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building a CUNY DH Community since 2010



In Meetings

By Matthew K. Gold

CUNY Digital Humanities Initiative Spring 2011 Schedule

On 16, Feb 2011 | In Meetings | By Matthew K. Gold

Following up on our wonderful inaugural speaker series last Fall, we are very pleased to announce our schedule for the Spring 2011 semester. Our theme this Spring is DIY Digital Humanities.

The events are co-sponsored by the CUNY Digital Studies Group, and presented in partnership with The Center for the Humanities at The Graduate Center, CUNY. We hope you will be able to join us.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011: DIY DH at CUNY
New Media Lab, CUNY Graduate Center


Our theme for this semester is “DIY DH.” In this spirit, group members Lauren Klein, Sarah Ruth Jacobs, Cynthia Tobar, Bronwen Densmore, Amanda Licastro, Charlie Edwards, and Matthew Gold have volunteered to share their experiences using digital technologies in their classrooms and research. On the agenda: using off-the-shelf tools in Macaulay Honors College seminars, WordPress plugins for the paperless and networked classroom, Omeka and the Mina Rees library, and reports from recent THATCamps and the MLA Convention.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011: Patrik Svensson (Umeå University, Sweden) on “Designing the Digital Humanities”
Room 9205, CUNY Graduate Center

“Designing the Digital Humanities”

The digital humanities are being built and negotiated at this point in time by universities, departments, scholars, programmers, funding agencies, construction workers and various other people and institutions. Drawing on my four-article series on the digital humanities and my own take on the field, I will talk about understanding, building and designing the digital humanities. I will use HUMlab at Umeå University as a starting point, and will also be showing some material – including photos and film clips – from the lab. The discussion will range from visions and design parameters to material manifestations such as a brand-new led-based ceiling light fixture/screen and a plant wall. Questions raised include: What choices do we need to make? What are the underlying visions? What basic values are important? What cyberinfrastructure do we need? Can there be a no-tent digital humanities? What is the advantage of physical lab or studio spaces? Can the digital humanities change the world (or at least the academy)? I combine analytical work on the digital humanities as a field and project with a strong engagement in the future of the field.

Patrik Svensson is the director of HUMlab at Umeå University, Sweden.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011: David L. Hoover (NYU) on “New-Fangled/Old-Fashioned Digital Literary Studies”
Room 6417, CUNY Graduate Center

“New-Fangled/Old-Fashioned Digital Literary Studies”

Although computational approaches to literary studies have a relatively long history, dating back to at least the 1960’s, the recent explosive growth in the availability of digital texts and the increasing power of digital tools has encouraged new methods and techniques. David’s talk will take a look at some of the kinds of literary analysis that are possible only with digital texts and digital tools, and then focus in a bit more depth on a relatively new method of extracting the characteristic vocabulary of an author, text, or group.

David L. Hoover is Professor of English at New York University.

Wednesday, March 30 2011: Kathleen Fitzpatrick (Pomona College) on “Peer Review, Open Scholarship, and the Digital Humanities”
Room 6417, CUNY Graduate Center

“Peer Review, Open Scholarship, and the Digital Humanities”

Peer review is the sine qua non of the academy: we use it in nearly everything we do, and cannot imagine what scholarship would be without it. But for such a crucial component of the ways that we work, none of us are wholly satisfied with it, either. Moreover, conventional forms of peer review are often misaligned with the kinds of open scholarship being produced in the digital humanities. This talk takes a brief look at the history and the present criticism of peer review as a means of exploring its future, particularly as scholarly publishing moves increasingly online: what might peer review that took advantage of the reputation economies developed within networked communities look like, and how might it help scholarly communication flourish?

Kathleen Fitzpatrick is Professor of Media Studies at Pomona College.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011: Douglas Armato (University of Minnesota Press) on “Digital Media’s Prehistory and the Nine Lives of Scholarly Publishing“
Room C201/202, CUNY Graduate Center

“Digital Media’s Prehistory and the Nine Lives of Scholarly Publishing“

Scholarly publishing has survived through adaptation and economic reinvention and now faces new challenges, and opportunities, as the market for ebooks reaches escape velocity and the emergence of the digital humanities reconfigures academic work. The Director of the University of Minnesota Press and editor of its list in digital culture studies discusses how university presses are adapting both individually and collectively to the digital environment and how presses remain a vital counterforce to the diminished status of of the humanities in higher education.

