General – THATCamp Texas 2012 The Humanities and Technology Camp Fri, 27 Apr 2012 22:27:26 +0000 en-US hourly 1 TitanPad: Theorizing a Programming Course for the DH Tue, 13 Mar 2012 02:01:16 +0000

Notes from the session and other useful links!


Twitter Archive Sun, 11 Mar 2012 04:27:40 +0000

Here’s an interactive archive of all our tweets from the past couple days.

Congrats to @jessicacm for winning the biggest tweeter contest!


Google Docs from two of Saturday’s sessions Sun, 11 Mar 2012 00:40:13 +0000

Here are the links to the Google docs created during Pedagogy and DH session this morning, and the Copyrighted and uncopyrighted materials session this afternoon. They are open to public editing, so feel free to add in. (These were first circulated on Twitter under the #thatcamptx hashtag.)

Please take the brief survey Sat, 10 Mar 2012 22:31:55 +0000

Thanks for coming to THATcamp Texas 2012! Please take a few minutes to fill out the brief evaluation form — it will help us and future THATcampers!

Here’s the breakdown of Saturday’s sessions and rooms Sat, 10 Mar 2012 17:08:21 +0000

AM: E-books/Crowd-sourcing transcriptions/Text encoding 315A
AM: Pedagogy and DH Parlor
AM: Intro GIS and Humanities B20

PM: Intro Programing for DH/(annotating video, large data sets) 315A
PM: Inclusivity and DH Parlor
PM: Reusing Copyrighted Material/ Royalty-free multimedia B20

Session Proposals on a Google Doc Sat, 10 Mar 2012 15:56:37 +0000

Here is my version of the session proposals plus some other ideas all on a Google Doc that anyone can edit.

Dork Shorts @ 1:30! Sign up now Sat, 10 Mar 2012 14:00:40 +0000

“Dork shorts” are a THATcamp tradition in which participants deliver a 3-minute talk about a project, a web-site, or some other work you’d like others to know about or even join. Think of it as an “elevator speech” for fellow Digital Humanities people.
Google “dork shorts”to see examples from other THATcamps.

Please go to the “SCHEDULE” tab and click on the “dork shorts” area on the calendar to sign-up. If you have a PowerPoint file and can get it to the organizers in advance, you’ll be able to show it. Something that will show in a web browser is preferred, however.

AR for art and humanities projects Sat, 10 Mar 2012 05:15:24 +0000

Part of a project I’m designing about the psychogeography of North Central Expressway in Dallas involves an augmented reality (AR) layer for smartphones. I’m placing historical, personal memoir-derived, and archival images (and maybe a soundtrack) at various locations along and around the freeway. The AR server I’m using is Layar ( ), which requires coding sophistication well beyond my ken. So I’ve turned to a service called Hoppola ( ), which uses Google Maps and a few simple GUI commands to automate the coding and so serves as an interface for the less than 100% nerdly among us. However, near as I can tell, Hoppola does not support Layar Vision ( ), a new service which attaches AR content to images – bits of graffiti, e.g., or a building façade – instead of geo coordinates. Since the Google Maps interface is not entirely accurate, causing AR content to sometimes land around the corner from my target, making use of specific images would allow me much more precision in the AR layer.
I would like to propose a working session on the technical aspects of AR projects and on the general ideas associated with the use of AR in the humanities and visual arts. I am not expert in the coding necessary to use the Layar service directly. Learning from what others in the field have to offer would be of immense help.

Re/searching on the Web Fri, 09 Mar 2012 23:16:56 +0000

Digital Age Copyright & Your Rights as an Author Fri, 09 Mar 2012 23:14:39 +0000

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Proposed Saturday Session: Intro-level GIS and the Humanities Sat, 03 Mar 2012 20:39:20 +0000

Please click on the log-in button and post your own ideas for Saturday sessions. We have a program of
Workshops for Friday, but Saturday is wide open. That’s the way THATCamps work!

I would like to propose a session for Saturday on working with GIS in the humanities classroom. GIS [Geographic Information Systems] raises interesting teaching opportunities and dilemmas for humanities faculty. I’d like to be part of a discussion with other folks who are interested in these issues to share experiences and brainstorm about GIS pedagogy techniques for the humanities disciplines.

