From the ad:
The Research Software Developer works in the domains of the Digital Humanities and Research Data. As a shared position between the Center for Digital Humanities (CDH) and Princeton University Library (PUL), the developer will work with faculty, graduate students, undergraduates, and postdoctoral fellows across the disciplines to enhance Princeton’s research community and support data-driven research.
In both CDH and PUL, the developer will create, maintain, configure, adapt, and document source code to support data-driven research, establish best practices, and help develop innovative digital humanities projects in a collaborative environment that includes fellow CDH and PUL staff, academic researchers, and other relevant campus partners.
About the funding:
Greenhouse Studios, in partnership with the University of Connecticut School of Fine Arts, is pleased to announce two funded M.F.A. studentships in Digital Media & Design. The studentships will provide full tuition, health benefits, and a half-time graduate research assistantship with Greenhouse Studios | Scholarly Communications Design at UConn. Greenhouse Studios Graduate Assistants provide artistic, design, creative expression, and technical implementation assistance to Greenhouse Studios projects. Working in a dynamic, team environment alongside faculty, library, editor, and student colleagues, graduate assistants contribute to the production of collaborative multimedia research objects. Other responsibilities include supporting day-to-day operations of the Greenhouse Studios, its directors, and its collaborative workspace. This is an exciting opportunity for an aspiring artist or scholar to work in close collaboration with experts from a range of fields and to experiment with new modes of expression and communication. For more information, please email email@example.com with subject line “Graduate Studentship”.
From the resource:
Jupyter notebooks have seen enthusiastic adoption in the data science community, to an extent where they are increasingly replacing Microsoft Word as the default authoring environment for research. Within digital humanities literature, one can find references to Jupyter notebooks (split off from iPython, or interactive Python, notebooks in 2014) dating to 2015.
Jupyter Notebooks have also gained traction within digital humanities as a pedagogical tool. Multiple Programming Historian tutorials such as Text Mining in Python through the HTRC Feature Reader, and Extracting Illustrated Pages from Digital Libraries with Python, as well as other pedagogical materials for workshops, make reference to putting code in a Jupyter notebook or using Jupyter notebooks to guide learners while allowing them to freely remix and edit code. The notebook format is ideally suited for teaching, especially when students have different levels of technical proficiency and comfort with writing and editing code.
At Play the Past, we’ve had a long-standing interest in the intersection of history, games and education.
Many of our current and legacy contributor hail from the world of education, and you can read them on as varied topics as video games and educational theory, gamification vs. game-based learning, educational design and class-room pedagogy.
In the last decade, we’ve seen a slow but steady rise in classroom experiments with game-based learning – Play the Past contributors who are teachers have often reported on their own game-based learning trials and tribulations. Concurrently, a new field of academic research began to emerge, around the time of this blog’s founding in 2010, to reckon with the rich production of historical discourse that video and table-top games now offer. This field now goes under the name of “Historical Game Studies”.
Beyond isolated applications of game-based learning, we are now reaching a moment in time in which the fruits of this experimentation and research are beginning to show in official educational programs at our post-secondary institutions.
As editor of Play the Past, I participate in a number of communities dedicated to theoretical and applied research around historical game studies. This September, a member of the Facebook Group Historical Game Studies Network, PhD researcher Julien Bazile announced a new undergraduate history course being offered at the University of Sherbrooke, in Quebec, Canada, teaching both the history of video games and representations of history in video games. I messaged Julien to see if he and his course lead, Thierry Robert, would be interested in doing an interview.
Both Thierry and Julien generously accepted my offer. And so we are happy to report that the next three posts will present to you, dear Play the Past readers, the content of these interviews.
Part one, below, is the interview conducted with Thierry Robert, the main instructor and curriculum designer of HST 287 “History, video games and gamification”. The following two interviews will feature Julien Bazile, who is a PhD student at the University of Sherbrooke, and co-lecturer for the HST 287 course. We hope our readers will find the discussion as eye-opening and stimulating as we found it.
