2011 Candidates for ACH President, Vice President and Executive Council
ACH President: Nowviskie and Ramsay
Biography: I'm currently VP of the ACH and chair of our Outreach Committee. I direct the Scholars' Lab at the University of Virginia Library, where I'm also associate director of the Scholarly Communication Institute. Our newest initiative at UVa is the Praxis Program, a hands-on practicum in DH for humanities grad students. I chair the Committee on Information Technology at the MLA and serve on the steering committees for ADHO and centerNet. Next year, I'll chair the program committee for the DH conference. I've been active in humanities computing since 1996, and my major projects include the Rossetti Archive, Temporal Modelling, the Ivanhoe Game, NINES/Collex, Juxta, #geoinst/Spatial Humanities, Digital Humanities Questions & Answers, #Alt-Academy, and Neatline.
Candidate Statement: All my work at ACH so far has been about improving our outreach to members and the broader DH world, and helping us understand and prepare to serve a much larger and more diverse community of practice. Much remains to be done, but we've collaboratively redesigned our website, launched the popular DH Answers as well as a (forthcoming) ACH newsletter, founded an outreach committee, started an advocacy and lobbying/letter-writing initiative, created seed funding for worthy projects, improved processes for joining ACH and voting in elections, and radically re-energized our mentoring program. I'd love the chance to keep serving you, and want to put the following things on our agenda: clearer communication and transparency about where membership money goes; close collaboration with other ADHO orgs on re-shaping and supporting growth of the DH conference; reforming our nominations and elections procedures to better represent the community; gaining a seat for ACH at the ACLS or other large consortia of learned societies; helping our committees and council to become more action-oriented; and creating effective ways for all ACH members to have their voices heard and their ideas and energy supported by the association.
Biography: Stephen Ramsay is an Associate Professor of English and a Fellow at the Center for Digital Research in the Humanities at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. He has lectured widely on subjects related to critical theory and software design for the humanities, and has been a member of the digital humanities community since the late nineties. His book, *Reading Machines: Toward an Algorithmic Criticism* was published in December by University of Illinois Press.
Candidate Statement: The conference needs to get bigger.
That's harder than it sounds. It's a decision that involves all of the ADHO member organizations, and it's also a decision that touches on questions of disciplinary definition. My own view is that we can trust the community and the review process to tackle the latter. The job of the ADHO member organizations is to create a structure that is robust enough to support the definition that emerges. I sincerely believe that we can get there without sacrificing either the warmth and approachability of our community, or the academic rigor that we've strived to uphold within the digital humanities.
ACH Vice President: Sinclair and Spiro
Biography: I'm an Associate Professor of Digital Humanities at McGill University. My research interests are primarily in the design, development, usage and theorization of text analysis and visualization tools for the digital humanities. I have led or contributed significantly to several collaborative tool development initiatives, including Voyeur Tools, the Text Analysis Portal for Research (TAPoR), the MONK Project, the Mandala Browser, the Simulated Environment for Theatre, and the online French grammar checker BonPatron. I serve as an associate editor for Literary and Linguistic Computing and Digital Humanities Quarterly.
Candidate Statement: I have had the privilege of serving on the ACH Executive Council since 2004. During that time I have helped coordinate several outreach initiatives, including the ACH Mentoring Program for emerging scholars (this includes an ongoing mentoring service, the ACH mixer at the annual Digital Humanities Conference and the Jobs Slam during the Annual General Meeting). I also helped establish the Digital Humanities Questions & Answers site, a community-driven resource motivated by a desire to share digital humanities expertise. As VP for the ACH I would like to continue and expand on these initiatives, particularly as the digital humanities community experiences continued growth and diversification.
Biography: As the director of NITLE (National Institute for Technology in Liberal Education) Labs, I work with liberal arts colleges to promote innovative approaches to pedagogy and technology. I am a member of the team organizing the Digital Humanities Commons, which will act as a hub connecting people to DH projects and tools. Currently I serve on the ACH Executive Council; I have also been a member of the ACH’s outreach and nominations sub-committees. I edit the Digital Research Tools (DiRT) wiki and author the Digital Scholarship in the Humanities blog, where I explore topics such as DH education, getting started in digital humanities, and the significance of collaboration. My recent writing projects include a proposal for a networked, open DH certificate program; a call for the DH community to craft a values statement; and a discussion of why and how to pursue an alt-academic career. Before coming to NITLE, I directed the Digital Media Center at Rice University’s Fondren Library, where I oversaw the university’s central multimedia lab, led workshops on topics such as digital storytelling and digital research tools, and contributed to digital library projects. While a graduate student in English at the University of Virginia, I encoded texts at the Electronic Text Center and worked briefly as managing editor of Postmodern Culture.