Douglas Armato is Director of the University of Minnesota Press and Editor of its Digital Culture Studies List.

We would also like to let you know about a related event sponsored by the CUNY Digital Studies Group:

Wednesday, March 23, 2011: Jay Rosen, New York University and C.W. Anderson, College of Staten Island/CUNY
Room C198, CUNY Graduate Center

“The People Formerly Known as the Audience: Five Years Later”

Jay Rosen is Associate Professor NYU, C.W. Anderson, Assistant Professor College of Staten Island/CUNY

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In Meetings

By Matthew K. Gold

Tom Scheinfeldt, “Stuff Digital Humanists Like” [video]

On 15, Dec 2010 | In Meetings, Podcasts | By Matthew K. Gold

CUNY DHI is pleased to release a video version of Tom Scheinfeldt’s December 1 talk at the CUNY Graduate Center, “Stuff Digital Humanists Like: Defining Digital Humanities by its Values.” at the CUNY Graduate Center. It was an honor to have Tom with us, and we’re especially excited that his own rough transcript of the talk has already produced some engaging responses.

We regret that we were able to capture only a small portion of the provocative discussion that followed Tom’s presentation. Next time, we’ll make sure that the camera batteries are fully charged!

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In Uncategorized

By Matthew K. Gold

Dec. 1: Tom Scheinfeldt on “Stuff Digital Humanists Like: Defining Digital Humanities by its Values”

On 28, Nov 2010 | In Uncategorized | By Matthew K. Gold

Please join us on Wednesday, December 1, when The CUNY Digital Humanities Initiative and The CUNY Digital Studies Group will welcome Tom Scheinfeldt, Managing Director of George Mason University’s Center for History & New Media (CHNM), who will be speaking about “Stuff Digital Humanists Like: Defining Digital Humanities by its Values.”

At a time when the number and scope of digital humanities projects are growing, Tom’s talk represents an effort to step back and attempt to understand what differentiates successful and unsuccessful DH projects. What lessons can be drawn from projects that fly and those that fall flat? What inferences can be made about the DH community itself based on the types of projects it supports?

This will be our last talk of the semester, so please be sure to join us. We will be gathering for a final meal with CUNY Pie on Thursday, December 2 at 6pm, when we’ll visit John’s Pizza on Bleeker Street.

Time & place: December 1st , 6:30pm-8:30pm, CUNY Graduate Center, Room 9207.

TOM SCHEINFELDT is Managing Director of the Center for History and New Media and Research Assistant Professor of History in the Department of History and Art History at George Mason University.

Tom received his bachelor’s degree from Harvard and his master’s and doctoral degrees from Oxford, where his doctoral thesis examined inter-war interest in science and its history in diverse cultural contexts, including museums, universities, World’s Fairs and the mass media. A research associate at the Smithsonian Institution Archives and a fellow of the Science Museum, London, Tom has lectured and written extensively on the history of popular science, the history of museums, history and new media, and the changing role of history in society, and has worked on traditional exhibitions and digital projects at the Colorado Historical Society, the Museum of the History of Science in Oxford, The Louisiana State Museum, the National Museum of American History, and the Library of Congress. In addition to managing general operations at the Center for History and New Media, Tom directs several of its online history projects, including Omeka, THATCamp, One Week | One Tool, the September 11 Digital Archive, the Hurricane Digital Memory Bank, the Papers of the War Department, 1784-1800, and Gulag: Many Days, Many Lives.

Along with his blog Found History, Tom co-hosts the podcast Digital Campus with colleagues Dan Cohen and Mills Kelly. You can follow Tom on Twitter, Linkedin, and Zotero.



In Meetings

By Matthew K. Gold

Eben Moglen, “Before and After IP: Ownership of Ideas in the 21st Century”

On 22, Nov 2010 | In Meetings | By Matthew K. Gold

Eben Moglen. Photo source:

On November 17, 2010, the CUNY Digital Studies Group and the CUNY Digital Humanities Initiative, in partnership with the The Center for the Humanities at The Graduate Center, CUNY, hosted a talk by Professor Eben Moglen of Columbia Law School.

