April has been a big month for digital scholarship in Texas. The Texas Digital Humanities Conference took place at UT-Arlington April 9-11, and the Texas Conference on Digital Libraries took place at UT-Austin April 27-28.
I had the privilege of attending and presenting at both conferences with the generous support of Southwestern University. Check out the Twitter hashtags for each conference (#TXDHC15 and #TCDL2015, respectively) for a useful rundown of attendees’ responses to and interactions with presenters. You can see my live-tweeted responses to events and panels @CharlotteLNunes. Following are some highlights and take-aways!
Texas Digital Humanities Conference
Presentations of note:
- Rebecca Frost Davis provided a tour of the curateteaching/digitalpedagogy resource on GitHub associated with Digital Pedagogy in the Humanities: Concepts, Models, and Experiments, forthcoming from the Modern Language Association. Hannah Alpert-Abrams and Dan Garrette presented a fantastic poster on their OCR (Optical Character Recognition) efforts in Latin American colonial archives. Matthew Cole LaFevor presented the idea of “toggling between quantitative and qualitative research methods” to teach historic maps alongside Google Earth images of the same regions.
- Opening keynote Adeline Koh‘s much-tweeted Storified live-tweeting of Alan Liu‘s closing keynote, “Against the Cultural Singularity: Towards a Critical Digital Humanities” does a great job of distilling main points. I especially liked Liu’s remark that advocating open access (pardon the paraphrase here) “is the modern equivalent of storming university administration buildings in the 1970s.” I was delighted and inspired by the consistent support and enthusiasm for open access I encountered at both TXDHC and TCDL. The potential of open access to ensure the more equitable distribution of knowledge and information is immense. George Siemens picked up the social justice thread in his remarks, as well: “If you’re poor you’re going to stay poor because the education system isn’t going to help you.” Ultimately Siemens’ presentation was implicitly optimistic in that he provided a roadmap for a “more human digital university.” I’m proud that, as evidenced by Koh’s opening keynote on social media and revolution and closing keynotes by Liu and Siemens, the digital humanities as conceptualized at this conference was strongly tied to values of social justice.
Texas Conference on Digital Libraries