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For Spring 2023, we had a mixture of hybrid and online-only presentations. Please make note of that after each presentation title. The in-person location for hybrid presentations will be 320 Lockwood on the North Campus. This semester the DSSN partnered with the Digital Humanities Research Workshop to offer a number of workshops on digital scholarship tools. Those workshops are noted after the title. All times are US Eastern time.
February 16, 2:00-5:00 DSSN Symposium: “We’ve been here all along: DH and (In)visible Labor” (Online only)
In December 2021, librarian and technologist Andromeda Yelton published “’Just a few files’: technical labor, academe, and care” in response to an academic article that dismissed the work required to host digital humanities projects. “...[T]he labor conditions of your techies’ work lives are an important part of that [project] plan” she argues, after breaking down the actual time, knowledge, and equipment needed to host project files. Yelton’s argument is part of a growing conversation about the (in)visibility of people who do digital labor and the corollary demand to no longer ignore the people who keep academia, including the DH world, running. The 2022 DSSN Symposium takes this argument and conversation as its topic. For this symposium, we’ve invited scholars who have advocated for a focus on the labor required to implement and sustain many of the projects that live in the digital world. Join us as we discuss how this “invisible” labor has been there all along.
Quinn Dombrowski, Stanford University Academic Technology Specialist in Literatures, Cultures, and Languages; Center for Interdisciplinary Digital Research
Leonardo Flores, English Department Appalachian State University, President of the Electronic Literature Organization
Moderator: Natalia Estrada, Digital Scholarship Librarian; Co-Director DSSN
*More information be found on our symposium page.
Session Recording is Avaliable Here
February 23, 2:00-3:00 Erica Cavanaugh (University of Virginia), "StoryMaps for the Digital Humanities" (Online only)
This workshop will provide an overview of ArcGIS Storymaps, a cloud based tool which combines GIS maps with text, photos, and sometimes video to present a topic in an interactive way. Participants will be taken through the steps of Storymap planning in order to help them conceptualize their future projects. Additionally, they will be walked through the creation of an example Storymap in order to see the various features and settings available. Participants are not required to have a project which they are actively working on or thinking about but it would be helpful.
Erica Cavanaugh is Project Developer at the Center for Digital Editing (CDE) and a Research Editor at the Washington Papers. She has a background in history and digital humanities, as well as a graduate degree in Library and Information Science. Cavanaugh is responsible for the development of several Drupal-based content management systems, ranging from complex editorial production and publication platforms to exhibit-focused projects concentrated on metadata collection, searchability, and display. These projects include the George Washington Financial Papers, Jefferson Weather and Climate Records, the Papers of Martin Van Buren, and the Papers of Julian Bond. In her role, she also works alongside students and project staff to create engaging visualizations and tools so as to make the content of the various editorial projects more accessible to the general public.
February 28, 1:00-2:00 Derek R. Strykowski, "A Musicologist Learns R: Experiments in Historical Data Visualization” (Online only)
First launched in 2020, A Visual Guide to Some Nineteenth-Century Composers and Their Publishers (https://dstrykowski.shinyapps.io/visualguide/) is an R-based data visualization project that illustrates the publishing activities of (at present) ten prominent composers through a series of interactive charts and maps. This presentation takes my development of the Visual Guide as a case study to demonstrate both the challenges and the opportunities that greet scholars who are working with R for the first time. I’ll talk about how I determined that R was indeed an appropriate software solution for the project, learning the rudiments of the programming language, and familiarizing myself with the many existing packages of code that help to make R such a versatile digital tool. I’ll then introduce the website for the project, which uses R Markdown and was released on the Web using a cloud-based platform called ShinyApps.
March 6, 3:00-4:30 "ChatGPT, the Use of AI, and UB: a DSSN Roundtable" with Michael Kicey (Humanities Librarian), Patrick McDevitt (Director of the Honors College), Krishna Rajan (Eric Bloch Chair and Chair of Materials Design & Innovation), Michael Rembis (History and Disability Studies), Shu Wan (PhD student, History)(Online only)
The University of Buffalo is hosting a roundtable discussion on the topic of ChatGPT, the cutting-edge language model developed by OpenAI. The event will bring together experts from various fields to discuss the implications and applications of this technology. This promises to be a thought-provoking and enlightening conversation on the future of AI and its impact on society. All members of the university community and the public are welcome to attend and contribute to the discussion. Don't miss this chance to learn about the latest developments in AI and engage with leading experts in the field!
That text above was written by ChatGPT. And while it's not going to replace the people behind the text here at the DSSN (*phew*), it and the other AI tools are worth discussing in terms of ethics, creators' rights, assistive technology, academic integrity, and so much more! Come join the DSSN for a real roundtable discussion with UB scholars as we talk about what to consider when we actually talk about ChatGPT.
March 29, 1:00-2:30 “UB DH Minor Roundtable: The Future of Digital Literacy in the Humanities.”
