The new semester is just about to begin here at IIT, which–in addition to new classes–means a new set of speakers for our Digital Humanities Series.
On February 14, we’ll kick off the spring lectures with Leilah Lyons, a specialist in human-computer interaction from the University of Illinois, Chicago. Lyons studies and designs interfaces for museums that allow patrons to engage with exhibits, thereby collaborating in the museum learning experience through the use of computers. Lyons’s work shifts the focus, and the power dynamic, of public technologies from top-down design and deployment methodologies to ones that incorporate the user as a powerful participant in the learning and teaching process. Her talk will focus on her work on the CoCensus project, and how to design and deploy informal learning interfaces.
After that, on March 13th, we’ll be hearing Stephen Jones of Loyola speak on “The Emergence of the Digital Humanities.” His talk will draw on his new book of the same name, and discuss the development of digital humanities as a field of academic inquiry.
Here’s a podcast of him talking about his previous book on the Nintendo Wii, Codename Revolution, which was published in the MIT platform studies series. (Direct link: https://mitpress.mit.edu/sites/default/files/MITP_Codename.mp3) Even if you’ve never played with a Wii, or yours is now collecting dust, this is a fascinating discussion on its origins, technology, and social meanings. In fact, students in my STS class this spring will be reading parts the book–I’m looking forward to seeing what their take on it is.
Finally, on April 11th, we’ll hear from Jennifer Thom of the Newberry Library. Thom will talk to us about her cutting-edge work on the creation of digital archives and publications. Her projects include research into new search methods and search design, and how to present information digitally that may be difficult to apprehend even in its original paper versions. In particular, Thom will discuss her work on the Foreign Language Press Survey, a project that uses the TEI encoding scheme to classify translations of 19th and 20th century newspaper stories from the foreign-language press in and around Chicago.
All staff, faculty, and students at IIT are welcome to attend the Humanities Department’s digital humanities speaker series, as are scholars, staff, and students from other local universities. We hope to see you there!