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DMDH 2014: Workshop 5: Project Ideation and Development

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Slides from the Demystifying Digital Humanities workshop on project ideation and development, 2014.

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DMDH 2014: Workshop 5: Project Ideation and Development

  1. 1. April 5, 2014 Big Project, Small Project: Steps in Ideation and Development
  2. 2. Multimodal Scholarship: scholarship that takes place in more than one medium (mode), and addresses subjects which it argues cannot be accurately conveyed in a single mode.
  3. 3. Digital Humanities: (strenuously resists being defined!) (see slides from Workshop #1) Alt. def.: using computers to do things which would be difficult for scholars to do, which allows scholars to do things that computers can’t do. "If We (Profs) Can Be Replaced by a Computer Screen,We Should Be!” --Cathy Davidson
  4. 4. One perspective: Digital Humanities: using digital tools to produce scholarship Multimodal scholarship: using tools to display and disseminate traditional scholarship
  5. 5. What is the difference between digital humanities and multimodal scholarship? (“produce” vs. “display and disseminate”?)
  6. 6. Why does the distinction between digital humanities and multimodal scholarship matter?
  7. 7. • Individuals and bodies whom you encounter or work with may have opposing perspectives on the definitions. • Whether you present your project as DH or as multimodal scholarship may be significant in terms of funding. • You may want to adapt a fluid self- presentation that allows you to cast yourself as either, depending on the context.
  8. 8. What do you work with?
  9. 9. What are the components of the objects you work with? • Book: words, pages, author(s), editor(s), publisher(s), reader(s), physical edition(s), digital editions, reader responses • Performance: sound/video file, performer, venue, date/time, program
  10. 10. What could a digital project be?
  11. 11. Ultimately, you define what form your project takes.
  12. 12. Components of digital/multimodal projects • an objective (a goal or a question) • data • audience • platform • labor • training • schedule/timeline • benefit (for you? for others?) • concrete outcome
  13. 13. “Developing research ideas is more about communication than creativity.” --DevDH.org
  14. 14. How else might I find a project? Almost anything you care about can become a project, if you commit to it.
  15. 15. Ideation Questions (Round One): Starting Out
  16. 16. Ideation Questions (Round Two): Due Diligence • Are there any existing projects that do anything similar to what you want to do? • What is the legal status of the material that you work with? • What kind of access do you have to these materials? • What would be the smallest version of this project possible? (i.e., proof of concept)
  17. 17. Ideation Questions (Round Three): What will it take to make this happen? • What skills are involved? • What are my real strengths, and where might it be better to collaborate with others? • Who will you need to work with? • How long do you anticipate this project lasting?
  18. 18. Ideation Questions (Round Four): Publishing your practice • Could you produce your project in a more traditional format for your discipline? (e.g., an essay?) How would your project provide different coverage than a traditional argument? • How does your planned project intersect with what other people are doing? • How can I share my process? To what extent and for what reasons do I want to do so? • What makes this a DH -- or multimodal -- project?
  19. 19. How does your understanding of your work differ from the way that others understand it?
  20. 20. The life of your project is in the way that (other) people use it.
  21. 21. In digital humanities, you may need to build your audience before you build your project.
  22. 22. The scope of graduate student labor is ill- defined. You will need to define what is required, and articulate that to others. GRADUATE STUDENT LABOR
  23. 23. How does my project fit into my graduate program?
  24. 24. Balancing a DH project with a graduate degree program •Consider how and whether you want to position your project within the boundaries dictated by your program and its degree requirements.
  25. 25. Balancing a DH project with a graduate degree program •Identify the people who are overseeing and evaluating the work you do on your project. •Meet with those people to discuss the practical aspects of your project’s running and marketing. (adapted from AmandaVisconti’s “Five Tips For Getting Started On A Digital Humanities Dissertation”)
  26. 26. Project management • creating and maintaining a schedule • knowing your own skills • being aware of and making use of resources • having a realistic conception of all of the above.
  27. 27. Scheduling tips • Develop granular goals. • Make your schedule for increments of time that work for you. • Assess how well the schedule is working, and adapt it as needed.
  28. 28. Know yourself • What types of work do you have the most energy/patience for? • What types of work do you find frustrating? • What aspects of collaboration do you embrace? What aspects do you struggle with? BE HONEST ABOUT YOUR ABILITIES.
  29. 29. Investigate available resources •UW Libraries Digital Initiatives •The Simpson Center •UW Information Technology (UW-IT) •Other departments
  30. 30. Asking is the key to developing a cohort. Your project may be more transferable than your dissertation.
  31. 31. Where else can I ask? •DH Commons •Twitter •Local UnConferences
  32. 32. Be mindful of the return on investment (ROI) for each activity.
  33. 33. Why would you want a project, given how much work it is?
  34. 34. When managed mindfully, a DH project can provide a sense of agency that complements and enhances traditional academic work.
  35. 35. But do you have to have a project to do DH?
  36. 36. No! Try integrating DH in the classroom! Have students create one of the following:
  37. 37. Stay tuned for our next workshop! Saturday,April 12th, 9:30a.m.-1:00p.m. Available Tools: Free, Cheap, and Premium • PivotalTracker • Scalar • ManyEyes • Finding tools, and deciding when they’re worth buying. Thanks to our sponsors! UW Textual Studies Program

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