Andrew Lison (DMS), Jeff Good (Linguistics), Cody Mejeur (DMS), Atri Ruda (CSE), & Nikolaus Wasmoen (English) (online only)
Where does the humanities intersect with computing, and how will it do so in the future? This roundtable consisting of faculty and students will explore the development of UB’s Digital Humanities program, currently offered as a minor available to undergraduates throughout the university. Focusing on the hands-on application of technologies such as artificial intelligence and data analysis to prepare students for careers combining critical thinking with technical familiarity, this dialogue between panelists and audience members will consider ways to expand the program. How, for example. might it grow to meet student interest in project-based teamwork, experiential learning, and career skills? Is it feasible to consider a Major in addition to a Minor? And should it remain a “Digital Humanities” program or be called something else, like “Digital Literacy,” taking into account the fractious online landscape of the present day? Come discover what faculty have been doing in this area, and share your thoughts on how it might develop going forward!
April 10, 10:00-11:30 "Elon Musk is Ruining My Research: The Compounding Impact of Change in Corporate Resources for Research" (10 Capen Hall, Buffalo Room, and online)
Geneva Henry, Dean of Libraries and Academic Innovation & Vice Provost for Libraries and Information Technology at George Washington University, “Does vendor cost bias research data collection?”
Venu Govindaraju, UB Vice President for Research and Economic Development, “University-industry engagements: mutualism, capitalism and controversy”
Lourdes Vera, Assistant Professor, Department of Environment & Sustainability and Sociology,
, “How a Twitter API Paywall Limits Researchers’ Understanding of Critical Social Movements”
Evviva Weinraub Lajoie, UB Vice Provost for University Libraries. Moderator.
A discussion of the impact of corporate policies on academic research, and how universities engage with corporate partners when the values of the university and the corporation do not align. This discussion is prompted immediately by the Twitter decision to erect an impossibly expensive paywall, in effect preventing use of its data, but the implications for data accessibility and bias go beyond this single corporation. See the recent Wired announcement by Twitter/Musk about the planned outrageous cost, in which UB’s Assistant Professor in CSE, Kenny Joseph, is quoted. Please note that this discussion will have both in-person and online options.
April 12, 11:00-12:30 Cody Mejeur (DMS), “Let’s Play Trans Folks Walking, Featuring Unity” (online only)
Trans Folks Walking (TFW) is a first-person, narrative video game about transgender peoples and stories built with the Unity Real-Time Development platform. Unity a complex game engine that can be tricky to learn at first, but is broadly adaptable for game design, filmmaking, installations, and many forms of 2D and 3D interactive media. This session will introduce people to the Unity, walk them through what the software looks like, and then do some playtesting of TFW. Participants will get to play the game and share their impressions, as well as ask further questions about game engines and Unity.
April 17 2:00-4:00 Mishuana Goeman, “Mukurtu Information Workshop" (online only)
This session will provide information on introducing Mukurtu and discussing The California Native Hub. Mukurtu (MOOK-oo-too) is a grassroots project that empowers communities to manage, share, narrate, and exchange their digital heritage in culturally relevant and ethically-minded ways. Mukurtu is committed to maintaining an open, community-driven approach to its continued development. The first priority is to help build a platform that can be used in multiple settings that fosters relationships of respect and trust. The California Native Hub is one of five regional Mukurtu hubs and the one with which Mishuana Goeman has worked most closely in place.
April 18 3:00-4:30 Chris Sauerwald, “Introduction to Palladio for Analyzing and Visualizing Data” (online only)
Join DSSN specialist Chris Sauerwald for an introduction to using Palladio to analyze and visualize data in maps, networks, and graphs. Faculty member Claire Schen will be on hand to give her perspective on being a new user of Palladio and preparing historical data for upload. The session will include some information on how to embed these visualizations for online publishing, but the core focus is on analyzing research findings. Palladio (https://hdlab.stanford.edu/palladio/) is a free open source web-based tool developed by Humanities + Design, Stanford University. Anyone working with data across time or geolocation/mapping to generate data visualizations may find this simple but elegant tool useful.
May 4, 3:00-4:30 Natalia Estrada, “Crafting Data Visualization”
In January 2022, DH Librarian Claudia Berger launched her Embodied Data project, where she documented turning the data she collected on the use of color in Bellum Civile into quilts. "By making data physical," she states, "... these types of projects are literally making abstract concepts tangible, and thus allows views (or users or whatever other term you gravitate towards) to connect to the ideas in a deeper way." There are other projects focused on the making physical representation of data, including the many temperature scarfs/blankets highlighting climate change, Kristin Briney's COVID data weaving/knitting project, and Alice Thudt's Life in Clay project.
This workshop will explore the various applications of data visualization to the creation of physical objects. We'll explore ideas such as relationship building with data sets, the use of crafts dismissed for various reasons (too feminine/childish/unpredictable/etc), and more.
The latter part of the workshop will be a chance for participants to learn crafts and data viz practices. Get ready to learn and make things!
Note: This event will be hybrid. In-person will be held at 109 Lockwood Memorial Library. You'll also get a Zoom link when you register if you are joining virtually.
If you are joining virtually: we plan to hold a virtual crafting session to not leave you out! Please fill out this interest form if you would like to participate so we can plan a date/time.