Archive for the ‘News’ Category

Art Historians, Rebuilding their Portfolios

Tuesday, July 29th, 2014

RRCNHM hosted an enthusiastic group of 22 art historians, librarians, and museum professionals for “Rebuilding the Portfolio,” a digital art history institute sponsored by the Getty Foundation. The self-identified novice participants began the institute on July 8, 2014 nervous and worried about the workload, but emerged two weeks later as confident, digital ambassadors.

During the institute, nicknamed “bootcamp” by some of the participants, Sheila Brennan and Sharon Leon led the cohort through an intense course designed to introduce art historians to digital humanities scholarship, methods, and tools, while also directly connecting with their own work in art history. Readings and discussions were coupled with demonstrations and hands-on work. Megan Brett, Stephanie Grimes, Celeste Sharpe, and Spencer Roberts drew on their own digital work as graduate students in the history and art history program by leading demonstrations and supporting the participants in countless ways.


Rebuilding the Portfolio cohort, annotated in ThingLink by participant, Gina Tarver

Each participant registered a new web domain of their own; installed Zotero, WordPress, and Omeka; and learned to annotate, plot maps, tidy data, and visualize that data in different forms. Personal reflections of Rebuilding the Portfolio participants were aggregated and are available on the course site, with help of RRCHNM’s PressForward plugin.

We were impressed by the ways that each participant began to re-think their research projects and teaching over the course of the institute. Everyone reconsidered the ways that digital techniques might help them analyze art history sources and teach core concepts in new ways, while also thinking concretely about reaching new audiences with their scholarship.

Rebuilding the Portfolio is one of three pilot projects, supported by the Getty Foundation this summer to increase the number of professional development opportunities for training art histories in digital humanities methods.

Follow #doingdah14 to read Rebuilding the Portfolio’s conversation, and to follow UCLA’s Beyond the Digitized Slide Library institute running this week and next.

Inside Higher Ed Blog Post on Online Education

Wednesday, July 2nd, 2014

Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media graduate research assistants, Nate Sleeter and Celeste Sharpe, and education division director Kelly Schrum will collaborate on a series of blog posts for Inside Higher Ed on the possibilities for student-centered online learning in the humanities. Drawing on experiences from RRCHNM-developed online courses for teachers including Hidden in Plain Sight http://edchnm.gmu.edu/hidden/, the series of three posts will explore the possibilities of online courses in the humanities.

As the authors write: “We will share lessons learned about what online learning environments can offer students. Thinking beyond the MOOC-related hype, what opportunities exist in online education? Does online education push us to rethink and re-envision our approach to teaching and learning? How do we take advantage of online classes for teaching history?”

Given that these courses are increasingly offered by universities as options for students whose schedules might not permit weekly attendance in a traditional course the authors believe it is vitally important to move beyond notions like “flipping the classroom” and the often acrimonious debate over MOOCs to serious discussions over online pedagogy in the humanities. Read the first post of the series here: http://www.insidehighered.com/blogs/higher-ed-beta/beyond-flipping-classrooms.

Come work with us! RRCHNM is hiring a Linux Systems Administrator

Friday, June 13th, 2014

RRCHNM is seeking a full-time Systems Administrator to maintain and grow the technical infrastructure of the center that includes 23 servers and a complex set of networked connections, storage, databases, software, programming languages, and operating systems. The Systems Administrator must also be able to support dozens of computers used by the center’s staff, and ensure the security and uptime of a major technical operation. Details can be found here.

Announcing the PressForward Plugin

Thursday, June 5th, 2014

The Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media (RRCHNM), the team that brought you Zotero and Omeka, announces the release of its newest open source digital tool, the PressForward Plugin. A tool for aggregating, curating and publishing content from the web, PressForward integrates an RSS / Atom feed reader and editorial workflow directly into the WordPress dashboard. By innovating the use of both web feeds and the WordPress dashboard, PressForward will change the way individuals and online communities collect, discuss, and share open access content they discover on the web.

Available for download from WordPress.org or installation via your site’s Plugins menu, PressForward facilitates collecting content published elsewhere on the web, discussing it with collaborators, and formatting and publishing that content without ever leaving the WordPress dashboard. Through its streamlined editorial process, PressForward increases the capacity for individuals and communities to create sustainable, curated publications and develop engaged audiences for their work.

PressForward improves upon existing feed reader applications by providing a flexible and integrated editorial interface. With PressForward, web feeds bring content directly to your dashboard, where you can review an item, mark it for further consideration, and publish it for others to read. For those who want to share individual works as they discover them, PressForward’s bookmarklet captures content with simply a button that can be added to any browser’s toolbar. Unlike other comparable plugins, PressForward emphasizes community and collaboration by including a discussion feature that allows team members to comment on each item brought in via RSS feed or the bookmarklet. PressForward also enables responsible attribution by retaining original source information and providing an automatic redirect.

