building a CUNY DH Community since 2010
By Jojo Karlin
On 17, Oct 2017 | In Events of Interest | By Jojo Karlin
Registration for the GCDI Sound Series event Thursday, November 16th, 6:30-8:30 is now open.
GC Digital Initiatives Sound Series presents Dr. Johanna Devaney, who will introduce and teach her open-source software, Automatic Music Performance Analysis and Comparison Toolkit. Join us to learn about developing music software and to demo this toolkit for examining intervals between notes, tempo and relative dynamic level between notes, frequency and vibrato.
Read more at GCDI Events.
By Jojo Karlin
On 16, Oct 2017 | In Spotlight | By Jojo Karlin
Creator(s): Shelly Eversley, Associate Professor, English, Baruch College, CUNY
Laurie Hurson, Ph.D. Candidate, Environmental Psychology, The Graduate Center, CUNY
Project: Equality Archive
Discipline: Feminist Archive, Digital Media
Campus: GC and Baruch
Follow: @EqualityArchive, @ShellyEversley, @Laurhur
The Equality Archive is a digital platform that hosts open access information about the history of sex and gender equality in the United States. Each archive entry contains intersectional and multimodal content in the form of text, images, sound, and video. In its collaborative and transformative approach, the Equality Archive marks a new direction for Open Educational Resources by offering multimodal educational content without copyright restrictions and builds on the feminist practice of collaborative work and socially transformative potential.
Written by a collective of over 25 feminists who are professors, artists, and authors, each archive entry is peer-reviewed and connects readers to opportunities to get involved through volunteering or donating to an established organization already working toward a social good that must include empowered women. As readers explore one entry, they will find connections–intersections–with other entries. They can browse the archive by searching via key words located in Equality Archive’s tag cloud or they can jump between entries through text hyperlinks, images, videos, and other media. By providing access to multimodal, open, and educational content, Equality Archive aims to share information and spark interest so that it can ripple outward, becoming a new wave of knowledge and action in the service of social good.
More information can be found in the Equality Project Statement: Equality Archive: Open Educational Resources as Feminist Praxis
By Jojo Karlin
On 13, Oct 2017 | In Spotlight | By Jojo Karlin
Qwriting, a WordPress installation that serves the Queens College community, has over 19,000 users and hosts thousands of sites, including course blogs, student portfolios, and organizational pages. Qwriting 2.0 is a multiyear initiative to build on the Qwriting platform and the communities that rely on it. Over the past year, the Qwriting 2.0 initiative has included programs to support digital writing pedagogy, technical improvements to the Qwriting platform, increased support for teachers making use of Qwriting in their work, and increased support for student blogging initiatives such as QC Voices.
In spring of 2017, the Qwriting 2.0 team began a workshop series in digital writing pedagogy for instructors at Queens. This series, designed to show teachers in a variety of disciplines how best to deploy Qwriting and WordPress in their classrooms, engaged topics such as QWriting for Digital Assignments and Assessment and Strategies for Online Discussion, Annotation, and Collaborative Work. These sessions provide instructors with both the technical skills needed to use WordPress effectively and the space to consider how digital writing pedagogy can augment their own teaching practices.
To provide the Queens College community with a high-impact example of digital writing in practice, Qwriting 2.0 provides support for QC Voices, a flagship site that features student thought on issues such as queerness, social justice, equal representation in literature, and life in New York City. QC Voices highlights not only the diversity in perspective of Queens College students, but also their technical proficiency in both writing and modern digital rhetoric. The Qwriting 2.0 team maintains the site and guides and promotes the work of student bloggers as they create work that is routinely read by hundreds or thousands of visitors, both within and outside the Queens College community.
A critical part of the Qwriting 2.0 initiative is the ongoing evaluation and improvement of the Qwriting platform, including considerations of usability, aesthetics, and performance. In the last year, the Qwriting 2.0 team has made technical improvements to increase the speed of the platform, redesigned the site’s home page and documentation, and rethought the signup and site creation process to better serve common use cases. The team also actively encourages adoption of the platform through consultations, class visits, and office hours.
