Projects and Workshops

Critical Digital Humanities
For the past few years Critical Digital Humanities has been holding discussions on critical theory, reading groups on technoculture and digital media, and hosting invited speakers from a wide array of fields and subjects concerning the digital humanities. These workshops have been made possible by generous funding from the Center for Ideas and Society and Mellon workshop grants. For the 2014-2015 academic year CDH is working on pedagogy and production with Sergei Eisenstein’s unfinished film Que Viva Mexico! as our focus.

Digital Zombies
Digital Zombies is a digital history and library project created by Juliette Levy. The Digital Zombies project is designed to increase student interaction with library resources in both digital and analog forms. For the purposes of this project, a digital zombie is someone that only relies on digital materials for their academic research, often without considering the authenticity, quality, or reliability of the source material. Through the Digital Zombies project, students are encouraged to make critical analyses of primary source materials in print and online, and to consider the materiality of historical research practices.

#TvsZ 6.0 -- Nature vs. Technology
#TvsZ 6.0 is the 6th iteration of what began as "Twitter Vs. Zombies", a game designed by Jesse Strommel to teach digital media literacy based on one social media site (twitter). The game builds on new media pedagogy and experimental literacy training that allows users/learners to collaborate on rule-making, fosters global collaboration, and experiments with "gamification." Article on this here. In the 6.0 version linked above, this game has expanded even beyond the original intentions to incorporate learning objectives like using storify to archive tweets/create a coherent narrative of the game and writing blog posts to learn/use rhetorical strategies that improve on your team's chances of survival. It has also been used in the classroom for some players. Linked here as possible inspiration for gamication workshops or bringing twitter into the classroom.

3D Printing workshops with Makerbot

Digital Forensics with the FRED machine

Media Archaeology and Physical Computing

HASTAC Pedagogy Project
A collaborative, ongoing repository for bringing digital pedagogy into the traditional classroom. Includes in-class activities, final projects, research initiative, and creative works all for undergraduate education. Worth keeping here either as a model for later scholars lab initiatives or for things to draw from for pedagogy workshops.


Possible Projects and Workshops

Digital Public Historians workshops
Description coming soon!

Multi-Modal Composition Workshops

Omeka This workshop introduces participants to Omeka, is a visual narrative tool useful for creating archives or curating a digital exhibition. This workshop would include basics to using Omeka (signing up, navigating the interface, etc), a short showcase of projects done on Omeka, and suggestions for both teaching with Omeka (having students produce Omeka pieces) and methods/ideas for participants to produce their own research/articles through Omeka.

Scalar This workshop introduces participants to Scalar, its interface, and showcases some projects that have been done with it. It would also walk participants through getting started writing in scalar and producing their own work with Scalar. Finally, it would include ways to bring Scalar into the undergraduate and graduate classrooms. This would likely need to be a multi-part session.

iBooks Author/InDesign This workshop would follow a similar format to the previously listed ones on Omeka and Scalar. Unlike those two, this one may have fewer extensions to pedagogical models, since students would be unlikely to be producing something long enough to require conversion to a digital book (although that could come about in the future). For now, the workshop would focus on giving researchers a jumpstart to converting their own work into digital formats supported by ibooks or adobe digital editions (InDesign only). This workshop would introduce participants to the interface and functionality of the software and address the particular affordances/limitations of each platform. It would also address issues of design that come to the fore when producing work that is not exclusively textual, or work that will be read on a screen.

Buzzademia Buzzademia is a scholarly “movement” that seeks to embrace the ways web 2.0 has changed writing and information dissemination. One of the major tenants of buzzademia is the argument that scholars who really want to embrace public information flows and public knowledge distribution should consider writing articles in the style of the Buzzfeed “listicle.” This workshop would teach participants how to build a multi-modal listicle and disseminate it through the buzzfeed community. It would also offer suggestions for incorporating this kind of “writing” into the classroom at various levels.

DH/Digial Scholars Coding Workshops

HTML and HTML5 Workshop(s) This workshop would likely primarily serve humanists (I imagine most hard scientists know HTML and HTML5). As one of the basic building blocks of web pages, HTML is probably the most basic language to being programming in. Even for those that do not want to program or build digital items, this is useful for understanding the ways computers speak to/through the internet. This workshop would include basic theory/background on HTML -- what it is used for, why it is important, etc -- clarification on the grammar and discourse of HTML (divs, tags, etc); and how/where to find Editors in which to write HTML. Ideally, the workshop would end with time devoted to practicing by building a simple, collaborative page.
For a model, Code Academy’s HTML workshop online is very effective.

