The Contours of Community: Recap of “CUNY DHI, Building a DH Community” Lightning Talks

The Contours of Community: Recap of “CUNY DHI, Building a DH Community” Lightning Talks

Last night at The Graduate Center, a full room of scholars gathered to share ideas, meet colleagues, and embody the vibrant digital humanities community across our CUNY campuses. This event was the first rendition of “CUNY DHI: Building a Digital Humanities Community at The City of New York,” sponsored by CUNY DHI and GC Digital Initiatives, and its success was thanks to our dynamic crew of panelists, audience members, and Digital Fellows who chipped in (thanks to Hannah Aizenman and Erin Glass for set-up assistance).

Conversation was so lively at the reception afterwards that we received a friendly reminder that the building was closing–surely a good sign of collaborations and connections to come! Only a few moments before we received notice of the building closing, Patrick Smyth, another GC Digital Fellow turned to me and said, “You’re going to write a blog post about this, right?”

Of course, by “this,” Patrick meant the event itself. But to me, “this” also encompasses the abstract idea of why academic communities value events. At the GC, we believe in creating spaces for people and communities to get together not just digitally, but in the flesh: particularly when we have the privilege of doing so with New York City’s dense network of academic institutions.

In addition to workshops, departmental outreach, and efforts to build digital resources and community through this blog, GC Digital Fellows also assist in developing and executing events over the course of the semester. We encourage you to stay up to date on events in the Events section of our website, as well as the Events section of the GC Digital Initiatives that serves as sponsor for these opportunities to listen, learn, and connect.

To return to last night’s series of lightning talks at “CUNY DHI: Building a Digital Humanities Community,” I’d like to recap by way of numbers.

Here’s the math:

20 lightning talks: completed within an admirable 5 minutes apiece,

8 of CUNY’s senior colleges represented: including The Graduate Center, York College, Queens College, John Jay College of Criminal Justice, New York City College of Technology, The College of Staten Island, Hunter College, and Lehman College. We look forward to welcoming more colleges in future rounds, particularly community colleges, so please be in touch if this is of interest to you,

2 undergraduates engaged in innovative work: David Fasanya with Prof. Andie Silva at York College for “Intro to Shakespeare with Scalar,” and Marta Orlowska with Prof. Evan Misshula at John Jay College of Criminal Justice for “Jailbreak my Life,”

4 graduate students presenting on digital platforms, dissertation-level research, and pedagogical projects they’ve been instrumental in developing: Patrick Smyth (with Stephen Zweibel) on “DHBox,” Erin Glass on “Social Paper,” Danica Savonick on “Building a Student-Centered (Digital) Learning Community,” Kalle Westerling on “The Roots and Routes of Boylesque.”

We had an incredible array of topics, which all informed each other in exciting and productive ways. A snapshot:

oral history (Lori Wallach, “Queens Memory“)

bilingual repositories and innovative image metadata (Elizabeth Macaulay-Lewis, “Manar Al-Althar“)

new critical and digital approaches to film and photography (Lev Manovich on “Measuring Inequality in Social Media Use in NYC,” Alise Tifentale on “Find your own filter”: The aesthetics of Instagram Photography,” and Kevin L. Ferguson on “Volumetric Cinema“)

print culture and digital media (Michael Mandiberg, “Print Wikipedia“)

digital publishing (Sean Scanlan, “NANO: New American Notes Online“)

and digital pedagogy and platforms (Jill Belli, Jody R. Rosen on “The OpenLab,” Jeff Allred on “Introducing Yoknapedia,” Bret Maney on “Teaching DH in and beyond the English Classroom,” and Eric Metcalf on “Archives & Invention: A Course in Archival Technology and Public Address.”)

In order to review the entire speaker line-up in its original order, please visit the announcement of speakers on the CUNY DHI blog. You can also follow the conversation on Twitter at #cunydhi.

Thank you all for joining us, and for those of you who couldn’t make it, we invite you to attend and participate in the next round–stay tuned for updates.

In the meantime, best wishes for November–we’ll see you at events, in workshops, at Office Hours, at the Python Users’ Group, and anywhere else the GC Digital Fellows can be of assistance!

Parts of this post were featuring on the CUNY DHI Blog.

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