By Jojo Karlin
On 11, Oct 2017 | In Spotlight | By Jojo Karlin
Campus: Lehman College
Mapping New York Literary History is a digital public writing project produced by Lehman College English majors enrolled in Bret Maney’s American literature courses. The project engages students in original research and writing about New York locations that have a significant bearing on American literary history. Students document these sites through notes, photographs, videos, and interviews, and carry out library and archival research. The result of their investigations is a series of multimodal essays posted online under their names, initials, or a pseudonym, and organized through a mapping interface powered by Carto and hosted on the CUNY Academic Commons.
The goal of Mapping New York Literary History is fourfold: (1) to foster student engagement with local literary history and American studies; (2) to introduce students to the practice of writing for digital publics; (3) to enhance students’ digital literacies; and (4) to collaborate in the public humanities mission of sharing our disciplinary expertise with the wider community on the web. Through this project, students’ research and writing becomes a permanent contribution to the digital documentation of our city’s and region’s literary history. Lehman English majors have done some truly remarkable work, and we are excited to share it with you.
To begin exploring the Mapping New York Literary History project, click here. Most essays focus on literary sites within the five boroughs, but follow the river north to the Catskills, go west to Weehawken, NJ, or east to Long Island for more literary excavations!
For a scholarly discussion of the digital pedagogy involved in this project, see Bret Maney’s recent Kairos article, “Critics and Cartographers in the Literature Classroom: Using CARTO and WordPress to Build a Digital Public Writing Project.”
By Jojo Karlin
On 05, Oct 2017 | In Spotlight | By Jojo Karlin
Project type: Digital Pedagogy
Each academic year, AHTR publishes a series of blog posts on the AHTR Weekly, an increasingly popular feature at ArtHistoryTeachingResources.org. While these short essays primarily target art historians and museum educators, instructors in other disciplines now look to the Weekly for information about innovative pedagogies, open educational resources, and technology-enhanced teaching. Among topics slated for this year are “What’s Your Sutori? Interactive Study Guides and Active Note-Taking,” “Kimono Wednesdays,” “Bomb the Church,” and other effective Reacting to the Past (RTTP) games,” and “3D Printing.”
Some contributors have developed their Weekly posts into peer-reviewed publications for Art History Pedagogy and Practice, AHTR’s academic e-journal on scholarship of teaching and learning. At conferences, AHTR provides faculty opportunities for professional development and collaborative exchange. In October, AHTR will host a session “Pedagogically Sound Approaches for Hybrid and Online Learning,” at the Southeastern College Art Association (SECAC), and for the second year in a row, AHTR organized a round of lightning talks on teaching and learning for the College Art Association (CAA). These presentations, addressing the “State of the Art (History): Re Examining the Exam,” along with proceedings from our SECAC session will be shared and archived through reflection posts on the AHTR Weekly. AHTR is also excited to partner with CAA’s Education Committee this year on a one-day “boot camp” for faculty interested in conducting Scholarship of Teaching and Learning in Art History, and is planning a special issue of Art History Pedagogy and Practice focused on projects developing from this event.
By Jojo Karlin
On 02, Oct 2017 | In Spotlight | By Jojo Karlin
Project: Philip C. Van Buskirk Archive
Project type: Digital Archives, Digital Publishing
Campus: GC & Hunter
The Philip C. Van Buskirk Archive employs a small group of CUNY students to digitize and make freely available the first seven years of the unpublished journals of Philip C. Van Buskirk. The nearly-completed archive is free and publicly available for reading and searching.
Born into the upper class, educated and literate—the son of a Maryland Secretary of State—Van Buskirk “fell” into the working-class, largely illiterate, maritime culture after his father’s suicide. Beginning in 1851 and running for fifty years, he kept an extensive diary of the intimate details of his life and the lives of his fellow sailors.
The resulting journals provide a unique window into aspects of this working-class world that have proven difficult for scholars to access because they were almost never written down. While the journals present his perspective, they also allow access to voices he discovered in working-class spaces, perspectives that were seldom allowed within written discourse of the time. The journals have the capability to reshape assumptions at the heart of history, art, literary, and cultural criticism.
By Jojo Karlin
On 28, Sep 2017 | In Spotlight | By Jojo Karlin
The Distance Machine is a new way of visualizing the linguistic changes that we have to grapple with while reading texts from the past. It uses a statistical model to determine when words either became common or ceased to be common in several large collections of books, including Google’s Ngrams data and the publicly available part of the Early English Books Online collection. This gives an approximate sense of when archaic words like thou cease to appear in these collections and when distinctively modern words—like computer—come into common use. Using this information, it shows you (right in your web browser) which words in a text might have stood out as unusual, novel, or specialized to readers encountering it at a given point in the past.
