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Thursday, May 12


Hacking the Academy: Hacktivism, Makerspaces, and DH
Makerspaces (a.k.a. hackerspaces, fablabs) are collaborative sites for experimentation, collaboration, and creativity. As experiential learning sites, makerspaces support the development of multiple literacies while also introducing students to the principles of design thinking. This interactive workshop will introduce the suite of tools selected for the Mobile DH Makerspace being developed at the University of Iowa School of Library and Information Science, including littleBits building kits and Arduino microcontrollers . These tools were purposefully selected for their mobility, accessibility, and affordability. Each of these factors makes it easy to implement and build devices in unconventional venues.

In this workshop, participants will build a “hacktivist” device. As concerns over internet privacy and security increase, educators have become more and more concerned with training students to think critically about their digital presence, particularly through internet activism. As Elizabeth Losh notes, “Outright electronic civil disobedience could be described as the most militant form of political resistance in the digital humanities and one that has become more visible in panels and professional associations in recent years.” Although many academics discuss the need for hacktivism, few offer models for doing so. Adopting this approach, participants in this interactive session will work in teams to explore the capabilities of these tools and develop a working prototype while exploring the pedagogical approaches to incorporating these tools and critical technological literacy into the DH classroom.

Together the littleBits and Arduino scaffold to develop users’ confidence in coding, building, project management, and digital literacy. Designed to foster critical engagement and activism in undergraduate and graduate classrooms, across campuses, and in communities, this workshop emphasizes the ways in which individuals can simply and effectively engage in civil disobedience through the use of digital tools.

Thursday May 12, 2016 11:45am - 12:45pm
COOR L1-84 975 S Myrtle Ave Arizona State University Tempe, AZ 85281
  • Session Location COOR L1-18


An Archive of One’s Own: The Radical Possibilities of the Digital Database
Advances in digitally networked technologies, combined with increasingly plentiful space for electronic storage have resulted in an expansion of opportunities for archiving cultural artifacts. The ability to create digital media and to digitize analogue media democratizes the role of the archivist and allows new opportunities for collaboration and, in so doing, highlights the underlying value systems that have informed digitization and preservation efforts to date. In place of a few official archives, copious personal and participatory archives have arisen, collections that are characterized by a more diverse content base, a realignment of knowledge objects, and a reimagining of the connections among and between them.

The clear delineation between data and metadata, for instance, is called into question with the recognition that context, in many ways, dictates meaning. So too the boundary of any single archive is increasingly in flux as each exists in a larger online network. Moreover the fixedness of a single artifact becomes destabilized as digital copies, failing to exhaust the original, result in potentially limitless replicas. In this media landscape then, discoverability is a key issue when considering archival practices. Do digital spaces merely amplify those voices that are already heard loudly and clearly? What sort of stewardship issues prevail in a network controlled by the private sector? And how might considering all such issues help us to reimagine other knowledge objects (the memoir, the monograph), as well as structures of knowledge (the edited anthology, the university-held collection) in order that their buried assumptions might be openly scrutinized and evaluated?

The four presentations (long papers) in this panel tackle such questions, using a current project to illuminate aspects of contemporary archives and archival practices in all of their rich diversity.

avatar for Caitlin Fisher

Caitlin Fisher

Director, Augmented Reality Lab, York University
Caitlin directs the Augmented Reality Lab at York University where she held the Canada Research Chair in Digital Culture for the past decade. A 2013 Fulbright Chair, she is the recipient of many international awards for digital storytelling including the Electronic Literature Award... Read More →

Thursday May 12, 2016 1:00pm - 2:00pm
COOR L1-84 975 S Myrtle Ave Arizona State University Tempe, AZ 85281
  • Session Location COOR L1-84


Disrupting the Archive: Multi-media approaches to Latina/os and Eugenic Sterilization in 20th century California
Over 60,000 people were sterilized in the United States during the 20th century under eugenic laws in 32 states. California led the nation in eugenic sterilizations performing over 20,000, or one-third of the total sterilizations, on patients in state institutions for the “feebleminded” and “insane.” Through a collaborative project called Eugenic Rubicon: An Interactive Archive of Sterilization in 20th Century California, Drs. Lira, Wernimont, and Stern seek to make the history of eugenic sterilization in California visible, accessible, and interactive through the use of digital platforms, big data analysis, data visualization, and interpretative devices. Our project draws from a one-of-a-kind archive of close to 20,000 patient sterilization records from California institutions from the period 1919-1952. In this panel we will share our efforts to integrate questions of race, gender, sexuality and the particular experiences of Latina/o patients in meaningful and transformative ways. We will preview our web platform, present demographic and statistical analysis related to Latina/o patient records, and “perform the archive” through interactive sonic and haptic interpretations of data. Within new media studies and digital humanities, haptics (vibrotactile perception) and sonics have emerged as important ways of knowing and draw attention to the affective dimensions of computational and archival work. Our panel is deliberately promiscuous with respect to disciplines and practices, entangling distinct modes and methods of scholarship and artistic practice to transgress disciplinary boundaries. We seek to create new digital and multi-sensorial ways of embodying, conveying, and humanizing lived experiences of Latina/os subjected to multiple forms of bodily and bureaucratic erasure.

Beyond sharing research on Latina/o patients’ experiences of sterilization in California institutions during the 1920s-1950s, this panel seeks to engage the panelists, respondents, and audience in questions related to multi-media and multi-sensorial approaches to historical archives, the role of digital humanities in Latina/o Studies, and how to responsibly share the personal stories of Latina/o patients whose lives and bodies were violated by the state.

Thursday May 12, 2016 2:30pm - 3:45pm
COOR L1-84 975 S Myrtle Ave Arizona State University Tempe, AZ 85281
  • Session Location COOR L1-84
Friday, May 13


From Texts to InPhO (and back!)
In this hands on workshop, we will provide an introduction to LDA Topic Modeling using the InPhO Topic Explorer - a new corpus construction and modeling framework made specifically for digital humanists. It features cross-platform support for Windows, Mac, and Linux with a simple single-command installation process. We show how this framework has been used for research on the HathiTrust Digital Library, Darwin's Reading Notebooks, the Old Bailey Online, and the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. The Topic Explorer also has the capacity to import any arbitrary collection of PDFs, TEI, and plain-text files. We can show how the process of replicable workflows enables rapid experimentation in the humanities and can enrich exploration by moving from texts to topics and back again.

Friday May 13, 2016 11:45am - 12:45pm
COOR L1-84 975 S Myrtle Ave Arizona State University Tempe, AZ 85281
  • Session Location COOR L1-84


ADAPTability of games to teach digital literacy
Digital literacy and its implications on safety have become necessary skills to develop in our interconnected world. In a professional setting, how journalists communicate with whistleblowers through insecure channels can endanger the lives of the journalist and their source. Yet, these skills are rarely taught at journalism school programs (Columbia University being a notable exception). Lack of these skills can also lead to over sharing of information and physical or emotional danger through online harassment.

In this interactive session, we will demonstrate how ADAPT, a game created by CommunityRED to develop skills for risk assessment, can be used as a pedagogical tool to develop critical skills in digital literacy and digital safety. Participants will take the role of an American journalist working in an repressive environment to learn about secure communication and risk analysis in the digital environment.

We will have specific activities to show how different skills can be gained from the same game. After the demonstration, we will hold a short conversation about the learning goals and efficacy of ADAPT for teaching both hard and soft skills around digital security and digital literacy.

Friday May 13, 2016 1:00pm - 2:00pm
COOR L1-84 975 S Myrtle Ave Arizona State University Tempe, AZ 85281
  • Session Location COOR L1-84