Texas Digital Humanities Conference


Tomorrow through Saturday I (Mo) will be participating in the second annual Texas Digital Humanities conference at the University of Texas at Arlington. The conference is sponsored by Texas Digital Humanities Consortium (TxDHC).

TxDHC is an organization of Digital Humanities Initiatives, Centers, and Institutes in the State of Texas. Our mission is to promote digital research in the humanities disciplines and facilitate interaction amongst researchers working in the digital humanities both within the state, nationally, and internationally. The consortium was organized in 2013, with University of Houston, Rice, Texas A&M University, University of Texas at Austin, University of North Texas, and the University of Texas at Arlington as founding members. We welcome additional institutes of higher learning that host digital humanities researchers to join us.

I’m looking forward to meeting colleagues, establishing new relationships, and bringing back useful ideas to Austin College. The keynote speakers include Adeline Koh (“Social Media and Revolutions: Imagined Communities and Political Action“), Alan Liu (“Against the Cultural Singularity: Toward a Critical Digital Humanities”), and George Siemens (“Prepare for a More Human Digital University”). Among the workshop sessions I’m anticipating is a presentation by Rebecca Frost Davis of St. Edward’s University in Austin on “Digital Pedagogy in the Humanities: Concepts, Models, and Experiments.”

Digital Pedagogy in the Humanities: Concepts, Models, and Experiments is an open, collaborative digital humanities project focused on the intersections of digital technologies with teaching and learning.  The project consists of an open-access, curated collection of downloadable, reusable, and remixable pedagogical artifacts that are categorized by keyword and annotated by their curators.  Drawing on the keyword approach of Raymond Williams (Keywords: A Vocabulary of Culture and Society. Rev. ed. New York: Oxford University Press, 1985.), this collection, taken as a whole, will document the richly-textured culture of teaching and learning that responds to new digital learning environments, research tools, and socio-cultural contexts. This presentation by one of four co-editors of the project will give an overview of the project’s conception and progress to date, especially highlighting innovations in open-editing, collaborative workflow, and insights into digital pedagogy.

You can follow the conference by using the Twitter hashtag #TXDHC15. (You can use this hashtag even if you don’t have a Twitter account; just click on that link.) Academic conferences are now routinely “live tweeted,” which provides a rolling digest of ideas and comments, a “back channel” for multiple conversations, an opportunity for those not attending to follow the proceedings, and an archive for later access. We’ll have a blog post soon that will focus on using Twitter for teaching, scholarship, and professional development.

The conference is at UTA, where George Siemens was recently hired to direct the Learning Innovation and Networked Knowledge Research Lab (LINK).

The Learning Innovation and Networked Knowledge Research Lab (LINK) serves as the hub of a network of international scholars who conduct research on the digitization of knowledge and learning and how this process impacts education. Our researchers, educators, and graduate students connect, share, and collaborate in advancing social and technological networks, designing innovative learning models, and exploring the future of higher education.

I will also be interested in learning more about the kind of projects and activities taking place at LINK. Siemens is one of the leading proponents of the “connectivist” learning theory, which has recently emerged as an alternative (or complementary) paradigm to other major learning theories such as behaviorism, cognitivism, and constructivism. For an overview, see his article, “Connectivism: A Learning Theory for the Digital Age.”