On the one hand, the dominant player, by far, in the GIS world is ArcGIS, by ESRI. Their software is the gold standard and they have developed some excellent teaching materials. They have also been good about publicizing how humanists [or at least historians like me] use their technology. And they do make 90-day trial disks quite readily available for students and faculty.

On the downside, an installed license version of ArcGIS is quite expensive and setting up a full teaching lab could be quite expensive. My institution can afford this but I’m teaching graduate and undergraduate students who will be teaching in institutions — high schools, community colleges, and small private colleges — that will probably not be able to put up such a lab. And on a philosophical basis, I’d like to be turning students on to more open-source software.

There is open-source GIS software like Quantum GIS, which runs on Windows, Mac and Linux systems. These would be easy to set up in an existing lab or to have students install on their own computers. Has anyone had experience teaching with these?

And there are also all kinds of new GIS-lite applications, with a lot of potential for teachiing. Some, like ArcGIS explorer and other ArcGIS on-line products, are relatively new while others, like Google Earth, have been in the teaching arena for a few years now. What should we be doing with these tools in the classroom? What are people doing with them?

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How to propose a session Fri, 02 Mar 2012 18:26:02 +0000

How do I propose a session?

Once you register for THATCamp Texas and are approved, we’ll make you a user account on this site. You should receive your login information by email. Before the THATCamp, you should log in to the site, click on Posts –> Add New, then write and publish your session proposal. Your session proposal will appear on the front page of this site, and we’ll all be able to read and comment on it beforehand. (If you haven’t worked with WordPress before, see for help.) The morning of the event, we’ll vote on those proposals (and probably come up with several new ones), and then all together we’ll work out how best to put those sessions into a schedule.

What do I propose?

Session genres

Here are the kinds of sessions people generally propose at THATCamp: general discussions, writing sessions, hacking sessions, working sessions, workshops, or “other.” See below for more details.

  1. General discussion— Sometimes people just want to get together and talk informally, with no agenda, about something they’re all interested in. Nothing wrong with that; it’s certainly a much better way of meeting people than addressing them from behind a podium. Propose a session on a topic that interests you, and if other people are interested, they’ll show up to talk about it with you.
  2. Hacking session— Several coders gather in a room to work on a particular project. These should usually take more than an hour or even two; if you propose such a session, you might want to ask that one room or swing space be dedicated to it for the entire day.
  3. Writing session — A group of people get together to start writing something. Writing can be collaborative or parallel: everyone can work together (probably in Google Docs) or by themselves (yet with a writing vibe filling the air) to write an article, a manifesto, a book, a blog post, a plan, or what you will.
  4. Working session — You’re working on something, and you suspect that some of the various people who come to THATCamp might be able to help you with it. You describe problems you want solved and questions you want answered, and strangers magically show up to hear about what you’re doing and to give you their perspective and advice. This is notan hour-long demo; you should come with specific questions or tasks you want to work on with others for most of the session.
  5. Workshop — A traditional workshop session with an instructor who leads students through a short introduction to and hands-on exercise in a particular skill. Any THATCamp with three or more workshops that fit our workshop curriculum curriculum is eligible for the fellowship program, which means that its attendees can apply for a fellowship. (Note: the workshop series was formerly called “BootCamp,” a term we have now deprecated.)
  6. Grab bag— Ah, miscellany. One of our favorite categories. Indefinable by definition. It’s astonishing how creative people can be when you give them permission; performances and games are welcome.
    • David Staley, An installation, THATCamp Prime 2009.
    • Mark Sample, Zen Scavenger Hunt, THATCamp Prime 2010 (N.B.: The Zen Scavenger Hunt didn’t actually happen, but it was still a great idea).

