Brain Bytes: DHMS Blog

The March – Digital Exhibition focusing on Blue’s 1964 documentary

A new digital exhibition presents different aspects of the 1963 documentary by James Blue, including a restored version of the film.

The digital exhibition The March is the result of a collaborative project led by David A. Frank (Professor of Rhetoric and Mellon Faculty Fellow), the University of Oregon Libraries, and the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art, with individual contributions by members of both institutions (see below). This exhibition received inspiration and support from The James Blue Project, a research interest group at the University of Oregon devoted to creating a “living archive” from materials relating to the James Blue papers in UO Libraries’ Special Collections and University Archives.

Women also Know

The Scholarly Kitchen, a website, blog and podcast about scholarly publishing, just published an impressive list of resources listing women experts. Why?

“There are, alas, still too many examples of journalism, panels, conferences, and book lists with what my dad called “pale male syndrome.” A pale male engineer himself, he long ago made the sensible observation that diversity creates more stable and sustainable systems — as well as being equitable and just. Last year Scholarly Kitchen Chefs and guests posted regularly about these issues, including Jasmine Wallace on the necessity of breaking out of comfort zones to tackle diversity and inclusion and Alison Muddit on Breaking the Silence on #MeToo in scholarly publishing. A powerful post “On Being Excluded: Testimonies of People of Color in Scholarly Publishing,” and a follow-up second part, was anonymous at the request of the participants – an indicator of how difficult and sensitive the situation can be. These were among the most read posts of 2018, another measure of the importance of inclusion and diversity. One pattern in the posts is the relationship between talking about the problem, and taking action. As Jasmine noted, “Far too often… we do way too much talking about diversity and inclusion, and don’t take enough action to make diversity or inclusion happen.” A concern with identifying positive action was the prompt for other posts, and several Chefs, including Jasmine, cited the formation of the Coalition for Diversity and Inclusion in Scholarly Communications.” Read more here!

Ranke.2 Digital Source Criticism

Ranke.2 presents a new resource for historians and other humanists to discuss and teach the hermeneutics of source evaluation:

Objectives of Ranke.2

  1. How digitisation and the web have changed the nature of historical research.
  2. How digital objects are created (retro-digitised, born-digital, converted documents).
  3. What changes when an analogue source is turned into a digital representation.
  4. How to question the concept of the “original”.
  5. How information is added to a digital object (metadata).
  6. How data is published online and made searchable.
  7. What the impact of search engines is on finding and selecting sources.
  8. How to apply a number of digital tools to data.
  9. The difference between conducting research in an archive and online.
  10. The properties of different types of data (text, images, objects, audio-visual).

 

Intro to GIS and mapping with Scholars’ Lab

University of Virginia’s Scholars’ Lab is making intro classes to mapping available on their site:

The Scholars’ Lab GIS workshop sessions are designed to be accessible without prior knowledge or experience with GIS software and to give attendees hands-on experience with step-by-step instructions. Workshop topics are based on the how-to questions Kelly and Chris answer daily in their interactions with faculty and students in the Scholars’ Lab, in addition to emerging themes in geospatial scholarship.

“Feminist Modernist Studies” Special Issue on Digital Humanities

The 3rd issue of the new Feminist Modernist Studies journal focuses on the issue of feminist scholarship with and within DH practices:

In our CFP we asked, what might feminism offer DH? Across this cluster, essays agreed that feminist DH is not just “about women,” but entails a collaborative feminist practice of breaking down boundaries, enabling new syntheses based on situated knowledges, shifting subject positions and interpretations. Until recently, DH has been prominently associated with scientific neutrality, “big data,” quantification and the ensuing practices of distant reading or macroanalysis. However, as feminist theorists (and many modernist writers) have long observed, purportedly “objective” knowledge systems can and do inscribe exclusionary, hierarchical assumptions.

Question that Algorithm

The Data&Society Research Institute just published its primer on “Algorithmic Accountability,” originally presented to the Congressional Progressive Caucus on April 18, 2018 as “Tech Algorithm Briefing: How Algorithms Perpetuate Racial Bias and Inequality.” Here’s a synopsis of its contents:

Algorithmic Accountability: A Primer explores issues of algorithmic accountability, or the process of assigning responsibility for harm when algorithmic decision-making results in discriminatory and inequitable outcomes.

