Due to numerous technical errors on THATCamp.org just before the THATCamp event on Nov 20, 2015, we created a new website to collaborate, post announcements, session proposals, and update everyone on changes regarding the event. Please go to that website to continue the THATCamp AAR/SBL conversation: www.thatcampaarsbl.org/
This is our third year of THATCamp at the AAR & SBL conferences. In 2013 and 2014, the participants of THATCamp were predominantly from the AAR side of the conference as were the organizers. However, with THATCamp 2015, the organizers are from both the AAR and SBL. We felt it would be more inclusive and further the conversations facilitated by THATCamp to include the SBL side of the conference. Thus, we are asking and encouraging everyone to use the hashtag #thatcampaarsbl in place of the previous one. This does not mean we cannot combine the multi-year posts as stream aggregators can pull together many hashtags into one stream. Instead it affirms that while scholars of religion may have different methodologies and perspectives in approaching the study of religion, there is a shared interest and opportunity to explore the ways technology can enhance humanities scholarship. We look forward to seeing members of both the AAR and SBL and participating in these joint conversations.
In this session, we will explore why and how to cultivate a growing awareness of and capacity for doing basic natural language processing (NLP) tasks in religious studies. Based on an ongoing workgroup in the Learning Lab at Iliff School of Theology, we will give a quick and basic introduction to NLP via python programming language and the natural language toolkit. After a basic introduction, we will use some simple exercises from the nltk book to encourage participants to play with text using the tools offered by the nltk. As we code together, we will share ideas and experiments that these tools might stimulate and we will question the problems and possibilities of the assumptions built into these technological frameworks.
In conversation with the very recent release of guidelines for the evaluation of digital scholarship by the American Historical Association, we will discuss the difficulties and possibilities of pursuing dissertations and scholarly projects that don’t fit easily into the print paradigm. I will share my own experiences with a dissertation in process as a launching point for highlighting the questions of production, evaluation, preservation, legitimation, and support for projects that are not governed by print processes. Together, we can build a few things:
- an aggregation of targeted resources to facilitate these conversations in local academic settings,
- a set of values for scholarship in religious studies that might be translated into media other than print, and
- a list of recommendations for how AAR and SBL can support and encourage these emerging experimental forms of scholarship in the guild.
A primer from my dissertation space – aproximatebible.postach.io/post/otherwise-than-print-dissertations.
What if a doctoral student were to submit a project like this for a dissertation? How would we engage it, let alone evaluate it?
The advent of digital technology and social media has not only transformed how today religious communities function, they have also changed how scholars teach about and conduct research on religion more broadly. If you are interested in how technology is changing—or can change—the work of religious studies scholars, then we invite you to attend the THATCamp AAR/SBL 2015!
THATCamp stands for “The Humanities and Technology Camp.” They exist to bring scholars and technologists of every skill level together to learn how to integrate digital technology into their teaching and research. This means the format is not your typical conference proceedings.
THATCamps are “unconferences,” which means sessions are built around hands-on workshops and collaborative working groups rather than formal presentations. Participants are encouraged to propose sessions they would like to attend in advance of the meeting on the THATCamp AAR/SBL blog. Topics we could cover include academic blogging, social media in the classroom, social media in religion, digital research methods, web-based class projects, online publishing, and countless others.
Sessions largely take one of four formats.
- Talk Sessions offer the chance for a group discussion around a topic or question.
- In Make Sessions, someone leads a small group in a hands-on collaborative working session with the aim actually making something–software, best practices document, a syllabus, etc.
- In Teach Sessions, an individual leads a hands-on workshop on a specific skill or software tool.
- In Play Sessions, anything goes. You can suggest literally playing a game, or spending some quality time exploring existing tools and resources for digital work.
For more information about proposing sessions, visit the “Propose” page of this site. All new session proposals will be posted to the home page. If you will be attending, please be sure to comment on the sessions that you would like to participate in!
The final schedule will be determined during the first session of the day, so be ready to vote for your favorite session ideas on November 20th.