UF Digital Humanities Working Group Meetings for Fall 2012

The information below was sent to the UF Digital Humanities email list yesterday. Please subscribe to the UF Digital Humanities email list for updates on upcoming meetings and other events: digital-humanities-L@lists.ufl.edu (join the  list and list archives).
The schedule and description of Fall 2012 meetings of the UF Digital Humanities Working Group (DHWG) is below. With feedback from the group, we have designed the meetings to be more of a faculty reading group and project study, in order to expand our knowledge of opportunities to work with and create scholarly archives and editions in the digital age. We will meet 12-1:30pm, in Pugh Hall 210, on the following Wednesdays:

  1. Sept. 5th
  2. Oct. 10th
  3. Nov. 7th
  4. Dec. 5th

Additionally, we have created a new collection in the UF Digital Collections to share digital humanities material, including DHWG agendas, grant proposals, digital humanities day proceedings, and course syllabi for digital humanities classes. If you teach a digital humanities-related course, please consider emailing us your syllabus for inclusion in the collection: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/digitalhumanities
And, as always, please feel free to forward this email to others interested in the digital humanities at UF. More information on joining the DHWG is at: http://www.humanities.ufl.edu/digitalhum.html

UF Digital Humanities Working Group
Fall 2012 Events
“Archives, Curation, and Enhanced Publication”
The UF Digital Humanities Working Group (DHWG) is a group of academic and library faculty, staff, and graduate students who meet monthly to discuss current projects and topics at the intersection of digital technologies and core research needs and questions in the humanities disciplines. The Fall 2012 working groups will focus on “Archives, Curation, and Enhanced Publication”. We will discuss curation as a scholarly activity, and how scholars can collaborate with librarians and archivists to think critically and productively about making archival materials digitally usable by scholarly communities and wider publics.
For more information on the Digital Humanities at UF, see our Digital Humanities grants and resources page.

  • DHWG events are open to all UF faculty, staff, and graduate students.
  • For more information, contact humanities-center@ufl.edu.

Fall 2012 meetings (details follow on separate pages – subject material may change depending upon DHWG member interests):
12-1:30pm, Pugh Hall 210

  1. Wednesday, Sept. 5th
  2. Wednesday, Oct. 10th
  3. Wednesday, Nov. 7th
  4. Wednesday, Dec. 5th

Wednesday, Sept. 5, 12-1:30pm
Pugh Hall, 210
“What are the Digital Humanities?”
This meeting will give a broad introduction to the kinds of scholarly activity referred to under the “digital humanities” umbrella. In particular, as Todd Presner describes in his 2009 “Digital Humanities Manifesto”, recasting the scholar as curator (and the curator as scholar) is a central feature of the future of humanities disciplines. The growing availability of ‘masses’ of digital texts creates new opportunities for academic researchers to work with primary archival sources. As some argue, traditional humanities research methods such as ‘linking’, ‘annotating’ and ‘sampling’ are critically needed to make sense and use of the abundance of digital materials. The increased recognition and use of these traditional skills also affords opportunities to rethink how and where else those skills are needed, and how other traditional humanities practices can inform digital scholarly practices and digital practices more generally. In thinking more deeply about these issues, DHWG members are invited to read the publication, browse the project examples, and contemplate the questions below:
Unsworth, John. 2000. Scholarly Primitives: What Methods Do Humanities Researchers Have in Common, and How Might Our Tools Reflect This? Paper presented at the Humanities Computing: Formal Methods, Experimental Practice, May 13, King’s College, London. http://jefferson.village.virginia.edu/~jmu2m/Kings.5-00/primitives.html
Project Examples:

Discussion questions:

  1. What new research opportunities are made available in the age of computing and digital texts in your discipline?
  2. Are these extensions of core questions and themes in the humanities disciplines, or do they break with established traditions?

Wednesday, Oct. 10, 12-1:30pm
Pugh Hall, 210
“Digital Scholarly Editions as Curated Archives”
In the digital age, primary and secondary sources can be intertwined, variance and interpretations can be explored across manuscripts, and readers can move easily from annotation to primary source material. Digital genres of scholarly editions and curated archives can allow for primary and secondary sources to be accessed together and with reference to the greater context of interpretive work and archival materials. Although such support has been previously available through facsimile, documentary editions, or CD/DVD-ROM packages, Web-based editions allow for greater content, ongoing development, and ease of access. Digital scholarly editions and curated archives also, when available in Open Access online, can provide opportunities to expand research communities, support teaching, and engage the public. In thinking more deeply about these issues, DHWG members are invited to read the publication, browse the project examples, and contemplate the questions below:
Don Waters. 2009. Archives, Edition-Making, and the Future of Scholarly Communication. The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Working Paper, March 2. http://msc.mellon.org/staff-papers/EditionMakingPaper.
Project Examples:

