Archive for 2011

December 12: DH and Graduate Education–Bethany Nowviskie (UVa) on “The Praxis Program at the Scholars’ Lab”

December 4th, 2011

Please join us for our final meeting of the semester on Monday, December 12, 6:30-8:30pm at the CUNY Graduate Center (Room 9204) for an exciting session on Digital Humanities and Graduate Education:

Bethany Nowviskie, “The Praxis Program at the Scholars’ Lab.”

Praxis is a radical re-imagining of the methodological training offered to graduate students in the Scholars’ Lab at the University of Virginia Library. Alongside our well-established program for Grad Fellows in Digital Humanities, six new students are apprenticing with us to design and build Prism, a tool for “crowd-sourced” textual analysis, visualization, and  interpretation.  Our goal — as we test a hands-on curriculum live and in public — is to spark conversation about methodological training in the humanities. How should we prepare the next generation of knowledge workers for emerging faculty positions and alternative academic careers?


Bethany Nowviskie is director of digital research and scholarship at the University of Virginia Library Scholars’ Lab and associate director of the Scholarly Communication Institute. She is the editor of #Alt-Academy: Alternative Careers for Humanities Scholars.

Ben Vershbow on “NYPL Labs: Hacking the Library” [video]

November 28th, 2011

The CUNY Digital Humanities Initiative is happy to release video from our November 14, 2011 event on Digital Humanities in the Library with Ben Vershbow of the New York Public Library. Ben’s talk was titled “NYPL Labs: Hacking the Library.” Please read our original announcement for more details on the talk. We thank Ben for an excellent session and a lively Q&A!

November 14: DH in the Library – Ben Vershbow (NYPL) on “NYPL Labs: Hacking the Library” (apologies for the focus issues at the start of the video; it gets better!)

Q&A Session

Digital Humanities in the Classroom – Mark Sample and Shannon Mattern [video]

November 19th, 2011

The CUNY Digital Humanities Initiative is pleased to release video from our October 18, 2011 event on Digital Humanities in the Classroom with Mark Sample and Shannon Mattern. Please read our original announcement for more details on their talks. We’re very grateful to them for sharing their work with us!

Mark Sample, “Building and Sharing When You’re Supposed to be Teaching”

Shannon Mattern, “Beyond the Seminar Paper: Setting New Standards for New Forms of Student Work”

November 14: DH in the Library–Ben Vershbow (NYPL) on “NYPL Labs: Hacking the Library”

November 8th, 2011

Please join us on Monday, November 14, 6:30-8:30pm at the CUNY Graduate Center (Room C201) for an exciting session on DH in the Library:

Ben Vershbow (New York Public Library)

“NYPL Labs: Hacking the Library”

The digital humanities and libraries have a deeply intertwined history. DH centers frequently are allied with or physically housed in library infrastructure, and many early digital humanities projects were in essence digital librarianship: organizing information online, building accessible digital archives, preparing and encoding texts for the world wide web. To this day, libraries look to digital humanists for new theories and methodologies in areas as diverse as digital preservation, linked open data, and geospatial information.

The New York Public Library is something of an outlier in this history. A public research institution, not beholden to a faculty or student body, its user base is an entire city, and also a vast array of thinking people around the world. It is an incubator for books, technologies, businesses and works of art. Thousands of scholars, writers, artists, students, workers and job seekers use its reading rooms and free internet access to pursue vectors of thought and creation. Its digital collections (still a tiny fraction of overall holdings) are accessed through web browsers around the world. Yet only recently has NYPL begun to actively engage with the digital humanities community and to adapt some of its ideas and methods to the immense task of redefining the public library for the information age.

Since 2007, the Library has been actively modernizing its digital infrastructure: embracing open source software and agile development processes, laying the foundations for a trusted digital repository, and working blogging and social media into its service models. NYPL Labs is a recently formed unit that is charged with building on these advances through bold experimentation with new technologies, development of advanced interfaces and research tools, and deep collaboration with curators and the public. This talk will cover current and future projects of the Labs, and through the lens of these first efforts, ponder what an urban public research library might look like a few decades down the road.

Ben Vershbow is a New York-based digital humanities geek and theater artist. For four years, he was editorial director at the Institute for the Future of the Book, working with Bob Stein. Currently, he is manager of NYPL Labs, a digital innovation unit at The New York Public Library, and runs a theater collective, Group Theory.


Oct 18: DH in the Classroom: Shannon Mattern & Mark Sample

October 13th, 2011

Please join us on Tuesday October 18, 2011, when we are excited to welcome two innovative practitioners of “Digital Humanities in the Classroom” – The New School’s Shannon Mattern, and Mark Sample, of George Mason University.