From the ad:
This is an opportunity to join the small team working on the ERC-funded ‘TEXTCOURT’ project. Court theatre was a core part of Chinese court and performance culture for centuries, yet its texts have never been fully studied; this project will build the first digital archive of court drama scripts and related foreign records.
Reporting to Professor Tian Yuan Tan, you will be responsible for helping to establish the project’s digital archive, organising a workshop, and co-editing the resulting book volume. You will also provide guidance to other members of the team. You will manage your own academic research and administrative activities, preparing and refining theories, adapting and developing research methodologies, and analysing data from a variety of sources. As well as contributing ideas for activities linked to the project and for future research projects and future funding applications, you will be a source of information and advice to other team members on theoretical, methodological, and technical aspects of digital humanities.
From the CFP:
Proposals are now being accepted for Keystone DH 2020. The Keystone DH annual conference will be held this year July 8-10, 2020 at Temple University in Philadelphia.
Proposals are welcome on any aspect of digital technologies and their application to the humanities and/or social sciences. We highly encourage projects that focus on the collaborative nature of research and teaching. Senior scholars should foreground the labor of students, librarians, and/or the community that sustained the project. We especially welcome proposals with representative and inclusive speaker involvement.
From the CFP:
How can libraries and archives best contribute to emerging critical discourses around algorithms, machine learning, and artificial intelligence? Recounting Algorithms is a two-day workshop, supported by the Council on Library and Information Resources and hosted by the University of Toronto Mississauga Library, that aims to enrich the intersections of critical algorithm studies and academic librarianship.
Efforts to historicize, culturally situate, and foreground algorithmic systems as manifestations of bias and power have flourished recently. Work in this area has contributed important insights into the often oppressive operational conditions of systems used to automate tasks such as hiring, criminal risk assessment, supply chain management, web page ranking, and surveillance. The robustness of this growing field of inquiry is demonstrated in the varied institutional backgrounds of those who have contributed to it—they include journalists, artists, advocates, and academic researchers from across the disciplinary spectrum.
Digital Tools as Critical Theory: Edu-Factory to Digital Humanities
“What once was the factory, is now the university.” This, among other hypotheses, served as a rallying cry and point of departure for the now defunct international Edu-factory Collective. Born online, networked in its organization, and relentless in its criticism of the university’s thorough neoliberalization, the collective’s work is now but a memory, archived on abandoned blogs and in a single edited volume, published in 2009, taken from the collective’s listserv. Featuring writing from major figures in critical university studies, the collective’s hypothesis was equally reliant upon critical theory as it was digital technologies.
I recall the collective’s work in this proposal for two reasons. First, to liken the university to the factory is to better define the prospective character of neoliberalism’s relationship to knowledge production. The claim is not that the university functions exactly as the factory did. It is rather a rhetorical maneuver meant to make exploitation manifest where knowledge is produced. Further, it is to argue that knowledge production, its commodification, and its technologies of dissemination play a specific role in conceptualizing resistance to neoliberal imperatives for education, namely: “to transform the field of tension” comprising our contemporary institutional state “into specific forms of resistance and the organization of escape routes” (1). Digital technologies were the substrate for more complex modes of relation for the collective, including, but not limited to, open-source unionism, the undercommons, and a concept of the global autonomous university.
The second reason I want to reanimate components of the collective’s central hypothesis is to place it in a new context: the rise and continued prominence of digital humanities. Digital Humanities’ rise and the Edu-factory’s fall are coeval. By 2013, the Edu-factory had all but disbanded; coincidently, DH was expanding and hotly debated. The political ideologies guiding both movements do not often overlap. Yet both movements see productive potential in the use and development of digital tools. Where the Edu-factory combined explicitly Marxist and anti-colonial ideologies in its fusion of digital tools and critical theory, DH’s political contours often favor intersectional approaches to computational methods. How the two interface, and further, why DH approaches are favored contemporarily, are questions that may lead to yet unseen prospects for reclaiming knowledge production writ large.
