TDHN Interest Meeting Recap

Next week: No regular meeting! Claire and Kristina will meet after class on Tuesday To send out the newsletter and get the content schedule ready

TDHN recently hosted its first public interest meeting, and so this is a great time to reflect on what’s been accomplished and where things are going in the future. A year ago, TDHN had gone almost entirely quiet. The first post on our new website is dated September 6, 2018, at the beginning of the last semester, and we sent out our first newsletter on October 23rd, around Fall Break.

We’ve been busy since then, laying the Network’s foundations. We have spotlighted projects, interviewed project leaders, and promoted Digital Humanities events across the Triangle. We partnered with Open Access Week to connect digital humanities researchers with open access advocates. A special thanks to Jennifer Solomon and her team for working with us!

Going forward, we have big plans for the Triangle Digital Humanities Institutes. The inaugural institute will be at Duke University on March 25, 2019. (Hannah Jacobs has been an absolute pleasure to work with on this institute. Look for a future interview with her.) The second institute will be May 22-24, 2019 at UNC Chapel Hill. More details on both are coming soon. No institution has claimed the third institute yet, but we would love to help a smaller institution host!

If you were not able to attend the Interest Meeting, here’s what you missed. First, we had people from all over: Code for Durham, Duke, East Carolina University, Museum of Durham History, the National Humanities Center, North Carolina Central University, North Carolina State University, and UNC Chapel Hill. As we grow, we are looking increasingly for institutional representatives that can:

  1. Help us stay in the loop about their institution’s events/opportunities
  2. Help us reach people in their institutions through sharing information in listservs, fliers, or other means (sidewalk chalk? plane banners?)

This is an important way we can break down the barriers between institutions to help connect our people, projects, and resources. If that sounds like you, please fill our Interest Survey. Here are the general reasons why people said they wanted to be a part of TDHN:

    1. Recruitment
      1. Finding people with new and different projects
      2. The National Humanities Center is interested in more digital projects
      3. Spreading the word about DH activities via career services
    2. Find out more about what’s going on
      1. Learning about projects
      2. Finding connections
    3. Learn New Things
      1. Putting DH into lessons, finding new educational benefits
      2. Finding new projects and skills
    4. Building Community
      1. Helping other people and groups
      2. Meeting others working on similar projects
      3. Exploring new academic interests

When asked about ways that TDHN could help facilitate work, people said:

    1. List out projects
      1. Include the technology that was used to make each work
      2. Resources to help figure out what kinds of technology to learn, where to start
    2. List out people
      1. Include people’s skills, their area of expertise
      2. Find collaborators – who is working on what and who needs help? What kind of help do they need?
    3. Resource Sharing
      1. Central location for lesson plans

We have begun some of this work with our database of local digital humanities data, but we hope to continue improving this information over time.

To keep the community and work of TDHN alive, we decided that these Interest Meetings should occur once between the three yearly institutes. (It was determined that monthly might be too frequently.) The next tentative date/time for an Interest Meeting is April 2, 2019 from 2:30pm to 4:00pm at the Frontier.  We agreed that this event should contain both a formal element (like a talk or demo) and informal element (lightning talks, birds of a feather, unconferencey sessions).  It was also suggested that we create a kind of potluck of shared food and drink that is “stress-free, spontaneous, and joyful.”

Thank you to everyone who was able to attend, and we hope to see even more folks in the future. This update is indebted to Anna Dallara’s concept and Claire Cahoon’s most excellent meeting notes that contain more details.