Alex’s Day of DH

Hello everyone,

I work in the ETCL as a graduate research assistant on projects across INKE and the Modernist Versions Project (MVP). My work in the ETCL tends to be highly collaborative and today has been no different!

My Day of DH has been alternately spent writing, prototyping, and coding. Most of my day has been spent preparing for the INKE and ITER hosted “Social Knowledge Creation in the Humanities” conference for DHSI, which is now just a few short weeks away! At this event, I will be talking about our z-axis research project, which uses geographic data from modernist novels to warp and deform modern maps in 3D. These 3D maps serve as interpretive data visualizations that expresses fuzzy and subjective data. Today, I’ve been mainly concerned with the question of interpretive data visualization scales, or what it means to think about the subjective and constructed nature of graphical display at scale. As I worked through this research question, I moved between typing, brainstorming on my whiteboard, and working with our 3D maps on my computer. I’m very much looking forward to sharing our work on this project at DHSI and the Modernist Studies Association conference in the Fall.

I also participated in a conference call with my wonderful colleagues Alyssa Arbuckle, Constance Crompton, and Jon Bath to discuss a chapter on “The Future(s) of the Book” we are co-authoring for the Routledge Companion to Media Studies and Digital Humanities. It is such a pleasure to take part in these collaborative efforts, and I always find the shared enthusiasm and energy of the group sticking with me as my day continues on to other work.

Finally, I took some time to code updates to Pedagogy Toolkit-—a website and repository of teaching materials I’ve developed with microgrant support from the ACH. Although my work on this project is not directly affiliated with the ETCL, it has benefitted greatly from the collaborative environment we share together (the idea for the project logo comes from our very own Shawn DeWolfe). As my Day of DH comes to a close, it is the intellectual enthusiasm and creative energy of my colleagues that I find the most meaningful component of my day. As a doctoral candidate, I find the collaborative nature of our work and our space a constant source of enrichment for all the different types of work I need to complete for my degree. I’d like to thank my colleagues near and far for all the wonderful work they do, which continues to inspire me and remains, for me, the defining aspect of what it means to do DH.

A very happy Day of DH everyone!


Matt Hiebert’s Day of DH

Hey all,

Well every single day is a day of DH for me so to be honest, I’m living the dream. 😉

Thanks to the Day of DH organizers and ETCL administration for the opportunity to share my May 19th. It has shaped up to be almost equal parts prototyping, writing, and teaching preparation.

I’ve been occupied the last two days thinking through what conferences are and the functions they play in scholarship and knowledge creation. You could say that events are a fundamental ontological category in the Iter Community universe, and “IC” is scheduled to host live video panels in the New Technologies and Renaissance Studies sessions at the RSA Annual Meeting in Boston next year. I’ve been considering how we might model and digitally augment conference panels in ways that might make them more inclusive, participatory, and open.

The one-day old prototype has a basic HUD display over web streamed video. I’m thinking it would be awesome to add a real-time event Twitter stream overlay and build in affordances to allow users to pose questions via their own device cameras. It would also be neat to offer the capacity to pull up abstracts, change the event camera, display info about the speaker, access event archives, and so on.

Anyway, I love thinking through these kinds of problems by iteratively making stuff. And very fortunate to have the expertise of ETCL programmer Shawn DeWolfe to draw upon as well!

On the writing front I’ve been amalgamating papers on Iter Community given at INKE Sydney and INKE Whistler—written with Bill Bowen, Ray Siemens, and the esteemed members of the Iter Advisory Committee—for a special volume of Scholarly and Research Communication devoted to the INKE conference proceedings. I’ve also been working through the latest Renaissance Knowledge Network (ReKN) implementation plan (brilliant work by my colleague Daniel Powell here as always). Check out the ReKN site in Iter Community to be blown away by the amount of excellent writing that Lindsey Seatter has done for the project!

