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NEH and Sloan award funds to University of Maryland and Dartmouth to host crowdsourcing workshop in May 2015

The NEH has announced the award of a Cooperative Agreement to Dartmouth College and University of Maryland for a May 2015 event entitled “Engaging the Public: Best Practices for Crowdsourcing Across the Disciplines.”  In addition to support from NEH, additional funds have been provided through a generous grant from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation to support travel and attendance costs for additional attendees. MITH Director Neil Fraistat and Andrea Wiggins, Assistant Professor in the UMD iSchool, will work as Co-PIs with Mary Flanagan at Dartmouth to plan the workshop, which will occur at The University of Maryland from May 6-8, 2015.

The workshop will culminate and then broaden the conversation begun in the two small face-to-face regional meetings and two webinars that are taking place through the auspices of Dartmouth’s 2014 Institute for Museum and Library Services-funded National Forum in Crowdsourcing for Libraries and Archives: Creating a Crowdsourcing Consortium (CCLA), also directed by Flanagan. Through this 2 ½ day capstone event, 50 scholars will be brought together from several disciplines as well as representatives from 10 funding agencies in order to consolidate the earlier work of CCLA and seek to advance a truly national, cross-disciplinary agenda. . . . Continue Reading

Infinite Ulysses: Designing a Public Humanities Conversation

Scholarly editor Gary Taylor has asked: “How can you love a work, if you don’t know it? How can you know it, if you can’t get near it? How can you get near it, without editors?” Scholarly editors and other textual scholars are an integral part of the continuum that keeps the stories of the past understood by the present—but just as important is the you, that public of not just scholars, but also readers beyond the academy whose interest keeps the humanities alive and relevant.

As a web developer and textual scholar, I’m interested in improving interfaces to digital humanities projects: can we design for a more public conversation? MITH is supporting my dissertational Infinite Ulysses project, for which I’ve built a participatory digital edition of James Joyce’s difficult but rewarding novel Ulysses. The website creates a community for discussing the text; users can highlight sections of the text to add a comment, question, or interpretation, as well as read, upvote, and tag others’ annotations. A variety of sorting, filtering, and toggling options customize the experience to an individual reader’s needs, whether that reader knows Church Latin, wants to avoid spoilers, needs extra help as a first-time reader, or is a scholar studying Ulysses‘ puzzles or the function of written material (letters, poems, etc.) throughout the novel. . . . Continue Reading

MITH’s Ed Summers discusses his Ferguson Twitter archive

Cross-posted and edited from a blog entry on medium.com: On Forgetting and hydration.

After writing about the Ferguson Twitter archive a few months ago, I received requests from three people both outside and within University of Maryland, for access to the data. My response to the external academic researchers was to point them to Twitter’s Terms of Service which says:

If you provide Content to third parties, including downloadable datasets of Content or an API that returns Content, you will only distribute or allow download of Tweet IDs and/or User IDs.

You may, however, provide export via non-automated means (e.g., download of spreadsheets or PDF files, or use of a “save as” button) of up to 50,000 public Tweets and/or User Objects per user of your Service, per day.

Any Content provided to third parties via non-automated file download remains subject to this Policy.

It’s my understanding that I can share the data with others at the University of Maryland, but I am not able to give it to the external parties. What I can do is give them the Tweet IDs. . . . Continue Reading

Music Addressability API

The Enhancing Music Notation Addressability project (EMA) is creating a system to address specific parts of a music document available online. By addressing we mean being able to talk about a specific music passage (cfr. Michael Witmore’s blog post on textual addressability).

On paper, something equivalent could be done by circling or highlighting a part of a score. But how could this be done on a music document on the web? Would it be possible to link to a part of a score like I can link to a paragraph of a wikipedia page? How precise can I be?

Enhancing this kind of addressability could be useful to quote passages, express analytical statements and annotations, or pass a selection of music notation on to another process for rendering, computational analysis, etc.

Project Progress as of November 2014

Most of our efforts have been focused on creating a URI syntax to address common western music notation regardless of the format of a music notation document. Music notation is represented in a variety of digital formats and there isn’t an equivalent of a “plain text” music document. . . . Continue Reading

MITH is Now Accepting Spring 2015 Digital Dialogues Speaker Nominations!

MITH is accepting nominations for potential speakers for our Digital Dialogues series in the Spring 2015 semester.  Digital Dialogues is MITH’s signature events program, held almost every week while the academic semester is in session. Digital Dialogues is an occasion for discussion, presentation, and intellectual exchange that you can build into your weekly schedule.

To see a list of previous speakers, see our past dialogue schedules.