Professor Moglen’s talk, which was titled “Before and After IP: Ownership of Ideas in the 21st Century,” is now available for download on his website under a Creative Commons BY-SA license. It gives us great pleasure to share this audio version of the talk under the same CC-BY-SA license.

Download (MP3, 128 kbps)

Download higher-quality version from Professor Moglen’s website (MP3, 185 kbps)

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In Meetings

By Charlie Edwards

CUNY Digital Humanities Initiative Fall 2010 Schedule

On 04, Oct 2010 | In Meetings | By Charlie Edwards

"Fall Leaves" - a CC Licensed Photo from notashamed

After a great first meeting of CUNY DHI, here are the details of our upcoming sessions for Fall 2010. It’s an exciting line-up, and we hope that some of you will be able to join us in person here at the Graduate Center for these events.

October 13th: DH & Ed Tech

Continuing our theme, “Defining the Digital Humanities,” the group will turn to the relationship between educational technology and the digital humanities. CUNY’s own Mikhail Gershovich, Joe Ugoretz, and Luke Waltzer will present their work on key initiatives in networked pedagogy: Blogs@Baruch and Macaulay Honors College’s ePortfolio Gateway and Macaulay Social Network. Boone Gorges will discuss Anthologize, the product he helped develop this summer in One Week | One Tool.

Time & place: 6:30pm-8:30pm, CUNY Graduate Center, room 6417.

October 22nd: Samir Chopra & Scott Dexter

The Digital Studies Group, our parent organization, is hosting a seminar with Brooklyn College’s Samir Chopra and Scott Dexter, who will present their work on the free and open source software (FOSS) movement. Chopra and Dexter are the authors of Decoding Liberation: The Promise of Free and Open Source Software (Routledge, 2007).

Time & place: 5pm-7pm, CUNY Graduate Center, room 9205.

November 17th: Eben Moglen

The Digital Studies Group is sponsoring a talk by Eben Moglen of Columbia University. Professor Moglen plans to address the large question of intellectual property and 21st century digital technologies, given a property system based on industrial forms and legal structures. His talk given earlier this year at NYU, “Freedom and the Cloud,” inspired a group of students to create Diaspora, “the privacy aware, personally controlled, do-it-all, open source social network.”

Time & place: 7pm, CUNY Graduate Center, Skylight Room (9th Floor).

December 1st: Tom Scheinfeldt

We are delighted to welcome Tom Scheinfeldt, Managing Director of George Mason University’s Center for History & New Media (CHNM) to CUNY DHI. In his talk, Stuff Digital Humanists Like: Defining Digital Humanities by its Values,” Scheinfeldt plans to discuss the reasons why some DH efforts succeed while others fall flat.  By highlighting some of the things that do and don’t work in DH projects, he plans to isolate some common characteristics, and see if doing so can point us to a clearer definition, or at least understanding, of DH.

Time & place: 6:30pm-8:30pm, CUNY Graduate Center, room 9207.

December 2nd: CUNY Pie

Because we cannot live on discourse alone, we will crash the monthly meeting of CUNY pizza lovers.  Join us as we feast on NYC’s greatest food.

Time and place: 6:30pm, John’s Pizza, Bleeker Street.

December 14th: Special Session of the CUNY IT Conference

This year’s CUNY IT Conference is titled “Instructional/Information Technology in CUNY: The Tried and the New.” In addition to its regular program on December 3rd, a special session will be held at the Graduate Center on December 14th. This event will focus on “the new” – emerging technologies and applications, new uses and trials, even prospects rather than realized projects.  Virginia Heffernan of the New York Times will deliver the keynote address.  CUNY DHI will take part in a session called “Building Communities on the CUNY Academic Commons.”

Time and place: 9am-4pm, CUNY Graduate Center, rooms TBA.

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In Resources

By Matthew K. Gold

Introducing The CUNY Digital Humanities Resource Guide

On 21, Sep 2010 | In Resources | By Matthew K. Gold

The CUNY Digital Humanities Initiative is delighted to announce the launch of a new collaborative publication: The CUNY Digital Humanities Resource Guide. Presenting a well-researched and annotated view of the field, the guide will serve as a broad introduction to DH for newcomers by offering a balanced archive of best practices, ongoing projects, and disciplinary debates.