From the ad:
Barnard Library invites applications for an innovative and creative librarian or technologist to develop instructional programs and research consultation services that support the scholarship of faculty, researchers, and students at Barnard College. Reporting to the Director of Teaching, Learning and Digital Scholarship for the Library, the Digital Scholarship Librarian of the Digital Humanities Center will partner with the Faculty Director of the Digital Humanities Center and colleagues from the Milstein Centers for Teaching Learning to create dynamic programming that introduces and invites scholars to utilize emerging methods in the humanities, in both course curricula and independent research.
The Digital Scholarship Librarian will assist in creating a student-focused learning program for digital scholarship across the curriculum. They will be prepared to expand and publicize support for faculty and students who are planning to begin using or increase their use of digital tools and methods (e.g., web mapping, text analysis, digital exhibits, visualization, collective data gathering.)
From the resource:
I am working on reviews for two DH platforms—the international DH2020 conference, and the new Reviews in DH journal. Below, I’m sharing my notes on how to work through writing a review—questions to ask myself, things I want to make sure to include, reminders on how to pay attention to personal bias. These aren’t intended to be guidelines for other folks, so I’ve left out things that I know I will do without having it written down. These personal reminders are followed by some guidelines from the two platforms that I wanted to keep directly visible while reviewing. If you have similar questions, reminders, or notes you use when reviewing that you’d be willing to share, please let me know!
From the CFP:
The Canadian Society for Digital Humanities (http://csdh-schn.org/) invites scholars, practitioners, and graduate students to submit proposals for papers, panels, and digital demonstrations for its annual meeting, which will be held at the 2020 Congress of the Social Sciences and Humanities, Western University, from May 31st to June 3rd, 2020 (https://www.congress2020.ca/). We encourage submissions on all topics relating to both theory and practice in the evolving field of the digital humanities. We are particularly interested in papers that address the Congress 2020 theme of “Bridging Divides: Confronting Colonialism and Anti-Black Racism.”
Editors’ Choice: The Peril and Promise of Historians as Data Creators – Perspective, Structure, and the Problem of Representation
[This is a working draft of a chapter in progress for an edited collection.]Data-Driven History
Digital historians are well-familiar with notion that the larger community of historians generally has been skeptical of and cautious about data-driven scholarship. The controversies surrounding Robert Fogel and Stanley Engerman’s 1974 work, Time on the Cross: the Economics of American Slavery continue to haunt computational work. Regularly, historians who are suspicious of digital methods inquire as to how contemporary digital work can avoid reproducing the interpretive missteps of the era of “cliometrics.” While Time on the Cross often stands in for a whole range of historical scholarship based on quantitative methods, it undoubtedly continues to be a focus point for conversation precisely because those quantitative methods were used to argue that people enslaved in the United States had willingly collaborated with the system of slavery to make it an efficient and productive economic institution. In doing so, Fogel and Engerman made arguments about the interior life and motivations of human beings based on the material conditions and outcomes of their circumstances. In effect, they mistook correlation for causation. The combination of quantitative methods and a history of wrenching human rights violations strikes a discordant tone that hinges on the reduction of human pain and suffering to columns and rows of numbers that can be processed and calculated with an algorithm.
No one pushed back more strongly against Fogel and Engerman’s conclusions than Herbert Gutman. No stranger to quantitative methods, Gutman revisited both the materials that the authors worked with and the conclusions that they drew from that data. He argued that though the system of slavery Fogel and Engerman examined might have seemed efficient, that efficiency was achieved through the pervasive presence and threat of violence rather than through voluntary cooperation or through an adoption of the enslaver’s worldview. An analysis of the economic systems surrounding slavery could not yield knowledge about the inner thoughts, feelings, and motivations of the enslaved as they performed their labor, regardless of how productive they were.
