Storify for THATCampSW

Here is a Storify for THATCampSW!

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Pictures from THATCamp!

Thanks to everyone for participating. I hope you all left feeling inspired! Pictures from #THATCampSW

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Talk Session: Digital Textual Editing

Jerome McGann’s new book A New Republic of Letters (2014) argues that traditional humanist skills—specifically, those of philology, bibliography, and textual editing—have gained a new significance as digital texts become the norm for scholarly publishing. In contrast to the hyper-modernist rhetoric all too often associated with the digital humanities (This is all new! Burn the old things!), McGann calls for a revival of skill sets that, in the heyday of deconstruction and cultural studies, seemed to lend institutional and conceptual support to outdated concepts of textuality. These skill sets, he argues, are necessary to continue to the work of humanists as custodians of cultural memory.

I would love for us to consider McGann’s claims. Is he correct that reproducing the cultural record digitally will require us to dust off “olde tyme” humanistic skills? What skills, specifically, do we bring back from the dead? Do those skills need to be updated for the digital context, and if so, what kind of model of textuality will we use to decide how to update them? Can we incorporate the insights of deconstruction and cultural studies as we do so (rather than conceive of the return to bibliography as somehow anti-theory)?

My personal interest in the topic stems from my interest in the production of scholarly digital editions as a problem of content design. What should digital texts look like? Do we retain aspects of the codex in a bid for preservation and authenticity, or do we (following digital humanists like Johanna Drucker) fearlessly reject features of the book format that we deem to be historically contingent rather than essential to the text?

Just to provide a little more context (sorry to be so traditional here in my methodology), Kenneth M. Price gives a good working definition for the digital scholarly edition in his contribution to the Blackwell Companion to Digital Literary Studies (2008):

“By scholarly edition, I mean the establishment of a text on explicitly stated principles and by someone with specialized knowledge about textual scholarship and the writer or writers involved. An edition is scholarly both because of the rigor with which the text is reproduced or altered and because of the expertise brought to bear on the task and in the offering of suitable introductions, notes, and textual apparatus. Mere digitizing produces information; in contrast, scholarly editing produces knowledge.”

Are Price and McGann right to emphasize these somewhat traditional goals of humanistic study as we direct the future of digital humanities? I think so, but I want to hear other opinions, and I’d love to hear from non-MLA-field scholars about the centrality (or non-centrality) of these questions of textuality as they explore the digital humanities.

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Talk Session: Share your Favorite Tools.

toolHas a tool ever changed your life? One of the great things about getting together with people who are interested in technology is that you usually come away with useful tools to try. I propose a sort of show-and-tell session where participants share their favorite tools for teaching, research, and/or productivity.

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Talk/Do Session: How to use Vines (6-second loop videos taken on cell phones) to visualize AND analyze social change?

As an urban anthropologist I’d like to get students to use the social media tool VINE in my courses to Provoke Deep Thoughts about urban change. I am inspired by what Vine claims on its web site (

“Vine is the best way to see and share life in motion.”

If this is even remotely true (and not simply a vehicle for teens to make selfies doing goofy things—not that there’s anything wrong with that!), then doesn’t “life in motion” = urban change??

I will bring some Vines about Phoenix to show you what I mean–and I hope you all can bring some Vines too.

Here’s a sample (run it more than once to get the loop effect:

Questions to start off:

  • How can Vines capture “life in motion” in our neighborhoods and cities?
  • How can these micro-movies provoke viewers to think critically about our changing urban environments—and about what is at stake in those changes?
  • How can Vines help to expand our “right to the city”?

Prep: open a Vine account (hopefully we can access our online accounts on the Big Screen)

Bring: a smart phone to try Vines-on-the-spot, sample Vines you made, IDEAS (for community advocacy, scholarly visualization, classroom pedagogy…)

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Sydney Lines

I recently received my MA in English Literature at ASU and am interested in:

  • Digital mapping tools for a travel literature project – which programs are available? Which are best for creating interactive content? ex: Mapping the Grand Tour
  • Social media – how are people using it in teaching and/or research endeavors? Which platforms are they using and for what kinds of projects?

Looking forward to learning something new and hopefully sharing my own experiences.


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Post Your Bio!

Hi everyone!

Let’s all post our bios on our THATCamp Southwest page so others can get to know us and we can all hear what we are interested in discussing this April 4-5. You can post anything you want – your current projects, something you are interested in learning more about, a burning question you have, whatever you want to share.


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Registration is now open

Welcome to THATCamp Southwest! Registration is now open. See the Registration tab above for instructions.  Also join us on our Facebook page for some lively discussions, and be sure to tweet about us on Twitter using #THATCampSW. See you all soon!

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