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Community-Curated Content Published by the Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media
Updated: 1 hour 37 min ago

Editors’ Choice: Indie, Open, Free: The Fraught Ideologies of Ed-Tech

Tue, 06/13/2017 - 11:30

I grew up in a middle-class American household, and I studied classical music. I took private lessons from seventh grade on. I owned my own instrument from eighth grade on. I upgraded to a professional-grade instrument at age 20 (with money saved from a paper route in junior high combined with part-time, minimum-wage income during high school and college). My parents paid for weekly lessons and enough of my needs (and wants) during the academic year that I did not need a part-time job in high school outside the summers, leaving me time to practice and compose. They paid for my youth orchestra tuition, college audition trips, etc.

When I wasn’t studying music, I was often playing around with the family computer. At age 6, my dad bought a Tandy TRS-80 4P, and my life as a hacker began, painstakingly typing in BASIC code from my 3-2-1 Contact magazines and making my own customizations to the programs. In middle school, my dad would go to weekend programming seminars and then give me the books when he got home, so I could teach myself database programming. The web entered the picture in college, where one of my work-study jobs was helping maintain the music conservatory website. And in graduate school, I had the time (and the funding) to teach myself a modern programming language for the purpose of doing computational statistics as part of my dissertation in music analysis.

There’s no mistaking the privileged background I come from. And yet, when I think about the current Western economy, I wonder if someone growing up with my background today could make it. In the context of the modern music industry, even the indie music scene, all those lessons and instruments I had would get me just about to the financial level of indie electronica ― the equivalent of a Mac, a mic, ProTools, and time/space to work. If I had to pay for studio time, edit and mix my own tracks, all the while collaborating with others, I wouldn’t have been able to pursue music.

But that’s where we are with indie rock today. The initial financial onus has shifted from the labels — scouting local music scenes for garage bands with The Sound — to the musicians, producing commercial-grade cuts themselves until they make their big break on the internet.

Web development is in a similar position, as DIY-friendly tools like WordPress, jQuery, and the LAMP stack are in decreasing demand among employers.

Read More: Indie, Open, Free: The Fraught Ideologies of Ed-Tech

Editors’ Choice: Open Stacks: Making DH Labor Visible

Tue, 06/13/2017 - 11:00

Laura Braunstein is the Digital Humanities Librarian at Dartmouth College and co-edited Digital Humanities and the Library: Challenges and Opportunities for Subject Specialists (ACRL 2015).

Last June, a group of librarians, technologists, and scholars met at Middlebury College in Vermont to think about how to move forward on a proposed network, the Digital Liberal Arts Exchange, that would support digital humanities scholarship and teaching across institutional boundaries. There was much discussion, as we looked out over the Green Mountains on a perfect early summer day, of the particular stresses on library infrastructure when it came to supporting, leading, and engaging with digital projects, in contrast to how libraries support traditional humanities scholarship. At one point, someone noted that the conversation was drifting back toward the tired dichotomy of “hack” and “yack”–that is, DH as coding and making things versus DH as critique of digital culture. I suggested that we might think about a third term–“stack”: the often invisible technological, social, and physical structures within which scholarship is produced and disseminated. Since that meeting, I’ve been considering different concepts of “stack” in relationship to DH as models for these structures of labor. I’ve also found myself having more and more conversations–at work, at conferences, on social media–about how exposing DH infrastructure (in terms of how it supports both making/”hack” and thinking/”yack”) can reveal the conditions that make all kinds of scholarship possible.

I’m curious to explore what these three frames–technological, social, and physical–could offer in terms of different ways to understand and reveal DH labor in the academy.

Read More: Open Stacks: Making DH Labor Visible ← dh+lib

We’ll Be Back!

Wed, 05/31/2017 - 09:00

DHNow will be on summer hiatus from May 31 – June 12. Please return on June 13 for more digital humanities from the open web.

Editors’ Choice: Settlement and Removal – Poor Relief and Exclusion in 18th-century London

Thu, 05/25/2017 - 11:00

From the Act for the Relief of the Poor of 1662, or so-called “Settlement Act” onwards, various pieces of 17th- and 18th- century legislation formally codified entitlement to parochial poor relief by “settlement“. The main ways of gaining a settlement of your own were: completing a formally contracted apprenticeship; at least one year in continuous service; renting a house worth at least £10 a year; paying parish taxes or serving as a parish officer. Many people’s settlements, however, were ‘derived’: a married woman from her husband; children born in wedlock from their parents. But illegitimate children got their settlement from their place of birth. And a new settlement erased previous ones.

