. Apologies for any misspellings or inaccurate quotations; please leave any edits in the comments section and I’ll update accordingly. Notes after the break . . .


Voyant for Text Analysis and Visualization 

  • Geoffrey Rockwell, University of Alberta, Philosophy
  • Voyant Tools:
  • Presentation script:
  • Draft chapter on intro to text analysis: The Measured Words.pdf
  • Cirrus
    • Word cloud
    • Stop words: list of high-frequency function words (the, and, etc.)
    • Add and edit stop word lists by clicking gear icon
    • Color, shape and position is random
    • Clicking on specific words brings up concordance/KWIC tool
  • KWIC
    • Concordances
    • Keyword highlights, contextual text to left and right
    • Can change amount of context
    • KWIC, Loon from IBM in 1960s
    • History of digital humanities built on concordances (40s-60s)
    • Does not allow for wildcrards (ex. theor*) at this time
  • Skin
    • Particular combination of tools
    • Add new columns in Words in Entire Corpus Trend > Columns
    • Heart icon adds favorites
    • If you want a custom skin, you can ask for a custom name and URL
  • Other tools
  • Using Voyant with Large Corpora
    • Adds new panel called Corpus
    • Words in documents: breakdown by particular texts within corpus
    • Name corpora properly to have them appear in diachronic order
  • Export
    • Bib citation
    • HTML
    • URL
    • iframe of specific tools
    • XML, tabular data, etc.


Visualizing Humanities Data Sets in Improvise 

  • Chris Weaver, University of Oklahoma, Computer Science
  • Improvise:
  • Tutorial + download:
  • Visual analytics
  • Re-inject scholarly interpretations back into the data set
  • “Digital” about collecting and managing and browsing data
  • Visualization methods help complete digital workspace for scholarship
  • Visualization as bridge between human mind and computation
  • Improvise
    • Full blown development environment (requires programming skills)
    • “Excel” for visualization
    • Supports live design of visual tools (build as you work)
    • Each visualization is a document (.viz)
    • Facilitation tool to explore data more broadly (still requires close reading & investigation)
    • Strong for computation, quantitative analysis, mostly social sciences
    • Needs advanced training to do, would need to find programmer to work with


Keynote: Humanities in a Digital Age

  • Gregory Crane, Tufts University, Classics
  • Perseus Digital Library:
  • Importance of undergraduate research experience (happening in STEM, not in Humanities?)
  • Digital Humanities?
    • Separate niche field—safely sequestered
  • “The instructor is not there to serve the student. Rather, both student and instructor are there to serve Wissenschaft.” —Wilhelm von Humboldt (1809)
  • Goals:
    • How do we advance the intellectual life of humanity?
    • What are the metaphors we might use?
      • A global republic of letters?
      • A dialogue among civilizations?
  • Not books or artifacts but data . . . (slide: DataConservancy,
  • Language is the great barrier, not space.
  • The Digital Walters:
  • TEI production and soldiers: Humanists need to treat students as adults
  • The past is hyperlingual
  • Discovering a new world, no longer acting/studying in isolation
  • The Mission of the Library is essential in a culture of fragmented departments
    • Only organizations that capture totality of cultures, languages, etc.
  • Do we want to reach 1,000 research libraries and their subscribers? Or billions of humans?
  • Movie > Wikipedia > Primary Sources
    • Note: what’s missing from that chain? SCHOLARLY PUBLICATIONS. (because we remove them)
  • Where is your labor?
    • Clever systems (translation tools)
    • Advanced researchers
    • Library professionals
    • Citizen scholars
    • Student research and a lab culture
  • Only 11 historical languages with enrollments of more than 50 (96% of those are Latin, Greek, Hebrew)
  • Virtuous Cycle of Learning and Contribution (WANT TO SEE THAT SLIDE)
  • e-portfolios (instead of branded transcript)
    • What have you contributed?
    • What skills have you developed?
    • Note (his): grades are inadequate
  • To create a radically new and deeply traditional form of education (back to Humboldt)
  • Dialogue is a process that lowers the probability of evil and violence


Workshop: XSLT Basics & Visualizing Structural Similarity with Plectograms and XSLT

  • David Birnbaum, University of Pittsburgh
  • XSLT
    • stylesheet for transforming XML
    • Declarative programming language
  • XPath is the that part XSLT that tells you what things are
    • / = whole document
  • Core of XSLT is template rule xml:template match=
  • apply templates is code for look inside an element and do stuff
  • XPath predicate filters results
  • pretty print = indent button
  • refer to variable with $
  • { } turns from literal to calculation
  • XPath by default only looks within


Workshop: Quantitative Analysis of Literary Texts with R

  • Jeff Rydberg-Cox, University of Missouri-Kansas City
  • R:
  • Interactive “calculator” with lots of functions you can build on
  • Variable = single value
  • Vector = list of values
  • Frame = table of values
  • Not so good at aggregating, good at graphing (Perl and Python good at aggregating)
  • Most of the work with data is prepping, pre-processing
  • could need stem/lemmatizers (for english stanford coreNLP:
    • wow!
  • nameofcommand( )
  • Book: R in Action
  • Stefan Gries, corpus linguistics with R / statistics with linguistics using R
  • Are they including these in publications?
    • Have included data as supplementary, put on website
    • Wants: central repository, data set, documentation


