Final Thoughts on the Day of DH2013

It’s been a whirlwind 24 hours, but I’m finally calling it quits on the Day of DH. Almost everything got done, except for the two most important goals – dissertation revisions and the lemon cake (baked, but not frosted yet) – but it was a loooong day. Normally I’m vegging out in front of the tv by now, if I’m not reading a book for fun, not school, but tonight is the final for March Madness, though, so I’m anything but vegged out.

Was my day jam packed with DH? Not even close. I found a few more disturbances to include in my project, which is more exciting than I can even say because I really feel like I’m on the right path. My proposal for the PhillyDH Incubator event is shaping up and I’m hopeful it will go well.

As I sit here trying not to yell at Louisville to hold it together, I’m thinking about what to take away from today. What struck me the most today, besides the sheer creativity behind so many projects on display today, was the variety of ways in which people interact with DH. Some are obsessed with coding, some are engrossed in the research, some are all about the analysis, but, ultimately, all of us are in it for the scholarship – creating it, consuming it, engaging with it, and sharing it.

Planning my PhillyDH Incubator proposal

I’ve been looking forward to this all day. For those of you who haven’t heard about it, Digital Humanities in the Delaware Valley ( is holding a PhillyDH Incubator Event this Thursday to help people get their digital projects off the ground. If your project gets chosen, there will be a hackathon to build it or get it at least to a proof-of-concept stage; if it’s not chosen, you still get feedback on your project. It’s a win-win, really.

The Jacobite disturbances project I want to pitch is especially timely for me because not only am I finishing the dissertation and getting ever closer to moving on from it, the Jacobite Studies Trust is holding a conference in Paris this summer. I’m presenting a paper that is the foundation for this project and hoping to talk to a few people to get support and, let’s be honest, funding leads, if not funding itself. Ideally, I’d like to go to the conference with the project at a proof-of-concept stage to show people that 1) it’s a valid project, 2) it’s a manageable project, and 3) it is a project that deserves funding.

This came through on Twitter just a little bit ago and it perfectly sums up what I’m trying to do with the PhillyDH event to prepare for the Paris conference:

@amandafrench: Don’t get people to agree: just build something, says @FranBerman. Indeed. Existence is an excellent argument. #crwu

Panic is kicking in!

It’s 3:00 here and I’m nowhere done my to-do list. Where is the day going??? I’ve made more progress, but I may have been overly optimistic in how much I was going to get done.

Wednesday’s lesson is ready to go and, bonus!, so is Friday’s lesson and next Wednesday’s lesson. It was easier to revise all the civil rights lessons at once, rather than single out the start of the movement and not know where I wanted to head from there. Monday is going to be a video on the Stonewall Inn Riots, but I need to prep some questions for them to focus on before I can call that done.

Don’t get me wrong – this is great that the lessons are prepped, but my dissertation hasn’t been touched and I haven’t worked on the proposal for the PhillyDH Incubator event, which is on Thursday. In other words, my Day of DH has had very little DH. What the what?

The Incubator event could be a great boost for my Jacobite project, so that’s up next. First, I have to eat lunch before I pass out. Then Dewey and I are going for a thinking walk, so I can plan in my head what I want to say in the proposal. Sadly, the thing I was looking forward to the most – baking the cake – might be put off until tomorrow if I can’t get to the grocery store. Booo!


Technology woes

Today is off to a good start. The first four items on my list were accomplished before 10:00 a.m. and I’m getting ready to crush my civil rights lecture. This is the state of my shared office in the midst of a flurry of activity:

2013-04-08 09.23.09

In a somewhat hilarious twist for the Day of DH2013, the power went out in my classroom this morning. I spent a good chunk of my morning reorganizing PowerPoint map slides to make the Cold War and containment ideas easier for my students to understand and discuss. Clearly, that wasn’t happening, so we went outside and discussed the Cold War in the sunshine and it was lovely. A technological disaster turned into a class. As someone said on twitter, it’s not *always* about computers!

Hello world!

Day of DH2013 starts in just 30 minutes for me. Here is what I’ve got planned for tomorrow:

  • Review (and make minor changes to) lesson plan before class
  • Enter test and pop quiz grades
  • Look up absences for students in trouble of losing attendance points (the school’s policy, not mine)
  • Meet with student about last test
  • Revise Wednesday’s lesson on the start of the civil rights movement
  • Prep proposal for PhillyDH Incubator event
  • Reread William of Orange letters and Scottish bishops’ letters for dissertation chapter
  • Finish (I hope) revising dissertation chapter
  • Email dissertation to supervisor (I really hope!)
  • Bake lemon cake for dad
  • Take Dewey Dog to the park

Stay tuned! I’ll be back just as soon as I get some sleep.