Source: Debates in the Digital Humanities, open-access

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Released January 3rd 2013, the open-access edition of Debates in the Digital Humanities. Edited by Matthew K. Gold, who writes in his introduction “The Digital Humanities Moment”

“At stake in the rise of the digital humanities is not only the viability of new research methods (such as algorithmic approaches to large humanities data sets) or new pedagogical activities (such as the incorporation of geospatial data into classroom projects) but also key elements of the larger academic ecosystem that supports such work.”

In her review for The Times Literary Supplement, Dilemmas of the Digital Humanists, Jennifer Howard writes:

“That spirit of open, collaborative experimentation inspires much of what digital humanists do, and it is one of their chief contributions to the humanities at large. This has the makings of a playful revolution. Digital humanists’ drive to experiment with literary, historical, philological and other kinds of data goes hand in hand with a desire to “hack the academy”– to expand or overturn the traditional machinery of the university. Scientists have long been used to the rapid exchange of ideas and findings. With a very few disciplinary exceptions, the publication-and-dissemination mechanisms of the humanities grind slowly.”

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Project highlight: Mapping the Republic of Letters

One of the most compelling projects out there, active since 2010, focusing on the early modern period:

Mapping the Republic of Letters is a collaborative, interdisciplinary, and international project in the digital humanities, centered at Stanford University. Since 2008, we have been creating visualizations to analyze “big data” relating to the world of early-modern scholars. We focus primarily on their correspondence, travel, and social networks. While we make use of quantitative metrics to examine the scope and dimensions of our data, we remain committed to the qualitative methodologies of the humanities. We actively encourage collaborations with other projects.”

See “Digitally Mapping the Republic of Letters,” New York Times blog post from November 16, 2010 and “Digital Keys for Unlocking the Humanities’ Riches,” an accompanying piece published also by the New York Times, November 16, 2010

Case study: The Grand Tour

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Digital Humanities: Pedagogy Practices Principles and Politics (Open Book Publishers)

Edited by Brett D. Hirsch. Full resource available here.











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Digital Humanities – free e-book from MIT Press (November 2012)

Authors: Peter Lunenfeld / Anne Burdick / Johanna Drucker / Todd Presner / Jeffrey Schnapp.

Free download here.

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ImagePlot video tutorials: learn how to visualize image collections

ImagePlot allows you to explore image and video collections of any size by creating visualizations which show images in a collection – or keyframes in a video – sorted in different ways. Both metadata and visual properties of images – which can be measured with ImageMeasure tool included with ImagePlot – can be used for sorting.

Read more here about ImagePlot

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Digital Art History Symposium at the Institute of Fine Arts

Under the heading Mellon Research Initiative: Digital Art History, the Institute of Fine Arts has made available recordings from their Digital Art history conference that took took place November 30 – December 1, 2012. Organized by Jim Coddington, Chief Conservator at the Museum of Modern Art, as part of the Mellon Research Initiative at the Institute. The full program is available here.

Check out the tweet feed compiled by Diane Zorich.

Watch THATCamp CAA guest speaker Lev Manovich, Professor at the CUNY Graduate Center and Director of Software Studies Initiative lecture on: How to compare one million images? Visualization as a method in art history

THATCamp CAA guest speaker Stephen Murray, Lisa and Bernard Selz Professor of Medieval Art History at Columbia University discusses his project: Mapping Gothic France

Conference participant Anne Helmreich, Senior Program Officer at The Getty Foundation, on Markets and Networks: An Art Historian’s Journey into the Digital Landscape

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Museum and Library Image Policies

Conference organizers and Smarthistory founders Beth Harris
and Steven Zucker ask “Is the discipline of art history (together with
museums and libraries) squandering the digital revolution?”

Read full article here

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Text-Mining and Visualization

Digital Humanities Now editors highlight recent posts by Lev Manovich, Elijah Meeks, Michael Simeone, and Jason Mittell.

“I don’t know if my arguments will help us when we are criticized by people who keep insisting on a wrong chain of substitutions: digital humanities=statistics=science=bad. But if we keep explaining that statistics is not only about inferences and numbers, gradually we will be misunderstood less often.” Lev Manovich, the meaning of statistics and digital humanities


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Living in a Digital World: Rethinking Peer Review, Collaboration, and Open Access

“It’s no secret that times are tough for scholars in the humanities.
Jobs are scarce, resources are stretched, and institutions of tertiary
education are facing untold challenges. Those of us fortunate enough
to hold tenured positions at financially stable colleges and
universities may be the last faculty to enjoy such comparative
privilege. The future shape of the academy is hard to predict, except
to acknowledge that it is unlikely to remain static. Our profession is
being rapidly reconfigured, but many changes are not happening quickly
enough. In the realm of the digital, for example, entrenched
traditional standards of assessment, support, and recognition still
fail to encourage the kind of exciting new research that keeps our
disciplines vibrant.”

Sheila Cavanagh writes in “Living in a Digital World: Rethinking Peer
Review, Collaboration, and Open Access,” published in The Journal of
Digital Humanities Vol. 1, No. 4 Fall 2012

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Transitioning to a Digital World: Art History, Its Research Centers, and Digital Scholarship

From a report sponsored by the Kress Foundation in partnership with the Roy Rosenweig Center for History and New Media at George Mason University, by Diane Zorich.

Many factors account for the current marginal status of digital art history. Among the most important are perceived threats to existing research paradigms and behaviors, outmoded reward structures for professional advancement and tenure, insufficient capacity and technology infrastructure, the absence of digital art history training and funding opportunities, problems with digital publishing, and the need for multidisciplinary partnerships to develop and sustain digital art history projects. Also contributing to this marginalization is an absence of dialogue among the community’s leadership – its professional organizations, funders, thought leaders, and research centers – about what art history will be in the 21st century, and the role digital art history plays in that scenario.

The report, Transitioning to a Digital World, can be downloaded here.

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