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Thanks!

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:

Co-Organizers

  • 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.

Sponsors

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

Volunteers

  • 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)

THATCampers

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.


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!

Evaluate!

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!

Hashtags on Twitter

Great set of boot camp sessions today! Looks like we have dual hashtags going on Twitter.  Those wanting to follow along should look at both #thatcamptexas and #thatcamptx.

Explore New Media and Music Saturday Night

Following THATCamp Texas, you can continue to pursue fun with multimedia by attending the SYZYGY, New Music at Rice concert at Rice’s Wortham Opera Theatre – Alice Pratt Brown Hall from 8-9 p.m.

Details:

SYZYGY, New Music at Rice
A concert of electronic and computer music featuring live performance on acoustic and electronic instruments, surround sound, and video. Featured works include those by Art Gottschalk, guest composer Russell Pinkston, and premieres by Chapman Welch and Kurt Stallmann with collaborator and guest filmmaker Alfred Guzzetti.

Guest faculty performers include Leone Buyse and Michael Webster.
8:00 p.m., Wortham Opera Theatre

Dork Shorts!

One of THATCamp’s signature events is Dork Shorts, where you get 2-3 minutes to give an “elevator speech” about your project. You can make fellow THATCampers (and those following along on Twitter) aware of your project and even find possible collaborators. We’ll probably start the Dork Shorts around 12:30 on Saturday, after everyone has had a chance to grab lunch.  Sign up now to nab one of the earliest slots!

Dork Shorts!

Since we don’t have a lot of time for the Dork Shorts, it’s best to keep things simple, but let one of the THATCamp Texas organizers know if you need to load up a PowerPoint on the PC in the Kyle Morrow Room or have any other needs. Please take care of this by 12:15 on Saturday.  Thanks!

BootCamp: Schedule and Locations

If you’ve signed up for the first session of BootCamp, please arrive at the Digital Media Center (DMC in Herring 129) between 8:30 and 8:45 on Friday the 15th.  We’ll give you your name tag and direct you to the location of the workshop.  We’ll have coffee and fruit, but not a full breakfast. If your first BootCamp session starts later in the day, please drop by the DMC for your nametag.

Curious about where your BootCamp session will meet?  Print your own copy of the schedule.

 

THATCamp Texas Final Details

We’re looking forward to THATCamp Texas, which is now just a few days away. Before everyone arrives, we wanted to give you some information about logistics. Please forgive the length, but we’ve got a lot to cover!

1) Where to Go, When to Get There

BootCamp sessions will run on Friday from 9 until 4:30, with breaks for sustenance and socializing. If you’ve registered for the first BootCamp session, please arrive at the Digital Media Center, Herring 129 (home base for Friday), by 8:45 a.m. Except for the sessions on Simple Augmented Reality, Regular Expressions, and Arduino Micro-Controllers, all BootCamp sessions are full—in fact, they will probably be a little crowded, but we wanted to accommodate as many people as we could. On Friday, we probably won’t be providing food until lunchtime. (Unless you’ve made other arrangements, we’ll be having banh mi sandwiches on Friday. Yum!). We plan to end around 4:30.

THATCamp Texas will kick off at 9 a.m. on Saturday with breakfast. We’ll congregate in the Kyle Morrow Room in Fondren Library, which is on the third floor of the building. Anyone who does not have a Rice ID will need to enter on the east (Central Quad/ Willy’s Statue) side of the building.

Not sure where Fondren Library and Herring Hall are? Check out the THATCamp Texas map, available as a PDF or Google Map.

2) Where to Park

You have several options for parking, including:

  • the Central Garage, the most expensive option ($1 for every 15 minutes, with a maximum of $11/day), but closest to THATCamp events
  • the West Lot ($1 for every 30 minutes, with a maximum of $11/day), about a five minute walk from THATCamp events
  • the Greenbriar Lot, which costs $1/day and is about 15 minutes away from THATCamp events

3) What to Do Before THATCamp Texas

To get the most out of THATCamp Texas, we strongly encourage you to:

a) post a brief session proposal to the THATCamp Texas blog, texas2011.thatcamp.org/ (you should have already been sent login info, but let us know if you have any trouble)

b) read and comment on session proposals contributed by your fellow THATCampers. Some exciting ideas are being shared on the THATCamp Texas blog, so we encourage you to dive in (if you haven’t already.)

c) follow thatcamptexas on Twitter. We hope that THATCampers trade ideas and build community via Twitter, and we encourage everyone to use #thatcampTX for THATCamp-related exchanges. If you’re new to Twitter, see chronicle.com/blogPost/blogPost-content/26065/ for a useful introduction.

4) What to Bring

a. A laptop, particularly if you plan to participate in a BootCamp session. (We will have a few laptops available for the BootCamp sessions.) If you’re not from Rice, you should be able to connect to the wireless network as a visitor; see docs.rice.edu/confluence/display/ITTUT/Connect+on-campus

Remember, if you have signed up for the TEI workshop, you should download and install the trial version of Oxygen from www.oxygenxml.com/download_oxygenxml_editor.html

Likewise, if you will be participating in the ggplot2 workshop, please install Rstudio (www.rstudio.org/), and then inside Rstudio run the following R code: install.packages(“ggplot2″).

b. A powerstrip/ extension cord if you’ll need to recharge your laptop battery

c. Business cards to pass out to your new friends

d. Brochures and other hand-outs related to your project(s)

e. Questions, ideas and energy

f. $20 or so, if you are able to chip in to help cover the costs of THATCamp Texas.  (And thanks again to our sponsor, Fondren Library’s Center for Digital Scholarship.)