Details are below; we look forward to seeing you there!

Time & Place: Tuesday October 18, 2011, 6:30-8:30pm, Room 6496, CUNY Graduate Center

Shannon Mattern, “Beyond the Seminar Paper: Setting New Standards for New Forms of Student Work”

By exploring how new technologies might function as teaching tools or platforms on which students can demonstrate their learning, we expand the means and ends of education. With this increasing openness of pedagogical forms comes the responsibility to justify our choices and develop new forms of criticism and modes of assessment. Using several of my own courses as examples, I’ll address the challenges and potential benefits of holding students, and ourselves, accountable for the choices we make in our classrooms and advising relationships. I’ll focus on the value of (1) student documentation of their learning process, and in particular (2) students’ justification of their chosen methods and modes of presentation; (3) collaborative development of criteria for evaluation; and (4) connecting our work in the classroom to larger public problems and public institutions.

Suggested readings:


Mark Sample, “Building and Sharing When You’re Supposed to be Teaching”

My pedagogy can increasingly be summed up in five words: “Make things. And share them.” I will talk briefly about my move toward assignments and projects in the undergraduate humanities classroom that emphasize making—as opposed to simply writing. I will also address the sharing aspect of these projects, which I see as a critical intervention into the enclosured experience most students have in higher education.

Suggested readings:


Shannon Mattern is an Assistant Professor of Media Studies and Film at The New School and was, from 2006 to 2009, director of the Masters in Media Studies program. Her research and teaching focus on relationships among media, architectural, and urban space. Her book, The New Downtown Library, was supported by the Graham and Mellon foundations and published by the University of Minnesota Press in 2007. She has also published in several edited volumes and in journals including Space and Culture, Public Culture, and the Journal of Architectural Education. Her classes, which regularly involve the use of digital media, have resulted in the creation of exhibitions and installations and, in Fall 2010, thanks to the support of an Innovations in Education grant from The New School, a prototype of an open-source mapping tool for scholarly urban research. She is a recipient of The New School’s 2011 Distinguished University Teaching Award.

Mark Sample is an Assistant Professor in the Department of English at George Mason University, where is he also an affiliated faculty member with GMU’s undergraduate Honors College, its Cultural Studies doctoral program, and the Center for History and New Media. His research focuses on contemporary fiction, electronic literature, and videogames. His examination of the representation of torture in videogames was recently published in Game Studies, and he is working on a collaboratively written book about the Commodore 64 home computer. Mark has work in Hacking the Academy, a crowdsourced scholarly book forthcoming in print by the digitalculturebooks imprint of the University of Michigan Press. Mark has recently remixed the entire text of Hacking the Academy as Hacking the Accident. Mark is also an outspoken advocate of open source pedagogy and open source research. In recognition of his commitment to innovation in teaching, he was the recipient of George Mason’s 2010 Teaching Excellence Award. He is a regular contributor to ProfHacker, a feature at the Chronicle for Higher Education that focuses on pedagogy and scholarly productivity, and he also writes for Play the Past, a collaboratively edited scholarly blog that explores the intersection of cultural heritage and games.

This event is co-sponsored by The CUNY Digital Humanities Initiative and the CUNY Digital Studies Group, in partnership with The Center for the Humanities at The Graduate Center, CUNY.

Open Access Event: Open Access Scholarly Publishing as Thought and Action

September 19th, 2011

Reposted from the <a href=””>Open Access @ CUNY blog</a>:


Friday, October 28, 2011
CUNY Graduate Center—Room 9204
free and open to the public

As a culmination of CUNY Open Access Week 2011, and in conjunction with the CUNY Digital Humanities Initiative, this panel will unravel issues surrounding open access scholarly publishing. Our panelists will share their inspiration for becoming open access advocates, their thinking about adopting particular licenses for their work, and the processes through which they have liberated their scholarship—from their perspectives as authors, editors and publishers.

The panel will include:

Members of the Radical Teacher editorial collectiveEmily Drabinski, is an Instruction Librarian at Long Island University, Brooklyn, James Davis and Joseph Entin, both Associate Professors of English at Brooklyn College. Radical Teacher is a socialist, feminist, and anti-racist journal about the theory and practice of teaching. Published in print since 1975, the journal has recently decided to transition to an open access model.

Matthew K. Gold is an Assistant Professor of English at New York City College of Technology and of Interactive Technology and Pedagogy at the CUNY Graduate Center, where he serves as Advisor to the Provost for Master’s Programs and Digital Initiatives. He recently edited the book Debates in the Digital Humanities, which will be published through the University of Minnesota Press in January 2012 both as a printed text and an expanded, open-access edition on the web.

