Keynote Speakers

“What If We Give It Away?: How and Why to Open up the Humanities” – Lisa Spiro (National Institute for Technology in Liberal Education)

Amidst all of the debates around the digital humanities (DH) seems to be a nugget of agreement: the digital humanities embraces open data, tools and content, as well as open approaches to scholarship and education. While the sciences seem to be ahead of traditional humanities scholarship in promoting open access, the digital humanities celebrates sharing, iterating, conversing, mashing up, and reusing. In order for many digital humanists to do their work, they need freely accessible data and tools. By openly sharing their work, humanities scholars can gather feedback and build their audiences and reputations. Openness also upholds ethical aims and aligns with the core mission of education to disseminate knowledge. Yet we face some significant challenges in pursuing open scholarship and education in the humanities, including securing funding and technical support for digital scholarship and teaching, dealing with outmoded tenure and promotion policies, and raising awareness of open access. In this talk, I will make the case for the open humanities and put forward some strategies for supporting it, exploring business models, approaches to peer review, and emerging collaborative structures.

As director of NITLE (National Institute for Technology in Liberal Education) Labs, Lisa Spiro works with the liberal arts community to develop innovative approaches to integrating learning, scholarship and technology. Lisa also serves as the program manager for Anvil Academic, a new open, digital press for the humanities. Lisa has presented or published on a range of topics related to technology and higher education, including a study for the Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR) investigating "Can a New Research Library be All-Digital?" (with Geneva Henry), an analysis of how researchers in American literature and culture use digital archives (with Jane Segal), and a CLIR report entitled Archival Management Software. She has contributed essays toDebates in the Digital Humanities, #alt-academy: Alternate Academic Careers for Humanities Scholars, Collaborative Approaches to the Digital in English Studies, and Digital Humanities Pedagogy(under review). She was the founding editor of the Digital Research Tools (DiRT) wiki and authors the Digital Scholarship in the Humanities blog. Before coming to NITLE, Lisa directed the Digital Media Center at Rice University’s Fondren Library, where she oversaw the university’s central multimedia lab, led workshops on topics such as digital storytelling and digital research tools, and contributed to digital library projects. A Frye Leadership Institute fellow, Lisa serves as the Communications Officer for the Alliance of Digital Humanities Organizations and on the Executive Council for the Association of Computers and the Humanities, the Board of DH Commons, and the Program Committee for the Joint Conference on Digital Libraries. Lisa holds a B.A. in English and history (magna cum laude) from Rice University and a Ph.D. in English from the University of Virginia.

“Rethinking Collections” - Julia Flanders (Brown University)

Digital "collections" have a great deal to teach us about how we approach humanities scholarship in the digital age. As convenient, ubiquitous aggregations they raise important questions about methodology, history, motive, agency, and textual theory. What constitutes a collection? What are we modeling when we design a collection? What forms of readership and scholarship does the digital collection foster?

Julia Flanders is the Director of the Women Writers Project, part of the Center for Digital Scholarship in the Brown University Library. She is one of the founding editors of Digital Humanities Quarterly, and has served as President of the Association for Computers and the Humanities and as Chair of the TEI Consortium. Her research focuses on digital text representation and editing, digital scholarly communication practices, and the politics of digital work in the humanities.

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