Tag Archives: Instroductions

First go by @jaredbidlow


Finding the field school’s method of instruction and subject matter of interest, I have come to know it, since traveling to Michigan to take part, as a platform for expressing incipient social research concerns. How people relate to cultural materials, especially digitally, is important as we enter into an age when these materials worth will have to significantly secured, restructured and reconsidered. I’m especially interested here in critical resource insecurities as they come to manifest changes in social practices. Also of concern is the prolonging of the financial crisis and the deepening of inequality.

Within the confines of digital humanities, itself a contested term, there arises the related responses of 1) an urgency to embracing sophisticated platforms to both the self-application of them to scholarly practice and the the extrinsic application of them to archives, cultural/material artifacts, etc. and 2) a progressive harnessing of these technologies to hopefully be fruitful in bridging the gap between the multiple disciplines which make up the university and the broader public. I believe that 2 is often uncritically deployed. Therefore, I have real concerns with the aligning of digital humanities projects with financial interests. I have as well to face the more immediate concern of the crisis in employability of humanities graduates in the US. So I guess you could call me a digital skeptic with regard to its status in enabling my personal pursuit in the humanities, at least within the academy in its present state.

However, I have a love for “the digital”, digitally-enabled solidarity and friendships, and I also have a tremendous appreciation for the utility of digital algorithms to solve complex problems in the world. Here I think that engaging at the level of rhetoric is useful: to ask, for example, how our experiences of the world are mediated by things is to ask how the digital transforms perspectives, for good or not. This is the site at which games and critical interfaces can push incremental changes in perspective on their users.

So, basic concerns outran any form of personal introduction. I have a cat that I miss in Pennsylvania, where I enjoy hiking on the Appalachian Trail. I’m a graduate of Temple University. As I attended school, it became clear that a set of activist political orientations would be what I would devote a large amount of time acting out. I am still informed by the way that plural interpretations of political activity are put in relation, where intersections are around shared necessities.

Welcome to the 2013 Cultural Heritage Informatics Fieldschool

I’d like to take this opportunity to welcome welcome everyone (both students and those who are watching remotely) to the inaugural Cultural Heritage Informatics Fieldschool.  The CHI Fieldschool is an outgrowth of the Cultural Heritage Informatics Initiative at Michigan State University, and is intended to introduce students to the tools and techniques required to creatively apply information and computing technologies to cultural heritage materials and questions.

Over the next 5+ weeks, students will think, read, discuss, learn, experiment, hack, prototype, build, deploy, and launch.

The the public (those who are purposefully watching the fieldschool or those who wander upon it by chance):

I encourage you to read what we are doing, explore what we are building, and interact with us.  The CHI Fieldschool very much adheres to an open access philosophy.  We encourage constructive comments and stimulating discussion. If you are on Twitter, watch the #msuchi hashtag.

To the fieldschool students:

Before we get seriously rolling, you’ve got a (short) to do list:

  • If you want, sign up for a Twitter account (if you don’t have one already) – remember to use the #msuchi hashtag when tweeting about fieldschool related stuff.
  • Sign up for a Gravatar account (if you don’t already have one)
  • Activate your course blog account (you will receive an email by Tuesday at the absolute latest)
  • Introduce yourself to the world on the blog.  Tell us a little about your background and your interests. Be sure talk about why you are taking the fieldschool – why is cultural heritage informatics/digital cultural heritage important to you?
  • Have a look at the Creative Commons Licenses.  For each thing you post to the fieldschool blog, you will need to choose the license that best works for you – which means you need to have at least a passing familiarity with what the licenses actually mean. A couple of years back, the incomparable Bethany Nowviskie (Director of Digital Research & Scholarship at the University of Virginia Library and Associate Director of the Scholarly Communication Institute) wrote a thoughtful piece about why she was switching the license on her blog and Flickr stream from CC-BY-NC to CC-BY.  It is definitely worth a read.