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Thursday, May 12
 

10:30am

Achives Alive: Activating the North Carolina Jukebox
The North Carolina Jukebox project transforms an inaccessible audio archive of historic North Carolina folk music into a vital, publicly accessible digital archive and museum exhibition. In the 1930s Frank Clyde Brown, a Duke scholar, began recording and archiving Western North Carolina folk music. Most of those recordings are still housed on wax cylinders and glass disks in the Duke Libraries, but about 400 songs have been converted to digital formats. Scholars in music and folklore, librarians, students, digital media specialists, descendants of the original performers, and contemporary musicians are working together to bring the collection to life.

As a digital cultural heritage project, NC jukebox provokes critical questions around authority, appropriation, and control of cultural artifacts preserved in wax and glass. At the same time, it opens up a possibility-space for ongoing academic and community collaboration around a living set of traditions and practices. The project includes an exhibition and online playlist of the “Greatest Hits” of the FCB collection. It also necessitates metadata standards and library infrastructure. We are exhibiting both in the Mountain Music Museum, operated by folk singer/musicians Terry and Ruth McKinney, and in the Rubenstein Library at Duke in time for the annual meeting of the Music Librarians Association.

In addition to foregrounding the music itself, NC Jukebox explores biographies of the singers, transcribe the songs, and traces the Scotch-English history and contemporary analogues of the songs themselves. We demonstrate change over time and space through maps, patterns, flows, timelines, and networks of the music – a kind of distant listening, or viewing. Interactive touchscreens, period photos, and hybrid analog-digital audio playback machines – a radio, a Jukebox, and perhaps a 78-playing phonograph – will invoke the historical conditions of production and reception. We also confront the history and limits of the songcatching enterprise itself. Brown’s posthumous editors left out African American singers and songs, among others, leading us to consider together how to move from cultural heritage as univocal essence to polyphonic, multimodal assemblage.

Speakers


Thursday May 12, 2016 10:30am - 10:45am
COOR L1-84 975 S Myrtle Ave Arizona State University Tempe, AZ 85281
  • Session Location COOR L1-84

10:45am

A Social History of Water Rights: Digitizing the Los Angeles Aqueduct

The Los Angeles Aqueduct is central to understanding the history of modern Los Angeles and battles over water scarcity in the region. Dating back to its construction in 1913, the aqueduct has been both a source of controversy and an engine for population growth in Los Angeles. The aqueduct’s history is rife with questions over political power, water rights, Native American sovereignty, and environmental degradation. From 2013-2015, the UCLA Library and Metabolic Studio aimed to capture the complexity of the aqueduct’s history with the creation of the Los Angeles Aqueduct Digital Platform (LAADP). Designed as both an archive and a source of scholarship, the website houses over 2,000 archival materials that have been digitized and a scholarship section that hosts dozens of contributions from UCLA students.

This paper will be centered on the platform’s capstone project. I was hired to work with a team of undergraduate students to produce a series of original pieces for the scholarship section using digital humanities tools. We decided to focus on groups that have been adversely affected by the aqueduct’s construction and produce a social history of the aqueduct. The five pieces we produced looked at a variety of issues ranging from the history of Paiute natives in the region to contemporary concerns over dust pollution in the Owens Valley. Using long-form narrative, GIS, data visualizations, and a host of other tools, we were able to creatively reimagine various facets of the aqueduct’s history. Building on previous works of digital history, this project looked to situate the aqueduct as an evolving, contested space that has been reinterpreted by different generations of Californians. I will argue that the LAADP serves as a model for producing digital history projects that address a multifaceted topic while also fostering student research on issues of both contemporary and historical importance.


Speakers


Thursday May 12, 2016 10:45am - 11:00am
COOR L1-84 975 S Myrtle Ave Arizona State University Tempe, AZ 85281
  • Session Location COOR L1-84

11:00am

Digital East St. Louis
This presentation will share work underway with Digital East St. Louis, a project funded by a National Science Foundation Innovative Technology Experiences for Students and Teachers grant. Housed at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, the project is a collaboration between the Science Technology and Math Center, the Interdisciplinary Research and Scholarship Center (SIUE’s digital humanities Center), and the East St. Louis Community. Faculty in English and History who specialize in the digital humanities work alongside middle school teachers in the East St. Louis school district to develop a comprehensive three-year summer and after-school program for a group of middle school students. The research component of Digital East St. Louis is assessing how a digital humanities, place-based approach inspires student interest in the computer sciences. Over the three-year program, which launched in the summer of 2015, students will build a comprehensive database and a content-rich digital map showcasing their research into the history and culture of the city and its inhabitants.

