Presentation on “Digital Humanities” Graduate Course at Pratt) – 12/4/13

Last week, I presented to the Fordham Graduate Student Digital Humanities Group on the course I have been taking during the Fall 2013 semester at the Pratt Institute. While the class is taught in a Library Science Masters program, the professor (Chris Sula) and the bulk of readings and discussion are not library-specific. Below is a link to my presentation, which includes hyperlinks to several of the resources used in the class:Image of first slide of PresentationMy part of the discussion was to show how a graduate level course specifically on Digital Humanities can be structured. The benefit to the way this class was laid out (as well as the assignments required) has been the focus on learning about how this emerging field works socially, theoretically, and practically. This means that we did not focus on learning specific tools, although we were briefly introduced to and encouraged to play with several. Instead, we focused on what Digital Humanities research looks like; how is DH being adopted within/across the humanities; how to start, manage, and preserve projects; and, how to integrate thinking about the user into a project’s development.

After laying out this model, the group discussed whether such a course would be possible or appropriate to initiate at Fordham. Our discussion brought up a variety of concerns and ideas of how DH fits into the Fordham graduate experience – with respect to both research and teaching. There was enthusiasm for creating a Research Methods course for humanists (ex: for English and History students) to teach and discuss both traditional and DH methods of research. The thirst for integrating DH methods and traditional research was a promising result of this meeting.

Thanks to everyone who attended. We look forward to hosting some great events in Spring 2014!

Photo of Kristen Mapes– Kristen Mapes

Tomorrow (Dec. 4), 12:30-2:00pm, Dealy 115 – Talk & Discussion led by Kristen Mapes on Digital Humanities Class

Please join us tomorrow, Dec. 4, from 12:30-2:00pm in Dealy 115. Kristen Mapes willl speak about taking “Digital Humanities” as a graduate level course at the Pratt Institute.

Topics to be discussed: What topics are covered? How are they addressed? What is the value of taking a DH-specific class rather than simply incorporating DH into pre-existing classes?

This will be an informal conversation about Digital Humanities as a course topic and  the graduate student perspective on learning about DH in a formal way. Come to hear and discuss (and eat cookies) tomorrow at 12:30 in Dealy 115!

See you there!

NYCDH Student Group Coffee Meetup, Nov. 16 @ 10am

Join the NYCDH Student Group for a meet up over coffee to discuss digital humanities-related topics!

The Details:
Saturday, November 16
NYCDH Student Group Coffee + Digital Humanities meet up
Think Coffee, 73 8th Avenue, NYC


For this first meet up, Grant Wythoff, Ph.D., will join us to talk about his position at Columbia University’s Society of Fellows in the Humanities and as lecturer in the Department of English and Comparative Literature. Through his work in digital humanities, “Grant is interested in placing theoretical reflection in dynamic conversation with practical innovation.” Read more about Grant’s work on the CU Society of Fellows site and visit his Twitter page to hear from him firsthand.
All are welcome. See you there!
Photo of Kristen Mapes-Kristen

NYCDH Student Group Social Tonight (10/18)!

Please join us at the NYC Digital Humanities Student Group social this evening from 6pm-9pm at Swift Hibernian Lounge (34 E. 4th St.).

Meet people interested in digital humanities from a range of backgrounds and fields.

Swap stories of your experience with DH tools and methods.

Find someone to collaborate with.

Have a drink. Eat shepherd’s pie.

This social is the first event of the NYCDH Student Group. We look forward to organizing other meetings and workshops and socials as desired by you! Come to this event and let us know what you’re working on (or would like to work on) and how we can help you do it (better)!

See you there!

Photo of Kristen Mapes-Kristen Mapes

Impressions of NYC Digital Humanities Inaugural Event, 9/25

nycdh-horizontal1The NYCDH Inaugural Gathering on September 25 was a great event, for DH in NYC and for Fordham DH specifically. I’d like to add another set of impressions about the event to supplement Alisa’s post.

(The working notes from the day are a more comprehensive resource on the projects presented throughout the day, so check them out.)


The day’s events began with talks by Ray and Lynne Siemens. I appreciated the traditional nature of this presentation format because it allowed the participants to begin conversation throughout the day with some shared knowledge. I was particularly struck by Lynne Siemens’ talk about management challenges in getting DH centers/institutes/projects off the ground. This topic prove to be fertile ground for discussions throughout the day. I hadn’t previously thought about the fact that DH’s focus on collaboration sometimes runs up against the research practices that many humanists have become accustomed to, namely working alone. Even for those who want to take on collaborative projects, doing so may pose unexpected challenges on a social/communication level. While this is an experience that I have not (yet) encountered myself, I continue to think of the human, social level of how DH scholars interact and produce great work.


I also enjoyed the short session that followed about what we (the group as a whole) wanted NYCDH to be. This involved an unstructured time for people to stand up, introduce themselves, and express their hopes for the group. It was exciting to see and hear where people were coming from and to have their different ideas incorporated into the group’s vision for itself. I even stood up and shared my goals for improving graduate student communication across institutions! It was exciting to take a vocal role in an organization that includes everyone from students to distinguished scholars on an equal plane.


The afternoon was comprised of unconference sessions. These are free-flowing discussions centered around a topic that the group votes upon. They are led by one or two people, but all are free to participate. First, I was with a group of people discussing how to structure the Wiki section of the NYCDH website ( We discussed ontologies and how information could best fit into the Wiki as opposed to the Groups (for example). I enjoyed working with fellow NYC DH-ers to improve the scaffolding for online community. Considering the debates within and about Digital Humanities between “hacking and yacking’, it was appropriate to spend some time building in addition to discussing.


The second session I attended was about building DH program and institutional support as well as how to integrate DH into the curriculum of graduate programs. This group was large and ambitious in the scope of its topic. The most supported idea (it seemed) for adding DH into the curriculum included having “lab-style” sessions throughout a “normal” course for an additional credit, integrating DH skills. Further discussion can be found in the notes, but the part of this session that I found most compelling was a discussion of ways to align DH (or whatever your project is) with the strategic mission of your institution in order to justify and receive support (financial/staffing/space).

Overall, I found the meeting exciting, both for the contacts that I made in the NYC DH community and for the projects and events that I see coming out in the future. In that vein, I’d like to highlight an event that I’ve been excited to help organize. On Oct. 18, 2013 from 6-9pm, the Student Group of NYCDH will hold a social! The event will take place at Swift Hibernian Lounge (34 E. 4th St.). We will get to meet students from across the NYC area. The goal is to follow up this social with coffee hours specifically discussing projects and tools with one another. Join us on Oct 18!

See you there!
Photo of Kristen Mapes-Kristen Mapes