THATCamp AHA 2014 At the Annual Meeting of the American Historical Association | Washington, D.C. | January 5, 2014 Sun, 05 Jan 2014 21:34:39 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Dork Shorts URLs Sun, 05 Jan 2014 17:01:06 +0000 Continue reading ]]>

Ashley Young, Duke University: Digital Tools Bootcamp

Cameron Blevins, Stanford University: Geography of the Past credits his colleague @jaheppler

Irene Meisel, CUNY Grad Center: online historical role-play with a Drupal site

Jeff Mummert, K-12 and ; gaming and education,

Joan Fragaszy Troyano, RR-CHNM: DHNow, Journal of Digital Humanities, Global Perspectives on Digital History

Lincoln Mullen, Brandeis University: The American Converts Database

NEH, represented by Jen Serventi and David Weinstein: Digital projects are supported by all divisions and by state and territorial humanities councils. Individual fellowships can support digital projects. Attend institutes. Talk to Program Officers.

Omeka, represented by Patrick Murray-John: Omeka 3.0 moves beyond the printed page in Exhibit Builder.

Robin Butterhof, Library of Congress: Chronicling America

Shane Landrum, Florida International University: Crowdsourced transcription for U.S.
women’s history using Children’s Bureau letters.

Sheila Brennan, RR-CHNM: Histories of the National Mall

]]> 1
Locations of interest near THATCamp AHA Sun, 05 Jan 2014 05:18:15 +0000 Continue reading ]]>

Below you will find a map with markers to help orient you during your time at THAT Camp. The Omni Shoreham Hotel, where THAT Camp will take place is marked with a dark red marker and label. There are quite a few places to go for lunch in the area. Some options are marked in light green. Other lighter-red color markers represent places where you might find coffee or a light snack during the day.

(just a topic) Making / History Kits Sun, 05 Jan 2014 05:08:51 +0000 Continue reading ]]>

I’m realizing it’s been three days of AHA and I haven’t heard a thing about 3D printing or hardware hacking or making or the physical side of the digital turn. Wanna talk about this and the implications for historical research or pedagogy?

See, for example, this poster on “Kits for Cultural History” from the U. Victoria Maker Lab in the Humanities: or some of the related blog posts at


Higher Ed Instruction and Collaboration w/ GLAMS? Sun, 05 Jan 2014 05:00:17 +0000 Continue reading ]]>

If others are interested, I'd like to brainstorm some ways that historians who teach at the college or grad level might be interested in collaborating with GLAMS–that is, galleries, libraries, archives and museums–in specifically new-media, social-media, tech-enabled, digital ways as part of their courses.  I'm picturing anything from video conferences or web chats with curators to course projects that build upon or enhance knowledge about an institution's already-digitized materials. The Internet allows for easy collaboration across distances and institutions, but its vastness can also make it hard to identify the colleagues, venues or topics around which to strike up those collaborations.  How can GLAMS not already located on campuses best offer "remote" programs or services through or to instructors that will involve higher-ed students in actively using their collections?

Digital History and Service Learning Sun, 05 Jan 2014 04:22:11 +0000 Continue reading ]]>

Talk session proposal:  I would like to propose a session to discuss and/or brainstorm ways to use digital history tools to encourage students to engage with the history of their local community. As a reference point for the discussion, I am directing a service learning project this spring in which students will use wikispaces to document the history of our local community. Some questions to consider might be: What kinds of creative uses might there be for building history pages with wikispaces? What other digital tools might be used to connect students to the community? Conversely, how best to encourage community interest in students’ work? How to develop a collaborative project that might involve other departments or disciplines? While my interest is primarily in student learning and collaboration, I’d be happy to bring these questions to a larger discussion of collaboration in digital history as well.

(Talk, Resource-Making) Are you Annotating or Comparing Digital Images in a CMS? Sat, 04 Jan 2014 23:08:21 +0000 Continue reading ]]>

What have you used in your class or in your own research to annotate images or to compare images…that you recommend or reject? I’d like to create a public Zotero group, at a minimum, of recommended tools or plugins.

For those working with visual culture, we analyze images regularly. But, as has been noted in some of the conference’s digital history sessions, we all work with digital images at different stages of our research or teaching (which may actually be digitized documents). I think this session could be of interest to folks engaging in all types of history research or teaching.

I’m interested in ways that we can annotate, by highlighting or selecting portions of images, for annotating and/or linking those highlighted areas to other sources. I’d also like to make those annotated images easily available within a CMS like WordPress, for others to use or to annotate themselves.

Flickr lets you highlight and annotate, but only within Flickr. Thinglink is a service that lets you annotate and embed, and then anyone else can access those images for annotating or sharing themselves. Omeka even has a deprecated plugin, but it was somewhat limited in scope.

For my own project, I would like to be able to annotate images within WP + Comment Press. I imagine others have or might want to integrate a similar exercise within their blog or WP-powered syllabus.

If I’ve missed something big (which is very possible), please let me know in the comments.

For this session, I’d also be willing to test out some tools, plugins, or services that other participants know of and use and are interested in other feedback.