One of the project’s primary goals is to encourage students to think across disciplines about ecology, geography, the lived environment, history, literature, and culture. Students will use skills central to information technology and information literacy to draw linkages between these topics, which will expand their critical thinking abilities and encourage them to see technology as a tool for exploring and visualizing broader questions. The project plans to train students in photography as they learn about East St. Louis architecture, learn about video production as they conduct oral history interviews with East St. Louis residents, and develop skills in research and metadata as they develop their own research interests for the project. This presentation will highlight the projects’ progress and discuss how to develop successful collaborations between the fields of STEM and the digital humanities in informal K-12 learning environments.



Thursday May 12, 2016 11:00am - 11:15am
COOR L1-84 975 S Myrtle Ave Arizona State University Tempe, AZ 85281
  • Session Location COOR L1-84

11:15am

Innovation in Museum Making: The Museum of Fictional Literary Artifacts
Fictional objects, like characters, linger with readers in ways similar to material ones. Marketers recognize the pull of these objects, offering physical versions such as the necklace worn by Rose in Titanic or the light-sabres whipped around by characters in Star Wars. What became of the piano in D.H. Lawrence’s poem? The portrait of Dorian Gray? Dracula’s wooden stake? Our museum collects these objects and represents them with photos, explanatory notes, context, and provenance. Where was the object originally, and how did we get it?

The objects chosen to serve in a fictional work are remarkable. Material objects, and the effort to control them, own them, manipulate them, and leave them behind, help to catapult plots and develop characters. The novel Huckleberry Finn, for example, leaves behind a boot with a crossed heel, a bloody saw dabbed with hair, a hairball, a girl’s dress, and a bullet on a string. Just to name a few. Imagine the collection of girl’s dresses that might appear in a museum of this type. Or the knives, daggers, axes, spears, and penknives that sit side by side for comparison.

John Nelson, Professor of English for New Media, and Stacey Berry, Associate Professor of English for New Media will discuss The Museum of Fictional Literary Artifacts (http://mfla.omeka.net/), a digital thematic research collection they are currently developing at Dakota State University. The site provides students and scholars, in any level or field, the humanistic and technological experience in writing, collecting, editing and thinking critically about material artifacts in fictional (and real) worlds. Gathering hundreds of fictional items--from diverse works and from many periods and genres into one searchable database--allows us to consider these fictional artifacts--and their sources--in entirely new ways.


Thursday May 12, 2016 11:15am - 11:30am
COOR L1-84 975 S Myrtle Ave Arizona State University Tempe, AZ 85281
  • Session Location COOR L1-84

4:25pm

Fugitive Archiving: Ephemera and Community Expressions
Archival tradition is based on colonial power dynamics that surround exclusive histories with “negative space,” leaving those whose histories are excluded to perform their own archival scenarios using ephemeral materials and expressions. Community is a theme connecting many histories constructed in these dynamic ways because communities are entities of action with fluid boundaries, making their histories ill-suited for traditional archiving. In this dissertation work I recognize communities’ dynamic expressions as history construction and study ephemera as residues of these expressions, because community histories warrant archival inclusion and because such inclusion supports the archival profession’s relevance in increasingly dynamic information landscapes. My work here is grounded in archival scholarship by Bastian (2003) around “communities of records” that has ignited new interest in communities’ embodied expressions, albeit with questions remaining around how we can include embodied expressions in archival practice. I use communities of records as a starting point, and propose the study of ephemera – reenvisioned through the lens of performance studies - is one method of archiving around communities. Through this reenvisioning lens I study one case of dynamic history construction around a community event: The All Souls Procession of Tucson, Arizona, a massive grassroots parade in honor of the dead now in its 25th year. I conduct qualitative analysis of ephemeral history construction in this community event, from which I draw themes and strategies for evoking commemoration in community settings. Through this study of dynamic history construction, I hope to offer archival science a new conceptualization of ephemera as an archival directive, to include embodied expressions in archival practice, build more inclusive histories, and help archivists form more vital relationships with dynamic communities and disciplines.
Bastian, J. A. (2003). Owning memory: how a Caribbean community lost its archives and found its history (No. 99). Libraries Unlimited.

Speakers

Thursday May 12, 2016 4:25pm - 4:30pm
COOR L1-84 975 S Myrtle Ave Arizona State University Tempe, AZ 85281
  • Session Location COOR L1-84
 
Friday, May 13
 

10:45am

Postmortem: critical reflection and creative lessons learned from creating an essay in VR about VR.
Drawing on eight years of humanities work in Brown University’s Cave (VR system), I have been solicited for a critical and creative article on VR by NYT Op docs. The final product would be a reflective piece in VR about VR distributed through the NYT Google cardboard initiative. My written essay will use the methodologies of media archeology and design iteration to talk about society’s cyclical obsession with immersion and the hyped technologies that promise it. It will address the different technologies and epochs of immersion from the advent of the panorama to modern day VR HMDs. Similarities in how these devices are marketed and consumed will be drawn by comparing product descriptions and marketing rhetoric throughout the decades. The reflection will end on the current iteration of VR speculation and ask why we persist in a cultural amnesia of the “immersive” movements that have come before.

