Blog Post

HASTAC Conference Notes: Session D2 (Lightning Talks)

This post is pretty long--it covers five people giving 10 minute presentations (there has been some talk that 10 minutes is WAY long for a lightning talk), but all the presenters were great, so I'm including them all. Bold indicates a new presenter.

Digital Scholarship and the Institutional Culture

Christopher P Long @cplong

Penn State—surprised an Associate Dean for undergrads at Penn State has time to be here at this particular point in their controversy

  • Revolution in technology of literacy
    • Culture of print scholarship determined the technology through which produced
      • A culture that contains, binds, controls, authorizes those with authority over it, certifies expertise through mature processes of peer review
    • Digital scholarship—sharing, remixing, openness, collaboration, acceleration (of production and consumption) which may lead to fragmentation
    • Also institutional transformation
      • Univ. came of age during the 1000 of years most influenced by print culture
      • A new univ culture would embody best of both
        • i.e. Endures, reviews, certifies, shares, opens, collaborates
  • how he cultivates this in teaching, research and admin work at Penn State
    • pedagogical practice
      • Philosophy 200
        • No private writing—instead collaborative authorship of living document through course blog (all students as co-authors)
        • Level of engagement is high
        • Assessed writing through robust rubric (participate frequently, conceptually sophisticated posts, etc)
        • Then able to integrate his class with a BC prof when found both discussing Phaedrus
      • Created podcast, called “Digital Dialogue”
        • Would love more listeners—access through Facebook
    • Active blog space for his duties as part of dean’s office
      • Space for students to write blog posts, too
      • Oh good, he went there.  “Last year the big issue on campus was drinking.  This year there are new issues, as you may have heard.”
    •  The recent controversy has reminded him of importance of two-way dialogue

Q about privacy of students—if future employer looks at it

            A: he had very long conversation with them about publicness, but admits it is an issue he thinks about a lot

Q about assessment

            A: he’d love to do some peer-assessment.  Also an issue of how much people blog—prof can’t keep up with 30 people blogging constantly


Jen Boyle, Assoc Prof at Coastal Carolina University

Co-Director of their new program on new media

In development project,

Open, peer-reviewed site

i.e. why are comments relegated to bottom of page?


Flaws and inefficiencies of blog as interface medium, has provided new insights for peer-review journal, postmedieval

            Print and online entity

            Virtual collective of scholars: Babel working group (strong interest in postcritical humanism)

            This was born on the web—people met through social networking tools

            Crowd review process

                        Initiated within collaborative digital network

                        Did pre-solicit some essays

                        Published drafts, available for review from July – Sept.

                        There was not technical support for most basic interfaces that we are accustomed to now for open-review

                                    Nature publishing group backstory is something she go into more

                                                Ended up with word press blog, sponsored at Palgrave site

                                                Would prefer a granular commenting system (a la Shakespeare project for Media Commons)

                                                            Then lack of granularity returned 24K common words

                                                            Comments took on tone of response essays (a collection in their own right)


For Boyle, this has made her think about how we think of a crowd?

            What procedural rhetorics are available to discuss crowd annotation and review?

She returned to, but I missed most of this due to twitter troubles

Certainly would not use the same blog structure for another project (despite interesting findings, results)

           Would use comment press if had another opportunity

Sophia Krzys Acord: “Isn’t that a Tool?” Interpreting and Championing Digital Scholarly Communication in the Humanities

6 yr research project funded by Mellon about how humanities scholars at elite research universities engage in digital projects

            12 discreet case studies produced fsc (can’t get this link to work), so tried to find it here:

Findings: Great diversity; Variables: age, institution, field, personality; Still strongly wedded to traditional publication avenues

                Perceptions of what scholars do

Produce knowledge

Develop a closely reasoned argument

Prove/validate something

               Perceptions of Digital genres

Acquisitions of skills

Data provide info.

