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digital history

On Academia.edu

Yesterday Sarah Bond published a thoughtful, short article in her regular Forbes column suggesting that academics abandon Academia.edu and move their research to open access alternatives. Bond argues that academia.edu is a for-profit wolf in .edu-sheep clothing. It’s not a real .edu, in that it’s not in institution of higher learning (which is the current criteria for an organization to use the “.edu” domain name).

Digital Humanities communities in Berlin

Happy new year readers! I am glad to say that we have arrived in Berlin and are settling in. So far we have been exploring the areas around us and awing at the amazing architecture. The city has been fairly quiet (except for an incredibly large amount of fireworks on New Years), so we have mostly been walking around the streets. I have found a Digital Humanities group that that has certain events in Berlin.

Workshop on Networks & Simulation for the Humanities – Nov 9, Discovery Centre Macodrum Library

Carleton University, Ottawa, Macodrum Library Discovery Centre RM 481, 11 – 2 Understanding the complexity of past and present societies is a challenge across the humanities. Simulation and network science provide computational tools for confronting these problems. This workshop will provide a hands-on introduction to two popular techniques, agent based modeling and social network analysis.

ASAPArcheo? Speed and Publication in Archaeology

Next month, I’m going to give a little paper at the TAG Conference in Boulder, Colorado. I posted a fairly provisional abstract for it here. Basically, I want to argue that speed with which academic ideas are made available is changing the practice of knowledge production even in very traditional fields like archaeology.

The Robotic Edward Gibbon

Continuing on from yesterday’s post and the suggestion of Steve Leahy: @electricarchaeo Feed it the complete text of Gibbon's "Decline & Fall…": https://t.co/XgJ7yhiYUL & let it (re)write history:-) — Steve Leahy (@oz_penguin) February 17, 2016 I have fed The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire into my neural network.

On Punctuation

Posters of various literary works by Nicholas Rougeux – as represented by the punctuation therein- have been doing the rounds lately. They’re lovely; in the absence of words we intuit something of the nature of the work from the pauses, the parenthesis, the short staccato dashes and dots; a kind of telegraphy of meaning. Adam Calhoun posted some of his own reflections on this kind of work, and helpfully, posted some python code for doing the same.

Can we fix it? Yes we can! #DHAnnotates Feb 8-12

With apologies to Bob the Builder, and perhaps also Obama. Preamble In my graduate seminar on digital/public history, I framed the course as ‘Digital History Methods as Public History Performance’. I did this deliberately to riff on my colleague David Dean’s amazing seminar and research on perfoming history; students in that class were making videos, writing music, putting on vignettes. It’s been amazing to watch.

Reactions to Battlefield Recovery episode 1

Battlefield Recovery, an execrable show that turns the looting of war dead into ‘entertainment’, was shown on Saturday on Channel 5 in the UK. I won’t dignify it by linking to it; instead see this article in the Guardian. I wondered however what the tweeting public thought about the show – keeping in mind that Channel 5 viewers may or may not be the same kinds of folks who engage with Twitter.

Teaching History in/with/via Video Games

Prompted by Lee, I’m collating here materials that I’ve put out there regarding my teaching/thinking related to video games & history and archaeology. The list below is in no recognizable bibliographic style (mostly because I’m tapping this out and can’t be bothered this AM). 2006 The Year of the Four Emperors – CivIV scenario that started it all http://forums.civfanatics.com/showthread.php?t=171164 2012 Stranger in These Parts http://playfic.

The humane hack – a snippet of an argument

[this is the snippet of an argument, and all that I’ve managed to produce today for #AcWriMo. I kinda like it though and offer it up for consumption, rough edges, warts, and all.  It emerges out of something Shawn Anctil said recently about ‘the Laws of Cool‘ when we were talking about his comps which happen this Thursday. In an effort to get my head around what he said, I started to write. This might make it into a piece on some of my recent sound work.

If I could read your mind – Sonifying John Adams’ Diary

Maybe the question isn’t one of reading someone’s thoughts, but rather, listening to the overall pattern of topics within them. Topic modeling does some rather magical things. It imposes sense (it fits a model) onto a body of text. The topics that the model duly provide us with insight into the semantic patterns latent within the text (but see Ben Schmidts WEM approach which focuses on systems of relationships in the words themselves – more on this anon).

Adventures in Podcasting 8

This week, Richard and Bill welcomed their first guest into the studio: Andrew Reinhard. We convinced Andrew to talk to us about his research on Archaeogaming which is the archaeology in and of video games. We became particularly interested in his assertion that “meatspace” is no different than the virtual space of games.

Digital History Course

The blogger of Electric Archaeology (a great blog I’ve previously linked to) is starting a course on crafting digital history. This is an online course starting next winter (I’m assuming northern hemisphere winter, so summer for those of us in the south). Here are some links regarding the course: Electric Archaeology’s blog post: Here you can see the details of the course.

Sherlock Holmes, Samuel Vimes, and Archaeological Equifinality

Sherlock: How often have I said to you that when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth? Sam Vimes: … he distrusted the kind of person who’d take one look at another man and say in a lordly voice to his companion, ‘Ah, my dear sir, I can tell you nothing except that he is a left-handed stonemason who has spent some years in the merchant navy and has recently fallen on hard times,’ and then unroll a lot of supercilious...

Setting the groundwork for an undergraduate thesis project

We have a course code, HIST4910, for students doing their undergraduate thesis project. This project can take the form of an essay, it can be a digital project, it could be code, it could be in the form of any of the manifold ways digital history/humanities research is communicated. Hollis Peirce will be working with me this year on his HIST4910, which for now is called ‘The Evolution of the Digitization of History: Making History Accessible’.

Play along at home with #hist3812a

In my video games and history class, I assign each week one or two major pieces that I want everyone to read. Each week, a subset of the class has to attempt a ‘challenge’, which involves reading a bit more, reflecting, and devising a way of making their argument – a procedural rhetoric – via a game engine (in this case, Twine). Later on, they’ll be building in Minecraft. Right now, we have nearly 50 students enrolled.

SAA 2015: Macroscopic approaches to archaeological histories: Insights into archaeological practice from digital methods

Ben Marwick and I are organizing a session for the SAA2015 (the 80th edition, this year in San Francisco) on “Macroscopic approaches to archaeological histories: Insights into archaeological practice from digital methods”. It’s a pretty big tent. Below is the session ID and the abstract. If this sounds like something you’d be interested in, why don’t you get in touch? Session ID 743.

Writing and Publishing

I’ve spent a good bit of time this past month preparing the Punk Archaeology volume for publication (hopefully within the next week or so) and laying out the volume dedicated to a series of short posts from last year’s 3D Thursday series of blog posts. At the same time, I was thinking about this year’s series of posts on craft and archaeology, and it occurred to me that the process of managing a book from writing, to contributors to lay-out, represents an artisnal approach to production.

Another View of Ghost Towns, Process and Product

My colleague Prof. Cindy Prescott generously offered this response to the my conversations with Troy Larson.  Bill’s previous blog post and Troy’s response raise interesting questions about intellectual property and the relationship between academic and public history. Many researchers in the hard sciences worry constantly about being “scooped.