Diagnostic tools – or – the pretty visualization is not the end

As the semester and my first graduate digital history class wind down, I’ve been thinking a lot about building DH things for investigation vs. argument.  There’s a lot of good work on tools-as-theory, and whether a digital thing can be a satisfying argument, and an upcoming conference on argumentation in the digital humanities – so I’m not the only one. I also just finished writing 1-2 pages – maybe 1,000 words – based on a…

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Quick note: Timeline of famine philanthropy

I’m sitting down to tackle my introduction, and wanted to say something specific about the timeline for famine philanthropy. Tableau helped to track the total number of donors by organization.  This is a better measure than the total amount of donations – at least until I go back and standardize British pounds and U.S. dollars, but it gives a good sense of time timeline of relief.  

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Streamlined Grading with Linked Documents

First comes the start of the semester; then comes grading; then comes the inevitable wondering about how to make grading less of a chore. I realized a few years ago that much of my dislike of grading came not from an aversion to reading student work, or even to writing comments. Rather, for me, it came from navigating the systems that meant that I was spending more time collecting, archiving and returning student projects than…

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Digital History “From Below”: a call to action (and an abstract)

I’ll be heading to Kraków this summer for DH2016 – here’s the paper I’ll be giving.   Humanists – inclusive of digital humanists – are preoccupied with telling stories. Some of our most interesting subjects, however, have left only the barest of marks on historical records. Their stories are among the most captivating, but also some of the most difficult to access. This paper knits together recent trends in digital humanities practices that have helped…

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d3.js + R > Gephi (or, why network analysis helps with history)

Gephi is a very useful tool.  I’m very much looking forward to the new release that seems always on the horizon.  In the meantime, though, every time I open Gephi it crashes, and then I dive down a long rabbit hole of trying to re-write the program code, and then I get angry and go home.  So I’ve been delighted to find that a combination of R (for manipulating and analyzing the data) and d3.js…

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Digital Projects at the AHA (now with projects from THATCamp)

As many others have pointed out – on Twitter, in blog posts, and in person – this was a good year for digital at the AHA, and a great year for some wonderful and innovative digital projects.  I’ve been compiling a list of projects mentioned on Twitter and in panels, and I thought I’d share them here (in no particular order).  I’m sure it’s not complete- and that other wonderful digital projects were debuted and…

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These are a few of my favorite maps

I’m putting together an aspirational syllabus for a digital humanities/mapping course, and have been thinking about my favorite maps, and why they work so well.  Here is a very-not-complete list of my current greatest hits: Slave Revolt in Jamaica, 1760-1761: a cartographic narrative. This is, by far, my favorite digital mapping project.  I’ve seen Vincent Brown speak on it, and I was quite impressed by his articulation of why we need a map like this…

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On the embargo question

I’d been waiting to start this until my dissertation abstract was actually available through Proquest, but I’ve recently learned that it might take as few as 8 and as many as 20 weeks (~2-5 months) from the time NYU submitted the darned thing, which was three months after I submitted final revisions, to appear.  That’s between 5 and 8 months between my final version and the world of accessible-via-Proquest.  This, frankly, seems like something worth…

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(Live(ish))blogging the survey

First, a long digression: I got to sit down with reps from Gale today for about five hours to talk about all of the tools they have for teaching.  Among some other fun things, we were able to test drive Artemis, which will eventually aggregate some? many? of Gale’s primary sources (or, what Gale markets as primary sources – a lot of things that aren’t sold as primary sources, like literary criticism, could still be…

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