Candidate Statement: I am honored to be nominated for the vice presidency of the Association for Computers and the Humanities (ACH), since I think the organization plays a vital role in supporting scholarly conversations, publication and information sharing, mentoring junior scholars, and representing the digital humanities community. I believe that I would bring energy, creativity and a broad understanding of the digital humanities to the office. As the digital humanities undergo rapid transformations, the ACH can convene the community to address challenges such as evaluating (and demonstrating the value of) digital scholarship; helping people develop the skills, knowledge and collaborations to pursue DH work; and defining and promoting common interests. Since the ACH is an all-volunteer organization with limited resources, it must be strategic in how it pursues such goals, particularly by creating opportunities for the community to participate and seeding projects.
As vice president, I would promote three main ideas:
- collaboratively mapping out the future of the organization through an open, participatory planning process
- expanding communication and outreach to ensure that the ACH represents the diversity of the global DH community
- exploring how the ACH can support DH education and training, such as by promoting the sharing of syllabi and course resources, coordinating discussions of curriculum, and expanding the mentorship program
ACH Executive Council: Bellamy, Boggs, Drucker, Gold, Reimer, Reside, Worthey
Biography & Candidate Statement: Dr Craig Bellamy is the Secretary/Treasurer for the Australasian Association for Digital Humanities and is a driving force in DH advocacy in the region. He is on the Programme Committee for the inaugural regional conference, ‘Digital Humanities Australasia’, as well as the ‘Sustainable Data from Digital Research’ conference in Melbourne in December, 2011. He has research interest in Virtual Research Environments for the humanities, textual analysis, and more recently, 19th Century colonial history. Like many scholars in the Digital Humanities field, Craig has had an eclectic; at times challenging, but always intrepid career path. He first entered computing in humanities in the mid-1990s as a history Masters student in ‘History and Hypertext’ at the University of Melbourne. After theoretically disentangling himself, he undertook a PhD in History and new media that included a large digital component. His thesis was a historical investigation of a local community in Melbourne that included a pioneering ‘hypertextual oral-history video-archive’ (2002). Since this time, Craig has lectured in the field of media and technology, has been a visiting fellow at the University of Virginia, and has worked as a Research Associate at King’s College in London. He is presently an Analyst, Digital Humanities, for VeRSI at the University of Melbourne that involves setting- up numerous events and seeding new projects. Craig brought THATCamp to Melbourne in 2011 and has invited lectures by international luminaries in the field thus forging links between the Australian and international fields. Craig will bring a fresh and energetic voice to the ACH; one of the premier organisations in the field, and seek regional and international opportunities to advance computing in the humanities in a meaningful way. He will help promote and advance the work of the ACH, especially through his experience in outreach, training, and publishing activities.
Biography: I am the Humanities Design Architect for Digital Research and Scholarship at the University of Virginia Library, and a PhD candidate in History at George Mason University. My dissertation, The Designing Historian, explores design as a methodology for doing digital history. While at the Center for History and New Media, I managed development on the Omeka project and contributed to dozens of other web-based history projects. In 2008, I co-founded THATCamp, The Humanities and Technology Camp, as an academic unconference for digital humanities.
I have taught courses on digital history and web design for American University and George Mason University, and am currently leading the design curriculum of the Scholars’ Lab’s Praxis Program. Since 2004, I’ve maintained a website, ClioWeb, at clioweb.org.
Candidate Statement: I’ve had the good fortune to concurrently be a student, staff member, and faculty member in the digital humanities, which I believe gives me valuable perspectives from each separately and all working in collaboration. If elected to the ACH Executive Council, I would draw upon that experience to encourage scholarly work from a variety of perspectives, while fostering critical reflection on that work in ways that make digital humanities more inclusive. I would like to help the ACH continue to provide tools, services, and venues to help people in the digital humanities do their work and share it with others. Specifically, I would volunteer my design skills to enhance ACH’s web presence and communications to members. I would also like to explore more experimentation in the ACH at our annual meetings, through our web presence, and through other projects.
