Matthew Lincoln, PhD Cultural Heritage Data & Info Architecture

THATCamp Prime 2013, day 1

A panel excerpted from Sharon Birch's gleeful comic book of THATCamp Prime 2013

Some bullet points from my personal experience of THATCamp Prime 2013 day one follow. Others’ mileage may vary:

  • Even an “un-confernece” has to pay its dues by opening with lengthy speeches praising influential and instrumental individuals, but the introductory session was also peppered with some delightful “dork shorts” - not ill-advised clothing, but lighting presentations of projects. I vote for the woman who busted out two wicked erudite limericks while doing a coffee-induced jig.

  • Though I must also give a close second to Jen Serventi who showcased the NEH’s searchable database of successfully funded DH projects. In case you were wondering, there are virtually no art history DH grants out there…

  • My session on visualizing uncertainty got accepted, and it was standing/floor-sitting room only! Thanks to everyone who participated (and thanks especially to the individuals who took the lion’s share of notes on the Participad attached to our page.)

    • I loved how quick our group was to engage both sides of the visualization coin: the challenge of categorizing, quantifying, and structuring your humanities data; and the difficulty of defining visualization solution(s) that make it usefully accessible.

    • On the definition of dates, I was really excited to be introduced to Bruce Robertson’s Historical Event Markup Language

    • We also started to lay out the tough choices one must make that will restrict what your visualization offers, but which will allow you to actually create it.

    • The notes have lots of links, but two other interesting examples I hadn’t yet explored are Stanford’s Spatial History Project Gallery and Richmond’s “Visualizing Emancipation”.

  • During lunch, I met up with two instructional technologists from my brother’s Gettysburg College (and James, you should know that they are died-in-the-wool Shots in the Dark fans). One of them, Sharon Birch, made this brilliant comic of the first day!

  • After lunch I poked in to Jeffrey McClurken’s workshop on teaching digital history (he provided a great list of links encapsulating most of the subject)

  • I soon switched to a panel on new horizons in humanities publishing, in which I heard for the first time a debate over whether Twitter should count as a scholarly production. I am glad that this notion was strongly rebuffed.

  • At this point I started pining for other art historians, as I often find myself doing in these kinds of multi-disciplinary events.

  • I had to check out a bit early to get back to DC for other engagements, but now I’m just ready to get as much sleep as possible before trucking all the way back out to Fairfax for more tomorrow. Stay tuned.

(edit) Leftover links I forgot from yesterday:

  • Debates in the Digital Humanities (University of Minnesota Press, 2012) can now be read on a slick online site that allows for collaborative annotation and indexing. Even better, its plaform is available on GitHub

  • Digital Humanities Now, a weekly showcase of DH news, projects, and job postings.

  • An Omkea-based contract repository, an effort to open up the notoriously opaque genre that is publisher contracts.

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Cite this post:

Lincoln, Matthew D. "THATCamp Prime 2013, day 1." Matthew Lincoln, PhD (blog), 08 Jun 2013,

Tagged in: AcademiaDigital HumanitiesPublishingTHATCamp