Next week fellow ETCL Postdoc / Asst Professor Matt Huculak and I teach Digital Humanities 501: Introduction to Digital Humanities. The course, part of UVic’s new Graduate Certificate in DH, “surveys and explores intellectual traditions and emergent concerns associated with computing in the arts and humanities. Topics include digital representation, analysis, communication and creation, and involve theoretical considerations and pragmatic approaches.” It’s going to be fun! After I check out of the lab for the day I’ll be preparing for it.

Happy day of DH everyone!


Aaron’s Day of DH

Hi Everyone,

My day of DH has just finished up, which means I finally get to write a blog post! Though it is 8:06 (EST), you can rest assured that I am adequately ensconced with my laptop and ready to give you a bit of a run-down of what DH looks like from a small college perspective.

Like so many others before me, I am an alumnus of the ETCL. I’ve just finished up my first academic year as an Assistant Professor of Digital Humanities and English at Penn State Behrend. We are the largest commonwealth campus of Penn State, tucked up in the northwest corner of Pennsylvania on the shore of Lake Erie. Our campus is a world leader in plastics engineering with strong programs in business and, just recently, Digital Arts, Media, and Technology! I’ve been working with an exceptional group of people to develop the curriculum on a new undergraduate major that collects a diverse set of digital practices to engage with the social and cultural issues of the 21st century. We offer students the opportunity to specialize in digital video production, photography, digital animation, data visualization, digital archiving, and text analysis! We’ll be offering all the prerequisites for the major this coming fall. Needless to say, we are absolutely thrilled about all this.

As part of this new major, I have also been lucky enough to establish the Penn State Digital Humanities Lab this past year. We have been working on building our online presence and internal working documents throughout the year. The Lab is being conceived as an undergraduate focused research space that offers the resources for faculty from across the humanities to collaborate with students on a range of projects. This summer, for example, our first cohort of young DHers will be completing self-directed research fellowships in the Lab. Their goal will be to contribute to the fledgling 12th Street Project and present their findings at our undergraduate research conference. In the words of the project’s About page,

The 12th Street Project is a major collaborative effort of the students and faculty at Penn State Erie, The Behrend College. Hosted by the Penn State Digital Humanities Lab, 12th Street collects the history, culture, and contemporary voices of those living in Erie, PA. The project takes its name from a major street in Erie that has been lined with factories and businesses throughout the region’s history. We take 12th Street as a microcosm of the social, cultural, and economic forces that have shaped the region since the mid-19th century. Together we are charting the history of the region in an effort to imagine its potential futures.

It is a contemporary history project that will include creative as well as critical works. Photography and poetry will be placed alongside cultural criticism and theoretical works; student authors will find a voice alongside professional authors who are experts in their field. We’ll be building the site in Omeka and use the Neatline add-on to plot this aggregate cultural and economic history along the street for which the project is named. We’ve had interest already from various community groups and even the Erie Chamber of Commerce! We are really excited for the potential community impact of hosting an open project for contributions from both student and community members.

So, my today of DH was spent attending various campus level meetings and drafting an article or two on the curriculum and pedagogy work we’ve been doing this past year. Thankfully, my day was broken up with a great meeting with one of our research fellows. It was so great to see how his proposed history of rail in northwest Pennsylvania is shaping up! Of course, since he’s also a professional photographer, you can guess that he’ll have a pretty fantastic looking project to contribute about our rail history. You may not be aware, but Erie was the site of the great Gauge War of 1854!

DH, from the south shore of Lake Erie, looks to be collaborative, open, and local. We are not really even thinking about DH as DH. Our students are working as cultural workers, and the tools most appropriate for this work so happen to be digital tools. They are a kind of social entrepreneur who are deeply invested in their community, both on and off campus. Our students are energetic, excited, and fearless. Needless to say, I’m just thrilled to get to work with them!

Happy day of DH everyone!


Laura’s Day of DH

Hi All,

This is Laura Estill, an ETCL alum who is currently at Texas A&M University.  At A&M, I am affiliated with the IDHMC and edit the World Shakespeare Bibliography.

