Home > Blog

Mark your calendars … MITH’s Spring 2015 Digital Dialogues are coming up!


MITH is excited to announce the lineup of speakers for our Spring 2015 Digital Dialogues season!  Our six speakers come from a wide variety of research specialties ranging from ranging from Digital Musicology to Literature/Digital Editions to Urban Media Art and Interaction Design. Reserve the date now for:

Tuesday February 24, 2015: Shannon Mattern

Tuesday March 3, 2015: Mauricio Giraldo

Tuesday March 10, 2015: Miriam Posner

Tuesday March 24, 2015: Raffaele Viglianti

Monday March 30, 2015:  Paul Jaskot

Tuesday April 7, 2015: Amanda Visconti

All talks are at 12:30 pm in the Maryland Institute for Technology in the Humanities Conference Room, 0301 Hornbake Library, EXCEPT for the talk on Monday March 30th with Paul Jaskot, which will be held at the Michelle Smith Collaboratory for Visual Culture. All talks are open to the public. Talk titles and abstracts will be forthcoming. Speakers will be listed on the Digital Dialogues schedule here, which will be updated with more information about each talk as it becomes available.

Digital Dialogues is MITH’s signature events program, held almost every week while the academic semester is in session. . . . Continue Reading

Podcast: Strata of Sentience: Deep Mapping the Media City

shannon-mattern Shannon Mattern, Associate Professor of Media StudiesThe New School@shannonmattern
MITH Conference RoomTuesday, February 24, 201512:30 pm

While “smart” cities and urban “sentience” seem to be products of new networked technologies, our cities have actually been mediated, and intelligent, for millennia. They’ve long been shaped by their roles as substrates for and containers of mediation, and they’ve long reflected the logics, politics, and aesthetics of their prevailing communications technologies. I advocate for an “urban media archaeology,” a materialist, multisensory approach to exploring the deep material history – that is, a cultural materialist history that acknowledges the physicality, the “stuff” of history and culture – of our media cities. This talk offers a preview of Deep Mapping the Media City, a book forthcoming (in March 2015) from the University of Minnesota Press’s Forerunners series, in which I investigate our material urban spaces as infrastructures for mediation, and I propose that archaeological tools, like excavation and mapping, might help us to acknowledge and understand our smart, mediated cities in the longue durée.

. . . Continue Reading

A Look at #FergusonSyllabus

As a new semester is about to begin academics are busily putting finishing touches on their course syllabi. Here at the University of Maryland there has been sustained interest over the past few months in integrating discussion and thinking about the recent events in Ferguson, and subsequent #BlackLivesMatter movement into our classes. Look for news about planned teach-ins and events like ours in the coming weeks.

If you are interested in finding Ferguson and #BlackLivesMatter resources to use in your coursework one place to look is the #FergusonSyllabus hashtag on Twitter. Marcia Chatelain, a history professor at Georgetown University and a University of Missouri–Columbia alumna, started this hashtag with this tweet back in August of 2014:

You can listen to an interview with Chatelain from Saint-Louis Public Radio soon conducted just a few days after this tweet. Since then there have been over 8,000 tweets with the #FergusonSyllabus hashtag. Chatelain wrote a post about her favorite suggested resources, and you can find other lists, such as this Google Doc from Daniel Krutka, a Professor of Education at Texas Woman’s University. . . . Continue Reading

Researching Ferguson Update: Previewing MITH’s Teach Ins for #BlackLivesMatter at UMD

Tuesday January 27, 2015 at 12:30pm

MITH Conference Room

0301 Hornbake Library North

A MITH Digital Humanities Incubator Roundtable Discussion of our ongoing work with Event-Based Social Media Data and Network Analysis

As many of you know, MITH has been spearheading a series of meetings to develop research and teaching opportunities for the use of the Ferguson Twitter archive, which is a collection of tweets harvested by MITH’s Ed Summers using a command line program named twarc in August 2014 in the wake of the Ferguson conflict.  MITH’s ongoing work with this collection has been conducted in collaboration with the ARHU Center for Synergy, and thus far has consisted of two brainstorming sessions with various UMD faculty and students, where we introduced the collection and asked for feedback on its possible value and use to the scholarly community.

As part of this work, which we are now calling ‘Researching Ferguson,’ MITH is excited to announce the first of several sessions continuing our exploration of this topic. This first session is a reconvening of our Ferguson constituency, comprising faculty and students who attended one of the two first sessions in October and December at MITH, or who expressed interest separately. . . . Continue Reading

An Invitation to Beta-Test the Infinite Ulysses Digital Edition

In my previous post on this blog, I introduced my dissertational Infinite Ulysses project: a participatory digital edition that I’ve designed and coded for my uniquely shaped literature dissertation. I’ve now finished most of the work of building of the site. I’ve also finalized decisions around the online community experience such as writing statements on accessibility, inclusivity, and users’ rights; explaining the research project that wraps the site; and clearly indicating how IP and copyright function for users of the site. I’ve now opened the digital edition to the very first beta-testers, and I’m inviting interested readers to sign up at InfiniteUlysses.com to join these first site users in a new conversation around Ulysses.

The site will eventually be open to everyone (with a planned public 1.0 release on the upcoming Ulysses holiday Bloomsday—June 16, 2015). Though during the final phase of my dissertational project this spring, I’m keeping a list of interested readers and slowly adding new users to the site from that list over the coming weeks.

This slow beginning will let me fix any really grievous bugs before there are too many users on the site. . . . Continue Reading

Ilya Kreymer will speak at MITH on January 20th on web archiving tools


Please join us at MITH on Tuesday, January 20th at 11am for a presentation by Ilya Kreymer about his work on web archiving tools. Ilya’s open-source pywb software allows for high-quality replay (browsing) of archived web data stored in standardized ARC and WARC file formats. It is similar in principle to the Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine, but is distinguished by its ability to accurately replay complex dynamic sites, including video and audio content.

Ilya has worked recently with Harvard University to help integrate pywb into their perma.cc service. perma.cc enables authors, and publishers to selectively archive Web content. He is currently working with Rhizome, a non-profit affiliated with the New Museum in New York City, to help them archive highly dynamic digital art on the Web. You can read more about this work in a recent New York Times article about the project. Ilya has also worked to integrate pywb with WarcBase which is a Hadoop based storage system for web archives created by UMD’s Jimmy Lin. Ilya previously worked as an engineer at the Internet Archive.

We expect this to be part demo, part technical discussion about pywb and web archiving in general. . . . Continue Reading

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