I’ve just left the ReFig 2015 workshop. I kept my workshop notes at Re-Figuring Innovation in Games (ReFig) 2015. Important research with an awesome team that I hope to follow. Last night we were treated to a conversation with Anita Sarkeesian that was fascinating. She has had more of an effect and probably done more good research in preparing the videos than most of the rest of us. There are lessons to be learned about how to address a broader audience, how to have an impact, and how to stay focused on social justice.
I particularly recommend the two Keynotes by Jeffrey Schnapp and Genevieve Bell. You can see my conference notes here.
I was part of the panel on Building Communities and Networks in the Humanities.
The theme of Replaying Japan 2016 is “From Pac-Man to the present: Japanese Games between the local and global”
The conference will be held for the first time in Europe at Leipzig University from August 15 to 17, 2016. This is right before GAMESCOM in Cologne, Germany.
TU Darmstadt MA LLC Structure
Just left a most delightful conference on Key ideas and concepts of Digital Humanities in Darmstadt, Germany. My conference notes are on philosophi.ca : Digital Humanities Concepts 2015. The conference brought together an extraordinary set of speakers who were influential in the field when I entered it. Susan Hockey, Michael Sperberg-McQueen, Nancy Ide, George Landow, Wilhelm Ott and the list goes on. I would be hard pressed to imagine a conference I have been at better able to reflect on the history and ideas of humanities computing. The organizers Andrea Rapp, Michael Sperberg-McQueen, Sabine Bartsch and Michael Bender deserve much more praise than I was able to lavish on them.
Among all the great papers I will mention:
- Michael Sperberg-McQueen gave a very smart and well argued paper on descriptive markup arguing against its dismissal as enforcing hierarchies.
- Marco Passarotti talked about the Index Thomisticus (which he directs) and the Busa Archive. He brought some documents including some Gantt charts and early letters. I am definitely going to visit him and the archive in Milan.
- Fotis Jannidis gave a great paper on topic modelling and its temptations. He has very interesting stuff to say about how the method has been adopted by humanists.
- Julia Flanders gave a paper on “Looking for Gender in the History of DH” that when published will, I predict, become mandatory reading. She gives us a way forward after what happened at DH 2015. It was a truly wise and humble talk that could go a long way to providing an inclusive way forward.
- Nancy Ide gave a great overview of the separate trajectories taken by DH and Corpus Linguistics.
- Peter Robinson gave a call for open editions and walked us through what that might mean.
Given the speakers, there was a lot of reflection on the history of humanities computing and disciplinarity, though enframed by a German context. TU Darmstadt has an MA in Linguistic and Literary Computing (see image of the structure of the degree above) and is now developing an undergrad degree.
Robert Jay Glickman and Geoffrey Rockwell
This Institute focused not only technology in learning but also on important issues around the ethics of different learning models that involve technology. Ways of using technology to get active participation rather than just broadcasting video came up. Ways of thinking about students in collaborative projects came up – we need to get beyond the apprentice model and think of them as “citizen scholars.”
The conference was held on the lovely campus of the University of Western Sydney. I was part of a couple of events and papers at this conference including:
- News Scholars Symposium: With Rachel Hendry, I helped organize a pre-conference event for new scholars. This was supported by CHCI, centerNet, the Kule Institute for Advanced Study and the University of Western Sydney.
- I participated in a public panel on Building Communities and Networks in the Humanities where I talked about some of the forms of public engagement that we are trying at the Kule Institute including the Around the World Conference.
- I helped Stéfan Sinclair with a workshop on Voyant 2.0 (link goes to current version which will soon be 2.0).
- I gave a paper with Stéfan Sinclair on “Talking about Programming the Digital Humanities” that traced a history of the discussion about programming and tools in the digital humanities.
- Finally, John Montague gave a paper on “Exploring Large Datasets with Topic Model Visualizations” that I was involved in. This paper discussed a visualization for exploring the results of topic modelling that you can try in prototype here.
It is hard to summarize a whole conference, but I would note some of the questions that the new scholars posed in the unconference are worth thinking about:
- How does one learn about the field of digital humanities?
- How does one learn skills in the digital humanities?
- How does one teach the digital humanities?
- What are the ethical issues in digital work in the humanities?
The Office of Sustainibility at the University of Alberta has recognized our work at the Kule Institute for Advanced Study to develop models for sustainable research. They have published a nice story about the Around the World conference that we run with the title, KIAS shrinks carbon footprints “Around The World”. The question we need to ask ourselves is whether our academic reward system isn’t encouraging flying to conferences where other means of meeting would work. What would it mean to do sustainable research?
“Visualizing Philosopher and Topic Frequency Data Gathered from Named Entity Recognition Tools”
Schenk, Kevin; Simpson, John; Rockwell, Geoffrey; Chartier, Ryan; and Montague, John
“Data Stewardship in the Digital Humanities”
Sapach, Sonja Christina; Rockwell, Geoffrey; and Catherine Middleton
“Characteristic Curve: Reinterpreting Early Analytics”
Rockwell, Geoffrey and Stéfan Sinclair
“#GamerGate: Distant Reading Games Discourse”
Andrea Budac, Geoffrey Rockwell, Ryan Chartier, Todd Suomela and Sean Gouglas
Budac, Andrea; Rockwell, Geoffrey; Palmer, Zachary; Budac, Robert; and Stan Ruecker
Digital Demonstration: “Voyant Tools 2.0: The New, The Neat and the Gnarly”
Sinclair, Stéfan; Rockwell, Geoffrey; Sinatra, Michael; and Marcello Vitali Rosati
Digital Demonstration: “TAPoR 3.0”
Rodriguez-Arenas, Omar Isidro; Schenk, Kevin; Radzikowska, Milena; Ranaweera, Kamal; Sinclair, Stéfan; McKellar, Mark; and Geoffrey Rockwell
Digital Demonstration: “Game of Writing (GWrit)”
McKellar, Mark Pearse; Rockwell, Geoffrey; Ranaweera, Kamal; In, Aiden; Ru’Aini, Melania; Graves, Roger; Graves, Heather; and Omar Rodriguez-Arenas,
I’m at the Replaying Japan 2015conference at Ritsumeikan University, Kyoto, Japan. You can see my conference notes here. The conference features a keynote by the father of the Final Fantasy games who will talk on “From the Famicon to the World: The Lineage of JRPGs’ Globalization from the Perspective of the Genesis of Final Fantasy.”
Text Hewitt spoke today on “The Perils and Prospects of Digital Scholarship in the 21st Century Canada: Tri-Agency Research Data Initiative” at our Research Data Management week. Some of the things he talked about follow.
Canada is not leading on data stewardship. We need to catch up so that we can take advantage of what the world has to offer and we need to offer what Canada has to the world. Data management capacity is increasingly linked to Canada’s international competitiveness.
We used to do a literature review when starting a project. Now we also look for data sets that we can use so we aren’t re-searching to create useful data.