No papers, no presentations

An unconference, in Tom Scheinfeldt’s words, is fun, productive, and collegial, and at THATCamp, therefore, “[W]e’re not here to listen and be listened to. We’re here to work, to participate actively.[…] We’re here to get stuff done.” Listen further:

Everyone should feel equally free to participate and everyone should let everyone else feel equally free to participate. You are not students and professors, management and staff here at THATCamp. At most conferences, the game we play is one in which I, the speaker, try desperately to prove to you how smart I am, and you, the audience member, tries desperately in the question and answer period to show how stupid I am by comparison. Not here. At THATCamp we’re here to be supportive of one another as we all struggle with the challenges and opportunities of incorporating technology in our work, departments, disciplines, and humanist missions.

Session proposers are session facilitators

If you propose a session, you should be prepared to run it. If you propose a hacking session, you should have the germ of a project to work on; if you propose a workshop, you should be prepared to teach it; if you propose a discussion of the Digital Public Library of America, you should be prepared to summarize what that is, begin the discussion, keep it going, and end it. But don’t worry — with the possible exception of workshops you’ve offered to teach, THATCamp sessions don’t really need to be prepared for; in fact, we infinitely prefer that you don’t prepare.

At most, you should come with one or two questions, problems, or goals, and you should be prepared to spend the session working on and working out those one or two points informally with a group of people who (believe me) are not there to judge your performance. Even last-minute workshops can be terrifically useful for others if you know the tool or skill you’re teaching inside and out. As long as you take responsibility for running the session, that’s usually all that’s needed. See the book Open Space Technology for a longer discussion of why we don’t adopt or encourage more structured forms of facilitation.

Empty sessions

We also encourage organizers to leave a few empty time slots during the THATCamp so that attendees can propose new sessions during the THATCamp itself; if the organizers of your THATCamp have done this, they’ll tell you how to propose a session while your THATCamp is taking place. Sometimes, for instance, your discussion was going so well at the one hour fifteen minute mark that you hated to end it; if there’s a slot available, you should be able to propose “Training Robotic Ferrets: Part Two” as a session as soon as “Training Robotic Ferrets” ends.

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Parking at UTA Tue, 28 Feb 2012 21:03:05 +0000

Here’s a campus parking map [PDF] for THATCampers! On Friday attendees must park in lots 49, 50 and 52 and on Saturday we can park in lots F10 and 47, which are closer to the Central Library. Parking map for THATCampers

On Friday morning we will be competing with students for parking, so you may want to allow a little extra time.
One other option is to park in the garage in the middle of campus, but this is a paid garage and there’s no guarantee that spaces will be available.

Travel Information Thu, 23 Feb 2012 04:21:10 +0000

Information on local hotels and restaurants is now online.

Workshop preview: sign-up coming! Tue, 21 Feb 2012 20:17:10 +0000

We’re setting up the 11 following workshops for our Friday session! We be back with sign-up details once we’ve finalized the schedule and rooms:

  1. intro to GIS for humanities folks
  2. Zotero, open source reference manager
  3. XML for Text-encoding
  4. Making and using e-books
  5. Distance education with Adobe Connect
  6. Machine translation
  7. Video creation and editing (will probably be PC specific)
  8. Screencasting
  9. Regular Expressions
  10. Scholarly communication and copyright issues
  11. PowerSearching: new tools and techniques

We’ll be running them at the following times:

  • 3 concurrent sessions from 10 to11:30
  • Lunch break, with food provided by UTA [donations accepted!]
  • 3 concurrent sessions from 12:30 to 2pm
  • 3 concurrent session from 2pm to 3:30
  • 2 concurrent session from 4 to 5:30
Welcome Aboard! Fri, 16 Dec 2011 16:33:56 +0000

The first 10 people have registered already!  Looking forward to a great unconference in March.

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Registration forms are ready to use! Wed, 14 Dec 2011 05:31:25 +0000

We’ve got our registration set up with some help from THATCamp Central. Go ahead and sign up — we’re accepting the first 125 applicants. Once you’re registered you can propose sessions. We hope to have some tentative workshops announced here in the next couple of days.

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We have a date! Sat, 26 Nov 2011 22:16:17 +0000

THATCamp Texas 2012 will be held on the campus of the University of Texas at Arlington on Saturday, March 10 with a BootCamp on Friday March 9. Watch this space for more information, including registration information and a request for session topics!