Week 4: Collaboration & WorkflowClose

Tuesday, September 27th


Overview: Collaboration is commonplace in the digital humanities. It is how people in the field conduct research, and many digital scholarly communications are co-authored. But once technologies become central to the collaboration process, how does collaboration actually work? Under what technological and social conditions is collaboration democratic and most inclined to produce a persuasive project? And what, after all, is a workflow? Why do we need one (or do we?) when participating in collaborative projects?


Reading Due: (1) “A Workflow for Digital Research Using Off-the-Shelf Tools” by William J. Turkel, (2) The “Off the Tracks” Collaborators’ Bill of Rights (including the comments), (3) “Collaboration: Digital Humanities and Computer Science” by Geoffrey Rockwell, and (4) “Examples of Collaborative Digital Humanities Projects” by Lisa Spiro


Suggested Reading: (1) “What If Scholars in the Humanities Worked Together, in a Lab?” by Cathy Davidson, (2) “Why, Oh Why, CC-By” by Bethany Nowviskie, and (3) Hacking the Academy (especially the about section)


Suggested Viewing: A lecture, “Collaboration and Dissent,” by Julia Flanders



Assignment Due: Blog Entry #2 – Please answer the following questions and be prepared to share them during our lab session, when you’ll work toward a formal collaborators’ bill of rights for your cluster: (1) In your cluster, how might you document a trail that articulates the character, extent, and dates of everyone’s contributions? (2) For the issue your cluster is researching, what might be some ways to fairly determine and account for who is doing what, when, and how? (3) What are some of your reservations and enthusiasms about collaboration in this course?


Outcomes: Draft a collaborators’ bill of rights for each cluster. Per project, determine at least three sources for evidence (e.g., journal articles, spaces on campus, and online collections). Articulate a preliminary, agreed-upon workflow for each cluster, too.


Prompts for this Lab Session: “Instructions for Your Collaboration Manifesto” (PDF) and “Final Project and Proposal Prompt” (PDF)


Friday, September 30th


Overview: In practice, how does collaboration differ from group work? In this class, what should a shared ownership of knowledge production look like? How do we avoid divisions of labor that exploit the labor of some students over others? How do we recognize and confront exclusionary practices (especially when they are institutionalized)?


Reading Due: (1) “Where Credit Is Due” by Bethany Nowviskie, and (2) “THATCamp and Diversity in Digital Humanities” by Alexis Lothian (follow the links, especially to THATCamp SoCal)


Suggested Reading: (1)  “‘It’s a Team If You Use “Reply All” ’: An Exploration of Research Teams in Digital Humanities Environments” by Lynne Siemens, (2) “The Digital Humanities Is Not about Building, It’s about Sharing” by Mark Sample, and (3) “Field Report: Gender Gap in DH?” by Maizesa


Assignment Due: Comment on Blog Entry #2 (question circulated during class on Tuesday, September 27th). Also be prepared to discuss and refer to Nowviskie’s and Lothian’s observations about collaboration and attribution.


Outcomes: Determine how credit will be expressed in each of your clusters. Explain why (if at all) credit matters for undergraduate research in the digital humanities.


Materials for Class Discussion: Google Spreadsheet for Cluster Collaborations


Index image by James Cridland.

Huma 150 @ UVic
Built on W—Portfolio