What does the Carnegie Library Center of the Richard Stockton College of New Jersey in Atlantic City have in common with the Alice Kaplan Institute for the Humanities at Northwestern University, the iLab at King’s College London, the Residential College of Arts and Humanities at Michigan State University, the Automattic Lounge on Pier 38 in San Francisco, and a boat on the Seine River in Paris? It, too, will host a THATCamp!
THATCamp Jersey Shore will take place at the Carnegie Library on Monday, April 4 from 9:15-4:45 and Tuesday, April 5 from 9:15-12:00.
What is a THATCamp?
THATCamp is an acronym for The Humanities and Technology Camp. It is an “unconference” open to all who are interested in the digital humanities. The first THATCamp was held at the Center for History and New Media at George Mason University in 2008. Shortly after the second THATCamp at George Mason in June, 2009 people began organizing regional THATCamps, drawing on the expertise of the original founders of THATCamp but taking on local characteristics. The first regional THATCamp took place in Austin, Texas in August, 20009. Since then, there have been twenty-two regional THATCamps, held throughout the United States, Canada, Europe, and Australia. THATCamp Jersey Shore is the twenty-third regional camp and the first in the Mid-Atlantic region.
The home page for THATCamp identifies the following key characteristics of a THATCamp:
- There are no spectators at a THATCamp; everyone participates.
- It is small and intimate, having anywhere from 25 or 50 to no more than 100 participants.
- It lasts no more than two days.
- It is not-for-profit and inexpensive; it’s funded by small sponsorships (e.g., for breakfast) and by passing the hat around to the participants. Attendance should be free, but attendees can donate to cover expenses if they want.
- It’s informal: there are no lengthy proposals, papers, or presentations. The emphasis is on discussion or on productive, collegial work.
- It is also non-hierarchical and non-disciplinary: THATCamps welcome graduate students, scholars, librarians, archivists, museum professionals, developers and programmers, administrators, managers, and funders; people from the non-profit sector, the for-profit sector, and interested amateurs.
- Participants make sure to share their notes, slides, and other materials from THATCamp discussions before and after the event on the web and via social media.
Most of the “panels” at THATCamp will be assembled in the first hour of meeting, as participants put forward ideas about what they are interested in and find fellow participants with the same interests. In addition to these open panels, THATCamp Jersey Shore will include a series of BootCamp sessions. BootCamp sessions are designed to be more introductory workshops on skills and concepts important in the digital humanities. Several Stockton colleagues have generously agreed to lead BootCamp workshops, including Linda Feeney on tools for multi-lingual environments, Dan Gambert on Photoscape, Roberto Castillo on digital camcorders, Robert Koch on GIS, and Lisa Rosner on VisualEyes. We will also have outside experts leading workshops, including Bill Ferster on VisualEyes and Amanda French on Omeka.
Attending THATCamp is an ideal opportunity to find out what “Humanities 2.0″ (as featured in the New York Times is all about. If you are curious what goes on during the conference, Adele Frank, a participant in THATCamp Southeast, put together a wonderful stream of all the tweets that came out of the conference. And here’s a testimonial from another participant at THATCamp Southeast about “why he loves THATCamp.” Come see what all the excitement is about.
Although registration for THATCamp Jersey Shore officially closed on March 15, we still encourage members of the Stockton community (and, indeed, anyone interested in the digital humanities passing through the Greater Delaware valley for the Association of College and Research Libraries conference immediately beforehand or the Museums and the Web conference immediately afterward) to join us. Let us know you are coming by filling in the Application Form.
And if you can’t make it, I’ll be sure to do a follow up post once THATCamp Jersey Shore is over!