As one of the co-organizers of this year’s THATCamp AHA, I’ve been getting a lot of questions lately.
- “What exactly is THATCamp?”
- “What should I expect at an unconference?”
- “Is it specific to historians?”
Earlier this week the AHA did a nice job of explaining what THATCamps are, so to their description I’ve added some more specifics:
THATCamp, which stands for The Humanities and Technology Camp, is an inexpensive (in our case, free), open gathering where participants set the agenda themselves. Topics are proposed in advance via the website or on the day itself–this is what makes it an “unconference.” During the sessions, you can expect wide ranging conversations with humanists and technologists of all skill levels interested in learning and building together, collaboratively exploring questions on any aspect of the application of technology to the humanities. The sessions you attend might be a general discussion, a project-based conversation, or a workshop focusing on a particular technological skill.
In the next week, we’ll open the site to your session proposals, which the group will vote on together at The New School the morning of January 6. We’ve also been working to arrange some pre-scheduled workshops. One, proposed by The New School’s Liz Sevcenko, will discuss a collaborative digital history of mass incarceration; the other, led by Rice University’s Caleb McDaniel, explores Twitter as a medium for history.
THATCamp AHA is open to all, not just to those attending the annual meeting. Sure, you’ll meet fellow historians — #twitterstorians or experienced digital folk — but others will be new to digital research and pedagogies. We expect a wide range of participants and welcome first-time attendees as well as veteran THATCampers: graduate students, college faculty and K-12 teachers, librarians, archivists, museum professionals, independent scholars, developers and programmers, administrators, managers, and funders as well as people from the non-profit sector, the for-profit sector, and anyone interested in the application of technology to the study of the humanities.
You don’t need to come to THATCamp with any special skills, other than an open mind and a willingness to participate, learn, and share — so do spread the word to friends and colleagues. You might even take a peek at some of last year’s THATCamp AHA conversations following the Twitter hashtag, #THATCampAHA. Don’t be shy: register today!
Still have questions? Ask away in the comments.