From the Resource:
This site focuses on mapping the plot structures of interactive narratives, and in particular gamebooks – that is, playable print stories. The project data mines, analyzes, and visualizes the branching plot structures of hundreds of interactive stories, with examples from different decades, nations, and languages.
Find the site here: Transverse Reading Gallery
The LGBTQ Game Archive documents the history of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer content in games. Find it here: Resource: LGBTQ Video Game Archive
My last piece of work of 2017 was a treat, and worth resurrecting this blog for. Some time ago, Tabitha Tuckett in UCL Special Collections and I had a stimulating chat which sparked a handful of potentially intriguing projects. Today’s was to see whether we could find any interesting features associated with the printed diagrams in the margins of the first printed edition of Euclid’s Elements.
Euclid wrote the Elements in about 300BC and it effectively defined mathematics for the next two thousand years. He wrote it in Greek (some of it is probably a compilation of earlier works) and it was translated into Latin but it eventually became lost to Western Europe. Fortunately, it was translated into Arabic and found its way to a remarkable monk called Adelard of Bath who translated it (possibly three times) and other scientific works into Latin in the twelfth century.
The Gutenberg Bible was printed in the 1450s, but the earliest printing techniques were unable to reproduce the diagrams which were needed to accompany the text in the Elements. These are mainly lines, circles and arcs of circles. Text was printed with metal type, dropped capitals were added with carved wooden blocks and then the rubricator came and painted on the red (‘rubric’) highlights (I learnt a lot today!). That was all standard printing practice by the 1480s, but in the dedication to the first printed edition of the Elements, the printer (a chap called Erhardt Ratdolt) says that for the first time, he’d worked out how to print diagrams but wasn’t going to say how he did it. His methods are still unknown. It is believed that he used strips of metal which, as a printer, he would have had in his workshop, bent them to shape and embedded them in a supporting matrix such as wax. UCL Special Collections have a copy of the 1482 first edition (and the 1491 second edition and 400 others, many of which have been digitised).
The question that Tabitha posed was whether we could detect and image depressions in the page which resulted from the printing process which might give clues as to the methods used to print the diagram.
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Read the full post: Imaging the first printed edition of Euclid’s Elements | mainlymedicalphysics
Digital Humanities Now will be taking a break until January 9, but before we go, we’d like to take the time to wrap up 2017. This November marked nine years of publication for Digital Humanities Now. Through the work of our dedicated staff and our generous community of volunteer editors, DHNow continues to build a new model for scholarly communication based on open scholarship, community participation, and attribution.Our Numbers
Our statistics from 2017 testify to the continuing dynamism and value of open-access scholarship in the digital humanities. Over the course of the year, we featured an average of two to three Editors’ Choice pieces each week for a total of 104 published pieces. We also published an average of seven news items each week for a total of 311 items.
The DHNow community keeps growing. We had almost 33,000 users and nearly 100,000 pageviews on our site this year, and we now have just over 26,500 followers on Twitter.
Our Editors-at-Large are still the key to DHNow’s success. In 2017, a total of 83 people volunteered their time to serve as Editors-at-Large for at least one week and, on average, four separate weeks. Of our Editors-at-Large, 64 were new volunteers, and 19 were returning editors. Each week, DHNow had an average of seven Editors-at-Large nominating content for publication. We extend our sincerest gratitude for their time and effort.New Staff and New Roles
Managing such a large publication also depends on the hard work and dedication of the staff at the Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media (RRCHNM). This fall, new Digital History Fellows and a new Graduate Research Assistant began serving rotations as Editor-in-Chief. Bringing their own diverse experiences in digital humanities and digital public history, LaQuanda Walters Cooper, Greta Swain, and Caitlin Hartnett have all contributed fresh perspectives to DHNow. The role of Editor-in-Chief is essential for ensuring that DHNow remains a valuable resource for the field, and we thank all of our Editors-in-Chief for their expertise and enthusiasm.
