Around DH Launched! Exciting New Project to Introduce DH Projects from Around the World

Around DH in 80 DaysAround DH has launched!
Around DH is an exciting and important new project to introduce DH projects from around, promoting and connecting projects, and communities. Around DH will be a core resource for people to learn more about the Digital Humanities (DH), and as a core, foundational introduction to DH.

The text below is from the About page from the Around DH website.

Project Introduction

Around DH in 80 Days is a multi-institutional, interdisciplinary Digital Humanities collaboration that seeks to introduce new and veteran audiences to the global field of DH scholarly practice by bringing together current DH projects from around the world.

Upon the initial live launch of Around DH, a different DH project from around the globe will be featured on our site each day for 80 days, offering audiences a unique opportunity to meaningfully engage the international, interdisciplinary, multimodal work being done by the digital humanities community, broadly conceived.

On Reading Around DH in 80 Days

Around DH is intended as a first step toward discovering current and developing DH projects across the globe. That is, where we hope that you will see Around DH as a valuable resource for encountering the broader, global field of DH and its diverse practices, we also hope this project will invite you to seek out the critical work of DH beyond the familiar by continuing to engage with these and other projects beyond our platform.

Each project on Around DH is provided with a brief description of the project. In most cases we copy the language by which the project describes itself. In some cases, and depending on the editor, we provide editorial descriptions. In all cases we recommend you follow the link at the bottom of each entry to learn more about the actual projects.

The choices for inclusion were made by several editors working in collaboration with the chief editor. We hope that you do not see absences as indications that we do not value your project. At some point our friend Barbara Bordalejo quipped that we should have instead the “1,001 nights of digital humanities,” and she is right. We hope that you take these selections only as an opening gesture, while we gather the army of collaborators that it would take to do 1,001 of these.

What is Digital Humanities?

Ask us again after the 80 days are up.

The Story Behind Around DH in 80 Days

In the Fall of 2013, Alex Gil started sending out daily emails to his colleagues at the Humanities and History Division of the Columbia University Libraries with a different digital humanities project and a brief blurb. After a few days, some colleagues from outside the division asked if they could be included in the email. At this point, the emails stopped and the idea for Around DH was born.

To launch the project, Alex formed a working group on Global Outlook::Digital Humanities, created a GoogleDoc spreadsheet and asked for volunteers on social media to suggest projects from around the world by region. This became the “master list” from which editors will pick the final 80 projects. Needless to say, the master list became a valuable resource in its own right and it receives contributions to this day. (Hint: You can still contribute).

In the Spring of 2013, Alex proposed the Around DH in 80 Days as a collaboration project to a group of World History and English Literature graduate students enrolled in Ryan Cordell’s (Northeastern University, NU Lab for Texts, Maps, and Networks) graduate studies seminar, “Doing Digital Humanities,” an introductory course to the Digital Humanities at Northeastern U. New to the field of Digital Humanities and excited by the vision to advance a global perspective to Digital Humanities scholarship, these graduate students decided to take on the initial research and design of Around DH as a semester group project. Through the guidance of Profs. Gil and Cordell, and the many contributions made by other DH scholars in the field, they spent the next three months developing a preliminary list of projects from the master list, and working with the Scalar platform, began drafting interactive project narratives for the Around DH site. Their vision for the project was far richer than what we present today, featuring full pages of information for each project. Their three choices and brief introductions, though, are still preserved here.

In the Fall of 2013, Alex began gathering a team of editors from around the world to choose the other 77 projects. In the Spring of 2014, development began on the new platform, which you see before you today.

Editorial policy

The three first choices belong to the collective wisdom of Ryan Cordell’s “Doing Digital Humanities” course. A few other editors have come forth since to make preliminary choices for several regions (South Asia, Latin America and Australasia). We asked editors to make preliminary choices based on four categories, Scholarship, Humanities Technology, Pedagogy, and Design and Usability. In the process of doing so, we realized these categories tend to skew the results to projects with large budgets, and we hope to correct for that in our final choices using our best judgement. While the editors did the rankings on the sheets, the ultimate responsibility for the choices belongs to the chief editor, Alex Gil, on whom should fall all internet anger. Because we want to show the diversity and richness of digital humanities across regions and disciplines, the final choices by region, and as a whole, must also reflect that diversity. In cases where a region could not secure an editor, the chief editor will make those choices. (N.B. If you would like to be an editor in medias res please send us a line.)

Designing with a Global Outlook

This is a Jekyll site. Jekyll is a “simple, blog-aware, static site generator.” That basically means this site can download faster in regions of the world with low-bandwidth. The choice comes from our thinking about what we call minimal computing and owes an enormous debt to conversations with the GO::DH membership on and offline on questions of language and accessibility. The map you see on the front page, for example, is generated with embedded SVG, which is ultimately just text. If you would like to see how the platform was built, please visit ourgithub page. (Sorry cheaters, no actual data until the end!)

A Note on Translation

You are more than welcome to translate and mirror this site. The data is stored in one single YAML file, and the posts are simple HTML pages, which means you can translate it easily. We could do the translation two ways. The first, an ideal way, would be for you to fork the project and build in multilingual capacity; the second, and perhaps easiest, would be for you to copy the site and translate a separate instance on a different domain. If you would like to do any of these two please contact us.


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