Registration is now open for Digital Diasporas. This three-day meeting here at Maryland May 1-3 is, to the best of my knowledge, the first conference devoted specifically to the intersection of digital humanities and African American/African Diaspora studies. There’s a great line-up of people coming, including keynotes and performances from Abdul Alkalimat, Paula Z, and DJ Spooky. Julia Flanders and Syd Bauman will be doing a TEI workshop.
Hope to see you there!
Just a note to commemorate Ross Scaife, who I met as a colleague during my first job at the University of Kentucky. Ross was an amazingly decent person, kind and generous to a new assistant professor in a neighboring department navigating his first institution outside of the womb of graduate school. Ross wasn’t flashy or ostentatious, just hip-deep in building a humanities cyberinfrastructure years before we all began thinking of it as such. He helped put Kentucky on the digital humanities map.
Ross’s friendship was one of the bright spots to emerge out of my time in Lexington. I last saw him at an MLA in Philadelphia. Two colleagues, having an ordinary dinner. But he was an extraordinary scholar and individual.
Been at it a few weeks now. Follow me if you like (mkirschenbaum).
Over the last year or so I’ve noticed that I can’t give a talk without being asked to sign a permission form allowing it to be videoed or podcast or whatever. I’m guilty myself, as we now try to routinely podcast MITH’s Digital Dialogues.
In general I’m happy to give permission (I appreciate the documentation) but I do kind of wonder whether anybody’s really watching/listening to all this stuff. Here on my campus there are already more talks each week I could conceivably want to hear than I actually have time to attend. Planning a conference, suddenly this is something you have to allocate resources for. Should every paper be documented and recorded and streamed? (About half the time, I notice the video never actually makes its way to the Web.) Is the trend toward archiving and videoing all our talks important or just a fad?
In any case, I’ve opened a header in the side-column that collects links to podcasts and videos and whatnot of yours truly in action. Enjoy.
Got great news the other day about an NEH Digital Humanities Start Up application I put in. The project’s official title is “Approaches to Managing and Collecting Born-Digital Literary Materials for Scholarly Use,” which I know sounds terribly dry and information science-ish, but this has really been a dream project of mine for a while now. The basic premise is to develop strategies for integrating born-digital literary materials into library special collections—not just the avant garde stuff (hypertext fiction, etc.) but the electronic records of any contemporary author using computers as part of the creative process. Here’s a bit from the announcement, which you can also read in full:
The University of Maryland is pleased to announce the receipt of an NEH Digital Humanities Start-Up award, “Approaches to Managing and Collecting Born-Digital Literary Materials for Scholarly Use.” The project, directed by Matthew Kirschenbaum, Associate Professor of English at the University of Maryland, will involve a series of site visits and planning meetings among personnel working with the born-digital components of three significant collections of literary material: the Salman Rushdie Papers at Emory University’s Manuscript, Archives, and Rare Book Library (which includes Rushdie’s laptops), the Michael Joyce Papers at the Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center at the University of Texas at Austin, and the Deena Larsen Collection at the Maryland Institute for Technology in the Humanities (MITH) at the University of Maryland. The meetings and site visits will facilitate the preparation of a larger collaborative grant proposal among the three institutions aimed at developing archival tools and best practices for preserving and curating the born-digital documents and records of contemporary literary authorship.
So if you’ve ever wondered what it would be like to boot Salman Rushdie or Norman Mailer’s laptop, we’re going to find out. This is essentially the applied side of what I wrote about in a piece for the Chronicle of Higher Education last summer, “Hamlet.doc: Literature in a Digital Age.” I’m working with Kari Kraus here at Maryland, as well as great people at Austin and Emory and we’re all eager to get going. The first meeting will probably be in September. We’ll keep you posted.
This spring the Rosenzweig Forum on Technology and the Humanities is pleased to present:
Ken Price on “Edition, Project, Database, Archive, Thematic Research Collection: What’s in a Name?”
What are the implications of the terms we use to describe large-scale text-based electronic scholarship, especially undertakings that share some of the ambitions and methods of the traditional multi-volume scholarly edition? What genre or genres are we now working in? And how do the conceptions inhering in these choices of language frame and perhaps limit what we attempt? How do terms such as edition, project, database, archive, and thematic research collection relate to the past, present, and future of textual studies? Drawing on a range of resources including the Walt Whitman Archive, I consider how current terms describing digital scholarship both clarify and obscure our collective enterprise. In addition, I’ll use the final term, thematic research collection, to discuss yet-to-be-developed parts of the Whitman Archive dealing with place-based cultural analysis and translation studies as a way to illustrate the expansive possibilities of this new model of scholarship.
Our speaker will be Professor Kenneth Price, of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Price received his B.A. from Whitman College in Walla Walla, Washington, and then earned both M.A. and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Chicago. He is University Professor and Hillegass Chair of Nineteenth-Century American literature at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln where he also serves as co-director of the Center for Digital Research in the Humanities. Price is the author of over forty articles and author or editor of nine books. His most recent book is co-edited with Ed Folsom and with Susan Belasco, Leaves of Grass: The Sesquicentennial Essays (University of Nebraska Press, 2007). His other recent books include Re-Scripting Walt Whitman: An Introduction to His Life and Work , co-authored with Folsom (Blackwell Publishing, 2005) and To Walt Whitman, America (University of North Carolina Press 2004), a main selection of The Readers Subscription, a national book club.
Since 1995 Price has served as co-director of The Walt Whitman Archive an electronic research and teaching tool that sets out to make Whitman’s vast work, for the first time, easily and conveniently accessible to scholars, students, and general readers. The Whitman Archive has been awarded federal grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), the U. S. Department of Education, and the Institute for Museum and Library Services. The Whitman Archive has received many honors, including the C. F. W. Coker award from the Society of American Archivists and a “We the People” grant from the NEH to build a permanent endowment to support ongoing editorial work.
We will meet on Tuesday, March 11 fom 4:00-5:30 PM in the McKeldin Special Events Room (6th floor, room 6137), McKeldin Library, on the University of Maryland campus in College Park. There will be an informal dinner downstairs in MITH after the forum, at a cost of $10 per person. Please RSVP to Matt Kirschenbaum (mgk[at]umd[dot]edu) by Mach 7, 2008 if you would like to have dinner (money will be collected at the door—please have cash).
Co-sponsored by the Center for History & New Media (CHNM) at George Mason, the Center for New Designs in Learning & Scholarship (CNDLS) at Georgetown, and the Maryland Institute for Technology in the Humanities (MITH), the Rosenzweig Technology and Humanities Forum explores important issues in humanities computing and provide an opportunity for DC area scholars interested the uses of new technology in the humanities to meet and get acquainted.
McKeldin Library is located at the top of McKeldin Mall at the center of the University of Maryland, College Park campus. There is free shuttle service to campus from the College Park Metro station (Green line). Best parking for visitors is the lot next to Stamp Student Union, less than a five minute walk to the Library.