Modern Language Association
Viewing convention Program information from 2009

Session Details

Tuesday, 29 December

490. Links and Kinks in the Chain: Collaboration in the Digital Humanities

1:45–3:00 p.m., 410, Philadelphia Marriott

Program arranged by the Discussion Group on Computer Studies in Language and Literature

Presiding: Tanya Clement, Univ. of Maryland, College Park

Speakers: Jason B. Jones, Central Connecticut State Univ.; Laura C. Mandell, Miami Univ., Oxford; Bethany Nowviskie, Univ. of Virginia; Timothy B. Powell, Univ. of Pennsylvania; Jason C. Rhody, National Endowment for the Humanities

Bethany Nowviskie's Annotation:
New modes of interdisciplinary, tech-enabled research and production drive us to collaborate across an array of boundaries in the digital humanities. It is no longer unusual for a scholar to lead a tight-knit, interdepartmental research group or function as part of an ad-hoc team that may include faculty colleagues, graduate students, designers, programmers, systems administrators, and librarians or other instructional technology and information specialists. This is a good thing, and (in my experience) the most productive and interesting collaborations are grounded in a kind of professional and intellectual egalitarianism, or openness to the contributions of all team members. But not all of the social boundaries inherent in digital humanities project-work can or should be ignored. University policies about intellectual property and open source impinge differently on the rights and responsibilities of faculty, students, and staff members. These groups may have differing career trajectories and intellectual agendas, and their participation in projects is often understood and evaluated differently within their professions and disciplines. We may worry that acknowledging cultural and administrative distinctions in the academy will reify them -- but, in fact, ignoring them can result in poor outcomes for digital humanities projects and personnel. And woe to the increasing number of collaborators who fall into hybrid professional categories! What do we need to establish at the outset of digital humanities projects in order to foster healthy collaborative work? How can we create collaborative teams in which all members' contributions are acknowledged, respected, and appropriately rewarded? And how can we open these potentially awkward conversations in a way that strengthens teams and permits the kind of fluidity and professional growth that *should* happen over the course of long-term digital humanities initiatives?

For abstracts, visit http://lenz.unl.edu/mla09 after 1 Dec.

Author Comment
Subject: Notes
http://www.wpwend.com/?p=2521

My notes aren’t really detailed, I suppose, but here is what I wrote down during the panels:

Jason Jones

* What does collaboration mean?
* Social media role
* Twitter is a crowd sourced search engine
* Institution based models of collaboration are 20th century

Laura Mandell

* Two point of views about collaboration
* Hybrid scholar: Interdisciplinary scholar who begins in English, but ends up in computer science
* Hybrid field: Experts in discipline come together (Example: An English professor and a java scriptor) to work on a project
* Hybirds don’t have fit in modern university
* Modern universities prioritizes those in ensconced fields

Bethany Nowviskie “Monopolies of Invention”

* Consider institutional status (staff, adjuncts, etc) “can’t afford to make trouble”
* Digital Humanities can fix intellectual property problems
* UVA must tell patent office about new patentable DH

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