2017 marked the departure of Managing Editor Amanda Morton, whose commitment and guidance helped expand and improve DHNow over the years that she worked on the publication. Joshua Catalano has stepped into her role, joining our other Managing Editor, Amanda Regan.
In 2017, Laura Crossley joined the DHNow staff as part of her second year of the Digital History Fellowship. Over the summer, she served as full-time Editor-in-Chief. She has also taken on the role of Site Manager, formatting content for publication, conducting correspondence, running DHNow‘s Twitter account, and taking care of other day-to-day administrative tasks.Join us again in 2018!
On behalf of the DHNow staff, thank you for another great year. We look forward to publishing more digital humanities news and scholarship in January 2018. Don’t forget to join us again in the new year by nominating RSS/Atom feeds with relevant digital humanities content and by volunteering to serve as Editor-at-Large for a week.
From the report:
How do we engage students in digital scholarship and support instructors as they incorporate DH or DS practices in their traditional classes? The BUDSC pre-conference was initially convened around these concerns and charged with the task of developing a “DS Cookbook” featuring ideas, best practices, and resources for instructors looking to include digital projects within their courses. We were initially asked to reflect on questions about our own experiences: What would have been helpful to know the first time we attempted to use digital scholarship in the classroom? How can we engage students in digital scholarship with limited budget, resources, or support?
Read the full report here.
About the report:
With nearly a decade of funding data now at our disposal, it seems an opportune moment to reflect on the shape and impact of this grant program. An internal briefing for the Kress Board of Trustees was drafted earlier this year as part of a larger conversation about the future of the field and the Foundation’s strategic priorities. We share a summary distillation of that report here, intended to reflect one committed funder’s view of the evolving field of digital art history. We hope that our perspective might shed light on that field, and on the needs and aspirations of its growing ranks of practitioners.
Read more here.
From the CFP:
We seek scholars at all levels and positions who are producing analytic research on early American studies using computational techniques. This might include those working on language and text analysis, such as topic modeling or word vectors; mapping and geospatial modeling; quantitative analysis of archival databases; or other computational approaches that allow us to rethink and remediate topics and issues in early American history. Submissions could present research results from data mining, offer new interpretations of material culture made possible by image or 3-D analysis, or advance historiographic arguments about the nature and form of scholarship (how does presentation affect argument? how might we best define “research”?) in light of recent advances in delivery platforms. We welcome proposals from scholars in all disciplinary fields that interrogate the early American past, defined broadly. We particularly encourage scholars who have interests in women’s and gender history, race and slavery, and indigenous studies.
Read the full CFP here.
From the ad:
The Director of the Center for Digital Scholarship will provide leadership for the development of a new Center for Digital Scholarship (CDS) at the University of Chicago Library that will provide space, technology, and services to faculty and students to facilitate the exploration of new methodologies enabled by digital technology, the analysis and management of complex data, the visualization of theoretical relationships, and the sharing of research results.
Read the full ad here.
From the ad:
We are looking for an enthusiastic, dedicated researcher and teacher who is willing and able to contribute to the activities of the Department of History and Classical Studies, with an emphasis on the field of digital methods in history.
The Department of History and Classical Studies has decided to strengthen its competences in digital methods in research and teaching, and is therefore establishing this new position. The successful applicant will be expected to further the use of digital methods in history through their own research and teaching. They will also be expected to contribute to the enhancement of competences in digital methods among colleagues in the department. The position is linked to the university’s recently published digitisation strategy, which seeks to strengthen digitisation in research, teaching, the study environment and administration.
Read the full ad here.
From the ad:
The Albin O. Kuhn Library & Gallery at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) seeks an individual to provide vision, leadership and strategic direction for a wide range of digital systems and services including new technology and library legacy technologies. The position is responsible for ensuring quality and reliable delivery of library technology systems and services and should encourage exploration in support of teaching, research, learning and collaboration for current and a new generation of library users. The position works closely with the UMBC Division of Information Technology, library and university personnel. The incumbent, as an Associate Director of the Kuhn Library & Gallery, will be part of the Library Executive Committee and have a voice in developing library policy for the 21st Century. The position reports to the Library Director.
