It’s Saturday morning and around 150 people are foregoing incredible June weather in the DC area to sit in an engineering auditorium to attend THATCamp Prime here at the Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media. Yesterday’s workshops (and a live recording of Digital Campus) went quite well–per usual, lots of excellent conversation and new connections.
In his opening remarks, Dan Cohen pointed out that in an auditorium full of people, no one came here to give a talk, to put a line in his/her cv, or to interview for a job. Instead, we’re all here to be “a spark for something new” and to explore ideas — ours and the ideas of others. If you’ve ever been to a THATCamp, you need to make time in your schedule in the coming year to attend one. As I’ve written more than once in this space, and as Roy wrote many years before me, academic conferences have largely ossified–despite some attempts at innovation–over the years. Unconferences like these subvert that model in a very positive way and spur new ideas and innovation in ways that three papers with a discussant will never do.
The first session of the day was “Dork Shorts” in which people proposed ideas they are working on that they want to throw open for additional participation. In order, the ideas were about:
1. Alternate reality games
2. Playthepast.org (games and cultural heritage)
3. Journal of Interactive Technology & Pedagogy
5. Africa Past & Present podcast
6. Open jobs at Emory, high res map scanning (still not public) with a high wow factor
7. An edited volume on disruptive pedagogy (my idea…let me know if you are interested)
8. Hacking the Accident
9. A new collaborative document platform that will run inside WordPress
10. New internal collection search system developed at the Penn Museum
12. How to move large numbers of static files into Omeka automatically
13. iPad based comic book versions of great works of literature
14. Digital Culture Week
15. Mobile Museum apps from the Henry Ford Museum
16. New displays of information from Folger Library collection
17. American Archive Content Inventory Project
18. Get to know the NEH — Really. We’re nice.
19. A project on political cartoons (50,000 of them). A plea for help.
21. GoogleDoc folders for THATCamp (This THATCamp)
22. Code for archiving Twitter
23. Making sense of DH/IT jargon for the non-coder
This list gives you an idea of the diversity of interests, skills, and anxieties of those working to expand the reach of the digital humanities.