Go to 2017! http://gainesville2017.thatcamp.org/

This is the 2016 site. Please go to the 2017 site: gainesville2017.thatcamp.org/

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Low-Tech Public Humanities

In anticipation of the TRACE Innovation Initiative‘s next journal issue, How We Make, we propose a session on a low-tech public humanities project: making zines. Zines are small, cheaply-produced booklets often freely distributed and focused on non-mainstream ideas. Kimberly Creasap’s article “Zine-Making as Feminist Pedagogy” discusses the benefits of teaching through making zines due to “[t]he informal, creative, participatory character of zines” and the ease with which they are “passed from person to person by hand” (155).

Zine-making builds on the participatory nature of makerspaces and spreadable media while also opening a forum for questioning how and why we make. In this session, participants will learn how to make mini-zines from a single piece of paper, fill the zines with answers to questions related to making in humanities, and leave them around town to spark discussions of humanities in the public sphere.

Creasap, Kimberly. “Zine-making as Feminist Pedagogy”. Feminist Teacher 24.3 (2014): 155–168. Web.

(Emily Brooks and Shannon Butts)

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Well, That Didn’t Work.… Failure as Learning Process

Proposed Talk Session:

Is there room for failure in digital humanities? Of course! But most people don’t advertise their failures. This proposed talk session provides an opportunity for a community of fellow travelers to share turning points that could not be foreseen, paths taken and then retraced, and dead ends that resulted after promises of success.

We learn from failure. We can gain resilience, perspective, and capacity by attempting what we have not done before. But not every failed project teaches great lessons. Introducing a collegial space for contemplation in project planning, operations, and evaluation can help.

The conversation could be structured by looking at several ways of contextualizing the social meanings of undertaking projects. How does failure (or fear of it) affect relationships, relate to resource allocation decisions, reflect or shape perspectives, or testify to the power of ego?

Suggested quotes for starting the discussion:

  • “To err is human, to forgive, divine.” (Alexander Pope)
  • “You break it, you own it.” (Colin Powell)
  • “It’s failure that gives you the proper perspective on success.” (Ellen DeGeneres)
  • “All men make mistakes, but a good man yields when he knows his course is wrong, and repairs the evil. The only crime is pride.” (Sophocles)
Categories: Funding, Project Management, Session Proposals, Session: Talk, Teaching, Uncategorized | Comments Off on Well, That Didn’t Work.… Failure as Learning Process

Using strategic communications to achieve social good

There is currently a new academic field emerging in social science which focuses on using strategic communications to strengthen social movements and to create effective campaigns to achieve social good. This new field is called Public Interest Communications. University of Florida is leading the charge in this emerging field:  Each year at the end of February, Gainesville becomes the site of the annual frank gathering (frank.jou.ufl.edu) of 300 leading social movement builders and change makers – the people who use communications to drive social change. The frank team also organizes

  • the interdisciplinary frank (scholar) academic conference
  • changeville, a documentary virtual reality and music festival, featuring artists who share a passion for driving positive social change through their works
  • frankology — summaries of recent peer-reviewed research from multiple disciplines,
  • frank finds — a collection of headlines and links to great content from the interwebs
  • speak frankly — our blog that features insights from practitioners in the field
  • 7 Minutes in Heaven with a Scientist – a podcast series

If people are interested, I (and hopefully my colleague Barbara) would hold a THATCamp talk session to give you an overview of what makes Public Interest Communications different from other fields and what is going on right now in the field, particular at University of Florida.

We will then focus on having a workshop style discussion on how you can use your expertise to best achieve social change (and how we can perhaps help).

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Aesthetics & Je Ne Sais Quoi in the Processes and Products of Academia and Design



Initiatives such as the creation of STEAM from the widely known STEM Collaborative (Science, Technology, Engineering, ART, Math) recognized that art and the humanities are irrefutably core components of any production of knowledge. The affects of art and aesthetics are not easily qualified or quantified so they become easily dismissed.



Yet, you know when it is gone.                                                                                                                                                         The project, the experiment, the writing, the building, the meeting feels… off, or less than. No one knows what it is and it feels wrong, but something is missing, a certain je ne sais quoi that would make it right. This proposed session will attempt to discuss and explain the inexplicable. Through examples across the humanities (science to art) we will try to tease out the aesthetics that collectively balance the senses of perception and emit a signal of ‘rightness’ to the observing  majority.

The focus and structure of this presentation/poster/session/?  is guided by a Question

(Are there people who don’t appreciate a good view?)………………… and a Joke

(Q: How many Surrealists does it take to screw in a light bulb? A:Knock-Knock).