]]> 1
(Talk) Digital Dissertations Sat, 04 Jan 2014 18:07:40 +0000 Continue reading ]]>

For grad students and faculty alike, digital components to dissertations present opportunities to consider the nature of scholarly inquiry, research, and publication.  I am imagining a session designed for graduate students (and faculty who are interested, but more for the benefit of students) who either are or would like someday to include digital components to their dissertation.  In the session, we would share challenges, opportunities, best practices, lessons learned, and also hear from others about what worked and what was less useful along the way in completing such a dissertation.  I’m happy to share my experiences completing a dissertation with a significant digital component, but I’m also eager to help graduate students from across institutions connect and to create support networks and share lessons learned.  The purpose here is not just to commiserate over the challenges, but to help brainstorm alternative approaches.  The ideal outcome would be a Google document with suggestions for 1.) what challenges are most frequently faced 2.) ways in which those challenges have been addressed and 3.) challenges graduate students feel still need to be overcome as they move ahead with their work.

Proposal: What sort of digital initiatives should the AHA be undertaking? Sat, 04 Jan 2014 17:14:28 +0000 Continue reading ]]>

In my new role (both for me and for the organization) at the AHA I am tasked with thinking about how the AHA can use the digital environment to better serve our members, the discipline of history, and the historical profession. This is a process that involves creating resources, building services, and leveraging the great work being done in the digital realm across the discipline and on the open web. This should be an exchange between the association and its members (among others) and involve an ongoing dialogue.

I would like to hear from campers what they want from their learned society in the digital realm. How can we utilize the digital environment to better serve the historical profession in the ways they interact with the association, each other, their students, other scholars and the wider world?

Teaching fully-online courses: what works for history? Sat, 04 Jan 2014 15:12:50 +0000 Continue reading ]]>

This session may fall outside the usual range of digital-humanities topics for a THATCamp, but so be it.

I’d like to convene a session on teaching history in fully-online formats– that is, when you may never meet your students in the flesh. At the urban public US university where I teach, there’s increasing pressure to bring more of our courses online, up to and including a fully-online BA in history. We’re encouraged to follow the Quality Matters standards for peer-reviewed best practices in fully-online course design. I was originally suspicious of Quality Matters, not least because of its Orwellian naming, but it’s been very useful for learning how to teach online.

So, how do you teach history online? 3 semesters ago, I walked into a job with a substantial online-teaching component and no prior experience. Frankly, I’ve been making it up as I go along, with the help of a staff instructional designer and my university’s Center for the Advancement of Teaching. Although my initial efforts were very rough, things have improved, and I’m now cautiously optimistic about online courses compared to face-to-face courses. I’d like to share some of what’s been working for me and hear from others about your experiences.

Some topics we might discuss include:

* How to use discussion forums, with or without instructor participation
* Assignments that work for teaching critical-thinking skills in history
* The challenges of self-directed learning; motivating students by teaching curiosity
* Journals and reflective assignments
* Designing assignments that are manageable to grade with a large student load (90+ students per instructor per semester)
* synchronous meetings (chat, Adobe Connect, Skype, etc) and when they’re most effective
* team-based learning (I’m not doing it, but I hear it can work very well online)
* peer-review assignments as a learning tool (via or similar)
* mini-lectures and when they’re useful
* teaching strategies from MOOCs that we can adapt for smaller courses

So, who’s interested? Comment here with a little more information about how this session relates to you. If we do this, it’ll need to be in the morning, because I need to depart by 1pm for my flight home.

(Quasi-Make) Proposal: Check Me Out: Digital History Evaluations Sat, 04 Jan 2014 04:25:58 +0000 Continue reading ]]>

For my proposal, I’m offering up a roughly formed-slammed together session that is sorta make and sorta talk based. Throughout the last few years, the evaluation of digital scholarship has been of growing focus particularly within the context of scholarly communication and, to my mind, within the digital humanities/digital literatures communities and the new media/media studies communities.

There’s a laundry list of voices being thrown into the mix—whether in media (e.g. the numerous Chronicle, Slate, InsideHigherEd articles), in scholarship (e.g. evaluation as a key consideration in monograph length dh works), in presentations (see the tweetstream from AHA2012/2013/2014 or DH2012/2013), or in policies (see MLA’s guidelines). The Journal of Digital Humanities and others are steadily increasing the review of digital projects. Even JAH has gotten into the game of evaluating digital projects as a key scholarly activity.

Pedagogically, we are seeing evaluation exercises becoming more prominent in both undergraduate and graduate courses. Brian Croxall’s done this with his undergrads, Doug Seefeldt and Will Thomas have done this with their grad students and there are a growing number of Digital History courses that ask students to evaluate digital projects….AHA’s even offered a report (under the rubric of public history) about best practices for review.

Yet, for all of these discussions and resources about the value of digital work within teaching and promotion, there is little consensus for digital historians on the explicit components that projects should be reviewed, assessed, and evaluated on. I’m proposing to lead a group think exercise where we create a checklist, question list, or some other sort of evaluative framework that could be used by non-digital historians to familiarize themselves with how digital history projects should be reviewed and evaluated. I imagine something that reflects a shared value discussion…what matters within digital history and how to we want to be evaluated on our scholarship? If a book review does these certain things to be considered a “good review” then what must we as digital historians look for in digital projects for a project to rated a “good” digital project.


]]> 1