Currently, there are few consumer or civil rights protections that limit the types of data used to build data profiles or that require the auditing of algorithmic decision-making, even though algorithmic systems can make decisions on the basis of protected attributes like race, income,or gender–even when those attributes are not referenced explicitly–because there are many effective proxies for the same information.

This brief explores the trade-offs between and debates about algorithms and accountability across several key ethical dimensions, including:

  • Fairness and bias;
  • Opacity and transparency;
  • The repurposing of data and algorithms;
  • Lack of standards for auditing;
  • Power and control; and
  • Trust and expertise.

 

New Journal in Digital History

Current Research in Digital History is just out from the Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and Media, with its first volume comprising 17 articles and a CFP for the 2019 conference.

“Current Research in Digital History is an annual open-access, peer-reviewed publication of the Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media at George Mason University. Its primary aim is to encourage and publish scholarship in digital history that offers discipline-specific arguments and interpretations. By featuring short essays, it also seeks to provide an opportunity to make arguments on the basis of ongoing research in larger projects.

Essays published in CRDH are first presented at an annual one-day conference at George Mason University in Arlington, Virginia. Authors submit their essays in the fall, and then the conference is held in the spring. Each essay goes through two rounds of peer review, first by the conference program committee, and then by the conference commentator. CRDH is published at the end of August, less than a year after essays are submitted.

The platform for Current Research in Digital History offers the following features in order to effectively publish a range of scholarship:

  • publication of visualizations, graphics, and narratives
  • publication of associated data or code in a research compendium
  • external hosting of content if necessary, provided that authors agree to maintain the content
  • DOIs and other metadata for all articles
  • indexing in Google Scholar and other academic databases”

Doing Digital Scholarship

Interested in getting into DH? New on SSRC: Doing Digital Scholarship resource page, with How-To guidelines, training sessions and much more, including search function for tutorials, info on digital publishing, and resources on building your online presence.

Doing Digital Scholarship offers a self-guided introduction to digital scholarship, designed for digital novices. It allows you to dip a toe into a very large field of practice. It starts with the basics, such as securing web server space, preserving data, and improving your search techniques. It then moves forward to explore different methods used for analyzing data, designing digitally inflected teaching assignments, and creating the building blocks required for publishing digital work.”

UConn Celebrates Open Access Week, by Jean Nelson – cross post with Babbidge Library

Here at the UConn Library, one of the tenets of our Purposeful Path Forward is to engage in the driving of UConn’s ‘Scholarly Engine’, or the processes of research and knowledge creation. One of the core activities in our approach is educating our community on the importance of Open Access. Open Access (OA), as defined by SPARC (the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition), refers to the “free, immediate, online availability of research articles, coupled with the rights to use these articles fully in the digital environment.”

Why Open? Open changes the way we discover knowledge. It can turn ideas into reality,  break down barriers to learning, and lay the groundwork for breakthrough research.

This month we are embracing the challenge provided by the 2017 International Open Access Week by answering the question, “Open in order to…” through a series of programs and initiatives.

OpenCommons@UConn
The UConn Library is proud to announce the re-launch of the University’s institutional repository, OpenCommons@UConn, a showcase of the scholarship and creative works of the UConn community. The renaming of this services emphasizes the Library’s role in providing the tools to enable independent learning, research, and scholarship. By making the University’s diverse and unique resources openly accessible worldwide, we hope to inspire groundbreaking research and advance learning, teaching, and entrepreneurial thinking.
Open in order to…provide access to UConn’s scholarship

 

Open Educational Resources @ UConn Exhibit: published teaching and learning materials under an open license
October 18-31, 2017

HBL, Plaza Level
Open Access and Open Educational Resources (OER) are related but distinct, with the commonality of providing high quality learning materials at no cost. In an academic setting, the lines of Open Access publishing for research materials and Open Educational Resources for teaching and learning overlap in significant ways. UConn’s OER Initiative began only 2 years ago and to date has saved our undergraduates over $500,000 in textbook costs. View some OER textbooks and learn more about the faculty who are working towards making UConn more affordable.
Open in order to…save students money

 

