Digital Humanities Theory and Practice

man pic

Bringing together the libraries, universities, and museums of Southeast Michigan, Network Detroit is a conference aimed at sharing and promoting cutting-edge digital work in the humanities.

Registration Open for Network Detroit and Great Lakes THATCamp

Registration is now open for Network Detroit: Digital Humanities Theory and Practice (9/27) and its sister event Great Lakes THATCamp 2013 (9/28). Additionally, the schedule for Network Detroit is now posted. Both will take place at Lawrence Technological University.

Partnership with Maria Ketcham at the Detroit Institute of Arts

We are pleased to announce a partnership with Maria Ketcham, Head Librarian at the Detroit Institute of Arts. Maria will report on the Research Library & Archives’ current digitization initiative for creating electronic access to the archival papers of past museum directors. She will discuss lessons learned from working with the papers of one of the museum’s most significant directors, William Valentiner, Director of the DIA from 1927-1945. In addition, Maria has expressed interest in discussing a variety of topics including the museum’s current online catalog, the potential for creating online exhibitions based on digitized archival materials, and the challenges associated with providing long-term preservation and access to digitized, born-digital, and multimedia works held by the Archives.

Get your high school, college or university essay written with the help of, a professional writing service you can always rely on. They have a team experienced writers ready to solve your "write my essay" request by providing a custom-written essay on your subject and topic.

Network Detroit: Digital Humanities Theory and Practice to Host Great Lakes THATCamp 2013 at Lawrence Tech (Saturday, September 28)

In partnership with the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Network Detroit is pleased to co-host Great Lakes THATCamp 2013. A THATCamp (“The Humanities and Technology Camp”) is a user-generated unconference: “an open, inexpensive meeting where humanists and technologists of all skill levels learn and build together in sessions proposed on the spot.” Participants decide their agendas and form project/discussion groups.

THATCamps are modeled on THATCamp Prime, an unconference created by the Center for History and New Media (CHNM) at George Mason University. THATCamps now take place worldwide. The Great Lakes THATCamps have been held at Michigan State University (2010, 2011), and Western University in London, Ontario (2012). At Great Lakes THATCamp 2013, we invite participants to the Great Lakes region for a day of networking and collaborating on digital humanities projects.

The Great Lakes THATCamp 2013 website will be live in early June. Watch for announcements and links to registration on In the meantime, you can also follow @glthatcamp and @detroitdh on Twitter.

Partnership with Dina Mein at the Henry Ford

We are pleased to announce a new partnership with Dina Mein at the Henry Ford, who will be presenting at the Network Detroit conference in September. Today we met with Dina, who is manager of the archives and library at the Benson Ford Research Center. She gave us a short tour and shared with us the current state of digital humanities work at the Henry Ford. The museum has amazing collections deeply tied to American and Michigan history. It’s not just cars, trains, and things that go zoom. They have collections of all sorts of fascinating objects of Americana including typewriters, lightbulbs, (presidential) letters, and even computers. Just how eclectic are the collections?

Take a look at their current exhibitions. Some of the museum’s collections have been realized in digital form (witness the Toys collection including PONG), but there are still many gems which have not. In short, there are major research and project opportunities for DH scholars interested in working with the Henry Ford. Stay tuned for more as Dina has promised to post here in the upcoming weeks.

Here’s one last nugget. The digital humanities is known for teaching through visualization and tinkering (text analysis, McGann’s concept of deformation, etc.). Here’s a great example of the power of visualization from the museum.

Partnerships with Detroit Historical Society and the Charles H. Wright Museum

As the deadline for the CFP approaches (June 15), we will be making announcements and leaking teasers about what’s in store. This is the first such announcement with more to come. (If you’re interested in showcasing your project on the blog, send an email to Nathan at [email protected]).

We are pleased to announce partnerships with the Detroit Historical Society and the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History. Both institutions will participate in a panel which will consider current digital projects happening in Detroit-area museums. They will also describe the type of projects they would like to expand-on or build in the future. For instance, Robert Smith, of the Wright Museum will be discussing his recent work with Magian Media to create an exhibit on the Underground Railroad and the museum’s future desire to create a virtual exhibit showcasing the history of the Delta Sigma Theta Sorority.

After speaking with professionals from local museums, libraries, universities, and colleges, it is clear that there is a great need for digital humanities infrastructure and work in Michigan (and Ontario, Ohio, and Illinois!). There is exciting work being done (and to be done) by professors, archivists, librarians, artists, graduate students, and undergraduate students. We are excited by the conference submissions so far and encourage those of you that have not submitted yet to do so today!

Keynote Speaker: Ethan Watrall

We are excited to announce that Ethan Watrall has accepted the position of keynote speaker for Network Detroit: Digital Humanities Theory and Practice.

An archaeologist who has worked extensively throughout North America and the Near East, Ethan Watrall is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Anthropology and Associate Director of MATRIX: The Center for Digital Humanities & Social Sciences at Michigan State University. In addition, Ethan is Director of the Cultural Heritage Informatics Initiative and the Cultural Heritage Informatics Fieldschool at Michigan State University. Ethan’s primary interests lie in the domain of digital cultural heritage and digital archaeology, with particular focus on serious games & meaningful play, mobile & geospatial (mostly within the context of public outreach and engagement), and linked open archaeological data. Ethan is PI of the recently completed, NEH funded “Red Land/Black Land: Teaching Ancient Egyptian History Through Game-Based Learning” project. Ethan is founder and editor of Play the Past, a collaborative authored, scholarly blog dedicated to exploring the intersection between games and cultural heritage. In addition, Ethan is co-editor of Archaeology 2.0: New Tools for Communication and Collaboration, an open access volume published by the UCLA Cotsen Institute of Archaeology Press. In addition to his scholarly work, Ethan has written trade books on web and interactive design, including Head First Web Design published by O’Reilly.

Announcing Network Detroit: Digital Humanities Theory and Practice

Network Detroit: Digital Humanities Theory and Practice (September 27-28, 2013) will bring together Detroit-area digital humanities scholars. The metropolitan Detroit digital humanities context includes elite universities and small liberal arts colleges, a private sector accustomed to civic activism, and world-class heritage institutions accustomed to collaborating with corporate partners. Given this regional context, the Network Detroit conference will be a laboratory for working out ways to re-imagine the boundaries that dominate discussions about the future of the digital humanities: large versus small, center versus camp, elite versus upstart, disciplinary versus collaborative, peer review versus public interest. The conference, hosted by Lawrence Technological University, will showcase the number and types of projects, innovative techniques and use of resources, and accessibility issues both for researchers and the public. It also highlights the importancce of delegating your tasks a student, where you can be overwhelmed with the flow of assignments at time. By requesting professional writing help from someone to write my essay, you ease up your academic life and become capable of achieving much better grades.

More than an academic conference, Network Detroit is a large-scale effort to build up southeastern Michigan’s humanities cyberinfrastructure and is intended to send out a call to action. The primary goals for Network Detroit are to create a census of Detroit-area digital humanities projects and to invite participants to think creatively about inter-institutional collaboration and resource pooling. We want to intensify focus on the place of digitization in Detroit cultural heritage work. The first day of the conference will be entitled “Theory” and focus on demonstration, ideas, and networking. The second day will be an unconference entitled “Practice” and focus on building, including a digital humanities incubator competition whose details are forthcoming.