Read the full ad here.
About the survey:
I consider three dimensions of trading zones, as mentioned in an earlier blogpost: 1) cultural maintenance, 2) coercion, and 3) contact & participation. The current survey focuses on this final dimension, the contact & participation. With this dimension, we aim to gain an insight in the ways people in a trading zone participate, and the organisational structures of interdisciplinary collaboration. It is entirely possible that you are part of multiple collaborations; e.g. you could be part of a DH centre that has a lab, and you work on one or more projects. If that is the case, we kindly ask you to take the survey for each individually, and not combine answers in one go. We are particularly interested in collaborations that include historians.
Read more here.
From the resource:
As a current PhD student in the Communications Cultural Studies and New Media Program at McMaster University, my research revolves around the application of new media to create personal archives for individuals or relatively small communities, groups and peoples, primarily marginalized populations, including: ageing populations, people of colour, indigenous peoples, people with accessibility needs and migrant populations, especially those displaced by climate disaster, armed conflict, and global economics.
These new media archives are rooted in enabling the community itself to accessibly and rapidly generate their own archival content in response to the inability of traditionally large institutions like museums and government run organizations to include marginalized people, especially in the face of rapid change caused by climate disaster or armed conflict. The new media forms I intend to include in my research are: audio recording, photography, 3D scanning, and 3D printing. For the Sherman Centre Graduate Residency in Digital Scholarship I will mainly be focused on photogrammetry technology.
Read the full resource here.
This paper explores pragmatic approaches that might be employed to document the behavior of large, complex socio-technical systems (often today shorthanded as “algorithms”) that centrally involve some mixture of personalization, opaque rules, and machine learning components. Thinking rooted in traditional archival methodology — focusing on the preservation of physical and digital objects, and perhaps the accompanying preservation of their environments to permit subsequent interpretation or performance of the objects — has been a total failure for many reasons, and we must address this problem. The approaches presented here are clearly imperfect, unproven, labor-intensive, and sensitive to the often hidden factors that the target systems use for decision-making (including personalization of results, where relevant); but they are a place to begin, and their limitations are at least outlined. Numerous research questions must be explored before we can fully understand the strengths and limitations of what is proposed here. But it represents a way forward. This is essentially the first paper I am aware of which tries to effectively make progress on the stewardship challenges facing our society in the so-called “Age of Algorithms;” the paper concludes with some discussion of the failure to address these challenges to date, and the implications for the roles of archivists as opposed to other players in the broader enterprise of stewardship — that is, the capture of a record of the present and the transmission of this record, and the records bequeathed by the past, into the future. It may well be that we see the emergence of a new group of creators of documentation, perhaps predominantly social scientists and humanists, taking the front lines in dealing with the “Age of Algorithms,” with their materials then destined for our memory organizations to be cared for into the future.
Read the full paper here.
From the ad:
The Assistant Director, Digital Scholarship Initiatives, Library Systems and Collections will share responsibility for strategic planning and resource allocation to develop digital services and steward library collections to support teaching and learning at Salve Regina University. Working with other librarians, staff, and campus partners, the incumbent will envision and implement services for the role of technology and digital scholarship to support the library’s role as a partner in teaching, learning and research. The incumbent will lead a team to continuously enhance the library’s online search interfaces and print and digital collections. This position reports to the library director.
Read full post here.
I recently gave a talk at Brown University on “Institutionalizing Digital Scholarship,” and upon reflection it struck me that the lessons I tried to convey were more generally applicable. Everyone prefers to talk about innovation, rather than institutionalization, but the former can only have a long-term impact if the latter occurs. What at first seems like a dreary administrative matter is actually at the heart of real and lasting change.