Powering the popular site Digital Humanities Now, an online publication with more than fourteen thousand readers, PressForward has made it possible for a small editorial group to sift through the material produced by more than 700 RSS feeds, discuss it with teams of volunteers, and format and distribute features, news, and announcements twice a week. According to project director Joan Fragaszy Troyano, “scholars and professionals stay current with their field by monitoring the web as much as they do by reading formal publications. PressForward enables a community to build a lightweight, collaboratively-edited publication both sourced from, and published on, the open web.”

The PressForward Plugin is supported by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, as one part of a research project aimed at helping researchers discover and share valuable, informal scholarship – often called gray literature – that is published on the web. In the coming months, the PressForward team will support new users of the plugin by hosting workshops, providing a support forum on wordpress.org, and delivering presentations to groups of academics and publishing and library professionals.

For more information about the PressForward Project, plugin, and affiliated publications, please contact Stephanie Westcott at gro.d1416791603rawro1416791603fsser1416791603p@ofn1416791603i1416791603.

Congratulations Celeste Sharpe!

Wednesday, May 7th, 2014

The Department of History and Art History at George Mason University has named Celeste Sharpe as the inaugural recipient of the Joseph and Dorothy Censer Fellowship. The fellowship was established by Drs. Jack and Jane Censer, longtime faculty members in the department, to recognize an outstanding graduate student who has made valuable contributions to the work of the Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media.

Ms. Sharpe is a third-year Ph.D. student specializing in twentieth-century U.S. cultural history. Her dissertation, which will include a digital component, is titled “They Need You!: Disability, Visual Culture, and the Poster Child, 1945-1980.” She has worked at the Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media as a graduate research assistant and has contributed to several projects, including the website for the Society for the History of Children and Youth and the online courses Hidden in Plain Sight and Virginia Studies.

When informed that Ms. Sharpe had been named as the recipient, Jack Censer remarked, “Believing deeply in higher education and in history, the late Joseph and Dorothy Censer would be elated to know that they are assisting a young historian in studying and producing history in the intellectually sophisticated environment of the Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media.”

(Cross-posted from the Department of History and Art History)

 

Register now for the RRCHNM 20th Anniversary Conference

Monday, April 28th, 2014

You can now register for the RRCHNM 20th Anniversary Conference at http://chnm.gmu.edu/20th/

The conference is a free two-day event on November 14 and 15, 2014, at George Mason University’s Fairfax Campus, that combines collaborative work, presentations and discussions, and unconference sessions.

The first day will be spent hacking the history of RRCHNM, working collectively to tell the story of how projects were created and what they tell us about digital history’s past.

The second day will feature short talks by invited guests, each followed by extended discussion, and unconference­-style breakout sessions. Edward Ayers, Brett Bobley, and Bethany Nowviskie will share their thoughts on the future of digital humanities centers, while Tim Hitchcock, William Thomas, Kathryn Tomasek and a collective of GMU graduate students will offer visions of the future of digital history.

Please register to reserve your spot at the RRCHNM 20th

Introducing the Proceedings of THATCamp!

Tuesday, April 8th, 2014

THATCamp, The Humanities and Technology Camp, is an open, inexpensive meeting where humanists and technologists of all skill levels meet to learn and build together in sessions proposed on the spot: it is a well-known and popular global unconference. The Proceedings of THATCamp is a wholly automatic collection of and portal to blog posts from around the THATCamp website network.

potc

Because each THATCamp is organized independently and has an individual site on the THATCamp network, the Proceedings offers an easy way to view all the activity happening at THATCamps around the world. Posts are viewable by date, by topic, or by how often they have been “favorited” by THATCamp participants across the network. Tweets and pictures from the Flickr User Group also are aggregated in the Proceedings.

The launch of the Proceedings features the most favorited posts since April 2008. The time will be updated periodically, to feature the most favorited posts in the last quarter or trimester.

The Proceedings utilizes the features of both WordPress Multisite and a customized version of BuddyPress on the THATCamp.org site. Aggregation for the Proceedings is made possible by the WordPress MU Sitewide Tags plugin, the FeedWordPress plugin, and a custom plugin that relies on BuddyPress’s favoriting features.

The web developers for the Proceedings were Boone Gorges and Aram Zucker-Scharff, while Kim Nguyen designed the theme. Amanda French, the THATCamp coordinator, served as chief editor and project manager. Congratulations to the whole team!

Discover the Histories of the National Mall

Thursday, March 6th, 2014

Why is this space called a “Mall?” Did cattle ever roam the Mall? How have protests changed over time?

mallhistory_homeVisitors will find answers to those questions, and more, in the new website, Histories of the National Mall mallhistory.org, developed by the Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media with funding from the National Endowment of the Humanities. Access mallhistory.org from a phone, tablet, laptop, or desktop and begin discovering the rich history that shaped the National Mall.

