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Posts from the ‘Digital Humanities’ Category

Last but Not Least: Hacking the Academy–the Print and Ebook Editions

I am pleased to note that the University of Michigan Press has now published the print and ebook editions of Hacking the Academy: New Approaches to Scholarship and Teaching from Digital Humanities. This volume was organized and edited by Daniel J. Cohen and Tom Scheinfeldt and is part of the press’ Digital Humanities series.

Followers of the project will know that this is just the latest iteration of a multimodal effort. The history of the project is narrated in numerous places, including in the preface to the free open web version (made available earlier by the Press’s Digital Culture Books unit). Very instructive is the more primordial version (inclusive of much content not in the book) at http://hackingtheacademy.org/

I was trilled to participate in the project with an abridged version of a blog post that first appeared here (still a best seller after several years). That original post was called “Getting Yourself Out of the Business in Five East Steps” and it promotes resisting the increasing enclosure of scholarly publishing by large multinational firms. (In the new book, it appears on pages 13-14.)

Everyone reasonably wonders about the point of a print edition of a “book” born out of twitter links and weblogs posts. Here is how the editors address this point.

Finally, the reader may legitimately ask: Doesn’t the existence of Hacking the Academy as a book undermine its argument? Why put this supposedly firebrand work into a traditional form? The answer is that we wanted this project to have maximal impact and especially to reach those for whom RSS and Twitter are alien creatures. Moreover, one of the main themes of this volume—and of digital technology—is that scholarly and educational content can exist in multiple forms for multiple audiences.

A review of the book edition, but someone new to the effort (who missed the earlier instances), has been published on the Education Technology and Change (ETC) blog.

Thanks to all of the editors, contributors, readers, and publishers involved in this experimental work.

Its the Day of Digital Humanities 2013!

The Day of DH (Digital Humanities) has just begun (4-8-2013). I am hoping to participate as my schedule allows and I look forward to learning from other project participants. Learn more about the project here: http://dayofdh2013.matrix.msu.edu/

My Day of DH Blog is located here: http://dayofdh2013.matrix.msu.edu/jasonbairdjackson/

2013 Cultural Heritage Informatics (CHI) Fieldschool

Sharing below information on the 2013 Cultural Heritage Informatics Fieldschool.

The 2013 Cultural Heritage Informatics (CHI) Fieldschool introduces students to the tools and methods required to creatively apply information and computing technologies to cultural heritage materials and questions.

The CHl Fieldschool is a unique experience in which students come together for 5 weeks to collaboratively work on cultural heritage informatics projects. In the process they learn to envision and build applications and digital user experiences for cultural heritage – exploring skills such as programming, web design & development, user experience design, project management, digital storytelling, etc.

Build soundly on the principle of “building as a way of knowing,” the CHI Fieldschool embraces the idea that students develop a better understanding of cultural heritage informatics by actually building tools, applications, and digital user experiences.

2013 Fieldschool Theme: Each year, the CHI Fieldschool has a theme which guides and informs all work and projects undertaken by students. This year’s theme is “Visualization: Time, Space, and Data.”

The CHI Fieldschool is offered through the MSU Department of Anthropology as ANP491 (6 Credits)

DIRECTOR & CONTACT:  ETHAN WATRALL (WATRALL@MSU.EDU)
INFO & APPLY:  CHI.ANTHROPOLOGY.MSU.EDU/FIELDSCHOOL
DATES:  MAY 27-JULY 3

Note:  Interested graduate students from CIC Schools (Big 10 + Chicago) may wish to investigate participating through the CIC Traveling Scholars Program, which lets graduate students enroll on their home CIC campus while participating in a class on another CIC campus. For information, see: http://www.cic.net/projects/shared-courses/traveling-scholar-program/introduction

A First Rate Podcast: Artisan Ancestors Visits the Summer Institute in Museum Anthropology

