The ever-encroaching impact of the web into academia and the broader soft sciences of language, research and the like took a commonplace method for discussion in the technology world: the unconference format.
More than 150 people recently packed into the University of Pennsylvania’s brand new Special Collections Center on the sixth floor of the Van Pelt-Dietrich Library for PhillyDH’s digital humanities unconference.
See the website for takeaways and attendees here.
As always with this style of an event: no schedule, just an open day-long calendar, like-minded people and the promise of shared ideas and futurist-minded conversation.
The all-day program featured several technology workshops on a variety of tools like WordPress and OpenRefine, the data organization application from Google, and how these years-old resources are changing work that has been done for generations. The event also included three different unconference discussion sessions and a featured guest speaker, Michael Edson, who is the Smithsonian Institution’s director of web and new media strategy.
One of the event’s main organizers, Anu Vedamtham, who is the director of the Weigle Information Commons at Penn’s libraries, worked closely with Will Noel, the director of the Special Collections Center, to organize the event.
“What’s wonderful about this conference is that people from so many institutions as well as private individuals have come together in one place, and that’s great,” he said. “The notion of digital humanities being something that only the young do or only the independent scholars do is over.”