The National Mall has a history of its own that is invisible when walking its paths. Most visitors see what appears to be a finished product: a deliberately planned landscape with memorials, monuments, and museums symbolizing the history and values of the United States. Designed at George Washington’s request by Pierre L’Enfant in 1790, the Mall in its earliest days was a messy place where transportation arteries and commercial markets existed. Lively neighborhoods bordered the Mall. Near the Capitol, pens held enslaved people and captured freemen like Solomon Northrup, awaiting sale to traders. Only after the 1880s did the Mall begin to transform into a place for commemoration and memorialization.

Now known as a place of protest and political expression, the Mall also has a long tradition as a public park and place of leisure for Washingtonians and tourists who strolled winding pathways in gardens and learned from collections in the Smithsonian’s galleries. Citizens, government officials, and local businesspeople have shaped the history of this well-known public space—and very few know its history.

Mallhistory.org offers 4 major sections to help visitors learn more about their National Mall:

  • Mapsmap_layers act as a wayfaring guide on today’s Mall and an entry into geolocated historical sources that appear as pins. Visitors may select from 8 historical maps that show how the Mall’s landscapes and built environment looked in different eras. When walking on the Mall, users see a star on the map that indicates their own location. Choosing a historical map layer then reveals to the user events and sources from that time period located nearby.
  • Explorations are short historical episodes of Mall history that begin with a question related to the themes of politics and protest, design and monuments, or work and play. Each question is answered with historical sources from Washington, DC area libraries, archives, and museums. Users may browse by question or theme.
  • Past Events offer users a quick chronology of significant Mall-related events.
  • People provides short biographies of individuals who shaped the Mall’s past and present.

Histories of the National Mall is the newest addition to RRCHNM’s portfolio containing 20 years of award-winning digital history content.

Welcome, Wikipedia Affiliate

Wednesday, March 5th, 2014

We are very pleased indeed to announce the appointment of Gary M. Greenbaum as Wikipedia Affiliate at the Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media. Mr. Greenbaum is an experienced Wikipedia editor and administrator who, under the username “Wehwalt,” has taken over a hundred Wikipedia articles to Featured Article status. Mr. Greenbaum has frequently contributed significantly to history-related Wikipedia articles on such topics as President Nixon’s Checkers speech, William Jennings Bryan’s Cross of Gold speech during the 1896 presidential election, and the life and career of the Civil War abolitionist congressional representative Thaddeus Stevens.

During his one-year affiliation with RRCHNM, Mr. Greenbaum will conduct scholarly research using the library resources of George Mason University in order to improve the accuracy and reliability at least 25 Wikipedia articles on historical topics, especially articles on historical figures with a Virginia connection such as Harry F. Byrd. Mr. Greenbaum will work in consultation with Professor Mills Kelly during his affiliate year.

The Wikipedia Affiliate position at RRCHNM has been created in partnership with The Wikipedia Library project, whose mission is to help active Wikipedia editors gain access to the vital reliable sources that they need to do their work. The University of California at Riverside is also planning to host a “Wikipedia Visiting Scholar,” and we hope that other universities will join this effort to improve Wikipedia’s reliability and accuracy by helping to provide Wikipedia editors with access to scholarly resources.

Join the Digital Humanities Now FeedFest, and help us keep our RSS feeds up to date!

Monday, February 24th, 2014

Amanda Morton

Using the Pressforward plugin, DHNow pulls content from a collection of RSS feeds and allows Editors-at-Large to preview, sort, and nominate content for the editorial staff to review. In order to keep DHNow as current and as involved in conversations within the DH community as possible, we rely on readers to nominate RSS feeds to add to the plugin via a link on DHNow.

In the wake of the redesign and reorganization of digitalhumanitiesnow.org, however, we have the opportunity to more directly engage with DHNow’s community of readers and twitter followers. This week, beginning on February 24, we are calling for blog and resource submissions via twitter (@dhnow), as well as through the submission form on the DHNow homepage. We’re all hands on deck to take your suggestions, put them into the plugin, and make DHNow more current and more reflective of our readership’s interests.

Digital Humanities Now works best when members of the community jump in as Editors-at-Large and as part of a twitter community that retweets and disseminates posts. We hope that this call for submissions will help us engage with our established readers and twitter followers, and that it will expand our awareness of and participation in the larger DH community. We also hope that this push will allow the content on DHNow to become more representative of on-going work and opportunities in the digital humanities. So what are your favorite sites for DH news, work, and debates? Let us know

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Since 1994, the Center for History and New Media at George Mason University has used digital media and computer technology to democratize history—to incorporate multiple voices, reach diverse audiences, and encourage popular participation in presenting and preserving the past. We sponsor more than two dozen digital history projects and offer free tools and resources for historians. Learn More

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Teachinghistory.org

Teachinghistory.org is the central online location for accessing high-quality resources in K-12 U.S. history education. Explore the highlighted content on our homepage or visit individual sections for additional materials.