Is this open access journal any good?
Thursday, October 19, 9:30-11:00am
Homer Babbidge Library, Collaborative Learning Classroom
Faculty often struggle to identify good quality open access journals in which to publish or to serve as an editor or reviewer. Many new open access journals exist now – some are good quality, some are exploitative, and some are in-between. This workshop will include a brief discussion of faculty concerns about identifying journals. The majority of the session will be devoted to identifying and demonstrating indicator web-based tools which can help faculty to appraise a journal’s quality.  Please register at http://cetl.uconn.edu/seminars
Open in order to…find quality teaching materials

 

Paywall: A Conversation about the Business of Scholarship with Filmmaker Jason Schmitt
Wednesday, October 25, 2:30-4:00pm

Konover Auditorium, Thomas J. Dodd Research Center
Help us celebrate Open Access Week by joining award-winning filmmaker Jason Schmitt as we screen and discuss footage from his in-progress documentary Paywall: The Business of Scholarship. Schmitt will be accompanied in the discussion by a panel of UConn faculty who will share their views on making the results of academic research freely accessible online.  Co-sponsored by UConn Humanities Institute
Open in order to…talk about the business of scholarship
Flyer in pdf
Release in pdf

Open Data In Action
Thursday, October 26, 11:00am-2:00pm

Hartford Public Library Atrium
Open Data In Action brings together a wide range of researchers to showcase how their work has benefited from openly and freely accessible data. Presenters from the public, private, and academic sectors will discuss how open data, ranging from historical documents to statistical analyses, is being used to create projects, change policies, or conduct research and highlight the importance open data has on shaping the world around us.

Opening Remarks:
Tyler Kleykamp, Chief Data Officer, State of Connecticut

Presenters:

  • Steve Batt, UConn Hartford/CT State Data Center, Tableau Public and CT Census Data
  • Jason Cory Brunson, UConn Health Center, Modeling Incidence and Severity of Disease using Administrative Healthcare Data
  • Stephen Busemeyer, The Hartford Courant,Journalism and the Freedom of Information
  • Brett Flodine, GIS Project Leader, City of Hartford Open Data
  • Rachel Leventhal-Weiner, CT Data Collaborative, CT Data Academy
  • Anna Lindemann/Graham Stinnett, UConn/DM&D, & Archives, Teaching Motion Graphics with Human Rights Archives
  • Thomas Long, UConn Nursing, Dolan Collection Nursing History Blog
  • Tina Panik, Avon Public Library, World War II Newsletters from the CTDA
  • Jennifer Snow, UConn Library, Puerto Rico Citizenship Archives: Government Documents as Open Data
  • Rebecca Sterns, Korey Stringer Institute, Athlete Sudden Death Registry
  • Andrew Wolf, UConn Digital Media & Design, Omeka Everywhere

Co-sponsored by the Hartford Public Library
Open in order to…share data
Flyer in pdf

Introduction to Data Visualization using Tableau Public
Monday, October 30, 3:00-4:15pm
Homer Babbidge Library, Level 2 Electronic Classroom
Tableau Public is a free version of Tableau business intelligence / visual analytics software, which allows anyone to explore and present any quantitative information in compelling, interactive visualizations. In this hands-on session you will work with different prepared datasets to create online interactive bar graphs, scatterplots, thematic maps and much more, which can be linked to or embedded in blogs or on web sites. Please register at http://workshops.lib.uconn.edu/
Open in order to…visualize research

Digital Scholarship: Partnering for the Future
Joan K. Lippincott, Associate Executive Director, Coalition for Networked Information

Tuesday, November 7, 2-3:30
Homer Babbidge Library, Heritage Room
Researchers in many disciplines are finding that they can ask new kinds of research questions as a result of the rapid growth in the availability of digital content and tools. In addition, the outputs of their research can include many more types of products such as data visualizations, geo-referenced representations, text augmented with images and audio, exhibits on the web, and virtual reality environments. Developing these projects takes a team of people who have a variety of skill sets. These individuals may come from academic departments, the library, the information technology unit, and other specialties. Graduate and undergraduate students are also often part of teams working on digital scholarship projects. In this presentation, Lippincott will provide an update on developments in digital scholarship and will describe existing programs and projects, discuss the importance of physical space, and encourage the development of a campus digital scholarship community.  Co-sponsored by UConn Humanities Institute
Open in order to…develop digital scholarship

The original blog post available here.