5) What Will Happen During THATCamp Texas

What distinguishes THATCamp is that its participants set the agenda. During our first session on Saturday at 9:30 a.m., we will collectively determine the schedule based on the session proposals that people have contributed to the blog, as well as new ideas that come up during the discussion. For more on how this will work, see thatcamp.org/plan/during/scheduling/ We hope that people who have proposed sessions will agree to serve as facilitators for them, which means that they will be responsible for initiating the conversation, moderating the discussion, and keeping time.

THATCamp is meant to be collaborative, informal, productive, non-hierarchical, inter-professional, transdisciplinary, small, open, cheap and, most of all, fun (see thatcamp.org/about/ for a more complete explanation.) There won’t be any formal presentations; instead, we will engage in open conversation and hands-on play.

During lunch on Saturday, we’ll hold “DorkShorts,” where you will have the opportunity to give a two or three minute “elevator speech” about a project.

6) What Will Happen After the BootCamp and THATCamp Texas

After spending an intense day at the BootCamp and at THATCamp Texas, unwind with fellow THATCampers. On Friday, April 15, we plan to assemble outside of Valhalla, Rice’s graduate student bar around 4:30 (weather permitting). If you prefer coffee or soda to cheap (and I mean cheap) beer, grab a beverage at the Pavilion and join us. Look for me.

After we wrap up THATCamp Texas on Saturday around 6:15, we’ll head over to the Rice Village, which is about a 15-20 minute walk away (or you can park in the Village or in the Greenbriar lot). We haven’t made reservations anywhere, since we don’t know how many people to expect. However, we’ll probably end up at the Ginger Man, a local favorite. For those seeking food, check out:

· Pasha or Istanbul Grill: Turkish

· Patu’s: Thai

· D’Amico’s: Italian

· Yum Yum Cha: dim sum

· Shiva: Indian

· Ruggles: sandwiches, salads, soups, pastries

· the Chocolate Bar: ice cream, pastries and more

· Salento: coffee

A little pricier:

· Café Rabelais: French

· Benjy’s: New American

· Prego: Italian

See also Yelp and the Rice student restaurant guide.

7) Who to Contact

If you need to get in touch, feel free to contact:

· Digital Media Center (Friday): 713-348-3635

Also, keep your eyes on the THATCamp Texas web site.

Please let us know if you have any questions, comments or concerns. We look forward to seeing you in a few days!

BootCamp, Session Ideas, Hotels & Twitter

With THATCamp Texas just three weeks away, we wanted to give you some updated information and make a couple of requests.

1) BootCamp registration is now open! We’ve got some terrific workshops on topics such as data visualization, building digital collections, creating GIS maps, and even crafting your own simple electronics project. Unfortunately, we can only accommodate 10-15 people in each workshop due to space restrictions and our desire to make the sessions as interactive as possible. Registration is on a first-come, first-served basis, so please register ASAP. You can access the registration form and read descriptions of the workshops at texas2011.thatcamp.org/bootcamp/

2) The conversation has already begun on the THATCamp Texas blog at texas2011.thatcamp.org/, as THATCampers have posted and commented on some outstanding session ideas. If you haven’t done so already, please create your profile (using the login that you were sent last week) and submit a brief session proposal. So that we can group all of the proposals together, use the category “Session Ideas.” We encourage you to comment on posts by other participants, particularly those related to your own interests. The conversations on the THATCamp blog lay the foundation for a successful unconference by fostering the exchange of ideas and the building of relationships, so please participate!

If you’re unfamiliar with WordPress, no sweat—see codex.wordpress.org/Writing_Posts or get in touch with us with any questions. A quick overview: To post to the blog, login at texas2011.thatcamp.org/wp-admin/ You’ll reach a dashboard. Click ‘Add New Post’ to post your session idea. To change your THATCamp Texas profile, click ‘Edit my Profile’ under your user name on the upper left hand corner of the page.

3) Check out texas2011.thatcamp.org/logistics/ for information about hotel options close to Rice. Rates range from $79-$130 (hotels that are closer to Rice typically cost more.) You’ll likely be able to receive a discount if you ask for the “Rice rate.” Also, you’re welcome to post a roommate request to the THATCamp Texas blog; use the category “Roommates.”

4) Don’t forget to follow THATCamp Texas on Twitter at thatcamptexas. We’ll probably be releasing some information about THATCamp Texas on Twitter first.

Let us know if you have any questions. We look forward to seeing you in a few weeks!

Hello Digital Texas!

Announcing THATCamp Texas!   Apply to be part of the excitement on April 16 on the campus of Rice University, as we gather folks interested in digital humanities for the best one-day “unconference” you’ll ever go to!
And for those interested, we’ll also be holding a BootCamp at Rice on April 15, offering a series of workshops on honing new digital skills. Both THATCamp and the BootCamp are free, although we’d appreciate it if participants could toss in $20 to help cover refreshment costs.
Faculty, grad students and postdocs in the humanities, librarians, archivists, and art museum professionals may apply for a $500 BootCamp Fellowship to help defray travel expenses for attending THATCamp Texas and its BootCamp. (We understand that the funding for fellowships for librarians and archivists  has been exhausted, but doublecheck with the THATCamp Coordinator at gro.p1498269365macta1498269365ht@of1498269365ni1498269365.)
Read more about THATCamp (and other THATCamps) at thatcamp.org.
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