What will be discussed at the Colorado 2018 ThatCAMP?

One of the questions we’ve been seeing commonly is what exactly will be discussed at this year’s Colorado ThatCAMP? The topics discussed at the 2018 Colorado ThatCAMP can be a broad range of discussions or teaching sessions based upon proposals by participants before November 3rd. These topics can range from broad concepts: “How to apply spatial analysis theories in the digital humanities,” to more focused tool demonstrations: “Using StoryMaps for repeat photography and photo collection.” Possible topics and tools to discuss could include mapping tools, introductions to various coding languages, digital tools for school teachers, archival and collection tools, social network analysis, database management, text encoding and much more! If there’s something you are interested in learning more about then feel free to post it as a proposal. Making a proposal doesn’t necessarily mean that you need to lead it as a teaching session, it can simply be a suggestion to get a broader discussion going with other attendees!

Poetry with Python

example of a Python for loopTo paraphrase Shakespeare in the digital age, a for loop in any other language would iterate as well. From the perspective of Distant Reading (Moretti), today’s digitally literate scholars and students need to be able to understand some basic coding (indeed, what is a for loop, anyway??). Python is a great place to start! This session will look at one example of writing and applying a Python script to a text file to highlight and track references to targeted key words (perhaps, “rose” and “sweet”). We can then graph these keywords using some of Python’s libraries. The coding will be very basic, but the insights will hopefully prove very valuable.

Teaching the Humanities with a Spreadsheet

image of google fusion tableGeorge Steiner once wrote the intellectual is the person who reads with a pen in hand. Today, however, we need to rephrase this idea and say: The intellectual is the person who reads with a spreadsheet in view. Felienne Hermans has argued for the relevance of spreadsheets for coders. I am interested in exploring the potential for teaching the humanities with spreadsheets. I will review one case-study carried out with students in my advanced Spanish Culture course. While studying the medieval pilgrimage route in northern Spain, the Camino de Santiago, we leveraged Google’s fusion tables to create interactive maps (kms files) for identifying the locations of cultural exchange. Using the same spreadsheets, we could develop network analysis visualizations on which the stages of the pilgrimage are nodes and the student’s engagement with this culture are edges. Join me to discuss this example and share your ideas on other use cases for teaching the humanities with a spreadsheet.

Introduction to THATCamp Colorado

  • THATCamp stands for “The Humanities and Technology Camp.” Check the “About” page for more details. A THATCamp is an unconventional conference (unconference)—an open, inexpensive meeting that draws together humanists and technologists of a range of skill levels and areas of expertise to learn and build together in sessions that are organized on the spot on the day of the program. Everyone is a collaborator at THATCamp and participates in collaboratively setting the agenda for the day. THATCamp is informal, spontaneous, and inexpensive compared with traditional conferences. For THATCamp Colorado, we hope to offer free registration to students, and nominal registration fees for faculty, staff, K-12 educators and community members.


THATCamp is an ideal fit with the PLHC’s core values—technological tools, like public lands, are accessible, powerful platforms that tell the public important stories about themselves and their history in compelling ways.  THATCamp Colorado will take place November 3, 2018 on Colorado State University’s campus, and will highlight three major themes: Environment, Space, and the Digital Humanities. For the PLHC, THATCamp is not just a way to share our own experiences applying digital tools to telling the histories of public lands; it is also an opportunity to collaborate with others both on and beyond CSU’s campus to learn more about technological tools and to think creatively and critically about how we should engage with them in the humanities.