Photographic Imaging Techniques

Welcome to Mitchell from Classics at Queen’s!

I’m interested in learning about new technologies and how people in others humanities departments are making use of them. I also would like to discuss some of the photographic techniques that have been of use in my research on Egyptian ostraka. I feel that people studying damaged or barely visible texts would find it worthwhile and useful to hear about. Learning about other technologies that would be applicable to my field is also an important reason that I would like to attend.

I’m a graduate student in the Department of Classics at Queen’s University. I’m currently working on the research portion of my degree, which for me involves working with the Royal Ontario Museum’s collection of Egyptian ostraka. Most of these artifacts have text written on them, and in the vast majority of cases, this text has faded considerably over the past two millennia. Using infrared photography it is possible to bring the text back to a much more legible state, thus allowing for further study of pieces once considered illegible. I’m planning to continue my academic career in classical studies after I finish my master’s degree and hope to learn as much as possible about imaging techniques that are applicable to my field.

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Open Source vs. Commercial Software

We’re delighted to welcome Dr. George Bevan from Classics at Queen’s!

For THATCamp I am interested in looking at tools for effective dissemination of Digital Humanities scholarship. How can large datasets, such a 3D volumes or interactive visuals, be effectively brought to the web for consumption by the public and fellow scholars. In addition, I am particularly interested in the debate over open source vs. closed source/commercial scholarship in the Digital Humanities.

I teach Late Antiquity, as well as Greek and Latin language, in the Dept. of Classics. Increasingly, however, I have gone back to my roots in Math and Computer Science to bring new technologies from Science and Engineering to bear on historical problems, both ancient and recent. These technologies include computed tomography, 3D scanning, photogrammetry, RTI, EDXRF/WDXRF and Gigapixel imaging.

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Paradoxes, Technology, and Academic History

Welcome to Tamarra from History at Queen’s:

I would like to attend THATCamp because I am interested in the conservation of the humanities in a technological world. The significance of the humanities relies on its endeavour to remember fixed events in the past while we constantly progress during the elapsing of time. This leads to a slow acceptance of technological advances in academia as there is a conflict between old elements of civilization and new components of society. However, one can observe history in order to view the importance of technological contributions. Whereas the phonograph was once viewed as a technological marvel, we now perceive it as a primitive music player. It is important to maintain the humanities even in a society in which the rate of technological advancement is exponential. As technology eventually becomes history, it is necessary to preserve historical viewpoints in order to comprehend technology more thoroughly.

I am a developing researcher who is fascinated with paradoxes. Last year, I wrote a thirty page paper on Oscar Wilde’s “The Picture of Dorian Gray”. In this paper I examined how the protagonist’s downfall results from his inability to reconcile the repressive nature of Victorian society with the hedonistic movement that lurks underneath the world of the gentility. This interest in paradoxes also extends to the domain of religious history, which I hope to eventually research extensively. I am interested in understanding the struggle of intellectuals throughout history who had to reconcile faith and reason. I am also intrigued by how Christianity transformed from a secretive cult to a world power.

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Archival Work and Indigenous Literature

Welcome to Trevor from English at Queen’s:

I think that I have tenuous grasp on the capabilities the digital world has on improving research in English Literature. That is to say, I see the intersections but I couldn’t tell you how the traffic lights work. I am hoping THATCamp introduces me to an economy of thought that I know little about. My main area of interest is Indigenous Literature. If we consider the role of the digital humanities in archival work and information management more generally, I think there are valuable insights to be gleaned from a workshop such as THATCamp. I am hoping to apply what I learn in February to mobilizing a digital footprint of my work in Indigenous literature. A necessary first step in the currently on going demonstrations of Idle No More — a movement I feel like the digital medium has propelled into the mainstream with an alarming velocity. I would like to learn how to contribute. THATCamp seems like a logical first step for me.

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Language Acquisition

Esperanza is joining us from Linguistics at Western!

I am interested in Language Acquisition, notably 1) Acquisition of Japanese language case by Anglophones, Hispanophones, Francophones, Germanophones, as well 2) Acquisition of English by Japanese speakers.

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Social Impacts of Information and Communications Technologies

We are delighted to welcome Dr. Nasser Saleh, Head of the Engineering and Science Library to THATCamp.