Proposed by: Marissa Selena Molinar, MA (Comparative Art & Archaeology)                                         PhD Candidate_Archaeology. University of Florida                            


Categories: Collaboration, Diversity, Games, Museums, Session Proposals, Session: Make, Session: Play, Session: Talk, Uncategorized, Visualizations, Workshops | Comments Off on Aesthetics & Je Ne Sais Quoi in the Processes and Products of Academia and Design

Winks and twitches, likes and comments: discussing digital ethnography

Renowned anthropologist Clifford Geertz once used the work of Gilbert Ryle to describe how one action (a wink) that seems to mean one thing can in fact have multiple meanings depending on the intentions and social cues of the person who performs it and the person (or people) interpreting and receiving it. When two boys are “rapidly contracting the right eyelids of their right eyes” is it a wink or a twitch? Is it a socially significant communication or a inconsequential bio-physical reaction? It takes an ethnographer’s “thick description” to tease out meaning of such subtle signs.

facebook_like-300x282What does “thick description” look like in studying online communities? Is it even possible? Are there parallels between winks and twitches an
d “likes” and “comments” on Facebook?

Sometimes the boundaries between social media and the world around us are blurred, uncontrollable, and bridged by instantaneous interaction. For some, it is evidence of the cumbersome character of social media and perhaps the inability to navigate its intricate interactional lattice. For others, it is a situation replete with opportunity and intimating more opportunities for rich ethnographic research.

Thus, it is vital that ethnographers, anthropologists, and other social scientists, seeking to apperceive the interplay and flow of meanings in various social spaces — online and off — appreciate social media as a viable field of study, recognize the theory at work in social-media based ethnographies, and also construct a viable approach that takes into consideration the various idiosyncrasies and mixed curses/blessings that each form of social media provides.

The studies of “virtual ethnographies” and social-media based ethnographies are emerging subfields. Since the publication of Christine Hine’s Virtual Ethnography fourteen years ago (a virtual lifetime in the digital age) the field has undergone various revisions and updates as the digital world continues to shift and advance, presenting new opportunities and challenges for researchers’ method and theory.

This session will discuss the viability and best-practices for “internet related ethnography” as participants discuss their own experiences and share fresh perspectives on what it looks like to do “internet-based ethnography” well. The hope is that the discussion will touch on theoretical foundations and a confab on several social-media portals that can provide launching off points and areas for further research.

Categories: Research Methods, Session Proposals, Session: Talk, Social Media | Tags: , , , , | 2 Comments

Dining Options

We will have some groups heading out socialize and dine over lunch, but if your tastebuds want to lead you elsewhere, we’ve compiled a short list of local spots that you might want to sample. It is not comprehensive by any means, so if you are a from out of town and don’t see anything on this list that appeals to you, feel free to grab a local for more advice!

Continue reading

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Innovation on the Open Frontier: Digital Humanities in an Age of Liminality

Perhaps the most intriguing thing about digital humanities is the expansiveness of the field. It has no single definition, no limitations on what it is and isn’t. The possibilities within the field are limitless, but its liminality – its existence somewhere between “real” humanities and “real” tech – is also one of its largest drawbacks. For all of its possibilities, the field of digital humanities is also rife with questions: Can young academics put their DH work on their CVs? Can assistant professors use it to gain tenure? Can alt-ac doctorate-holders transform it into a non-academic career? And, perhaps most important of all, can those of us toiling in the (often-unpaid) DH bowels get, and keep, others on board to help them with their projects? Ultimately, I hope to explore how can we explain the importance and significance of this growing and dynamic field to our core audiences: other academics, and the public at large.

I am an ACLS Public Fellow/Engagement Analyst at the Center for Public Integrity, the managing editor of Points: The Blog of the Alcohol and Drugs History Society, and a writer whose first book (a history of marijuana activism from the 1960s to today) is being published by Basic next year. I work with DH every day, and I hope to use my presentation to discuss the possibilities and potential of this field for academia/alt-ac, but also dialogue with others about where we see the field going, where its greatest applications lie, and how we can bring more people into the conversation. The emphasis of DH has long been, in my opinion, an opening of the humanities to as broad as audience as possible – certainly a worthy goal. But it begs even more questions: What can we do, and what goals can we keep in mind, to achieve this? And where are the richest possibilities for the field?

Categories: Administrative, Blogging, Collaboration, Digital Literacy, Diversity, Open Access, Project Management, Publishing, Session Proposals, Session: Talk, Teaching | 2 Comments