Research technique

Services to scholarship

So how do digital humanist navigate these perceptions—negotiate tenure process?

            Relate work to existing narratives in field (emphasize traditional question)

Publish rigorously peer-reviewed work (in relation to, parallel to)

            Wait it out

            Get a joint appointment

            Find a more flexible institution


They asked, "what advice do you give to graduate students interested in digital forms of scholarship?"

            Peer review—need explain how has been demonstrably peer reviewed

            Build your case early on

                        Department chair, dean (talk to early and often)

                        Bring in colleagues at every project stage

                        Draw on scholarly society documents

            Articulate how this is scholarship (i.e. relate to past work, etc)

            Minimize barriers of time and technical expertise


So need counteract perception that digital technologies are just a tool

            Argument is the intellectual took we use in order to prove that something is true, on the basis of evidence

            Knowledge is the conclusion of the argument


Need look at lessons from the arts

            Knowledge as verb, learn through interacting with art, through doing

They are looking for peer review for a piece

On college level, is the most resistance to digital work, particularly when trying to train grad students.  Several people agreeing.  Associate profs tend to want everyone to do research just like they do.

“Authorial Ecologies: Digging into Image Data to Answer Authorship Related Questions”

Don’t know who is speaking, but he is very striking. :)

Got it—Michael Simeone (U of Illinois)


Trying to data mine images and think about authorship

            Use authors as important units for analysis of cultural production

                        At same time, don’t want to trip into intentional fallacy


            Trying evaluate aspects of images couldn’t normally see, and then did that a lot

            Designing algorithms was lots of fun

                        Says our diagrams of collaboration will look really funny in many years when we get better at this

                        They had combo of ooVoo, Medici, SVN, google docs

            Example of cross-feritilisation algorithms

                        Cross deployment, using polygons to trace images

                                    (keep in mind, they were looking at 19th century quilts and different mapping strategies in 17th/18th maps)


defined algorithms for one purpose, then cross deployed them in interesting ways

            salad of Foucault, algorithms, Morretti, with a dash of Raymond Williams

Q about copyright. 

            A: legal infrastructure—non-consumptive use was their mainstay.  If tried to publish these documents, they would run into trouble

            So changes how they share what they’ve done, but hasn’t meddled with analysis

            Took four months to negotiate MOU (memorandum of understanding)

Knows there is a kernel of authorship we can’t understand, so if can calculate surface area, then need understand the culture of that to get the meaning of research

            So computer suggests things, but humanities scholar makes interventions when tool is not right to understand cultural production

Here’s a metaphor to describe their method provided by Jennifer Guiliano.  Usual model of research.  Walk down grocery aisle and select items to put in cart.  New model: watch as cart moves down aisle and things jump into it based on algorithm.  Then analyze what is in there and what remained on the shelf

Billy Andre

Anthropologist discussing neochoreometry

            We can’t understand dance merely from viewing it. Enter neochoreometry

When he was in Turkey, all the dances looked the same to him

            But a Turk could explain—this dance is from this region, etc.

            So wanted to use pattern recognition to understand dance origins

Neochoreometry—promoted by Alan Lomax at NYU

            Used human subjects to measure dance

            What is take human element out and insert computer analysis

            Video games, TV commercials use motion graphics, motion capture/tracking

Analyzed Turkish dancers

He chose four diff. tracking elements—hands and feet of outside dancers

                        They left behind a 3D trail which he could export to Excel and apply to motion graphics

            Showed a video of Horon dance and then asked us, “what would a native see in that dance?”

            Then shows video again but with motion graphics to illustrate the motion

            And again in 3D

            Quiz—wanted us to identify what the illustrated lines look like

blue line resembles ocean waves

                        Yellow resembles wriggling fish tail

                                    Horon is a type of fish, so incorporated into their dance patterns

                                                Neochoreometry therefore visualizes that the native sees

He used adobe after effects, btw

Andre is looking for a computer scientist and a dance expert to help with his work


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