The guide covers a wide range of subjects, including Defining the Digital Humanities, Hot Topics, Sample Projects, DH Syllabi, and Conferences and Events. Check out the Table of Contents for the full range of topics.

The initial version of the guide is just that — a beginning. As you read through the guide, please let us know whether you have corrections or additional information to share with us. As the Using This Guide page shows, the wiki itself is editable only by members of the CUNY Academic Commons, but non-CUNY contributors can add to the guide in the following ways:

* Tag items on delicious with cunydhi
* Tweet us at @cunydhi
* Email your comments to
* Leave a comment on this post

We very much hope to have your input, so please do not hesitate to get in touch with suggestions, corrections, and comments.

The initial version of the guide was created by Charlie Edwards, a graduate student in the Ph.D. Program in English and the Interactive Technology and Pedagogy Certificate Program at The CUNY Graduate Center, in consultation with ITP faculty member Matthew K. Gold. We are thankful to CUNY Academic Commons Wiki Wrangler Scott Voth for helping format it for the wiki. Future versions of the guide will be produced collaboratively by the members of the CUNY DHI — and the DH community at large.

We hope that the guide will provide a useful starting point for others just entering the DH conversation, and we urge you to help us improve it!

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In Meetings

By Matthew K. Gold

Inaugural Meeting: Defining the Digital Humanities (9/22/10)

On 18, Sep 2010 | In Meetings | By Matthew K. Gold

Book Porn shared CC by Alan Bell

We are delighted to announce the inaugural meeting of the CUNY Digital Humanities Initiative, which will take place on Wednesday, September 22, 2010 from 6:30pm-8:30pm in room Room C198 at The CUNY Graduate Center.

Picking up on our semester’s theme — What are the Digital Humanities? — we’ll discuss a series of short readings that attempt to answer that question:

1. The definitions of DH provided by participants in this year’s Day of Digital Humanities
2. A longer piece from a recent issue of Digital Humanities Quarterly, Patrik Svensson’s “The Landscape of Digital Humanities.”
3. A series of blog posts that were published last year in the wake of the 2009 MLA convention. Be sure to look at the comments on the blog posts.
– “The MLA and the Digital Humanities,” William Pannapacker, The Chronicle of Higher Education, Dec. 28, 2009
– “The MLA, @briancroxall, and the non-rise of the Digital Humanities,” David Parry, Jan. 6, 2010
– “Be online or be irrelevant,” David Parry, Jan. 11, 2010
– “The Turtlenecked Hairshirt: Fetid and Fragrant Futures for the Humanities,” Ian Bogost, Jan. 9, 2010
4. Chris Forster, “I’m Chris. Where am I Wrong?”. Sept. 8, 2010.
5. Rebecca Davis, “NITLE launches Digital Humanities initiative”, Aug. 31, 2010

We hope that this range of readings will give us a great deal to discuss at our first meeting. Please join us on Wednesday and at our other events this semester, which will be announced soon!

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Welcome to the CUNY Digital Humanities Initiative

On 26, Aug 2010 | In Organizational Info | By Matthew K. Gold

Welcome to the CUNY Digital Humanities Initiative, a nascent effort to build a digital humanities community at CUNY during the 2010-2011 academic year. Part of the Digital Studies Group, this effort is being headed up by Matthew K. Gold and Charlie Edwards.

Our goal in creating this initiative is twofold: we’d like to find digital humanists already embedded within the CUNY system, and we’d like to encourage discussion around the digital humanities to increase awareness of work in the field. To those ends, we’ll be sponsoring a series of public discussions during the year, and we’ll also work on building up resources to help introduce members of CUNY to the discipline. We hope, eventually, to build the kind of community that can find ways to collaborate on various kinds of scholarly digital projects.

Our major theme during the fall semester will be “What are the Digital Humanities?” We’ve chosen that theme both because it’s a question that many of you are likely to have, and because the question itself is one that (not surprisingly) preoccupies many practitioners in the field.

In the coming weeks, we will announce our public seminar schedule and some resources that will help orient newcomers to the field. Please stay tuned. In the meantime, you can find us here on this blog, over in our group, and on Twitter.

We very much hope you’ll join us either virtually, through our efforts on the Commons, or in person, at one of our meetups. We look forward to working with you in the coming year!

— Matt and Charlie

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