Workshop: Advanced Omeka

  • Can map metadata to existing Dublin Core set OR add new fields
  • Items
  • Collections
  • Exhibits = interpretations


Keynote: False Positives: Opportunities and Dangers in Big Text Analysis 

  • Geoffrey Rockwell, University of Alberta, Philosophy
  • 2 types of data
    • Information at Rest (large databases)
    • Information in Motion
  • DataSift:
  • Brunet and the Grand Corpus
  • Opportunities
    • Filtering and subsetting (Cornel WebLab)
    • Enrichment
    • Sequence alignment (Horton, Olsen, Row – Digital Studies 2:1,
      • Follow the expression of texts over time
    • Diachronic analysis (Google Ngrams)
    • Classification and clustering (Voyant)
    • Social network analysis (Voyant)
    • Life-tracking (Wolfram: Quantified Self)
  • Ian Lancashire, Forgetful Muses
  • Predictive Data Mining: doesn’t work
    • lots of data leads to lots of false hits
    • never believe data, always investigate and verify
  • Conjecturator
  • Dreyfus, intelligence is embodied (again artificial intelligence)


Reading Genres

  • Benjamin MacDonald Schmidt, Princeton University, PhD Candidate History
  • Harvard Cultural Observatory:
  • Digital sources contribute knowledge beyond individuals
  • Metadata lets us look at social structures
  • Humanists need to be more involved in designing algorithms (not just social scientists)
  • OCR is not important: scientists have always been able to work against biases
  • Working on something like Google Ngrams but users can set own categories
  • His research is on “the history of attention”
    • Using concordances to search words preceding “attention”
    • Looking at geographical patterns of language (via newspapers)
  • “All digital history ends in 1922.”
  • Integrate big data in with other analyses in order to get greater comfort with results before we trust these types or results entirely on their own.
  • Evidence may not be novel, but it certainly is new.
  • Humanists need to be patient with data results; not everything is instantaneous


A World in a Grain of Sand: Uncertainty and Poetry Corpora Visualization 

  • Katherine Coles & Julie Lien, University of Utah, English
  • Poems as multidimensional living things (a single poem as large data set)
  • “Complex capta”
  • Joanna Drucker, Humanities Approaches to Graphical Display, DHQ 2011 5.1
  • Myopia at DH2012


Phylogenetic Futures: Big Data and Design Fiction 

  • Kari Kraus, University of Maryland, Information Science & English
  • Moving humanities to be future-oriented discipline
    • CP Snow, Two Cultures
  • Phylogenetics:
    • collate texts before charting evolution
    • D’arcy Thompson: Fish Deformations (1917)
  • Design Fiction
    • The practice of mocking up or prototyping objects that embody our ideas about the future
    • Share Horizons: Data, Biomedicine, and the Digital Humanities
    • Conlangs & Alternate Evolution: & After Man by Dixon
    • Frederic Bartlett, Remembering (1932)
    • Nonobject banko lukic barry katz:
    • Jane McGonogal (sp?) alternate reality games
    • Cathy’s Book:’s_Book
    • Warning Systems for Posteriry
  • Material cultural evolution: what do we know?
    • component analysis
    • tree topology
    • variation
  • A lot of design fiction about provocation and not futurity
    • Julian Bleeker’s slow movement
  • Franco Moretti: tree of life vs. tree of culture (Graphs, Maps, and Trees)
  • Guided Variation: how biological evolution differs from cultural evolution
  • nvivo:


Lightning Talks

Grounds more relative than this: Critically Harnessing Uncertainty in Digital Literary Studies in Big Data 

  • Patrick Flor, University of Kansas, Graduate Student in English
  • Gulliver in Laputa — important for DH — frame of words
  • Humanities Computing
    • Computation of/from/over humanities artifacts
    • of = generative art
    • from = statistics from a text
    • over = taking texts and making texts about texts
  • Critical Humanities Computing
    • Create and choose algorithms, artifacts, results, etc.
    • Natural language processing
      • NLTK (Python framework):
      • Pervert the tools accordingly
  • POS tagging
    • Good hook for processing text, but not enough
  • Immediately reentering into text, not using computing to abstract from the text (i.e. as visualization does)
    • Computer substituting for failure as reader
  • Close reading circling out into broader interpretation


What Are You Going to Do with that Data? Results of Needs Assessment of Humanities Scholars for Digital Collections 

  • Harriett Green, University of Illinois, Digital Humanities & English Librarian
  • Woodchipper:
  • Unsworth and “scholarly primitives”


Museum Collecting in the Age of Big Data: Opportunities for Collaboration 

  • Peter Welsh, University of Kansas, Museum Studies
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Session Proposal: Cleaning up text and data Fri, 21 Sep 2012 13:01:07 +0000

Session on scenarios, techniques, tools, etc for cleaning up text, data, and metadata. Text editors, Excel, Google Refine, regular expressions, xslt… What do you do with your data before you can do things with it?

