Seeking Digital Humanities Caucus Sessions for ASECS 2013

The Digital Humanities (DH) Caucus of The American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies seeks session topics and organizers for the 2013 meeting of ASECS, to be held April 4-7, 2013, in Cleveland, Ohio.  Session proposals are due to ASECS by MAY 1; session proposal forms are downloadable from the ASECS site (PDF).

The DH caucus has no officers or official meetings. It is an ad hoc group run by those who attend, in person or virtually, and who care to contribute. A description of its goals and aims is available here.

In 2012 ASECS hosted two DH caucus panels, among several other digital humanities events (2011 DH panels listed here; 2010 DH panels listed here).

Please use the comments to contribute ideas for session topics, volunteer your services as chair/organizer, and to generate ideas on how we might organize ourselves as a caucus in the future.

A few ideas of mine, drawn from conversations and observations at ASECS 2012:

  • Developing standards for evaluating scholarly digital projects in promotion and tenure decisions.
  • Training students (undergraduate and/or graduate) in digital humanities theory and methods while also teaching eighteenth-century studies.
  • How to pursue DH projects if you’re faculty at at a smaller, perhaps teaching-oriented, institution without a DH center or strong IT infrastructure.

To quote Lisa Maruca from last year, “I’m sure YOU have better ideas, so please step up!”

Announcing THATCamp ASECS

In conjunction with the Initiative for Digital Humanities, Media, and Culture (IDHCM) at Texas A & M, the Digital Humanities Caucus is planning THATCamp ASECS on March 21, 2012. It will be an opportunity to discuss and debate issues in the digital humanities related to eighteenth-century studies in an informal and open environment. For anyone who is new to the idea of THATCamp, the event will be an unconference. THATCamps are self-organizing, free events ‘where humanists and technologists meet to work together for the common good’. For more information go to THATCamp ASECS will be an opportunity for anyone attending ASECS, and anyone else who wants to join in, to discuss the use of digital resources, tools and methods for eighteenth-century studies.

The event will be accessible to all and it would be good to have some sessions which are about introducing people to some of the digital research possibilities for eighteenth century scholars. Please post co mments or questions about the format here. There will be a website for the event for registering and most importantly for suggestions for the program in the near future.

The last two hours of the day will be a workshop about how to use 18thConnect to which everyone is invited. To wind up what we’re hoping will be a very good day of digital eighteenth-century studies the IDHCM will host a cash-bar with finger-food. Please plan on coming to THATCamp ASECS, the 18thConnect workshop and the IDHCM cash-bar, and tell your friends and colleagues (especially those won’t be likely to read this blog), and of course watch this space for more information over the coming months.

Digital Humanities CFPs for ASECS 2012

The 2012 meeting of the American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies will take place in San Antonio, Texas from March 22 to March 25. Information about hotel reservations is available at this page.

The call for papers has been uploaded to the ASECS website (as a Microsoft Word file).

Below is a selected list of CFPs that have a digital humanities angle. Please contact the individual panel chairs with any questions and with your presentation proposals.

“Digital Approaches to Library History”

(The Bibliographical Society of America)
Mark R. M. Towsey
School of History/Eighteenth Century Worlds
U. of Liverpool
9 Abercromby Square
Liverpool, L69 7WZ
Tel: 0151794 2379

This panel will consider how digital tools and digital methodologies are reshaping our understanding of eighteenth-century libraries.

Libraries, book clubs, reading circles and other institutions of collective reading have long been acknowledged as important features of eighteenth-century print culture, but the continuing development of modern database software has opened up new interpretative possibilities, allowing us to understand their significance in unprecedented detail. Libraries promised access to a much wider range of books than most patrons could possibly afford, but they were hugely significant in other ways. They emerged to serve particular communities, reflecting the specialist demands of military garrisons, religious academies and informal networks of medical men and lawyers. They provided a forum for conversation, debate and sociability, and made a key contribution to the social impact of the Enlightenment, the ‘consumer revolution’, the growth of nationalism and the spread of religious evangelicalism. Since they emerged in Britain, North America and continental Europe at around the same time, they also provide endless opportunities for comparative history–with different territories adopting distinctive organisational models, yet consuming a remarkably similar canon of international bestsellers.