In theory, everyone in England and Wales in the 18th century ‘belonged’ to a parish, somewhere. Which was fine… as long as you had a settlement in a place where you actually wanted to be. But the flip side of settlement was removal: exclusion was key to the workings of a locally-based poor relief policy.

Read full post here.

Job: North-West University, Associate Professor/Professor -Digital Humanities

Tue, 05/23/2017 - 14:00

From the ad:

The position as research manager is a high level position functioning within the South African Centre for Digital Language Resources (SADiLaR) as a research entity hosted by the North-West University. This implies providing academic leadership as the first professor/associate professor in Digital Humanities in South Africa, whilst fostering excellence in research and teaching. This is a national centre supported by the Department of Science and Technology (DST) initiating and coordinating dedicated projects being executed by the Centre itself, as well as by the Nodes of the Centre comprising the University of Pretoria, University of South Africa, the Meraka Institute of the CSIR, CTexT, as well.

Read full ad here.

Conference: Free workshop(s), Hosted by MITH

Tue, 05/23/2017 - 13:00

From the post:

MITH is hosting the 2017 annual conference of the Society for Textual Scholarship (STS), Textual Embodiments. As part of our pre-conference activities, we are hosting five FREE workshops on Wednesday, May 31st. Conference attendees have had the first chance to register and select workshops, and now we are opening up all remaining slots to the public (but please note – you can still register for the full conference as well!). Remaining slots are first come, first served. We will announce when workshops are full on our Twitter feed.

Read more here.

Job: Digital Arts & Humanities Specialist, Tufts Technology Services

Tue, 05/23/2017 - 12:00

From the ad:

Reporting directly to the Associate Director of Geospatial Technology Services, the Digital Humanities Specialist is responsible for working closely with a diverse client base comprised of faculty and students to help them utilize innovative Digital Humanities methods and technologies to achieve their scholarly teaching and research goals.

Read full ad here.

Resource: tidycensus R Package

Tue, 05/23/2017 - 11:30

From the resource:

tidycensus is an R package that allows users to interface with the US Census Bureau’s decennial Census and five-year American Community APIs and return tidyverse-ready data frames, optionally with simple feature geometry included…tidycensus is designed to help R users get Census data that is pre-prepared for exploration within the tidyverse, and optionally spatially with sf.

Access resource here.

CFP: Digital Humanities and South Asian Studies

Tue, 05/23/2017 - 11:00

From the CFP:

South Asian Review, the refereed journal of the South Asian Literary Association, invites fresh submissions for its 2018 Special Topic Issue, 39.1: “Digital Humanities and South Asian Studies.” This issue of SAR will be devoted to South Asian and diasporic interventions in digital humanities.

Read full CFP here.

Editors’ Choice: A Brief Visual History of MARC Cataloging at the Library of Congress

Thu, 05/18/2017 - 11:00

The Library of Congress has released MARC records that I’ll be doing more with over the next several months to understand the books and their classifications. As a first stab, though, I wanted to simply look at the history of how the Library created digital card catalogs to begin with.

Read full post here.

Job: Digital Technologies Librarian at Trinity University

Tue, 05/16/2017 - 13:00

Trinity University is recruiting a Digital Technologies Librarian.

From the ad:

The Digital Technology Librarian will assist librarians and teaching faculty with the use of emerging teaching technologies and other digitally based tools, in support of information literacy goals and curricular requirements . . . S/he also will assist with maintaining the library’s website, conducting usability studies and assessing technology-based teaching and access. Finally, the successful candidate will assist in the development of tools and systems that support digital scholarship, particularly in the humanities.

Read full ad here.

Resource: The Hitchhiker’s Guide to d3.js

Tue, 05/16/2017 - 12:30

From the resource:

The landscape for learning d3 is rich, vast and sometimes perilous. You may be intimidated by the long list of functions in d3’s API documentation or paralyzed by choice reviewing the dozens of tutorials on the home page. There are over 20,000+ d3 examples you could learn from, but you never know how approachable any given one will be.

Access resource here.

Job: Visiting Assistant Professor

Tue, 05/16/2017 - 12:00

From the add:

The Ohio State University Libraries (OSUL) seeks a dynamic librarian for the position of Mary P. Key Diversity Resident… The Resident will contribute to the Libraries’ ongoing efforts to deeply engage with and support digital humanities scholarship by acting as a liaison for multidisciplinary area studies research centers. Situated at the intersection of disciplines, resources, and services, this position will support the University’s efforts to create distinctive and internationally recognized scholarship and to facilitate knowledge exchange on a global scale.

Read full add here.

Job: Professor of Digital Humanities at University of Newcastle

Tue, 05/16/2017 - 11:30

The University of Newcastle, Australia is seeking a Professor of Digital Humanities.

