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Arts and Media [clear filter]
Thursday, May 12


Speaking Styles, Sound Studies, and Pitch-Tracking: A Demonstration
What makes a poet, a performer, a politician, or a preacher compelling to listen to? When we describe a speaker as neutral, dramatic, or monotonous, one implied feature is intonation, the rise and fall of the voice, as well as pitch range. While the field of sound studies develops apace, voice recognition and voice profiling are used in surveillance and employee recruitment, and debates about “NPR voice” and “poet voice” proliferate on social media, quantitative analysis of the voice is still uncommon among humanist scholars concerned with the enormous audio archive of vocal recordings. Pitch-tracking is routinely employed in corpus linguistics—a term for the digital humanities in the U.K.—but its use is novel in sound studies and DH in the U.S. It has the potential to defamiliarize texts, as Tanya Clement has argued about other DH methods, opening them to new angles of scholarly inquiry.

This interactive demonstration of a new pitch-tracking tool will allow the audience to see, in real-time, visualizations of the pitch range and intonation patterns of short vocal recordings of poems and speech, in line graphs and figures. This tool derives from the audio analysis program ARLO (Adaptive Recognition with Layered Optimization), developed through the NEH-sponsored High Performance Sound Technologies for Access and Scholarship (HiPSTAS). ARLO rivals programs commonly used by linguists, such as Praat, which are difficult to learn and have trouble tracking pitch in longer recordings of poor audio quality—a characteristic of much of the audio archive. The simple user interface for the ARLO pitch-tracker is the result of my collaboration, on an ACLS Digital Innovations Fellowship in 2015-16, with phonetician Georgia Zellou, sound and media artist and designer Dave Cerf, and David Tcheng, a machine learning scientist and senior audio signal analyst for GoPro, formerly of the Illinois Informatics Institute. (A current version of the interface is attached; it may change somewhat by May.)


Thursday May 12, 2016 11:45am - 12:45pm
COOR 195 975 S Myrtle Ave Arizona State University Tempe, AZ 85281
  • Session Location COOR 195


Speculative Classroom Design: What’s Your University Worth Fighting For?
In this panel, we invite audience participants to imagine “a university worth fighting for,” one that seeks to promote inclusivity, justice, and equality. In doing so, we aim to think beyond many of the institutions, disciplines, pedagogies, and academic practices in U.S. higher education today, which effectively reproduce the status quo by emphasizing exclusivity, ratings, and selectivity rather than broad access and equity. Based on our experiences organizing the year long HASTAC/Futures Initiative “University Worth Fighting For” #fight4edu series, this panel will feature several short five-minute presentations by respondents, each of whom attempt to reimagine the university, starting from the site of the classroom. The remainder of the session will be devoted to imaginative, speculative, and interactive exercises that aim to inspire audience members, and collaborative strategizing about how we can actualize our universities worth fighting for. Our goal is to offer audience members egalitarian practices and techniques they can use to transform the power structures in their own classrooms tomorrow--and principles and theories they can then use to apply these techniques to larger issues of university transformation: curriculum revision, disciplinary structures, credentialing and reward systems, labor practices, and beyond.

This interactive session is part of the “University Worth Fighting For” #fight4edu series.

Thursday May 12, 2016 2:30pm - 3:45pm
COOR 195 975 S Myrtle Ave Arizona State University Tempe, AZ 85281
  • Session Location COOR 195
Friday, May 13


Open Stories with Open Sources
Twelve students ages 17-22. Twelve seniors ages 64-93. One semester’s oral history project utilizing open source technologies bridged generations and campuses. Students in Robin Morris’s Oral History class at Agnes Scott College in Decatur, Georgia paired with residents at nearby Clairmont Oaks Assisted Living Residences. The students’ goal was to document some of residents’ life stories and lessons while practicing methodology.

Students used their phones as listening tools—but not in the way one might expect. They shut off the texting, email, and social media and pressed record.

Students uploaded completed interviews to a course website and presented in class. The stories varied-- 35 years in addiction recovery, first job “sexing chicks,” cross-country RV travel, adoptions, elopements-- and showed students that they don’t have to plan everything by graduation.

Working with Alison Valk , Multimedia Instructional Librarian from Georgia Tech, students transformed hourlong interviews into 8 minute podcasts utilizing open source audio editing tools. Students enhanced content and narratives using technology. The same skills they use to write papers became more relatable with technology. For the first time in college, students had a project they shared with family.

At semester’s end, students mounted an exhibit at Clairmont Oaks Assisted Living and hosted a party for the community. Elders received cds of the full interview and podcast and had a product they, too, shared with friends and family.

In this proposed hour session, participants will learn more about how we structured this project how participants might implement a similar project in their own communities. Participants will receive a PDF booklet of lessons, forms, and tips. Attendees will also go through a mini-project beginning with practicing oral history interview techniques. The session will use open source Audacity, a free beginning level software package, to introduce participants to the podcasting part of the project.

Friday May 13, 2016 1:00pm - 2:00pm
COOR 195 975 S Myrtle Ave Arizona State University Tempe, AZ 85281
  • Session Location COOR 195


Teaching Intersectionality through Critical Game Design
In teaching a class on feminist praxis, it can be challenging to present the concept of “intersectionality” or the interlocking systems of oppression, which produce and maintain cultures of domination without flattening out the real hierarchies and privileges that exist or, in turn, essentializing identity. In this workshop, we offer an exercise of critical design on diversity that challenges participants to create a game on “intersectionality,” which helps participants understand how systems operate in tandem to oppress (encourage “othering” and discrimination) or, conversely, when disassembled, to liberate (by fostering community and activism). This heuristic exercise is intended as a tool for teachers to bring into the classroom and as a learning experience for students to understand the complexity of systems of power. In setting up the exercise, we briefly discuss its use in a Spring 2016 class on feminist media.

The roadmap for the workshop includes an introduction on how games might provide us with new insights into models of structural oppression as well as the possibilities for imagining counter publics. Participants will be given a tool kit outlining basic elements of game design with attention to building systems of mechanics and shaping player experience goals. In groups, they will be asked to identify two areas or systems of power and to explore how these vectors intersect. Based on their selection and conversation, groups will do a rapid prototype for a game that illuminates how the system reinforces the power dynamics or inverts the system so that alliances rather than hierarchies and inequalities are formed. Extended time will be given to play testing each of the groups’ design as well as well as a closing feedback session.

Crenshaw, Kimberlé. "Demarginalizing the intersection of race and sex: A black feminist critique of antidiscrimination doctrine, feminist theory and antiracist politics." U. Chi. Legal F. (1989): 139.

Flanagan, Mary, and Helen Nissenbaum. Values at Play in Digital Games. 1 edition. Cambridge, Massachusetts: The MIT Press, 2014. Print.

Friday May 13, 2016 2:30pm - 3:45pm
COOR 195 975 S Myrtle Ave Arizona State University Tempe, AZ 85281
  • Session Location COOR 195