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UNT, TWU to present digital humanities conference in September

When students in some Texas schools study the Texas Revolution, they read actual letters written by those who experienced the battles, including William Travis’ plea for reinforcements that he wrote as Mexican troops surrounded the Alamo and Sam Houston’s official report of the victorious Battle of San Jacinto.

These items on the Resources4Educators section of the UNT Libraries' Portal to Texas History are just one example of how faculty members are using digital archives, GIS and mapping, data visualization and blogging and social media to teach humanities. The third Digital Frontiers conference sponsored by the UNT Libraries Sept. 18-19 will bring together scholars and teachers, academic and public librarians and others to learn about the latest developments and use of digital resources.

Texas Woman’s University’s Blagg-Huey Library has joined with the UNT Libraries and the Portal to Texas History — which provides online access to millions of pages of items from archives, historical societies, libraries, museums and collections in Texas — as a partner for this year’s conference.

The conference will be at TWU’s Hubbard Hall. Registration is available through Sept. 12.

Fees range from $40 to $125, with those who register at higher levels receiving perks such as travel mugs, locally roasted coffee and VIP tours of TWU’s special collections and archives with a luncheon catered by Queenie’s Steakhouse in Denton, owned by celebrity chef Tim Love. The conference is free to full-time undergraduate and graduate students, but they must register in advance.

Spencer KeralisSpencer Keralis, right, research associate professor with the UNT Libraries, said Digital Frontiers exists because librarians and scholars wanted “to reach across departmental and institutional boundaries to find collaborators and do the work that is the future of the humanities.” The partnership with TWU, he said, reflects the theme of collaboration.

Kimberly Johnson, coordinator of special collections with the TWU Libraries, noted the partnership between UNT and TWU Libraries “highlights the strengths of two distinguished academic libraries in the North Texas area and provides the ideal opportunity for the Blagg-Huey Library on the TWU Denton campus to welcome the digital humanities community to the Woman’s Collection, a preeminent research center for women’s history.”

Digital Frontiers 2014 will be followed by THATCamp Digital Frontiers, or The Humanities and Technology Camp Digital Frontiers, on Sept. 20. THATCamps, which have been held in conjunction with professional conferences since 2008, are open meetings in which humanities and technology professionals of all skill levels learn together in sessions they propose on the spot. The sessions can be led by any participant and may involve demonstrations of tools, or simply be based around discussion of a question. THATCamps follow the participatory “unconference” model developed by George Mason University’s Center for History and New Media.  

THATCamp will take place at TWU’s Blagg-Huey Library.The fee is $20 and includes breakfast and lunch. Registration is available on the conference website through Sept. 12. Conference registration is not required to attend THATCamp.

Miriam Posner, the coordinator and a core faculty member of the University of California-Los Angeles’ Digital Humanities Program, is the keynote speaker for Digital Frontiers 2014. Dorothea Salo, a faculty associate at the University of Wisconsin’s School of Library and Information Studies, will be the conference’s plenary speaker.

--Nancy Kolsti, News Promotions

Posted on: Wed 16 July 2014

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