A perfect example of how scholarly research in folklore and anthropology can be made accessible and interesting for a wider audience is the Artisan Ancestors podcast produced and hosted by my friend and colleague Jon Kay. (Jon is, among other roles, the Director of Traditional Arts Indiana.) If you have not yet encountered the Artisan Ancestors show, I urge you to check it out. As Jon describes it, the focus of the show is on strategies for “researching creative lives and handmade things.” Jon does interviews with people involved in such work with the goals of encouraging and guiding newcomers to such studies and of expanding the horizons of those already deeply involved. Long adept in the skills of the public folklorist, Jon has mastered the podcast genre. He is a great interviewer and he knows how to do in interview with the needs of his audience and the requirements of the medium in mind. The production values are high but it is clear that he has worked out a system that gets good results without endless, expensive work.

In his newest episode (#26) Jon interviews Dr. Candace Greene, another friend and the Director of the Summer Institute in Museum Anthropology (SIMA). The interview explores the purposes and goals of SIMA in a way that not only introduces this training program (for which I was a faculty member this past summer) but also encourages deeper understanding of the broader value of museum collections for research in social and cultural history. It is a great interview and listening to it will illustrate not only the value of the SIMA effort but also suggest the value of podcasting initiatives such as Artisan Ancestors. Kudos to Jon and Candace for their great job with this episode.

Curiously Weak DRM (in University Press-Hosted Companion Websites)

I was just scouting out a new academic book of interest to me using Google Books. I was able to browse chapters, study the table of contents etc. The book is published by one of the largest of the university presses. It can also be browsed in Amazon.com. On a subject where audio and video is relevant, the book has a companion website hosted by the press. Information on this companion website is available in the front mater for the book. Looking at this page in the Google Books representation, I saw the URL followed by:

To accompany “TITLE OF PRINT BOOK BY MAJOR UNIVERSITY PRESS HERE”, we have created a password-protected website where readers can access the recordings linked to the chapters.”

Access with username XXXXX# and password XXXX####.

The user name and password are presented as fixed text in the book and they are visible to everyone via the Google Books version.

What factors could account for the imposition of DRM (Digital Rights Management) in such a weak, permanently affixed, and circumventable form? Did they not put the media on a straight open platform because they promised the rights holders that it would only be available to purchasers of the book? (Including library users.) Are there actual advantages to doing things this way? How reliable a preservation framework is implied by the strategy used by this (very large) university press? Does anyone expect this website to exist and work (via this username and password) ten years from now?  Is this standard operating procedure and I have just not noticed it yet?

Digital Humanities, Digital Culture Studies, and Computational Folklore at #AFS11

Dan Cohen recently wrote with enthusiasm about this year’s American Historical Association’s meetings being an inflection point in which digital humanities work in history has finally shown up on the meeting program in a significant way. (For DH at the MLA, see Ryan Cordell here.) Because it has been a steady presence for many years, the 2011 American Folklore Society meetings do not represent such a breakthrough moment, but such work is very much present on this year’s program. Importantly, such work is taking special advantage of the new poster exhibition and diamond (slide-driven, quick) formats. There are digital humanities presentations scattered throughout the program but here are some all-digital gatherings at #afs11:

  • Poster Exhibition: Folklore Studies and the Digital Humanities
  • Workshop: Introduction to Digital Audio Field Recording
  • Workshop: Preparing and Preserving Digital Folklife Fieldwork Materials
  • Author Meets Critics: Robert Glenn Howard’s Digital Jesus: The Making of a New Christian Fundamentalist Community on the Internet
  • Workshop: Learning with Librarians I: An Introduction to Copyright and Intellectual Property/ An Introduction to Open Folklore
  • Workshop: Learning with Librarians II: An Introduction to Digital Humanities and Online Information Resources
  • Diamond Session: Digital and Computational Approaches to Folklore I
  • Diamond Session: Digital and Computational Approaches to Folklore II
  • Paper Panel:  Media Culture and Multimodality in the Play and Games of Schoolchildren in the New Media Age

The entire conference program, with abstracts, is available form the AFS website, here: http://www.afsnet.org/?2011AM4

PS/Update:  Here is one that I missed:

  • Paper Panel: Mediated Affiliations and the Electronic Vernacular

@Mukurtu Project Wins Major IMLS Grant

Congratulations to Kim Christen and everyone working on the Mukurtu project on news that the effort has received a major grant from the (U.S.) Institute for Museum and Library Services (announced here). This is a major development for a major project.