From the ad:

The Professor of Digital Humanities will lead the development of Digital Humanities in the School of Humanities and Social Sciences and across the Faculty and wider university. The role is a leader in research and teaching in the context of new multidisciplinary clusters who can bring staff and students to take advantage of the new opportunities provided by digital resources, tools and communication, and thus enhance the School’s role as a significant contributor globally to innovative teaching and research in humanities and social science.

Read full ad here.

Editors’ Choice: A Gospel of Health and Salvation

Thu, 05/11/2017 - 12:00

This is part of a series of technical essays documenting the computational analysis that undergirds my dissertation, A Gospel of Health and Salvation. For an overview of the dissertation project, you can read the current project description at You can access the Jupyter notebooks on Github.

My goals in sharing the notebooks and technical essays are three-fold. First, I hope that they might prove useful to others interested in taking on similar projects. In these notebooks I describe and model how to approach a large corpus of sources in the production of historical scholarship.

Second, I am sharing them in hopes that “given enough eyeballs, all bugs are shallow.” If you encounter any bugs, if you see an alternative way to solve a problem, or if the code does not achieve the goals I have set out for it, please let me know!

Third, these notebooks make an argument for methodological transparency and for the discussion of methods as part of the scholarly argument of digital history. Often the technical work in digital history is done behind the scenes, with publications favoring the final research products, usually in article form with interesting visualizations. While there is a growing culture in digital history of releasing source code, there is little discussion of how that code was developed, why solutions were chosen, and what those solutions enable and prevent. In these notebooks I seek to engage that middle space between code and the final analysis – documenting the computational problem solving that I’ve done as part of the analysis. As these essays attest, each step in the processing of the corpus requires the researcher to make a myriad of distinctions about the worlds they seek to model, distinctions that shape the outcomes of the computational analysis and are part of the historical argument of the work.

Read More: Know Your Sources (Part 1), Extracting Text from PDFs, and Downloading Corpus Files.

Job: Digital Collections Program Manager

Thu, 05/11/2017 - 11:30

From the announcement:

Harvard Library seeks a skilled, innovative, and collaborative professional to serve as Digital Collections Program Manager at Houghton Library.  The incumbent leads, coordinates, participates in, and/or collaborates on a series of initiatives and activities designed to build digital collections that facilitate access to and discovery of the library’s holdings, as well as new research and teaching methods utilizing digitized collections. 

Source: Harvard University – Job details

Job: University of Massachusetts Amherst Data Services Librarian

Thu, 05/11/2017 - 00:00
From the job ad: The UMass Amherst Libraries seek a dynamic and innovative Data Services Librarian. The incumbent will lead the UMass Amherst Libraries‘ efforts to support faculty, researchers and students in the management of their research data throughout the research life-cycle.

Source: University of Massachusetts Amherst Job Posting: Data Services Librarian (Librarian III or IV)

Resource: Introduction to the Principles of Linked Open Data

Tue, 05/09/2017 - 12:00

From the resource:

This lesson offers a brief and concise introduction to Linked Open Data (LOD). No prior knowledge is assumed. Readers should gain a clear understanding of the concepts behind linked open data, how it is used, and how it is created.

Access resource here.

Editors’ Choice: Study Early America? You Should Look at the Loyalist Claims

Tue, 05/09/2017 - 11:00

If you are a friend, family member, or co-worker of mine there is a really good chance you’ve heard me blurt something out about the Loyalist Claims Commission. You were also probably very nice about it and kindly nodded your head when you had no idea what in the world I was talking about. Bless you.

However, I find it interesting that when I bring up the Loyalist Claims in my Early Americanist circles that the majority of people scratch their heads when I ask if they’ve checked for evidence in this vast document collection. Why would someone who studies anything outside of loyalism care to look through the thousands of documents dedicated to a mass reimbursement program? Well, I’ve got about 2000 words to go, so let me convince you.

Read full post here.

CFP: Open Epigraphic Data Unconference

Thu, 05/04/2017 - 14:00

From the CFP:

This one-day workshop, or “unconference,” brings together scholars, historians and data scientists with a shared interest in classical epigraphic data. The event involves no speakers or set programme of presentations, but rather a loose agenda, to be further refined in advance or on the day, which is to use, exploit, transform and “mash-up” with other sources the Open Data recently made available by the Epigraphic Database Heidelberg under a Creative Commons license. Both present and remote participants with programming and data-processing experience, and those with an interest in discussing and planning data manipulation and aggregation at a higher level, are welcomed.

Read full CFP here.


Directory of DH Scholars

Looking for collaborators, expertise, or other scholars with related interests? 

Please see our list of affiliated scholars at KU.

If you would like to be included in this list please complete our affiliated scholars form.


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