I am interested in the social impacts of Information and Communications Technologies (ICT) on everyday life. I believe that this event will be a good presentation of the intersection between humanities and technology.

My educational background ranges from a Ph.D in information studies (McGill), M.Sc. in library and information science, M.Sc. in telecommunications and networks Management (Syracuse). My research interests are mainly into educational informatics, information behaviour, and social media.

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Digital Research and Social Media in the Classroom

Meaghan will be joining us from Queen’s Cultural Studies!

I want to come to THATcamp because I have followed THATcamp twitter feeds from all over for a while now and I would love the opportunity to participate in a giant brainstorm session on the connections between the humanities, digital culture and pedagogical practice. As a grad student and TA I use twitter to connect with scholars and students all over the world to gain insight into not only the latest research surrounding my own academic interests but I also find I am able to gain valuable information to bring back to the classroom. It would be great to talk about how to better utilize such social media practices.

I am a PhD student in Cultural Studies at Queen’s where I study cultural production and development in the context of urban west Kingston, Jamaica. My background in humanities and technology began in my undergrad where I studied English and Media, Information and Technoculture. It was there that I learned to create websites, write in HTML, and design digital diasporas. [….]Currently, I am working towards completing my dissertation and also trying (and failing) to master Python. My thoughts on Slavoj Žižek? He needs a good editor and some yoga.

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Proposals coming soon and welcome to all our new registrants!

We have a number of new registrants that we’re thrilled to welcome to THATCamp QueensU! Over the next couple days, we will continue publishing everyone’s research interests here on the blog so that you can begin to think about sessions you’d like to propose or attend, connections you’d like to make, or discussions you’d like to have.

In the meantime, please keep an eye out for a few emails from us: a request for proposals, and the details of scheduling and operations for the day of THATCamp. Proposals should be between 100 and 300 words long, and will be due on the 5th of February. Come prepared to vote on which proposals you’d like to attend.


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The Digital Trojan Horse: Is DH Being Co-opted?

If it is true that digital humanities has become, in the past few years, the new “Big Thing,” it is also true that one of the reasons that this is so is a new-found enthusiasm for technology on the part of postsecondary institutions and grant funding agencies. This has in some ways been a very good thing, for it has helped spur new projects and new centres for innovative explorations of the humanities through the digital. At the same time, however, we need to ask what costs we may be incurring by a sometimes unquestioning acceptance of such “assistance.” Are the goals of those now throwing money at DH reconcilable with those of digital humanists themselves? To what degree are we potentially selling our souls in buying into the kind of corporate reasoning that sees the digital as a vehicle for corporatization and cost-cutting?

The digital humanities is hardly apolitical, and yet the field does sometimes seem oblivious to the full implications, not of what we “do,” but of how what we “do” is read and employed by administrators and funders. As Alan Liu observed in an address to MLA 2011, “How the digital humanities advance, channel, or resist the great postindustrial, neoliberal, corporatist, and globalist flows of information-cum-capital, for instance, is a question rarely heard in the digital humanities associations, conferences, journals, and projects with which I am familiar.” There is, for instance, no session category on this site that very adequately describes this kind of overtly “political” discussion of DH and cultural criticism.

Has this situation changed since Liu delivered his remarks? Or does the sudden explosion of interest in technologies such as MOOCs represent merely the most recent co-opting of the methodologies, interests, and language of the digital humanities to an agenda that is, ultimately, anti-humanist and anti-DH?

This session will seek to explore both the ways in which the “digital turn” is read — and exploited by — the neoliberal wave of educational “reformers,” as well as to examine some of the fruitful approaches that digital humanities can take to broaden its own cultural and theoretical perspective, and combat these kinds of ultimately destructive readings.

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Comic Books and Digital Editions

Nicky will be joining us from English at Queen’s!

I am attending THATCamp so I can learn more about DH and its intersections with my own area of research. Currently, I am working on projects that explore the reader’s relationship with comic books and I am fascinated with how digital editions of comics often control the reader’s ability to read comics by forcing panels to be read in a particular order.

I am currently in my first year of my PhD at Queen’s University where my research focuses on narratives dependent on text and image. Lately, I have also entered into a deep love affair with eco-criticism. While I have mastered things like facebook and my email account, my true passion lies in wasting countless hours playing Temple Run on my iPad.

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