Intro to CSS Like the HTML workshop, this would primarily serve non-hard scientists. Next to HTML, CSS is a basic building block of the web as it controls the design aspects of the web page. In fact, the HTML and CSS workshops could be offered as a two-part “basics of web coding” series. This workshop would include basic theory/background of CSS and how it works to structure web pages. It would provide explanation of the grammar of CSS (how to read it), and how/where to find Editors in which to write CSS. Ideally, the workshop would end with time devoted to practicing by designing a simply collaborative page. Will eventually be updated to include more than just "intro" level workshops.
For a model, Code Academy's CSS Workshop online is very effective.

Intro to TEI This workshop would focus on teaching fundamentals of TEI. It would include some theory and grammar, but would also focus on finding/creating projects that could benefit from TEI. It would include illustrative projects that have effectively used TEI to make digitize texts, and offer some ideas for using TEI in the classroom. Will eventually be updated to include more than just "intro" level workshops.

Collaborative Tools Workshops

Using Project Management Systems: Trello, Scrapple, Drive This workshop is designed to introduce participants to ways of starting a collaborative research or exhibition project. The three listed here, Trello, Scrapple, and Drive, are the three that I have experience using and they all have different feels. The workshop would introduce participants to the interfaces, explain the affordances of each system, and discuss pros and cons to each system.

Using GitHub for Collaborative, non-software building projects In collaborating for the scholarslab, we have been using github as a repository for building the lab website. GitHub is an open source platform for building and housing coded objects -- software, websites, etc. Though it is often thought of as the purview of computer scientists and programmers, github has been used through some digital humanities projects for anything that requires versioning -- publishing, revising, syllabizing, to name a few. This workshop would introduce those unfamiliar with github to its interface and functionality. It would also address ways that it could be used as a collaborative platform for producing objects that, though based in code, are not necessarily software (for example: a collaborative classroom with materials hosted online).

Using Content Management Systems: Drupal, Wordpress, Dreamweaver Drupal, Wordpress, and Dreamweaver are all systems that allow users to manage their online content. Each has slightly different affordances and limitations, and each requires a different learning curve in its users, often related to what the CMSs assume their user already knows. For this workshop, we would introduce users to these CMSs and help them decide which would be more useful for the web-hosted project they have in mind.

Professoinalizing in the Digital World*
*Note: As it stands, this is primarily a series based on Academic Professionalizatoin, so graduate student/junior faculty centered.

Twitter Although it seems fairly self-explanatory since it is so mainstream, I think a single workshop on academic twitter would be helpful to undergrads, incoming grads, or faculty looking to expand their digital savvy. This workshop would being with the basics of setting up an account and explaining the discourse of twitter (hashtags, @s, RTs, MTs, short URLs, twitpics etc.) It would also cover professional academic uses of twitter (live-tweeting conferences, using storify to archive a twitter discussion, etc), and pedagogical uses of twitter (live-tweeting lectures, using twitter as roleplay, interacting with students on twitter rather than email, using twitter to crowdsource bibliographies, etc). For graduate students, some notes on finding people/organizations to follow might also be helpful.

Building Personal/Academic Websites I envision this workshop as being ideal for graduate students and undergraduates who need to professionalize their online presence. This workshop would go over the basics for web design -- what information needs to be there, the visual language of web pages so that they remain navigable, etc -- and introduce participants to user-friendly options for creating web pages (Wix, Weebly, SquareSpace, etc). This is intended for the participant who does not want/have time/have a need for the steep learning curve of something like Wordpress or Dreamweaver (or Muse). This workshop would go over the basics of interface design for two or three web site builders and would focus on helping participants think about what goes into a personal/academic website.

Digital Pedagogy*
*Note: This is in addition to the workshops listed above, even though many of those include some "in the classroom" component.