New ideas and methods are notoriously difficult to integrate into large organizations. Institutions and the practitioners within them, outside of and within academia (perhaps especially within academia?), too frequently claim to be open-minded but often exhibit a close-mindedness when the new impinges upon their area of work or expertise. One need only look at the reaction to digital humanities and digital scholarship over the last two decades, and the antagonism and disciplinary policing it is still subject to, often from adjacent scholars.
Read more here.
From the ad:
The English Department at Dakota State University invites applications for a tenure-track Assistant Professor of English specializing in Digital Media Design and Digital Humanities. Candidates should demonstrate the ability to teach courses in our English for New Media degree program and some area of specialization in the digital humanities. Preference will be given to candidates who have experience in recruiting and outreach and have a strong background and interest in teaching general education courses in writing and composition. The teaching load is four courses per semester including first-year composition courses and new and existing courses in both our undergraduate English for New Media program and the Digital Humanities graduate certificate program and other duties as assigned.
Read full ad here.
From the post:
Of the adult literary imagination of the time, Leo Bersani writes in A Future for Astyanax that “the confrontation in nineteenth-century works between a structured, socially viable and verbally analyzable self and the wish to shatter psychic and social structures produces considerable stress and conflict.” I think we can see a similar conflict, expressed much more playfully, in books for children of the past two hundred years or so. Enter the UCLA collection, which includes not only historic children’s books but present-day exhibit catalogs and more, here.
Read more here.
In their 2005 article in First Monday, Daniel J. Cohen and Roy Rosenzweig recount the story of a remarkably prescient colleague, Peter Stearns, who “proposed the idea of a history analog to the math calculator, a handheld device that would provide students with names and dates to use on exams—a Cliolator, he called it, a play on the muse of history and the calculator.”  Cohen and Rosenzweig took Stearns’s idea and ran with it. They set out to build the Cliolator in the form of a software algorithm called “H-Bot” which served as a history fact finder, scouring the web for information to answer questions about the past. Even with all its limitations and the limits to what was available online in 2004-05, H-Bot was remarkably accurate. It was especially adept at identifying dates and simple definitions. Where it fell short was in more complex questions, including “hows” and “whys”.
Since 2005, the web has grown well beyond the scale of information available to H-Bot, providing a much larger reservoir of data to crawl. And artificial intelligence and machine learning software have brought us much closer to the so-called Cliolator. Google, Amazon, Microsoft, and Apple have all developed quasi-artificial intelligence voice assistants that can parse natural language queries and supply answers drawn from the web… Are these the ultimate versions of the Cliolator? I decided to put one to the test to see how well this form of artificial intelligence could perform in my introductory Canadian history course.
Read full post here.
This past week, I had the opportunity to give a talk as part of Recovering the US Hispanic Literary Heritage’s new US Latina/o Digital Humanities (#usLdh) Incubator series. If you missed it, you can access our group notes on Google Drive or Storify. I’ve also started a Zotero Group with a growing bibliography related to US Latina/o Digital Humanities (which includes sources on DH, decolonial theory, postcolonial theory, and more). Feel free to join and contribute to the growing bibliography!
My talk and this blog post are not meant as an in-depth analysis of decolonizing DH, instead, my goal is to provide a brief overview of the relationship between coloniality and the archive as well as a discussion of decoloniality not just as a theory but also as a methodology. This is meant to serve as a springboard for further discussion on decolonial DH methodology.
Read full post here.
Every aspect of our social and economic lives. New data systems have tremendous potential to empower communities of color. Tools like statistical modeling, data visualization, and crowd-sourcing, in the right hands, are powerful instruments for fighting bias, building progressive movements, and promoting civic engagement. But history tells a different story — one in which data is too often wielded as an instrument of oppression, reinforcing inequality and perpetuating injustice. Redlining was a data-driven enterprise that resulted in the systematic exclusion of Black communities from key financial services. More recent trends like predictive policing, risk-based sentencing, and predatory lending are troubling variations on the same theme. Today, discrimination is a high-tech enterprise. In this opening panel, we discuss the role that data and technology can and should play in Black communities.
Watch the discussion here.