In the wake of the widespread reaction against cliometrics, historians generally have been private about their work with data—presenting only end products, narratives, and summaries, even when that work is data-driven, but not all that computationally sophisticated. Often a small part of a much larger interpretive process, many who do minor work with data never even note that they have a set of spreadsheets or a database that they used to organize and analyze their source materials. This tendency has worked to mask the role that data collection and analysis plays in contemporary historical scholarship.
Editors’ Choice: Digital Activism – Strategic, Inessential, and Inenarrable Alliances for an Ethical and Political Imperative
After my panel presentation at #4C2019 on “Critical Digital Archiving Against the Grain: Precarities, Negotiations, and Possibilities,” one of the attendees came up to me, appreciated my research area, and asked me enthusiastically, “Have you ever imagined how the platform for digital archive built by Non-Westerners would look like?” I just couldn’t answer this question the way he might have preferred. I replied, “You know what, I really dunno. I really cannot speak for unlocatable differences there within what we call Non-Westerners. I can’t speak even for myself actually, let alone for Non-Westerners.” The thing is the kind of homogeneity we incline to accept in the nouns like Non-Westerners backfires the role of activists we might want to assume for ourselves. These nouns should communicate only about alliances among Non-Westerners based on the experiences we share due to different forms of violence caused by colonialism, neocolonialism, and cultural imperialism. But these nouns should not be assumed with any kind of essential feature that ‘represent’ us all. Furthermore, almost all forms of structural violence are inflicted and justified based on identity constructions and assumed/forced essential features in each identity category (race, nationality, sexuality, gender, sex, color, caste, class etcetera). Therefore, if our resistance relies on the same essentialist epistemology and ontology, which is the tool of violence, we end up persisting the same tool of violence confirming that even if the violence is not right, the foundation of violence is. Identity politics is not a solution, but a dangerous solution-posturing perpetuation. To elaborate, I will discuss my doctoral research –on which my 4Cs presentation was –and one of my methodologies, community-based participatory research.Rethinking South Asia via Critical Digital A(na)rchiving
My doctoral research emerges out of the interstices and intersections of South Asian Studies, Postcolonialism, Feminism, and Critical Digital Humanities. My goal through this research is to work on de/reconstructing knowledge about South Asia from the discursive and/or the geographical location of Nepal and to show internal contradictions within the structure of identity categories. To do so, I am building, documenting, and theorizing an online, open-access digital archive of street photography in Nepal and it’s titled Rethinking South Asia via Critical Digital A(na)rchiving: Politics, Im/Possible Ethics, and Anti/Aesthetics. The purpose is to offer multidimensional, contingent, and contradictory narratives about Nepal and South Asia and to develop possible theories, methodologies, and methods for building post/de/anticolonial and feminist digital archives of Other(ed) worlds. And community-based participatory research is one of my methodologies.
From the resource:
Recogito is a software platform that facilitates annotation of text and images. Through both automatic annotation and manual annotation by users, the software links uploaded files to geographic data and facilitates the sharing and downloading of this data in various formats. The software is freely available for download through GitHub, and a version is also hosted online. In the online version, users have a private workspace as well as the ability to share documents among a group or publicly. Recogito was developed from 2013 to 2018 as part of the Pelagios network, a much wider project dedicated to creating gazetteers and tools for annotation, visualization, pedagogy, collaboration, and registering linked data.
From the CFP:
Public History Weekly will hold an International Public History PhD Workshop with the title “Public History in Digital Transformation” on July 2-4 2020. The venue of the workshop will be the Hotel Rigi-Kulm in Switzerland.
The Workshop will offer an international group of 12 to 14 students, who are working on or have just finished an outstanding research project in the domain of Public History, a opportunity to meet for a workshop in Switzerland and to present, discuss, evaluate and improve their projects.
