Critical Curation Project


Image: “Fragments,” Rainer Mutsch‘s abstract re-interpretation of Wenzel Hablik’s (1881-1934) historical “Salon of Itzehoe.”

See the final project: Current Happenings in Digital Humanities

This project is a class-wide, collaborative project. You may organize yourselves to distribute labor however you wish–that organizational exercise is in fact part of the project–but everyone should contribute on a more or less equal footing (achieving that equity is also part of the project).

The goal of the project is (deceptively?) simple: to provide primary and secondary documentation answering the question, “What has happened in digital humanities that hadn’t yet happened on January 22, 2013 (the day before we started our class)?” To answer that question you will, first all, have to arrive at a shared understanding of “digital humanities.” You should make that shared understanding explicit to your readers/viewers/users.

What does it mean to think about what has “happened” in digital humanities? That too is an answer you will have to arrive at through some shared understandings, but I would encourage you in the strongest possible terms to think expansively: not just conferences and publications and the usual markers of academic progress, but also flash points in the blogosphere and twitterverse, news and current events (from the tech world and beyond), project launches, developments in libraries, museums, and archives, and all manner of whimsy, ephemera, and memes. Your own public writing is also of course fair game.

Tools and platforms that may be useful to you include:

  • Word Clouds (or other text visualization)
  • Storify
  • Zotero Groups
  • Twine
  • Google Docs

All of these tools and platforms will help you curate, aggregate, and consolidate, which are the core tasks for the exercise. (A reminder: according to Burdick, et al. “To curate is to filter, organize, craft, and, ultimately, care for a story composed out of–even rescued from–the infinite array of potential tales, relics, voices” [D_H 34]). Note that production of new, original content is not one of these core tasks. Please plan to spend the bulk of your time on curating, aggregating, and consolidating, as opposed to creating new content or designing interfaces (which is why I recommend the off-the-shelf tools listed above). You don’t have to use all of the above tools, but you should use more than just one. And yes, you may use things that aren’t listed there as well.

I suggest you proceed by associating teams or sub-groups with specific platforms, then think about how each platform can best contribute to the goal of curating, aggregating, and consolidating in order to answer the question of “What has happened in digital humanities that hadn’t yet happened on January 22, 2013?” For example, one platform might help you aggregate articles and publications, while another might help you consolidate tweets from various hashtags and online conversations. One platform might be helpful in analyzing or displaying or visualizing information you want to communicate. One platform might be useful for tying it all together. And so on. You should not spend on any money on tools or services, nor should you rely on specialized knowledge and skills that only one or two people may have.

The critical curation project will be due by 11:59 PM on Monday, May 13. It should be publicly available on the Web. I should receive a clear communication instructing me where and how to access it. Individual roles and teams should be clearly delineated.

Note: you may wish to use the comments area of this page as a notice board for communicating with one another.

World: Anyone want to pick this up for Fall 2013? Let me know!

6 thoughts on “Critical Curation Project

  1. Basic site is up here:
    I’ve sent you all email invitations; let me know if you don’t get them for some reason or otherwise have trouble accessing the site. Also let me know if there are any changes you want made in terms of menus/topic pages. Thanks!

  2. Also, I figured I should point out that this is currently set up like a webpage, rather than a blog–you have to edit the topic pages, rather than make new posts. Does this work, or would people rather have me set it up as a blog instead?

  3. Pingback: About this Project | Current Happenings in Digital Humanities

  4. Pingback: Current Happenings in DH | Introduction to Digital Humanities

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