Papers might consider these or any other themes relating to the history of particular libraries or types of library, but should aim to reflect on methodological approaches made possible by technological advances associated with the digital humanities.

“Diggable Data, Scalable Reading and New Humanities Scholarship”

(Digital Humanities Caucus)
Matt Cohen
Dept. of English
U. of Texas at Austin
PAR 108, Mailcode B5000
Austin, TX 78712
Tel: (512) 471-8112
Fax: (512) 471-4909

Various communities of practice are emerging around new data resources that are available, communities such as Bamboo Corpora Space, sponsored by the Mellon Foundation; ARC, the Applied Research Consortium comprised of MESA, REKn, 18thConnect, and NINES, Connected Histories in the UK, and the Voyeur: Reveal Your Texts group in Canada. These groups are all creating tools that allow for “scalable reading,” that is, combining reading up close with reading at a distance, to produce a new digital philology. Papers given at this seminar would present tools created by these groups as part of seminar papers of the traditional sort—that is, as part of an interesting argument that using the tools made possible. We will invite all ASECS members to submit proposals to present.

“Digital Humanities and the Archives” (Roundtable)

(Digital Humanities Caucus)
Eleanor F. Shevlin
Campus Address
Dept. of English
West Chester of Pennsylvania548 Main Hall
West Chester, PA 19383
Tel: (610) 436-2463)
Fax: (610)-738-0516
Mailing Address
2006 Columbia Road, NW
Apt. 42
Washington, DC 20009
Tel: (202) 462-3105

This roundtable seeks three to four ten-minute papers aimed at generating substantive conversation on the broad topic Digital Humanities and the Archives. Possible topics include but are not limited to how digital tools are transforming our theoretical conceptions of “archives,” what effects digital facsimiles are exercising on our understanding of original documents; how our digital environment is shaping the kinds of archival projects being undertaken, the methodologies used, and/or the types of research questions posed; how interactions between the digital and the archival are creating new paradigms or inspiring shifts in existing models; how questions concerning the economics, equity, and accessibility of archival materials are being addressed or perhaps reconfigured by digital tools and platforms.

“Bits and Bytes Lunch”

(Digital Humanities Caucus)
Adrianne Wadewitz
422 S. Henderson, Apt. 6
Bloomington, IN 47401
Tel: (812) 340-1415

In this lunch time session, we ask participants to bring a snack and a digital tool. Similar in format to a more traditional poster session, presenters in this session will simultaneously demonstrate their tools to participants, who will be able to experience multiple presentations and interact directly with presenters and their tools during this open workshop. The goal is for participants and presents to have an open dialogue and to play with new and emerging technologies in a relaxed atmosphere.

“A Digital Humanities Experiment, Year One: Aphra Behn Online” (Roundtable)

Aleksondra Hultquist
U. of Melbourne
1/17 Byrne Ave
Elwood VIC 3184, Australia

Aphra Behn Online: Interactive Journal for Women in the Arts 1640-1830, launched in March 2011 at ASECS with the intent to create an interactive online community centered on women and the arts in the long eighteenth century.  As an online, free access journal, our aim is to publish excellent and relevant scholarship and other exciting and innovative work.  We hope to support the community of scholars (contributors and readers) with constructive and thoughtful (and signed) submission feedback and by providing a platform for the exploration of the exciting opportunities that online information and researching can offer, such as the blog and discussion forums, creative and meaningful use of the online format, and flexibility and creativity in publication schedules and formats.  This roundtable seeks to explore issues surrounding this new scholarly project and to position these issues–and the journal itself–within a larger trend toward online and interactive scholarship.  We are interested in talking about what has worked, what has been surprising about the process, and what audience feedback and involvement can teach us.  We encourage roundtable submissions that evaluate successes and hiccups both in regards to our journal and to others and engage and participate in a discussion about the perils, pleasures, and possibilities of online scholarship.

