Bring a Text Editor, Please

For those interested in learning more about or working with text encoding, TEI, or various computational approaches to humanistic scholarship, it would be really helpful if you already had a plain text editor on your preferred computing device (PCD). Since PCDs come in a three principle flavors — Windows, Mac, and Linux — it might be useful to list a few links to various offerings:

  • For Windows users, a lot of people love love love NotePad++, which in addition to having a lot of plug-ins and other extensions, also has a very active user community that can fix or build just about anything.
  • For Mac users, Textmate remains a popular choice, as does Sublime Edit, both are free to download. TM is now open sourced, and Sublime has a very liberal trial period. There is also always BBEdit, which is available through the App Store. (For those wanting the pure command line experience, Vim and Emacs are built into Mac OS X.)
  • I won’t even dare attempt GUI plain text editors for Linux. Use Vim or Emacs and mutter at each other as you like.

Whatever your choice in plain text editor, if it doesn’t contain with syntax highlighting for XML, then look to see about adding that functionality if you can.

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Intro to GIS

Dear Campers,

Given the growing integration of geography into digital humanities projects, geographic  information systems (GIS) has become a particular useful tool in these scholarly endeavors. Whether used as a repository of spatially linked data or as a visualizing tool, GIS has created an open invitation for the collaboration of scholars, students, and practitioners from different disciplines. This open invitation can only reach its full potential if current GIS users are able to incorporate non-GIS users into the development of future of projects. With this in mind, I would like to invite current GIS and non-GIS users to a discussion on the concept and capabilities of GIS. This is my first THATCamp, so I’m not familiar with the format; however, I do not envision this as a formal presentation or a one person show. I see this as an opportunity for current GIS users to join in and achieve the following: 1) share personal views and experiences with non-GIS users, 2) answer questions or uncertainties that may be keeping future users from implementing the technology into current or future projects, 3) explore opportunities for collaboration. All levels of GIS competency, software operation, and practical backgrounds are welcome! The goal is to present different perspectives and to answer as many questions as possible. Wednesday afternoon or Thursday (any time) work well with my current teaching schedule. However, space and time are limited, so I’m open to a merger with other GIS sessions as well. I look forward to meeting all campers!

Hilton A Córdoba

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The Range of Digital Humanities

In a recent post on his site, William G. Thomas, whom some of you may recognize as the chair of the History department at the University of Nebraska at Lincoln and/or the author of the essay on “Computing and the Historical Imagination” in A Companion to Digital Humanities (2004), offers a typology of digital scholarship. While I’m not crazy about his matrix (see the linked PDF), it might be useful, given the wide range of experiences and interests present in those attending, as a starting point for a discussion about what all the umbrella of digital humanities now covers. (In addition to the Companion above, there are continual attempts on The Humanist, as noted here, to define DH.) Some of this ground is also covered in the narrative for the Louisiana DH Lab, which Clai Rice and I wrote (in what seems like years ago).

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Digital Publishing

Randy Gonzales (ULL) and myself propose a session on online publishing covering both content creation and distribution. The content portion would cover tools and techniques for creating and publishing digital humanities projects on the web. I oversee journal publishing (peer-review) and the digital library at Tulane and can speak to some of the models used in open access publishing and ways to build a strong and lasting foundation for new journals and DH collections.

If others are interested in adding to the discussion or covering certain topics, please post a reply.

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Copyrights: What does the Digital technology (not) change?

Dear Campers. I don’t know if you feel the same but when I do digital projects, copyrights are probably the issue that gives me headache…. So I was thinking of sharing my headache with you during one session. I would like to know whether some of you would be interested in knowing more about what the digital changes in regards of copyrights, the open-access policy, the tools we can use and so on…. Let me know.

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Teaching Through Digital Tools

I would be interested in proposing a session regarding best digital tools for teaching that would incorporate teachers of all students (including the K-12 population). Teachers evaluate and reevaluate digital tools for their value in the classroom and struggle with factors such as time, retention and reinforcement of content as opposed to “fluff”, and differences in platforms. I think if we could share lessons and evaluations utilizing digital tools that are creative and add value to the learning experience, it would be beneficial to teachers.

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Teaching Digital History / Digital Humanities

I would like to propose a session based on my experience of teaching Digital History. Given the conference, I think we could enlarge the session to teaching digital humanities. I’d like to discuss what you think are the skills students should acquire, the different assignments, projects, and evaluation techniques. This could also enable students to participate in the discussion (what they want from such a course, what works and what doesn’t).

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DH in the Undergraduate Classroom

I’d be interested in attending a session on how people have used DH tools or methods in undergraduate or graduate classes.   It could be focused on a particular platform or exercise (TEI, Gephi, Omeka, Annotation Studio, text mining…).  Or, it could be more broadly cast — even picking up on issues related to the sustainability session proposed, especially in terms of labor for DH projects.


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How Can We Keep Digital Humanities Projects Going?

I would like to propose a session in honor of Michael Mizell-Nelson, my late mentor and regional digital humanities pioneer, in conjunction with a memorial panel Kevin McQueeney and I are involved with at LHA.

Kevin and I would like to discuss the challenges of maintaining digital projects in light of Michael’s passing. Some points of interest might be future maintenance (money and man power), developing clear mission statements, training and institutional support, forming useful collaborations, and general continuity when interest wanes, participants move on, or other radical changes. I would be interested to hear about challenges and solutions others have come across through their digital projects, and share some of the struggles we are having trying to maintain the projects Michael left behind.

I look forward to meeting everyone, and broadening my network of digital humanists in Louisiana!

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Within and Without Texts

It’s good to know that there’s interest in both text mining and text encoding. I have some experience with both, but I really hope we can get Jonathan Goodwin and Clai Rice, respectively, to join the conversation. I look forward to everyone just being there and all of us both working on stuff we brought and on stuff that others have brought to the table. Do we want a common GitHub repo to add materials, too, or do we want to set up individual repos for various topics? (I know when I was a participant in the NEH Seminar on Networks and Network Studies in the Humanities, walking away with a flash drive full of software and data sets and white papers was a huge bonus. We don’t need flash drives any more…

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