Yohei Igarashi, Assistant Professor of English

1. What initially intrigued you about research/teaching in digital humanities or media studies?

I was immersed in media studies from the very start of grad school, but not really before then.  One of the first courses I took as a masters student at Columbia focused on media studies, and later, when I was a Ph.D. student at NYU, there was much intellectual activity around media, mediation, etc.; NYU was – and still is, I would think – an exciting place to study those problems.  The intrigue for me was in the tensions between literature and what is prioritized by other communications media and technologies, and I wrote a media studies-influenced dissertation on Romantic poetry.  As for digital humanities: that too was becoming a part of the conversation during grad school, especially in relation to what has been the main interpretative technique of literary study, “close reading,” but also in connection with (then newish) scholarly resources like ECCO (“Eighteenth Century Collections Online”).  Since then, I participated in a UK project based at Cambridge called The Concept Lab, which involved intense – and sometimes insane – debates about how computationally to model concepts, which brought us into linguistics and other disciplines.  It was a lot of fun working with that group, and we all piled into a van at one point for a brainy road trip in California.  Around that time, I also sat in on a computational linguistics course at UConn, and that was very informative.  A little before I joined The Concept Lab, I wrote an essay on early 20th-century word frequency counts and their unlikely ties to the advent of close reading. That was a fun essay to write, dealing with the pre-digital history of digital “distant reading,” and it drew a little bit on all of the above.

2. How has entering the DHMS realm changed your approach to research and teaching in general? If so, how?

As for research: I tend to be invested in Romantic poetry, media studies, and digital humanities (among other things) and try to keep up with all three, but I don’t ever feel that I exclusively or primarily belong to any one of the them.  Some of my ideas come from wandering somewhere between those three coordinates, and at other times I’m more deliberate about relating them to one another. In terms of teaching: this semester, I’m teaching undergraduate courses, an already memorable and boisterous one on Vladimir Nabokov, the other the gateway course for the English major, and we’re reading Lydia Davis in that one at the moment. All that to say, “DHMS” doesn’t figure too much in my teaching currently.  But, a few years ago, I taught a grad seminar on “Literature, Media, and Technology,” in which we read a lot of media studies and adjacent things, including some of my favorites (e.g., Raymond Williams’s Television which often feels like Williams saying, “Let me show you how to do it right.”) And I’ll be teaching the new “Introduction to Digital Humanities” graduate seminar next year, the first time it’s being offered as such, and I’m looking forward to that.

3. You have three (commitment-free) wishes to receive support for your research/teaching in DH or media studies: what are they?

What a cruel constraint that one is introduced to the elusive genie but the three wishes must be about “research/teaching in DH or media studies”! Time is important and so maybe something that frees up the time of faculty and grad students to learn new disciplines from scratch and be uncomfortable?  See below.

4. First struggles and successes: do you have any best-practice advice?

I don’t, but I would say that I am very behind the idea of this DHMS initiative and graduate certificate, covering and combining as it does “digital humanities” and “media studies.”  It’s still very early on with DHMS endeavors at UConn, but I would like to see more connections with disciplines and departments like linguistics, computer science, statistics, digital media and design, and so on.  I realize that English folks, for example – I include myself – have a repertoire of things they like to say and do with literary and other cultural works (Rita Felski’s The Limits of Critique describes well this now familiar repertoire). But I think it would be exciting too if there were more attempts to go very deep into very different disciplines with very different ways of looking at things. There would be a lot of learning of new languages, terms, concepts, technical skills, etc. This is maybe my idiosyncratic view not of “best practices” but “potentially promising practices.”

5. How would you like to challenge yourself in DH or media studies? Or what is a project you most seek to realize?

Maybe one challenge for me is that I’m what Zadie Smith calls a Person 1.0, which makes certain DHMS topics difficult for me to write on. The Smith essay is now an old essay, but it touches on things like Facebook, and it still sums up a how I feel, for the most part.  But I know too that there are interesting questions to consider in areas like digital sociality, and that might be a new challenge for me, at some point. In the book I’m finishing writing, I talk at one point about how poetry can model a form of mediated interaction that can both encourage and discourage connection – it is another way to talk about introversion and the pressing need for both of those options – and so I might be beginning to engage some of these topics, but in my own oblique way.