The Office of Instructional Innovation (OII) is urging everyone to mark their calendars on Friday, Sept. 21, and Saturday, Sept. 22, for THATCamp (The Humanities and Technology Camp) which will be held in Alden Library on Ohio University’s Athens Campus. According to Kelly Broughton, assistant dean for research and education services, THATCamp is a free event designed for those interested in digital humanities and technology to get together to share knowledge of digital tools and to provide and receive feedback about related projects.
“I hope that we hear back that people learned something new or made a connection with someone that’ll help advance their teaching, learning or scholarship on campus,” said Broughton.
OII’s THATCamp will consist of two workshops held on Friday afternoon. One of the workshops will be led by Edmond Y. Chang, assistant professor of English at Ohio University, and will cover the topic of diversity in video games, and the second workshop will be led by Leigh Bonds, digital humanities librarian at Ohio State University, and will cover the topic of text analysis.
This two-day event will also feature a keynote address from Roopika Risam, a digital humanities leader and English professor from Salem State University, on Saturday morning. Her keynote address will focus on social justice and how it relates to digital humanities. Risam will answer questions related to how digital humanities can create new opportunities to influence humanities disciplines in order to create change.
However, apart from the workshops on Friday afternoon and the keynote address Saturday morning, the format of THATCamp is that of an unconference where session content is determined by its participants at the event. This allows participants to steer the content of the event toward the areas about which they are most interested in learning and discussing.
“It’s very organic, and it’ll allow us to really make best use of the workshops on Friday afternoon and the keynote on Saturday morning by being able to integrate ideas and things that we learn from those sessions into the discussions and maybe even some demonstrations of people’s projects the rest of Saturday,” said Broughton.
Although this will be the first THATCamp hosted at Ohio University, this unconference event has made an appearance in the state of Ohio before at the University of Cincinnati. This event has also spread to other universities across the country, including our neighbor across the Ohio River, Marshall University.
Broughton commented that she had never been to an unconference until she attended THATCamp at Marshall University in March. The experience she gained from the event ultimately led her to support OHIO THATCamp organized by Kristen Lillvas, associate professor and director of digital humanities at Marshall University. Broughton said that although OHIO THATCamp will be similar to other THATCamp events around the country, the nature of the unconference will allow participants to tailor the event specifically to Athens and Ohio University, making it more localized, practical and useful for those involved.