Wikipedia in the Classroom Although I do not know anyone at UCR who has used Wikipedia as an outlet for student research, I have read about and spoken with DH-ers who have, and I intend to incorporate it into my Spring 2015 class. Given the range of studies that demonstrate increased student investment if they are producing something public or contributing to knowledge production for something other than getting a grade/passing a class, working wikipedia into the classroom seems like a useful way to get students working this way without redefining an entire syllabus/curriculum (read: ideal for TAs who are teaching toward a set curriculum). This would also be useful for reconsidering the discourse around wikipedia in academic institutions and get participants critically thinking about public knowledge.

Building/Teaching With Text-based games (Quest, Playfic) Quest and Playfic are two text-based video game builders that are popular today. As gaming studies becomes a more prolific area of research, it has also become more widely recognized as a viable form of online participation, composition, and artistry. Some TAs have brought these programs into the classroom, inviting students to build an argument through a video game. This workshop would introduce participants to the affordances and limitations of Quest and Playfic, host a conversation for thinking about ways to compose through text-based videos games as researchers, and introduce ways to incorporate this kind of project into their classroom.

Teaching with Twine Twine is a software tool for building interactive, non-linear narratives without having to code. As such, it could be an ideal way to expand multi-modal composition options in the classroom. This workshop would be pedagogically focused, and would introduce participants to Twine, showcase some projects created in Twine, and offer strategies for building assignments in twine for various undergraduate classrooms.

Gamification in the Classroom This workshop would cover general theory and tenants of what has been called "gamification." The idea with this workshop is to get participants thinking about ways to turn their own teaching objectives into game for the students. The workshop would begin with stressing the importance of outlining clear objectives and storification of the goals, highlighting the way that popular games incorporate these aspects to get users/players interested. It would showcase some successfully "gamified" lessons, and ideally close with time to collaboratively produce a gameified lesson.

Digital Research and Other Skills

Zotero This workshop already exists through the library’s infrastructure, but it seems like something that should/could fall under the jurisdiction of the scholars lab. This workshop would go over basics for setting up Zotero for personal and collaborative use. It would demonstrate how to integrate sources into Zotero, how to maintain your library, how to export from Zotero into Microsoft Word, how to change to a different bibliographic format, among other things. Additionally, it would clarify how to use Zotero for collaborative research project -- building bibliographies/reading lists (also for students), sharing notes, and using Zotero as a kind of Project Management System (PMS).

Visualization Data Visualization is a hot topic in digital humanities right now, even as it has been a long-standing tool of the hard and subtle sciences. In this workshop, participants would learn about various methods for visualizing, various software available for building visualizations, and learn the basics to collection and preparing data for visualization. A key component to this workshop would also be a conversation about why a scholar might choose to visualize rather than textualize their research in the first place.

GIS Like Data Visualization, GIS and mapping have become incredibly popular in the Digital Humanities, particularly in digital history projects. This workshop would introduce participants to GIS software, describing how it works, what kinds of information it allows scholars to pursue, and limitations of the software. This workshop would also include a showcase of GIS projects.

3D Printing As 3D printing becomes more and more mainstream, scholars across disciplines have been using it in support of object-oriented studies. It has also become a major component of maker culture, and has been identified as having the potential to further democratize civic life and environments. This workshop (likely taking place over multiple sessions) would cover the process of 3D printing from 3D modeling to translating the model into something the printer can read, to printing the object.

FRED and Digital Forensics Though a clear problem worth solving for archivists and librarians, the notion that digital objects would require some kind of forensics analysis has not yet reached a mainstream student or (likely) faculty audience. This workshop would, therefore, begin with an introduction to digitality as a kind of object state that requires some kind of forensics analysis just like any other object. It would then introduce participants to the FRED machine, how it works, and offer some potential ways FRED could engage scholarly research and student activity.

Building Databases Unlike some of the other topics on this list, the usefulness and ubiquity of databases is hardly a secret to anyone. However, few scholars in the non-hard sciences know how to build a database. This is particularly problematic since, one of the major areas that has emerged since the digital cultural turn for original undergraduate research has been database building. This workshop would seek to address these issues by introducing participants to different types of databases and types of database-building software. It would also offer some discussion on the ways database building have been a productive areas of scholarly intervention for humanities scholars, and where database building can enter the undergraduate classroom.

Digital Teaching Assistant workshops
- using Google Hangouts for discussion sections and office hours
- email and social media in the digital classroom
- Piazza and other new forms of student interaction

CyberInfrastructure and Production workshops
- blogging platforms, online hosts, and other forms of digital publication and distribution