Earlier this month, I had the opportunity to go to my first ever Digital Humanities Summer Institute (DHSI), held annually at the beautiful University of Victoria. DHSI is a fantastic community of professors, librarians and graduate students who are passionate about digital humanities, and passionate about sharing their knowledge.
I was in the Digital Pedagogy course run by Diane Jakacki who has a prodigious knowledge of DH and who facilitated some great in-class discussions about both the value and challenges of digital humanities in the classroom – everything from a simple class website to having students use Twitter for presentation feedback, where the 140 character limit forces them to be concise and relevant in a way that provides better feedback for their peers.
It was a great week of classes, discussions, and presentations, and I would not have been able to attend had I not received one of the many very generous scholarships that DHSI provides that covers the majority of the tuition fee for the week. If you are interested, I highly recommend registering for DHSI 2015 early, and requesting a scholarship, as the courses fill up fast and scholarships are awarded early.
In addition to learning a ton of new platforms and methods to incorporate interactive learning in the classroom, I had a chance to do a little teaching. I was invited to do a lightning presentation at one of the morning Colloquiums organized by James O’Sullivan and Mary Galvin, which provided a platform for many DHSI attendees to give a brief introduction to some very interesting projects. One of the more fascinating and interactive projects is the Ivanhoe project run by the University of Virginia Library, which enables roleplay and encourages students to think about how they interact with literature.
Our presentation was well-received, even though most in the audience had never heard of a squeeze before. In fact, one audience member works at the Okanagan UBC Campus and has invited our team to join them at Open Access Week this fall and give another presentation.
Opportunities like this are fantastic not only to get people informed and excited about our project but because we end up being exposed to ideas and tools that we may never have found on our own and making connections in the DH community. I’d recommend getting some experience in DH for anyone looking for academic jobs in the humanities, as it is a skill that is increasingly in demand.
Check out some of the current job postings at HASTAC.org if you’d like an idea what skills and platforms are most in demand; chances are there is a DHSI course that suits your interests.