The talk at Hastac will present some of my findings in a scholarly light as well as discuss the practical and creative practice of making the VR app that chronicles/documents previous immersive technologies. Some of the sub issues the essay will raise include the dangers of “newness”, the contemporary move to co-opt “storytelling” for marketing practices, and the delicate problem of designing immersive political worlds for the “empathy machine”. I am applying for a paper slot, but suggest a 30-45 minute talk to make room for addressing both the scholarly consequences of this piece and the behind the scenes lessons in immersive design I’ve learned as a practitioner using the Unity Engine. I would also like to bring a few cardboards for hands-on demonstration during the time slot and hope to plan exercise discussion with them and the NYT initiative.

Speakers

Friday May 13, 2016 10:45am - 11:00am
COOR L1-84 975 S Myrtle Ave Arizona State University Tempe, AZ 85281
  • Session Location COOR L1-84

11:00am

The Eliza Effect and Epistemic Fractures in Mixed Reality Interfaces with A.I. Agents
The paper will examine strategies of evoking an affective response in interactions with machinic intelligence presented in visual, textual and mixed reality forms. Particularly, I will consider the effect of psychological mechanisms of projection and recognition in the context of algorithmic procedures in digital simulation and translation. Mixed reality interfaces - where the 'real' embodied reactions are blended with the 'virtual' datascope - seem to be especially relevant material to explore the productive difference between the representational and performative regimes of engagement with data, as well as the role of software in shifting these regimes. I will show how the issues of projection and illusion of reciprocity that were raised already in the 1960s by Joseph Weizenbaum's chat bot Eliza, have sustained though contemporary practices engaging "intelligent agents".

I will base my analysis on several artistic examples: the interactive video installations "Chameleon" by Tina Gonsalves that explore emotional contagion through technologies of facial expression recognition; the net-art project "psychossensation.xyz" by Ubermorgen; and a recent psychotherapy smartphone application, “Karen," by Blast Theory. In each instance, the user is tricked into an eerily personalized interaction with a software-driven, fictionalized character/figure established through text (“phychossensation") and video ("Chameleon", "Karen"). The questions can be intrusive and overly intimate, and the gazes piercing and emotionally disturbing; yet both are generated as a response to the user’s own reactions and behavioral data, e.g. phone usage. The programs, such as "Karen", morphs to fit the user's everyday life, although pushing the legitimate boundaries and conventions of an interaction with a human life-coach. The resultant feeling oscillates between a suspicious "how do they know?" and a desire to explore the limits of one's vulnerability. This is despite (or due to) the knowledge that the conversation happens mostly within oneself, with a productive illusion of an intelligent and sensitive interlocutor. These exchanges feel unsutured, almost natural - or, as natural and honest as the imagined agency on the other side appears to “feel."

Speakers

Friday May 13, 2016 11:00am - 11:15am
COOR L1-84 975 S Myrtle Ave Arizona State University Tempe, AZ 85281
  • Session Location COOR L1-84

4:00pm

Narratives, Storytelling, and Audience in the Age of the Podcast
This short paper session will feature 4 panelist, Robert Cassanello, Yelena Kalinsky, Cody Mejeur, and Reema Wahab Barlaskar. Each panelist will present a short paper that examines the ways in which podcasting or podcasts incorporate digital storytelling and construct narratives. The panelists will examine podcasting narratives as producers of original content, subscribers of podcasts as well as teachers who utilize podcasting as a tool in the classroom.
Robert Cassanello produces the podcast A History of Central Florida with his students at the University of Central Florida. He will examine the ways in which their podcasts created community based research narratives to explore local history.
Yelena Kalinsky produces the Art of the Review Podcast with H-Net, She will discuss the experience of crafting a non-narrative weekly podcast on an academic topic. She will cover the tools, workflow with a long-distance collaborator, the process of coming up with individual episode ideas and thinking of a long-term arc for the series as a whole to create a narrative thread from episode to episode.
Cody Mejeur will examine game narrative. This presentation will challenge this trend in the study of game narrative by exploring gaming podcasts, Twitch streams, and Let’s Play videos (YouTube recordings of game play-throughs) as collective narratives. By looking at the collective narratives around games in various media, this presentation will advocate new ways of analyzing game narrative that can account for shared and divergent player experiences in games.
Reema Wahab Barlaskar examines the advantages of incorporating podcasts in the literature classroom. Through podcasting, students work together to construct monthly audio-blogs that record, edit, and publish their reflective response for an academic audience. By engaging with poetic texts through an auditory medium, podcasts not only permit opportunities for creative interpretation and analysis but also promote collaborative publishing. The purpose of this paper is to demonstrate the effectiveness of podcasting as a pedagogical tool in its ability to engage the reading of poetry as a shared experience.


Friday May 13, 2016 4:00pm - 5:00pm
COOR L1-84 975 S Myrtle Ave Arizona State University Tempe, AZ 85281
  • Session Location COOR L1-84