  • Digital Edition: Digital Image Archive of Medieval Music
    The purpose of the Digital Image Archive of Medieval Music (DIAMM) was to obtain and archive digital images of European sources of medieval polyphonic music, captured directly from the original document. http://www.diamm.ac.uk/
  • Language Archive: Speaking Maya
    The primary aim of this collaborative, multilingual project is to help raise the profile of Yukatek Maya and other indigenous languages in the Western Hemisphere.
  • Online Exhibition: The Preservation Conversation
    This online exhibition explores the conversation that occurred during three of the historic preservation projects Herschel E. Shepard was involved in: the ongoing Gamble Mansion restoration, adaptive use at Government House, and the reconstruction at Mission San Luis de Apalachee. Curated by graduate students: Austin Bell, Renee Kiefer, and Kim Tinnell.

Discussion questions:

  1. Why do you use a particular medium to publish in? What would you like to be able to do?
  2. What editions or compilations have been essential for your work or your field (e.g., a critical edition of a novel, a library resource collection that you advocated for the libraries to purchase, etc.)?

Wednesday, Nov. 7, 12-1:30pm
Pugh Hall, 210
“Locating the Real in the Virtual”
As Walter Benjamin famously argued, mechanical reproduction deals a powerful blow to the ‘aura’ of cultural objects and texts. But, others have argued that tracing the reproductions of texts (their ‘trajectories’) makes available new perspectives on a text, its uses, communities, and meanings. Furthermore, some elements of digital reproduction actually permit closer study of archival objects (e.g., of the true colors of inks, of elements ‘erased’ or hidden behind other elements, or of the temporal unfolding of a written poem or score). Bearing in mind the constraints and affordances of digital reproduction, the online reproduction of some archival objects can enable them to be better inserted into their sociocultural context, thus contributing to their originality rather than their artificiality. In thinking more deeply about these issues, DHWG members are invited to read the publication, browse the project examples, and contemplate the questions below:
Bruno Latour & Adam Lowe. (2011) “The Migration of the Aura, or How to Explore the Original through Its Facsimiles”. In T. Bartscherer and R. Coover (eds.), Switching Codes: Thinking Through Digital Technology in the Humanities and the Arts. Chicago, London: The University of Chicago Press. Online: http://www.factum-arte.com/eng/texts/switching_codes.asp
Project Examples:

  • Haiti’s Declaration of Independence
    Physical copies of Haiti’s Declaration of Independence were believed to be lost, until a copy was located in the British National Archives in 2010. Many copies can now be found online, as well as many articles and commentary about it.
  • The Milkmaid, by Johannes Vermeer This is covered in “The Problem of the Yellow Milkmaid” (http://pro.europeana.eu/documents/858566/2cbf1f78-e036-4088-af25-94684ff90dc5/) where the holding museum made the high resolution files available online in order to protect and support an accurate portrayal of the original and, in doing so, to support the original as a valid version.
  • Roman de la Rose Digital Library
    The Roman de la Rose Digital Library is a joint project of the Sheridan Libraries of Johns Hopkins University and the Bibliothèque nationale de France to create an online library of all manuscripts containing the 13th-century poem Roman de la Rose. With digital surrogates of more than 130 Roman de la Rose manuscripts, and the collection continuing to grow, this project represents the creation of an online collection that does not physically exist.

Discussion questions:

  1. What are the particular concerns about the relationship of the original and reproduction in your field? (e.g., in art history, some have argued that making reproductions available online could reduce travel funding opportunities.)
  2. How can elements of digital reproduction contribute to understanding the ‘originality’ of texts or artefacts in your field? Can possibilities for digital reproduction open new research questions for you?

Wednesday, Dec. 5, 12-1:30pm
Pugh Hall, 210
“Archival Work as Collaborative Activity: The Future of Humanities Curation”
Contemporary curation projects in the humanities are blurring the lines between databases and scholarly editions. Such ‘editions’ can grow organically over time, with participation by entire scholarly communities. These newest editions can also be integrated publication environments, where primary sources and texts, translations and annotations, and refereed scholarly work can all be interwoven. The further development of analytic tools that are integrated into the databases can allow scholars to search, text-mine, graph, map, and otherwise examine and analyze digital objects in the same archival environment. In thinking more deeply about these issues, DHWG members are invited to read the publication, browse the project examples, and contemplate the questions below:
Donald J. Waters. (2012) “Digital Humanities and the Changing Ecology of Scholarly Communications”. TELDAP International Conference, opening keynote. Taipei, Taiwan, 21 February. http://msc.mellon.org/staff-papers/waters_teldap.docx.
Project Examples:

Discussion questions:

  1. What kinds of scholarly methods and activities would you like to see made available in the digital archive?
  2. What obstacles does your field face to making primary source material and scholarly annotation in a shared environment?