Archive for April, 2011

Please evaluate THATCamp Texas

Amanda French here, THATCamp Coordinator. It sounds like THATCamp Texas went very well indeed — many thanks to everyone who contributed their time and talent to organizing and teaching, especially Lisa Spiro, Andrew Torget, and Anita Riley.

If you could, please take just a moment to evaluate THATCamp Texas. Note that there are only *two required fields*: which THATCamp you went to (Texas!) and a rating of how useful it was for you on a scale of 1 to 5. Answer those two questions alone, and we’ll evaluate you as “hooray.” 🙂 Answering the other questions is optional, but I’ll read the responses with interest and with an eye to improving upcoming THATCamps.

You can write me at with any questions or comments. Cheers, and thanks.

Crowdsourcing Notes

We had a great discussion in the crowdsourcing session, with special thanks to Ben Brumfield for sharing his expertise and the Collaborative Manuscript Transcription Blog and to Elizabeth Hansen for sharing her practical experience with the Texas Archive of the Moving Image.  We took notes in a Google Doc, which you can see here: Crowdsourcing.

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Notes from Pedagogy Sessions

During the two THATcampTX sessions on pedagogy, we kept collaborative notes in a google doc. you can find that google doc here: Digital Humanities Pedagogy Assignments.  It contains practical suggestions for ways to integrate technology assignments into courses, as well as a theoretical discussion of what should go into a course on digital humanities.  If you have other suggestions please post them to the doc.  We touched on proposed sessions including:

Student-Generated DH Tool Reviews

DH Pedagogy



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THATCamp Texas emerged from two experiences.  In 2008, I was lucky enough to attend the very first THATCamp at George Mason University’s CHNM and became convinced that holding an unconference is one of the best ways to start conversations, exchange ideas, generate enthusiasm and energy, build community and launch collaborations.  Last year, Caleb McDaniel and I hosted Andrew Torget for a terrific lecture here at Rice.  During his visit, Andrew and I discussed our shared desire to build up the digital humanities community in the Texas region and agreed that holding a THATCamp would be a great way to advance that goal.  Hence THATCamp Texas.

THATCamps are fundamentally collaborative endeavors, so many people deserve thanks for their hard work in making THATCamp a success, including:


  • Andrew Torget of UNT is the ideal collaborator, enthusiastic, smart, and upbeat. Andrew was willing do whatever needed to be done, whether serving as emcee, leading a BootCamp session, or lugging a cooler.  THATCamp Texas wouldn’t have happened without him.
  • Anita Riley of UH likewise was crucial to the success of THATCamp; she offered helpful suggestions about logistics, made the name tags, put together a BootCamp session,  and pitched in to do whatever it took to keep THATCamp Texas running smoothly, such as keeping sessions on schedule and assisting with refreshments.

BootCamp Instructors

  • Amanda Focke of Rice taught a wonderful session on Omeka–and she even brought donuts!
  • Kim Ricker and Jean Niswonger of Rice led not one but two well-received sessions on GIS
  • Chris Pound of Rice offered a great workshop on WordPress
  • Hadley Wickham of Rice taught an excellent session on data visualization using the open source R package that he created, ggplot2
  • Ben Brumfield, developer of FromthePage, introduced a grateful group to the wonders of regular expressions (and, as a veteran THATCamp coordinator, provided great advice)
  • Lina Dib, artist and anthropology grad student at Rice, and Roland von Kurnatowski of TX-RX Labs brought THATCamp Texas to a perfect close with their fun and illuminating “Art, Hackers and Arduino Microcontrollers: Show ‘n Tell ‘n Play” session.


  • Geneva Henry of Fondren Library’s Center for Digital Scholarship provided funding to cover the (relatively modest) cost of the event.


  • Linda Spiro, Ginny Martin and Janice Lindquist pitched in with THATCamp (Ginny even came in early on a Saturday to unlock for us)
  • DMC staff, particularly Nadalia Liu and Scott Gunther, helped get everything ready for THATCamp

THATCamp, the Mothership

  • Amanda French, the head “counselor” for THATCamp, provided great advice  With all of the information and templates available on the THATCamp site, it’s relatively easy to put on a THATCamp (at least compared to your typical conference)


THATCamp would have been a big flop if participants didn’t contribute their energy and ideas.  Thanks to everyone who came to THATCamp Texas, particularly those who helped spread the word about the event, contributed session proposals, facilitated sessions, Tweeted sessions, and donated to help cover our catering costs.

Text Mining Session from #ThatCampTX

Dr. John Garrigus and I took both took notes on the Text Mining session, led by Andrew Torget and Caleb McDaniel during the final session timeslot at THATCamp Texas. Here is the link to the editable Google Doc that includes both mine and Dr. Garrigus’ notes. Feel free to add additional thoughts, hyperlinks to resources, etc.

Thanks again to Lisa, Andrew, and Anita for organizing an outstanding THATCamp!

want to share your experience?

As Lisa mentioned during the wrap-up session, Profhacker was dreamed up at ThatCamp 2009 at CHNM. ProfHacker publishes advice, reviews, tips, and commentary on technology, pedagogy, productivity, and other topics relevant to those who work in and around academic institutions. I’ve been a regular contributor for the site since August 2009.

I’ll be writing a post about my experience at ThatCampTX,  but since I could only attend one session at a time, I’d like to invite you to share yours as well for inclusion in my post.

If you’d like, write a brief answer to one or more of these questions and email it to me (nmhouston [at] gmail [dot] com) by noon Thursday, so I can add some other perspectives.

What did you expect, coming to ThatCampTX?

What was your ThatCampTX experience like?

What’s your biggest take-away from the weekend?


Let me know if you have any questions!

Dork Shorts Presenters

Check out who presented what projects as part of THATCamp Texas’ Dork Shorts session.


After THATCamp Texas wraps us, please help us know what went well and what could have gone better by filling out a brief evaluation form.  Thanks!

THATCamp Texas Schedule

Check out the THATCamp Texas schedule here.


THATCamp Texas on Twitter: #thatcamptx

Curriculum resources for Holocaust and Genocide education

I’m interested in networking with folks who might help Holocaust Museum Houston reconfigure our existing Curriculum Trunk program into a more digitally oriented framework.

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