The workshop will offer a small and direct setting. Aside the group of students there will be only a small group of other attendants: The keynote speakers, the organizing group and members of the Public History Weekly Editorial Board. The general public will be able to take part through Live Streamcasts of all presentations and discussions and can ask and comment through dedicated social media offers.
CFP: Between DH and Me – DHQ Special Issue on Black Studies in/for the Rising Digital Humanities Generation
From the CFP:
The goal of this special issue is to set the tone for the field’s future by recognizing Black studies, politics, and scholars as part of the DH canon, not a “niche” pocket of the field. In order to achieve this goal, this issue will explore the state of Black studies in DH through the eyes and work of rising scholars to think through the ways in which Black politics and ideologies are embedded in methods, pedagogy, projects, and practices. Ideal proposals will use DH tools or methods to integrate or break down the ways in which Black politics are present or absent in DH projects and teaching. We seek to include all rising scholars who merge Black studies, the study of Blackness, or Black cultural production and DH. We particularly encourage rising Black DH scholars who recupretivately or restoratively study Black perspectives and materials.
Editors’ Choice: Indigenous Language and Culture Visibility in the Digital Age – Examples from Zapotec Activism
Languages and cultures evolve as fast as the new technologies. However, while the wide digital space is a part of our daily lives as a way to interact with the world, there is still scarce representation of a minority population already using the new technologies, that is to say, the indigenous peoples. As a member of a Zapotec community that holds its own language, its own culture and traditions, its own land and laws; in seeking how to make my community visible as a living culture I have found digital media a useful source for such purpose, allowing me to contribute to the preservation of our traditions, strengthen the use of the Zapotec language, and overall actively engaging native speakers and creating a bridge between them and the digital space. Moderator: Marta Caminero-Santangelo, Center for Latin American & Caribbean Studies.
About the funding:
ACLS invites applications for ACLS Digital Extension Grants, which are made possible by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. This program supports digitally based research projects in all disciplines of the humanities and related social sciences. It is hoped that these grants will help advance humanistic scholarship by enhancing established digital projects, extending their reach to new communities of users, and supporting teams of scholars at all career stages as they participate in digital research projects.
This program aims to extend the opportunity to participate in the digital transformation of humanistic inquiry to a greater number of humanities scholars. ACLS Digital Extension Grants support projects that have advanced beyond the start-up phase of development as they pursue one or more of the following activities…
From the ad:
The Center for Digital Humanities (CDH) at Princeton University invites applications for a Digital Humanities Postdoctoral Perkins Fellow in the Council of the Humanities, anticipated to start in July 2020.
As a member of the CDH team, the Digital Humanities Fellow will devote 50% time to participating in the life of the Center, which includes: collaborating with faculty, graduate students, librarians, programmers, and designers on DH projects, providing consultations, offering workshops, and attending regular staff meetings and CDH events. The other 50% of the candidate’s time will involve developing their own research project. Additionally, the successful candidate is expected to teach at least one, but no more than two, digital humanities courses per year during their fellowship, subject to sufficient enrollments and with the approval of the Dean of the Faculty. When teaching, they will carry the additional title of Lecturer, and research responsibilities will be reduced accordingly. The Perkins Fellow is also expected to participate in the life of the Humanities Council.
From the ad:
The Pennsylvania State University Libraries seeks creative and collaborative applicants for the Center for Black Digital Research (CBDR) Scholarship Librarian. This person will play a key leadership role in developing and coordinating scholarly activities and digital research initiatives in the Center for Black Digital Research. This position, supported by the Provost in collaboration with the College of Liberal Arts, will coordinate efforts in digital scholarship with the Center’s faculty, co-directors, and a managing director. Librarians, staff, and students across the University, as well as community members and external institutional partners, are also key to the Center’s philosophy of engagement. This is a tenure-track faculty position reporting to the Head of Research Informatics and Publishing in the University Libraries, home to the Center.