Biography: Johanna Drucker is the Breslauer Professor of Bibliographical Studies in the Department of Information Studies at UCLA. She is known for her work in the history of graphic design, typography, experimental poetry, fine art, and digital humanities. Her most recent titles include SpecLab: Digital Aesthetics and Speculative Computing (Chicago, 2009), and Graphic Design History: A Critical Guide (Pearson, 2008). She is currently working on a database memoire, ALL, and is a partner in the online Museum of Writing in collaboration with University College London and King’s College. In 1999 she went to the University of Virginia and as the first Robertson Professor of Media Studies, built the undergraduate Media Studies Program. She also helped design and propose a graduate program in Digital Humanities at Virginia, which was never funded, but which had been supported by various development grants including an NEH grant she obtained to put a core curriculum together. She was one of the founding partners in SpecLab at UVa, and remains dedicated to principles of experimental work embodied in its early proof of concept projects. At UCLA she is one of the core faculty designing the undergraduate Digital Humanities minor and the graduate certificate, and will be teaching the Introduction to Digital Humanities in the Winter Quarter, a class in which critical/theoretical skills are complemented by activities of making in areas specific to the digital humanities: text analysis, metadata, markup, visualization, data mining, simulation, network analysis, curation, and so on. Her co-authored book, Digital_Humanities, written with Todd Presner, Jeffrey Schnapp, Peter Lunenfeld, and Anne Burdick, will appear from MIT Press in Fall 2012.
Candidate Statement: As digital humanities matures, the community faces new challenges. We need to be able to articulate clearly how engagement with these methods changes or contributes to our fields. What are the "take-away" or "game-changing" points that digital humanities offers? What research questions can be asked, what insights gleaned, from the use of digital means that justify investment in the field. The notion that "everything is digital" and "all cultural legacy is being migrated onto networked platforms" only justifies technical training, not intellectual engagement Statements about the combination of critical theory and digital techniques into methods that expose assumptions about the nature of knowledge, cultural biases and their implementation in digital networks, must be clear and compelling. I'm interested in being sure the pedagogy in the field incorporates approaches to these issues, continues to pursue the development of humanistic methods in digital platforms, and that the level of critical discussion in the field is raised above mere reporting on projects and techniques.
Biography: Matthew K. Gold is Assistant Professor of English at New York City College of Technology and a faculty member in the Interactive Technology and Pedagogy Doctoral Certificate Program at the CUNY Graduate Center. At the CUNY Graduate Center, he serves as Advisor to the Provost for Master’s Programs and Digital Initiatives, Director of the CUNY Academic Commons, Co-Director of the CUNY Digital Humanities Initiative, and Director of the “Looking for Whitman” project. He is editor of the forthcoming collection Debates in the Digital Humanities (University of Minnesota Press, January 2012) and has published work in The Journal of Modern Literature, Kairos, and On the Horizon, as well as in the edited collections From A to <A>: Keywords of Markup (University of Minnesota Press, 2010) and Learning Through Digital Media: Experiments in Technology and Pedagogy (Institute for Distributed Creativity, 2011). He is a referee for Digital Humanities Quarterly and is part of the editorial collective of the forthcoming Journal of Interactive Technology and Pedagogy. His digital humanities projects have been supported by grants from the NEH Office of Digital Humanities, the National Science Foundation, the U.S. Department of Education, and the Sloan Foundation.
Candidate Statement: I am honored to be considered for the Executive Council of ACH. As a member of that body, I would advocate for an inclusive vision of DH that places as much emphasis on pedagogy (particularly the integration of DH methods and tools into undergraduate and graduate curricula) as has traditionally been placed on research. Building on recent projects that have connected classes among multiple institutions, such as my NEH-supported “Looking for Whitman” project, I would seek ways to link the increasing number of DH courses across the world to one another in an effort to build connections between students, faculty members, projects, data sets, and institutions. And, in line with recent projects that have sought to introduce DH to newcomers, such as ACH’s DH Questions and Answers and the forthcoming DH Commons, I would seek to foster DH projects at underfunded institutions that may need special help in gathering infrastructural resources, administrative support, and expert guidance for their nascent DH projects.
Biography: Over the past one and a half decades I have engaged with digital humanities in a broad range of roles: as researcher, developer, project manager, librarian and representative of a funding body. It all started when as a student of history in Munich I joined a working group of a group of historians who back then were seen as outsiders in the faculty as we believed that the web would open up entirely new ways of working for historians. This lead to the DFG funded digital humanities pilot "A Server for Early Modern History" and a range of related projects, including the peer reviewed, open access history review journal www.sehepunkte.de and www.historicum.net, an online hub for historical research, that I co-founded in 2001. After finishing my Ph.D. I left Germany to join the Centre for Computing in the Humanities as research project co-ordinator for the AHRC funded national ICT Methods Network; during this time I started www.arts-humanities.net. Since then I have branched out into the wider world of e-research, first at the Centre for e-Research at King's College London, and now as Programme Manager for JISC. As part of the Innovation Group I am looking after the Research Infrastructure Programme and am involved in a range of other activities, including our new Research Tools programme. The aim of all this work is to help the community to build, master and support digital tools for research.