Last year, a paper on this project, “‘The General Practice of the Nation’: Walt Whitman, Language, and Computerized Search in the Nineteenth-Century Archive,” appeared in the journal American Literature. Since then, I used the Distance Machine in a study of representations of land in eighteenth-century America and France, which I presented at the Northeast MLA conference. In the NEMLA paper, I argue that the word location, which appears at several points in Thomas Jefferson’s writings, was politically charged in the eighteenth century, indicating a way of thinking about land that defines places by projecting a Cartesian grid onto the landscape—a practice that, Edmund Burke argued, was like treating one’s own country as a country of conquest. The example of the word location reveals a way in which the new linguistic forms introduced by the Enlightenment have now become so familiar that they are almost invisible to contemporary readers.
Paying attention to language change using tools like the Distance Machine, I suggest, can help us recover some of the lost sense of novelty that texts from the past once had. Since the linguistic knowledge with which we in the twenty-first century read texts from past periods is, in part, a product of the historical processes that were at work in those periods, there is a danger that we tacitly give preference to the sides of political debates that won out. To resist this possibility, it is necessary to become a little less confident in our ability to understand the language of the past.
Dear CUNY DHI community!
This fall we are excited to launch CUNY DHI Spotlight, a new feature on the blog to highlight ongoing efforts of community members! Consistently impressed by the vibrant activity on the CUNY DHI group forum, we wish to showcase the amazing digital work happening around CUNY for a broader public. We will open with updates on projects seen last fall at the November lightning rounds.
Please contact GCDI Digital Fellow Jojo Karlin if you are interested in presenting a snapshot of an ongoing project (an image, slide or screenshot, and 250-500 word write-up of the project).
Stay tuned for the forthcoming call for presenters for CUNY DHI Lightning Talks, November 13!
By Javier Otero Peña
On 26, Apr 2017 | In Events of Interest | By Javier Otero Peña
Event: Earth Day Wikipedia Edit-a-thon
When: Thursday, April 27th, 11AM – 2 PM
Where: Science Center (The Graduate Center, CUNY, 4th floor)
Who: Open to GC community and the public
Participation is free, but an RSVP is appreciated.
The GC Digital Initiatives is hosting a Wikipedia Edit-a-thon to celebrate Earth Day and to improve the quality of open access, free resources about environmental sciences and humanities.
Earth Day is celebrated on April 22nd and people from all over the world are launching campaigns and promoting awareness about critical environmental issues. Our Wikipedia Edit-a-thon is designed to help create and improve Wikipedia’s environmental sciences and humanities content. As the largest and most popular general reference work on Internet, Wikipedia provides many people with their first contact with scientific information.
During the Edit-a-thon, you will learn how to set up an account to edit content, learn how to create citations, and either begin connecting existing content to reliable sources or adding new content supported by citations.
No previous experience is required. If you are interested in attending, please RSVP here.
If you need accessibility accommodation to attend, contact us at cuny.is/contactus.
PHOTO: 2017 CREATIVE COMMONS, BY JUNAIDRAO.
By Javier Otero Peña
On 27, Feb 2017 | In Events of Interest | By Javier Otero Peña
March 6th, 5:00-10:00 PM
The Digital Fellows, part of the Graduate Center Digital Initiatives at The Graduate Center, CUNY, will be hosting a Doc-a-thon to generate better docs!
When learning a new software tool, programming language or library, we all go straight to the tutorials and other documentation. As the first point of entry for almost everyone, documentation is an often overlooked but critical part of any software project, so we’re providing space and resources to contribute. Participants of all skill-levels are encouraged to join.
We’ll provide you with an introduction to the projects, a discussion of good documentation practices, and help setting up your development environment. You can work on your own personal project or help out on a participating project, such as DH Box, Omeka, Matplotlib, Pandas, and Clawpack.
The first day (Monday March 6) will be focused on tutorials and getting people started. We will then have support throughout the week at the GC Digital Lab on Room 7414, via our GC Digital Fellows office hours (Tuesday 2:00pm – 4:00pm) and the Python User’s Group (Wednesday 12:00pm – 2:00pm).
If you are interested in participating, please RSVP here.
For questions or accessibility accommodations, write us to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photo by Mike Ashton (2013). Creative Commons License.