Nominations should be submitted by 5:00 pm on Friday, December 5.  Click here to submit your nominations.

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Digital Lecture Series on the Impact of Feminist Activisms in the 21st Century Starts Today

During her tenure as Clara and Robert Vambery Distinguished Professor of Comparative Studies, MITH fellow Hester Baer will be collaborating with an international group of scholars to convene a conversation around feminist activisms through digital lectures and discussions on social media. This exciting series of lectures starts today.

From the abstract for the series:

“Feminisms in the Digital Age: Transnational Activism in Germany and Beyond” is a digital lecture series that explores the political impact of feminist activisms in the 21st century. In five lectures and a concluding roundtable, we interrogate the digital interface of transnational protest movements and local activism in feminist politics. The lectures take contemporary German protest culture as a case study for the manner in which transnational feminist activism intersects with the national configuration of feminist political work. We explore how movements and actions from outside Germany’s borders circulate digitally and resonate differently in new local contexts, and further, how these border-crossings transform grass-roots activism as it goes digital.

Lectures will be posted weekly on Mondays beginning today, November 3, 2014. Join the conversation on the web on via Twitter @PopFemActivism and #DigiFemActivism

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Podcast: The Platonic Network

Alex-Wright Alex Wright, Author, Designer and ResearcherEtsy, The New York Times, and IBM@alexgrantwright
MITH Conference RoomTuesday, November 11, 201412:30 pm

In 1934, a little-known Belgian bibliographer named Paul Otlet described something very much like the World Wide Web, sketching out plans for a network of “electric telescopes” connecting people to a vast collection of documents, images, and audio-visual material. He dubbed the whole thing the Mundaneum, describing it as a “réseau mondial” – a worldwide web.

Why should anyone still pay attention to the failed schemes of a long-dead Belgian bibliographer? Otlet’s work matters today not just as a kind of historical curio, but because he envisioned a radically different kind of network: one driven not by corporate profit and personal vanity, but by a utopian vision of intellectual progress, social egalitarianism, and even spiritual liberation.

This presentation will delve deep into Otlet’s alternative vision of a global network, in search of useful lessons that could reshape our understanding of what the Web could yet become.

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Podcast: Strange Bedfellows: Digital Humanities, Internet Art, and the Weird Internet

Darius-Kazemi Darius Kazemi, Independent Artist@tinysubversions
MITH Conference RoomTuesday, November 4, 201412:30 pm

Kazemi will discuss the “Weird Internet,” a wildly popular creative internet-native subculture, and its intersections with Digital Humanities and Internet Art (in the fine arts tradition).

The Big Data approach to analysis of texts is painfully limited in the knowledge it can produce. This talk will take Bruno Latour’s Compositionist Manifesto as well as the speaker’s personal history as a professional “online metrics” analyst as a jumping off point. We will look at  the composition of autonomous  agents and static texts alike, specifically the weird internet and internet art. We’ll see what these things do and discuss ways to send probes out into the world, and what can tell us that we can never gain through analysis of corpora.

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Podcasts for MITH Digital Dialogues: Now with captions!

In an attempt to make our Digital Dialogues podcast videos more accessible, MITH has begun to add captions to the videos on our Vimeo site.  All previous podcast videos prior to the current season currently have captions, and as we move into the Fall 2014 season we will be adding them as we get them back from our vendor, Amara.

You can either access the podcasts through our website (accessible from each individual podcast page), or by accessing the MITH Vimeo site directly.  To turn on the captions, click on the small blue ‘CC’ icon on the bottom right side of the screen and click on the ‘English CC.’

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Podcast: Models of Code and the Digital Architecture of Time

Andrew-Johnston Andrew Johnston, Assistant Professor of EnglishNorth Carolina State University @a_johnston
MITH Conference RoomTuesday, October 28, 201412:30 pm

Andrew Johnston will discuss a portion of his forthcoming book, Pulses of Abstraction: Episodes from a History of Animation, which traces the emergence of real-time computer graphics and animation in the 1970s. Focusing especially on a programming language developed through funding from the National Science Foundation and that language’s use at the art and engineering collective called the Circle Graphics Habitat at the University of Illinois, Chicago, this presentation provides an archaeology of how time and models of perception are coded within early digital graphics systems. The talk will show how animation was fundamental to the creation of these real-time systems, not only because filmmakers worked on the code and platforms that were used, but also because these technologies were built around understandings of time and action taken from cinema. Through an analysis of this history, the presentation argues that real-time computer graphics mark an epistemological shift around the interdependencies of film and other media as well as a broader transformation in the mid-twentieth century of how technologies were modeling perception.

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