Digital Humanities at AHA

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In an earlier post we covered MLA panels devoted to digital humanities, electronic archives, and electronic tools. Thus, although the American Historical Association annual meeting has already recently concluded, we still thought it would be useful to review the sessions held at this convention. When available, I have included links to papers or abstracts.

Humanities in the Digital Age, Part 1: Humanities in the Digital Age, Part 1: Digital Poster Session
This session will provide participants with an overview of different digital tools and services and how historians are using them for research, teaching, and collaboration. After brief introductions to the various posters, participants would walk around the room spending time at the various stations, talking with the presenters and other participants. This will be followed in the afternoon by a hands-on workshop (session 73) where participants can learn more about how to use these specific tools. Co-sponsored by the National History Education Clearinghouse (NHEC):

  • Blogging, Jeremy Boggs, Center for History and New Media, George Mason University
  • Text Mining, Daniel J. Cohen, Center for History and New Media, George Mason University
  • Student Projects/Websites and Omeka, Jeffrey McClurken, University of Mary Washington
  • Zotero, Trevor Owens, Center for History and New Media, George Mason University
  • Teaching Tools, Kelly Schrum, Center for History and New Media, George Mason University
  • Web 2.0 – Flickr, YouTube/Video, Google Maps, Wikis, Jim Groom, University of Mary Washington

  • Humanities in the Digital Age, Part 2: A Hands-On Workshop
    AHA Session 73

    This will be a hands-on workshop where participants can learn to use some of the specific tools displayed at the morning session (40), for example, setting up a blog, creating a course website, doing some basic text mining, or creating a model student website. (Bring your own laptop) Co-sponsored by the National History Education Clearinghouse (NHEC)
    Participants: Jeremy Boggs, Center for History and New Media, George Mason University; Daniel J. Cohen, Center for History and New Media, George Mason University; Jim Groom, University of Mary Washington; Jeffrey McClurken, University of Mary Washington;Trevor Owens, Center for History and New Media, George Mason University; Kelly Schrum, Center for History and New Media, George Mason University

    Teaching Sourcing by Bridging Digital Libraries and Electronic Student Assignments
    H-Net Humanities and Social Sciences Online

    Chair:Dean Rehberger, Michigan State University
    Commentator:Peter Knupfer, H-Net

  • The Big Picture: Opportunities for Building a Technical Infrastructure to Support History Education, Dean Rehberger, Michigan State University
  • The Citation Layer: Integrating Lessons on Souring into Electronic Papers, Steven Cohen, Michigan State University; Jason Friedman, Michigan State University
  • What Becomes of Print in the Digital Age?
    Chair:Robert B. Townsend, American Historical Association (Panel discussion)
    Participants: James W. Cortada, IBM; Anthony Grafton, Princeton University; Brian E. C. Schottlaender, University of California, San Diego; Abby S. Rumsey, independent consultant

    Crossing the Electronic Rubicon: Navigating the Challenges and Opportunities Presented by Archival Records Created and Stored Exclusively in Digital Format
    Chair:William B. McAllister, Office of the Historian, U.S. Dept. of State (Panel discussion)
    Participants: Michael Carlson, National Archives and Records Administration; Margaret O. Adams, National Archives and Records Administration; Halbert M. Jones III, Office of the Historian, U.S. Department of State

    The University of Southern California Shoah Foundation Institute’s Digital Video Archive: Searching through Nearly 52,000 Video Testimonies of Holocaust Survivors and Other Witnesses
    Karen Jungblut , Shoah Foundation Institute,University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA

    New Directions in the History of the Automobile in America
    Americans and Automobiles: Still an Open Road,Tom M. McCarthy , U.S. Naval Academy, Annapolis, MD

    Teaching the Survey: Integrated Approaches to World, U.S., and California History
    “Teaching the U.S. Survey in a Web 2.0 World,” Janice L. Reiff , University of California, Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA

    Seas, Islets, Peninsulas: Using the Periphery to Inform Teaching of Global History
    The Backwater, Front and Center: The Perception of Economic Strategic Value Upon a Traditional Periphery”,Jose Maria Herrera , Excelsior College

    Is Google Good for History?
    Chair: Shawn Martin, University of Pennsylvania (Panel discussion)
    Participants: Daniel J. Cohen, Center for History and New Media, George Mason University; Paul Duguid, University of California, Berkeley;Brandon Badger, Google Books

    Scholarly Publishing and e-Journals
    Polish American Historical Association 2
    Chair:Thomas Duszak, State Library of Pennsylvania
    Scholarly Publishing and e-Journals: Quo Vadis—A Primer on the e-Journal Revolution in Academe, Tony Harvell, University of California, San Diego Libraries

    Assessing Resources: Analysis and Comment on EDSITEment Lessons in the High School and Undergraduate Classrooms
    Chair:Joseph Phelan, National Endowment for the Humanities
    Co-sponsored by the National History Education Clearinghouse (NHEC)