As noted on the Mukurtu project site, Mukurtu is “A free and open source community content management system that provides international standards-based tools adaptable to the local cultural protocols and intellectual property systems of Indigenous communities, libraries, archives, and museums.” It is “a flexible archival tool that allows users to protect, preserve and share digital cultural heritage through Mukurtu Core steps and unique Traditional Knowledge licenses.”

On Hacking the Academy #hackacad

I am very pleased to note that the edited book version of Hacking the Academy appeared online today. The online version lives on a site built by the volume’s publisher Digital Culture Books, an imprint of the University of Michigan Press. The volume has been edited by Dan Cohen and Tom Scheinfeldt, both of the Center for History and New Media. It is based on contributions submitted during one week–May 21-28, 2010.

I am very pleased to have been included in this volume and I want to thank the editors, the publisher, and all those who supported the project, including the many readers and cheerleaders who offered encouragement to the effort.

My chapter in the volume is based on an essay that originally appeared on this site (where the longer, older version can still be found). In the book, it is the first chapter of the “Hacking Scholarship” section. As with the earlier version, it is titled “Getting Yourself Out of the Business in Five Easy Steps” and it offers an argument for withdrawing, where possible, from entanglements with commercial academic publishing in favor of lending energy, support, and resources to the strengthening of the existing public-sector scholarly communications system and to the building of a more democratic, ethical, sustainable, and open one for the future. It thus relates directly to my more recent post on the enclosure of scholarly journals in anthropology (and to other things that I do, including working on the Open Folklore project and editing Museum Anthropology Review.

I am so thankful to everyone who has engaged not only with the essay but with me in the larger work of understanding and reshaping the ways scholars share their work with the world. The biggest shout out of all, in this regards, goes to my colleagues at the Indiana University Libraries and the IUScholarWorks program. They have been my teachers and tremendous partners in the work. They are awesome!

The old-fashioned version of Hacking the Academy will be published next year. Find the online version here: http://www.digitalculture.org/hacking-the-academy/

Dan Cohen’s reflections on the project can be found online here: http://www.dancohen.org/2011/09/08/some-thoughts-on-the-hacking-the-academy-process-and-model/

Artisan Ancestors Podcast Appearance Focuses on Creative Commons

I recently did an interview with Jon Kay for his fine Artisan Ancestors podcast. The audio podcast series bridges the interests of folklore/folklife/cultural history scholars and those of avocational researchers and craftspeople interested in art and everyday life, past and present.  The particular topic for our conversation was the Creative Commons–what it is and what it is for, with some special consideration of its relevance to the concerns of the folklore-minded Artisan Ancestors audience. Jon is a great interviewer and his show is quickly gaining a following.  I am very thankful to have participated in it and hope that our discussion proves useful to someone.

The show (Episode 22) can be found on the Artisan Ancestors website here and on iTunes, where one can both download individual shows and subscribe to the podcast in an ongoing way.  Its free!

The interview is a prelude to a webinar that we will do next week. Details on that will come in a followup post.

Learn more about the Creative Commons on its website.

Hacking the Academy, Revisited [ #hackacad ]

I am honored to have learned that my post “Getting Yourself Out of the Business in Five Easy Steps” will be included in the edited book version of Hacking the Academy. The essay focuses on resistance to commercial enclosure in scholarly publishing. Thanks to everyone involved in the ongoing effort.

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