Welcome Session Fri, 21 Sep 2012 12:25:14 +0000

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About THATCamp

Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media, George Mason University”

THATCamp “groundrules”

KU Institute for Digital Research in the Humanities

THATCamp Kansas Blog


Google Docs

Schedule & locations
—THATCamp: Watson Library 8:30 – 4:00pm
—Keynote Talk: Geoffrey Rockwell, 4:30pm Watson Library 3 West

Saturday: Big Data and Uncertainty in the Humanities
—Kansas Union, Alderson Auditorium, 9:00am – 3:00pm
—Keynote Talk: Kari Kraus, 11:15am

Please fill out and return feedback forms

–Kansas Union (Food court, Impromptu Cafe)
–Oread Hotel (BirdDog)

Session Proposal: Undergraduates & DH Research Fri, 21 Sep 2012 02:15:51 +0000

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Inspired by Gregory Crane’s wonderful keynote earlier tonight, I would love to see a session on engaging undergraduates in digital humanities research projects. In my brief experience at the Northwestern University’s CSCDC, I’ve worked on a few digital humanities research projects and courses in which undergraduates have played key roles doing online manuscript transcription, web archiving, and creating original digital history projects. I think Gregory is right (for a number of reasons) that it is time to bring undergraduates into the research process, and the digital humanities offers so many ways in which to do this. No doubt, this is a broad topic, but I’m assuming other people have similar experiences to share or are thinking about how best to begin down this path.

Session Proposal: Advanced Omeka Thu, 20 Sep 2012 21:15:33 +0000

I’m happy to spend some more time with people who’d like to learn more about Omeka tomorrow — I can show you how to set up your own Omeka installation, how to create an exhibit, how to customize a theme. We could also just have an Omeka site-building session, and I could help people individually.

A few session proposals Sun, 09 Sep 2012 00:19:30 +0000

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Here are a number of proposed THATCamp discussion topics from participants’ registration forms. Please leave any comments below, or create a new post with your own session proposal. Friday morning at the THATCamp we will vote, negotiate and schedule the sessions for the day, so if there is a topic you are interested in discussing, make sure you post it on the site!

  • Discussion about the future of libraries, particularly in the humanities
  • Collaboration models for faculty and librarians
  • Library support: what can we do for/with you? Big dreams, what works, what doesn’t
  • Integrating social media effectively in my courses to increase student engagement
  • Discussion of ideas that will help involve students in critical consumption of digital materials
  • Teaching what you do to a variety of audiences
  • Using TEI/XML in the classroom
  • Using digital humanities in research on and teaching of ethnic literatures and cultures
  • Impact of DH on the study of race and ethnicity
  • Developing a proposal for a distributed feminist hack-fest
  • Infrastructure: how to develop a center for digital humanities on a shoestring. How to foster collaboration
  • Collaborations across job descriptions, across long distance
  • After the grant is spent: Sustaining DH support
  • Training graduate students in the digital humanities. What skills are needed and how are they best acquired? Credentialing
  • Ephemera and its circulation in the digital world
  • Video editing and sharing techniques (especially in educational contexts)

Topic for the unconference Sat, 25 Aug 2012 01:58:54 +0000

Impact of DH on the study of race and ethnicity

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Announcing the Fall 2012 Digital Humanities Forum and THATCamp Tue, 17 Jul 2012 16:48:44 +0000

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IDRH is pleased to announce our Fall 2012 Digital Humanities Forum, September 20-22, 2012 at the University of Kansas. The Forum consists of three separate but related programs held over three days:

Update: full schedule now online

  • Day One (Thursday, September 20) / WORKSHOPS
    A set of in-depth, hands on workshops on digital humanities tools and topics such as GIS, data visualization, text markup and annotation, and creating online digital exhibits.


  • Day Two (Friday, September 21) / THATCamp KANSAS
    An “unconference” for technologists and humanists, with conversations about topics defined on-site by the participants.


  • Day Three (Saturday, September 22) / BIG DATA AND UNCERTAINTY IN THE HUMANITIES
    A one-day program of panels and poster sessions showcasing digital humanities projects and research.

Plenary speakers at the Forum include:

  • Gregory Crane, Editor-in-Chief, Perseus Digital Library
    “The Humanities in a Digital Age”
    Thursday, September 21, 4:30 PM, Watson Library
  • Geoffrey Rockwell, Professor of Philosophy and Humanities Computing at the University of Alberta, Canada
    “False Positives: Opportunities and Dangers in Big Text Analysis”
    Friday, September 21, 4:30 PM, Watson Library
  • Kari Kraus, Assistant Professor, College of Information Studies and the Department of English at the University of Maryland
    “Phylogenetic Futures: Big Data and Design Fiction”
    Saturday, September 22, 11:15 AM, Alderson Auditorium, Kansas Union

Watch this space for more information as schedules, lodging arrangements, and other details are finalized.

Register here.

There is no registration fee to participate, but space is limited, especially for the BootCamp Workshops and THATCamp.