Feb 232014

Greetings once more for the exciting third instalment of my crowdsourced reading lists! Today’s list is a bit longer because it includes two of my fields; it simply felt too arbitrary to attempt to decide whether many works I’ve included (particularly those I haven’t read) belonged in the New Media/DH or the Oppositional Media Studies field, so I elected to post them together.

As always, comments, suggestions, and interventions are welcome!


New Media/Digital Humanities and Oppositional Media Studies

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 Posted by on February 23, 2014
Feb 192014

As the period of Mellon Foundation funding for THATCamp nears its March 31st, 2014 end date, it becomes time to set up a community-driven means of managing the overall THATCamp project. I won’t bother you too much yet with my thoughts about what it has meant to me to be the THATCamp Coordinator over the last four years, but I will just say here that it’s been a pleasure and a privilege.

The task of turning THATCamp over to the community is in one sense utterly simple: it’s already a radically decentralized project, and there are plenty of THATCamps I have literally nothing to do with. In another sense, though, it’s hard — maybe the hardest task I’ve yet faced as THATCamp Coordinator. This is something I want very much to do right. I’ve therefore spent quite a bit of time thinking about how to do it, helped by an initial consultation session last October at THATCamp Leadership. I also read Jono Bacon’s The Art of Community, which gives practical advice from the perspective of the Ubuntu development community, and even got a bit of help from @jonobacon himself.

The result of all that study is the below document, a 3-page draft THATCamp Council Charter that describes a system of elections and governance. And now here comes the begging: please comment on the charter by March 10, 2014. You can use the regular blog comment box here titled “Leave a reply” to let us know if the system herein described looks good to you. (Don’t forget to scroll.) I’m particularly interested in how to ensure a diverse Council: I had thought about instituting quotas of some kind dealing with race, gender, country, rank, and so on, but frankly the math got too complex too quickly because of all the variables that could attach to any of the seven members: I wouldn’t want a Council with six white male American tenured professors and one black female Belgian grad student. We might want slightly more specific guidelines than those I’ve outlined here, though. My ears are open.

Feb 092014


Happy Saturday everyone! Want to celebrate with materialism? I thought so!

The plan here is the same as last week. I've posted a list below with what I have read in the field(s) of materialism, what I might read, and what I will definitely read. Let me know what you think! Am I missing something brilliant? Do you want to chat about something I've already read?

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 Posted by on February 9, 2014
Feb 032014

Hey everyone,

Thanks for bearing with me last week as I began to work on my Statement of Research Plan. There’s still a fair amount of work to go on that, but hopefully it gave you a better idea of what I’m working on and how I’m currently thinking about the project. It also gave me a lot to think about in terms of how to 'translate' my written work into the blog format. (If you didn’t get a chance to check it out but want to, here’s the link to part one.)

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 Posted by on February 3, 2014
Dec 092013

Ostrakon from Bu Njem

A few volunteers have started gathering for an interesting project, and it occurs to me that others may like to join us. This might be especially appropriate to someone with excellent Latin, a love for the subject, but no current involvement with the classics, and some spare time on their hands. A retired Latin teacher might fit the bill, or someone who completed an advanced classics degree some years ago, but now works in an unrelated field and misses working with ancient texts. Current students and scholars are also more than welcome to participate.

The Papyri.info site includes some 52,000 transcribed texts, of which about 2,000 in Latin, very few translated into English or any other modern language. The collaborative editing tool SoSOL (deployed at papyri.info/editor) allows users to add to or improve existing editions of papyrological texts, for example by adding new translations.

If you think you might like to take part in this exercise, take a look for instance at O. Bu Njem, a corpus of 150 ostraka from the Roman military base at Golas in Libya. The Latin texts (often fragmentary) are already transcribed; do you think you could produce an English translation of a few of these texts, which will be credited to you? Would you like a brief introduction to the SoSOL interface to enable you to add the translations yourself (pending approval by the editorial board)?