Michael Mandiberg is an artist and Assistant Professor of Media Culture at the College of Staten Island/CUNY and on the Doctoral Faculty of the Interactive Technology and Pedagogy Certificate Program at the CUNY Graduate Center. He is the coauthor ofDigital Foundations: An Intro to Media DesignCollaborative Futures, and the editor ofThe Social Media Reader.

Trebor Scholz is a scholar, artist, professor, chair, organizer and chair of the conference series The Politics of Digital Culture at The New School in NYC. His forthcoming monograph with Polity offers a history of the Social Web and its Orwellian economies. In spring 2011, he co-authored From Mobile Playgrounds to Sweatshop City (with Laura Y. Liu). Scholz is the editor of two collections of essays, Learning Through Digital Media(iDC, 2011) and a volume on digital labor (Routledge, 2012). He also founded theInstitute for Distributed Creativity that is widely known for its online discussions of critical network culture.

For more information about Open Access publishing, and CUNY’s 2011 Open Access Week events, see the Open Access @ CUNY blog on the CUNY Academic Commons, or get in touch with Professor Alycia Sellie:


September 14: Digital Humanities in Practice: Games-Based Learning in Practice at CUNY

September 9th, 2011

Digital Studies / Digital Humanities Seminar

Digital Humanities in Practice: Games-Based Learning in Practice at CUNY

Wednesday, September 14th, 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm

Room C197

The CUNY Games Network connects educators from every campus and discipline at the university who are interested in games, simulations, and other forms of interactive teaching. In this session we’ll share the research behind games-based learning, and explore practical pedagogical applications of both digital and non-digital games. Speakers include: 


Joe Bisz is an Associate Professor in the English Department at Borough of Manhattan Community College.


Kathleen Offenholley is an Assistant Professor in the Mathematics Department at Borough of Manhattan Community College.


Leah Potter is Co-Director of Teaching American History Programs in the American Social History Project/Center for Media and Learning at the CUNY Graduate Center.


Maura A. Smale is an Assistant Professor and Information Literacy Librarian in the Library Department at New York City College of Technology.

Free and open to the public. All events take place at The Graduate Center, CUNY, 365 Fifth Ave btwn 34th & 35th. The building and the venues are fully accessible. For more information please visit or call212.817.2005 or e-mail


Fall 2011 CUNY Digital Studies/Digital Humanities Seminar Schedule

September 9th, 2011

We’re delighted to announce our schedule of seminar meetings for the Fall 2011 semester, which are centered on the theme of “Digital Humanities in Practice.” We’ll be looking at specific instantiations of DH at CUNY, in libraries, in the classroom, and in graduate education. We hope you can join us!

Fall 2011 CUNY Digital Studies/Digital Humanities Seminar Schedule
Sponsored by the Center for the Humanities at the CUNY Graduate Center
All events are free and open to the public, and all will take place at the CUNY Graduate Center

    Wednesday, September 14, 6:30-8:30pm: Digital Humanities in Practice: Games-Based Digital Learning at CUNY
    Speakers from the CUNY Games NetworkJoe Bisz (BMCC), Kathleen Offenholley (BMCC), Leah Potter (CUNY Graduate Center), Maura A. Smale (City Tech) 

    Tuesday, October 18, 6:30-8:30pm: Digital Humanities in the Classroom
    Shannon Mattern (New School), “Beyond the Seminar Paper: Setting New Standards for New Forms of Student Work”
    Mark Sample (George Mason), “Building and Sharing When You’re Supposed to be Teaching”

    Monday, November 14, 6:30-8:30pm: Digital Humanities in the Library
    Ben Vershbow (New York Public Library), (Title TBA)

    Monday, December 12, 6:30-8:30pm: Digital Humanities and Graduate Education
    Bethany Nowviskie (University of Virginia), “The Praxis Program at the Scholars’ Lab”

Also, please consider attending these related events:

September 12: Cathy Davidson on “Now You See It: How the Brain Science of Attention Will Transform the Way We Live, Work, and Learn”

July 24th, 2011

This upcoming event at the GC will be of interest to many in our group:

Monday, Sept. 12th, 6:30 -8:30 pm, Martin E. Segal Theater

Now You See It: How the Brain Science of Attention Will Transform the Way We Live, Work, and Learn

CATHY N. DAVIDSON is the John Hope Franklin Humanities Institute Professor of Interdisciplinary Studies at Duke University. She has published more than twenty books including Closing: The Life and Death of an American Factory and The Future of Thinking: Learning Institutions in a Digital Age. In December 2010, President Obama nominated Davidson to the National Council on the Humanities and she is currently awaiting confirmation by the Senate. She is the co-founder of HASTAC. JESSE PRINZ, Distinguished Professor of Philosophy, Graduate Center, will serve as discussant. Cosponsored by the Center for the Study of Women and Society and the Center for Humanities.