Candidate Statement: One particular area I would want to work on with the ACH is the engagement with funding bodies to ensure that it is input from the community that drives new programmes and activities. I would also want to continue my work on bringing together the projects and initiatives that develop and support infrastructure for the arts and humanities (including Project Bamboo, DARIAH, centerNET, ADHO and others) – around topics such as shared services and specifically a shared knowledge base, something I have been working on in the past. These projects are at a critical stage and their impact as well as future funding depends on how well we work together. Also, I would like to work with the community on countering "big science" with "big humanities" – demonstrating to the public that humanities are as exciting and relevant to our future as science.
Biography: Doug Reside became Digital Curator for the Performing Arts at New York Public Library in 2011 after four and a half years on the directorial staff of the Maryland Institute for Technology in the Humanities. He has been the director on multiple digital humanities projects including Music Theater Online, and the Shakespeare Quartos Archive. He is currently editing the Musical of the Month blog at NYPL which makes available, in various ebook formats, one pre-1923 libretto each month.
Candidate Statement: I believe the two most pressing issues facing the ACH at the moment are the perceived lack of openness in our most visible publication, Literary and Lingusitic Computing, and in our conference selection criteria. In a community made up of members who tend to have a strong open-access ethos, it is somewhat dissonant to require a subscription to a closed access journal. As such, I would seek to make some significant portion of all publications funded with ACH dollars free and open access. Secondly, I would work to clarify what sorts of papers are most appropriate for the annual ADHO conference and the criteria by which they are judged. As the field of Digital Humanities expands and encompasses more scholarly approaches and disciplines, this clarity will be important if the annual conference is to continue to enjoy the goodwill and energy from which it currently benefits.
Biography: Glen Worthey is Digital Humanities Librarian in the Stanford University Libraries. You may remember him from such events as DH2011, where he was one of the local co-hosts. Glen has been active in the digital humanities since about 1995, when, as a graduate student, he took part in his first CETH Summer Seminar at Princeton, with many of the luminaries and pioneers of our field; he has been a member of ACH since 1997.
Glen's library work is focused on the selection, creation and curation of digital resources for humanities research and teaching at Stanford, and he is a member of the Stanford Literary Lab. His academic background and interests are in Russian literature (in which he is currently ABD at the University of California, Berkeley), Spanish language, translation theory and practice, and children's literature and culture.
Candidate's Statement: I am honored to submit my candidacy to the ACH Executive Council. If I were elected to the Council, I would consider my service there as a continuation of the greatly challenging, enormously rewarding, immensely inspiring work that was co-hosting the DH2011 conference at Stanford.
The theme of DH2011 (which, if you'll pardon the immodesty, came from me) was "Big Tent DH," and it is this theme that continues to animate my thoughts and feeling about our DH community. But what exactly did I mean by it? Most obviously, the Big Tent was meant to signify a broad disciplinary inclusiveness. I believed then, as I do now, that our field — our conferences, our publications, our community — are at their best when they're most inclusive of many kinds of DH practice, and many kinds of DHers — whether they work in academic departments, libraries, computing centers, museums, or elsewhere. I believe it is this very same openness that has made DH both a haven for people on some sort of "alt-ac" career path, and an exemplary extended experiment in hierarchy-challenging collaboration.
But the DH2011 Big Tent meant more to me than just that. Risking immodesty again, I'd like to mention two different and very gratifying efforts I undertook in order to make DH2011 as inclusive and welcoming as possible: one was to arrange for conference childcare, and the other was to actively foster participation from DH colleagues (both present and potential) in Mexico. I hesitate to call these efforts "outreach": in both cases, though the number of people directly affected was relatively small, I believe it was our entire community that benefited from their inclusion. There are dozens of other under-represented or unrepresented communities (whether defined linguistically or geographically, by discipline or family status or career path) that could enrich our big ACH tent with a new vibrancy.
It's an outstanding time for the digital humanities, as both popular and academic attention are increasingly focused both on our work and on our community. I believe we should proclaim boldly the inclusiveness of that community, happily uniting with all those whose work can find resonance with ours. At the same time, the newly popular awareness of computational approaches in humanities research demands that we bring to bear all the historical depth and disciplinary seriousness that have come with decades of ACH activity.
Thank you for considering my candidacy for the ACH Council.