  • Use of EDSITEment Resources in an Urban Public High School
    Walter Rich, Jordan High School, Los Angeles Unified School District
  • Use of EDSITEment Resources in High School Advanced Placement U.S. History Survey Courses and American Studies,Tom Millar, The Marlborough Church of England School, England
  • Problem Based Learning: Enabling Student Teachers to Analyze Lesson Plans,
    Brad E. Austin, Salem State College
  • EDSITEment at the College Level: Use and Alteration of Existing Lessons in the Undergraduate Survey Course
    Nicholas Aieta, Westfield State College
  • Interpreting Race and Slavery: EDSITEment’s Lesson Plans on the “Peculiar Institution”, Bethany Jay, Using ESSEX History Project
  • Making Connections: American Foreign Policy Lessons on EDSITEment,
    John D. Tully, Central Connecticut State University
  • American Religious Historians Online
    Chair:Gary Laderman, Emory University

  • Blogging and the Reshaping of American Religious History, Rebecca A. Goetz, Rice University
  • How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Web, Diane Winston, University of Southern California
  • Do Blogs Democratize American Religious History?
    Paul W. Harvey, University of Colorado at Colorado Springs
  • The Web and the Problem with Popularization, Kathryn Lofton, Indiana University
  • The Journal of Southern Religion and the Challenges of Online Publication, Randall J. Stephens, Eastern Nazarene College
  • As might be expected, many of these presentations and workshops focused on the ways in which the digital world is altering the possibilities for research and teaching. Yet one aspect of this list that stood out to me was the involvement of presenters with ties to governtmental, corporate, and institutions or foundations such as the National Archives, IBM, the State Department, Shoah Foundation Institute, NEH, and the like. While MLA had some panels that featured those outside of the academy proper, a larger percentage of the AHA digital panels seemed to reach beyond the university (though a more careful study might disprove this impression). On one hand, the composition of these panels suggest a greater public face for history and its involvement in digital work, yet on the other hand, it also suggests that historians as a whole might not yet be embracing digital work in large numbers. I should stress that I may well have missed a number of sessions (though I did find the cross-referencing and indexing performed by AHA program preparers to be more thorough than those handling the MLA online program).

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    5 Responses to “Digital Humanities at AHA”

    1. Anna Battigelli Says:

      There are some interesting parallels in the sessions at MLA and AHA. Compare MLA:
      • Workshop on “Evaluating Digital Work for Tenure and Promotion,”
      • NEH session, “Getting Funded in the Humanities,”
      • “Web 2.0: What Every Student Knows that You might Not,”
      • “Links and Kinks in the Chain: Collaboration in the Digital Humanities,”
      • a session on assessment.

      AHA:
      • Poster Session & Workshop on “Humanities in the Digital Age”
      • Session on Zotero
      • Web 2.0
      • Teaching Sourcing by Bridging Digital Libraries and Electronic Student Assignments
      • Google

      There are many other DH sessions at both meetings. MLA seems to have more sessions than AHA on the professional consequences of digitization. AHA might have an edge on mentoring its members on how to enter the digital age. We could usefully learn from one another. Is that an accurate assessment?

      • Eleanor Shevlin Says:

        Yes, Anna, I think your remarks are quite accurate.

        I also noticed that some of these MLA and AHA sessions seem to resemble those being offered at the upcoming American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies. In addition your “EEBO, ECCO, Noisy Feedback” roundtable, there’s also the following (along with others):

        “The Digital Eighteenth Century 2.0” – I (Roundtable) Alvarado E
        Chair: Lisa MARUCA, Wayne State University
        1. Randall CREAM University of South Carolina
        2. Molly O’Hagan HARDY, University of Texas at Austin
        3. Laura MANDELL, Miami University, Ohio
        4. Julie MELONI, Washington State University

        109. “The Digital Eighteenth Century 2.0” – II (Roundtable)
        Alvarado E
        Chair: George H. WILLIAMS, University of South Carolina, Upstate
        1. Sharon HARROW, Shippensburg University
        2. Tonya HOWE, Marymount University
        3. Benjamin PAULEY, Eastern Connecticut State University

        127. “Digital Humanities and the Eighteenth Century: Pros and Cons”
        Alvarado E
        Chair: Jeffrey RAVEL, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
        1. Alison MURI, University of Saskatchewan, “From Ctrl-F to Digital
        Editions: The Challenges and Successes of Teaching the Eighteenth
        Century with Digital Texts and Tools”
        2. Benjamin PAULEY, Eastern Connecticut State University, “Remembering
        the Eighteenth-Century Book”
        3. Sean TAKETS, George Mason University, “Recent Developments at
        the Center for History and New Media

        Unlike MLA and AHA, “period” conferences are interdisciplinary and thus provide specific opportunities for exchange across various disciplines.

    2. Patrick Murray-John Says:

      Just a quick correction that didn’t make it into the program in time — Jim Groom couldn’t make it to the Humanities in the Digital Age sessions, so I stepped in for him.

    3. Eleanor Shevlin Says:

      Thanks, Patrick, for correcting the record. We would be interested in hearing more about the session if you are so inclined.

    4. Anna Battigelli Says:

      Yes, Patrick, it would be interesting to hear more about the Digital Age session if you have time.

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