Digital Humanities and the Future of Libraries

June 7th, 2011

CUNY DHI members: Please check out this event next week at the New York Public Library:

NYPL Labs presents: Digital Humanities and the Future of Libraries

A conversation in honor of Dr. Paul LeClerc with:

Kari Kraus, Jon Orwant, Dot Porter and Doug Reside

Thursday June 16, 4-6pm at The New York Public Library

Stephen A. Schwarzman Building (42nd St. and 5th Ave.), South Court Auditorium

FREE and open to the public

Since the early days of the field, Digital Humanities practitioners have frequently found allies and collaborators in librarians and archivists. Many early digital humanities projects centered around organizing and making accessible information–two activities at the core of the mission of almost every library. Perhaps for this reason,many of the largest digital humanities centers are physically situated in and often at least partially funded by University libraries.

Nonetheless, the field has traditionally been led (with a few notable exceptions) by faculty from humanities departments rather than by library staff, and libraries have tended to isolate digital humanities centers as somewhat quarantined departments separate from the daily work of the institution. However, as both digital humanities and librarianship develop in the 21st century, there are indications that these walls of separation are beginning to erode. In this panel discussion, NYPL Digital Curator for the Performing Arts,Doug Reside, and three digital humanists from very different backgrounds will discuss the future of libraries and the digital humanities and how these two related, but as yet mostly separate fields, may (or may not) finally converge.

This event is held in honor of outgoing NYPL President Dr. Paul LeClerc, whose vision and passionate advocacy have advanced the frontiers of digital humanities innovation at the Library. The event is sponsored byNYPL Labs, a collaborative team of librarians, curators and technologists developing new ideas and tools for digital research.


KARI KRAUS is an assistant professor in the College of Information Studies and the Department of English at the University of Maryland. Her research and teaching interests focus on new media and the digital humanities, textual scholarship and print culture, digital preservation, transmedia storytelling, and game studies. Kraus is a local Co-PI on an Institute of Museum and Library Services grant for preserving virtual worlds; a Co-PI on an IMLS Digital Humanities Internship grant; and, with Derek Hansen (iSchool), the Co-Principal Investigator of an NSF grant to study Alternate Reality Games (ARGs) and transmedia storytelling in the service of education and design. In addition to the University of Maryland, she has taught at the University of Rochester and the Eastman School of Music, and in the Art and Visual Technology program at George Mason University.

JON ORWANTis Engineering Manager at Google, where he works on Book Search, Patent Search, visualizations, and the digital humanities, where he recently launched the Google Books Ngram Viewer. He’s the author or co-author of several books on programming, including the bestselling Programming Perl, and published an independent computer magazine. Before joining Google he was the CTO of O’Reilly & Associates and Director of Research for France Telecom. He received his doctorate from MIT’s Electronic Publishing Group in 1999.

DOT PORTER is currently the Associate Director for Content & Services in the Digital Library Program at Indiana University. Ms. Porter holds an MA in Medieval Studies and an MS in Library Science, although after receiving her MSLS rather than going to work in a library, she took a position in a digital humanities center. Over the next seven years she dedicated herself to working with humanities scholars to undertake faculty-driven digital projects. These projects often involved working closely with librarians, and with other scholars, such as computer scientists, as well, but the driving force behind the projects was always the humanities scholar. In June 2010, Ms. Porter came to work in the Digital Library Program at IU and was immediately stuck with a bit of culture shock. Although the technologies used in DL are very similar to those in DH, the aims and goals can be quite different, and working between the two can be an interesting, educational, and engaging experience.

DOUG RESIDE (moderator) became Digital Curator for the Performing Arts at New York Public Library in January of 2011 after serving for four and a half years on the directorial staff of the Maryland Institute for Technology in the Humanities (MITH) at the University of Maryland in College Park. He holds a BS in Computer Science and a BA, MA, and Ph.D. in English Literature. He has been a PI on three earlier startup grants (The Ajax XML Encoder, Music Theatre Online, and the Collaborative Ajax Modeling Platform) and the co-PI with Tanya Clement on the Off the Tracks workshop. Additionally, he is the original project director of the NEH Preservation and Access funded Text Image Linking Environment (TILE) which is scheduled for release in the summer of 2011.

Jason Kucsma
Acting Interim Director & Emerging Technologies Manager
Metropolitan New York Library Council
212.228.2320 x23

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