Takeaway point: community is important in DH.

My day of DH began with working on an article about TEI (the Text Encoding Initiative) that I hope to send out soon.  In the past, I’ve enjoyed teaching TEI courses at DHSI.  My current TEI-based project is DEx: A Database of Dramatic Extracts.  We’ve got thousands of lines of encoding done and now our wonderful programming team at TCAT (led by Neal Audenart) is working on the front end.

Takeaway point: get used to acronyms.  Also: TEI ftw.

This afternoon, I’ve been working on the World Shakespeare Bibliography.  Despite the bibliography’s digital nature, the work I’ve done today is very material: I’ve been physically moving books to get them to the right place (to research assistants, to the library, to our managing editor).  I also had meeting about our finances and the technical upgrades that we hope will be coming soon.  (For recent technical upgrades, we can thank Krista May, our managing editor, for launching an online contribution portal).

Takeaway point: there is more bureaucracy in DH than I anticipated.

The other ongoing digital projects I’ve been working on are Digital Acting Parts, with Luis Meneses.  Luis has made it so that you can now speak your lines if you are trying to learn a Shakespearean play.  Luis is still working on fine-tuning for some new ideas, however, including perhaps allowing directors to remix and save their version so that casts can have personalized texts.

Takeaway point: digital projects are never done. Also: collaboration is key.

Tonight, I’ll be working on another guest blog post (different blog), and perhaps fine-tuning some TEI for DEx.  And while my Day of DH has plenty of digital (TEI; World Shakespeare Bibliography), it is primarily full of humanist undertakings (reading, writing, editing).

Takeaway point: the digital is not separate from the humanities.

Hope everyone else is having a great day!



Matt Huculak’s Day of DH

Hello, everyone!

My name is Matt, and I’ve worked in the ETCL as a postdoctoral fellow for two years. My postdoc is split between the University Library, the ETCL, and the English Department, which means I’m very fortunate to be able to participate in a lot of collaborative activities among our teams.

For my Day of DH, I’m prepping for an exciting time next week as we kick off the Digital Humanities Graduate Certificate Program here at UVic. I’m working with fellow postdoctoral fellow, Matthew Hiebert, to design and implement the “Introduction to DH” course for this program. Sitting down to plan this course has reminded me what a great DH community we have around the globe. One never feels alone when working in this field. Type in “DH Syllabus” in your browser and look at all the results that populate your page. The spirit of collaboration, openness, and training is alive and well within our community, and I think sustains our momentum as we move forward into the future of the discipline. So, as we get ready to train a new group of students next week at the Digital Humanities Summer Institute, I’m sitting here today with the community of DHer’s who have contributed to making pedagogy, training, and collaboration, the centre of our discipline–and it feels great.

Happy Day of DH, everyone!!!

Lindsey’s Day of DH 2015

Hi! My name is Lindsey Seatter and I am one of the ETCL graduate student researchers. I feel extra privileged to be spending this Day of DH in the ETCL at UVictoria with my fellow colleagues. Currently, I work remotely from Vancouver and “Hangout” virtually in the lab space twice a week. While this is a tremendous alternative, nothing beats working collaboratively in person.

I am a relatively new edition to the ETCL team. After beginning my PhD at UVictoria in September, I came to work in the ETCL on the ReKN (Renaissance Knowledge Network) project alongside Matt Hiebert and Daniel Powell. The ReKN project is a major, collaborative initative led by Ray Siemens and Bill Bowen that aims to create an online community designed for the research, analysis, and production of work related to Renaissance/Early Modern studies materials. ReKN is envisioned as the next and newest node of ARC (Advanced Research Consortium) – joining NINES, 18Connect, MESA, and ModNets. My work on the project, thus far, has been populating, curating, and editing the content here. This massive, online bibliography is one of the major developing components of the ReKN project. Today, I have the pleasure of reading scholarly articles critiquing/exploring/praising current scholarly projects related to Renaissance/Early Modern materials as well as drafting annotations for these resources that aim at anticipating and answering the specific questions of our target audience … YOU!

