ILiADS 2016

Last week, I finished the second of my two DH camps this summer. It began with DHSI at the University of Victoria in June, and last week it ended at ILiADS at Hamilton College. Going to these workshops reminds me of how much I love the DH community and how much I love what I do. I come away inspired by my colleagues and their dedication, their innovation, and their projects.  How can you not when you see, for example, the team from Dartmouth’s project, Remix the Manuscript, which aggregates different digital projects underway at the institution that are all seeking to understand how digital technologies affect access and understanding of material culture.

I really enjoyed seeing the sex and scandal presentations develop at ILiADS. In Steinheil: Sex, Scandal and Politics in Belle Époque France (or, Project Scandal), Prof. Sarah Horowitz, Mellon Digital Humanities Fellow Brandon Walsh, and rising senior Samuel Gibson at Washington and Lee are using digital humanities textual analysis methods to ask the question, what is the language of scandal?  And at Oberlin College, Profs. Libby Murphy and Greggor Mattson’s project on prostitution and Paris, A la Recherche des Femmes Perdues,  built on Omeka, examines the 19th century book De la Prostitution dans la Ville de Paris.

Not only did I come away in awe of the collaborative DH projects being done at SLACs across the country, but I also came away from the week with a new sense dedication to ensuring the sustainability of my own center at Grinnell, the Digital Liberal Arts Collaborative. Thanks in part to two very pointed talks by Donnie Sendelbach and Angel David Nieves, I was reminded again of the central importance of project management and documentation to digital humanities.  My project management game is already pretty on fleek (can I still say that? Could I ever say that? Should I ever say that?), but I’ve been super remiss in documentation. Moving forward this year, documentation is going to be the DLAC’s battle cry. We’re going to get better at it, and we’re going to encourage our partners across the college to get better at it.