Happy Day of DH!


Shawn’s Day of DH 2015

“What do you do?” starts with the answer of “web developer.” When I expand on where I am working and field of digital humanities, I start to lose people. I find that examples of the work being done at the ETCL and work I am doing helps to bring people around. When I talk about what happens when technology gets into the mix of humanities and research, they see what promise it holds for understanding our history, arts and culture all that much better. I love being a part of that.

On this day in DH, I am working on keeping the code base for our project websites current. I am also working on the latter stages of a revamp of the Iter Community website as we close in on our launch date.

Happy Day of DH!

– Shawn DeWolfe

Dan’s Day of DH 2015

Hi!  My name is Dan Sondheim, and I’m an assistant director of the ETCL, alongside Alyssa Arbuckle.  I enjoy a lot of of variety in my work, pertaining as it does to the ETCL, DHSI, INKE, and other projects.  At the moment, a large portion of my work is focused on helping to organize the 2015 iteration of the Digital Humanities Summer Institute, which will be happening in just a couple short weeks.  DHSI will be three weeks long this year, up from the usual one.  There will be nearly 40 classes, and more than 700 registrants.  Classes run the gamut from text encoding, to feminist digital humanities, to electronic literature, and much more.  As might be imagined, there is a lot to do, from arranging for classrooms and equipment, to putting together coursepaks, to coordinating with instructors.  Things remain under control though, due largely to the wonderful team we have here at the ETCL, and more generally at the University of Victoria and beyond.   I’m very much looking forward to a successful institute! (If you would like to register, there are still some classes available; please see for more information!)

Happy Day of DH to you all!

All best wishes,


My Day of DH 2015


My name is Alyssa Arbuckle, and I’m one of 2 Assistant Directors of the ETCL (I share the privilege with Dan Sondheim). My role focuses on Research Partnerships & Development for the lab. I would characterize my work as research facilitation — connecting researchers and partners, organizing academic conferences and events, writing reports and articles, et cetera. In this role with the ETCL I also have the  honour of working with the Implementing New Knowledge Environments (INKE) group.

So how am I spending my Day of DH? Among other tasks, I’ll be meeting with my colleagues Jon Bath, Connie Crompton, and Alex Christie to discuss an article we’re collaboratively writing for a Routledge companion on intersections between social knowledge creation, book history, and online texts / publication. Alongside my colleagues and fellow organizers Ray Siemens and Bill Bowen I’ll be coordinating the Social Knowledge Creation in the Humanities event, which coincides with the Digital Humanities Summer Institute 2015 (and for which there are still a few spots open!). I’ll be reviewing feedback on the beta version of the Iter Community knowledge environment, as well as working with my colleagues Shawn DeWolfe and Matt Hiebert to develop invitations to the launch of the site, slated for this summer.  I may, schedule-willing, spend a little time on the proceedings for the INKE Sydney 2014 and Whistler 2015 gatherings, which I am co-editing with my colleagues Lynne Siemens and Aaron Mauro for a special issue of Scholarly and Research Communication, to be released in October 2015. O, and I’ll be doing a lot of email.

What is the common denominator for my Day of DH 2015 activities? Collaboration. I feel very lucky that the majority of the projects I work on are a team effort. Just to brag for a moment, I really do get to work with a group of brilliant and hardworking people. I’m so very pleased not to be a lone scholar, toiling away at an individual rockface (how lonely!); rather, I get to connect, share ideas, and most importantly, learn from a community that is growing and evolving in more and more positive ways. I think that in many ways this is what I appreciate most about digital humanities: it offers a new approach to humanities practices. It has a unique academic modus operandi. It welcomes.

Thank you for the opportunity to post some DH-y rambles today, Day of DH 2015 organizers!