“Best Practices in Digital Pedagogy”

Elizabeth Lewis
Dept. of Modern Foreign Languages
U. of Mary Washington
1301 College Ave
Fredericksburg, VA 22401
Tel: (540) 654-1987
Fax: (540) 654-1088

Presenters in this session will share their experiments, challenges, and successes in using digital applications to teach eighteenth-century studies at the undergraduate or graduate level. Some questions that presenters might address are:

  1. How has the use of digital media promoted student learning inside and outside the classroom?
  2. What challenges does the use of digital media pose?
  3. How do “best practices” in digital pedagogy differ from more traditional forms of teaching?
  4. What does the use of digital media add to the study of the eighteenth-century?

Seeking Digital Humanities Caucus Sessions

The Digital Humanities Caucus of The American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies seeks session topics and organizers for next year’s ASECS conference, to be held March 22-25, 2012, in San Antonio, Texas.  Session proposals are due to ASECS by MAY 1; forms are at the ASECS site.

The caucus has no officers or official meetings. It is an ad hoc group run by those who attend, in person or virtually, and who care to contribute. A description of its goals and aims is here.

This year’s 2011 ASECS conference hosted two caucus panels, among many other digital humanities events (listed here; 2010 DH panels listed here). It would be nice to put on two next year as well.

Please use the comments to contribute ideas for session topics, volunteer your services as chair/organizer, and to generate ideas on how we might organize ourselves as a caucus in the future.

I have chaired sessions two years in a row so am definitely ready to pass the torch.  However, I can offer a couple ideas for others to follow up on based on conversations I had with some of you at ASECS11:

  • Best Projects:  Digital Humanities Showcase (perhaps in conjunction with 18thConnect, which peer reviews such projects…)
  • Best Practices in Digital Pedagogy (or something teaching & learning related)
  • Digital Humanities How-To Workshop

I’m sure YOU have better ideas, so please step up!

–Lisa Maruca
Wayne State University

Open Access? An Important Question. A Handful of Links.

From Cathy Davidson’s HASTAC-hosted blog comes the news that “the Academic Council at Duke University unanimously adopted an Open Access policy for scholarly articles written by the Duke faculty.” In a post at Scholarly Communications @ Duke, Kevin Smith writes

One thing that librarians often believe is that faculty will only be motivated for open access by their own self-interest — impact, citation and the like. But yesterday Cathy Davidson made an eloquent plea for greater access for people around the world who are blocked by high subscriptions costs and other “toll-access” policies. All round the room, heads were nodding as she spoke. I was reminded that most faculty members genuinely do care about the overall welfare of scholarship and learning.

Smith, in turn, links to Joseph Esposito’s “Let’s Make Open Access Work,” published at The Scholarly Kitchen, a blog of the Society for Scholarly Publishing Esposito’s post opens with

This is a blog post that will please no one. That is not the intention; I am not writing it to pick fights. But the topic is open access (OA), and on this topic, fights inevitably erupt; it is scholarly communications’ equivalent of the Culture Wars. For my part, I stand with Voltaire: The perfect is the enemy of the good. Already in the background I can hear advocates of perfection beginning to sharpen their swords. So, without reference to the many arguments on all sides of the matter, How can we make OA work?…

Yesterday, during the first of our 2 “Digital Eighteenth Century 2.0” roundtable discussions, the issue of access to and cost of digital scholarly materials came up with regard to Gale/Cengage’s commercial, full-text database of primary materials Eighteenth-Century Collections Online (ECCO). (See “18th connect and the sustainability of scholarly collaboration,” by David Mazella at The Long 18th, 6 July 2009) This is not the same kind of resource as, say, peer-reviewed scholarly articles, but many of the issues at stake are the same. A full summary of the back-and-forth that took place is beyond the scope of this quick blog post, but an extremely brief précis would note that on the one hand is awareness of the cost associated with creating and maintaining such a resource, while on the other hand is a desire to see as wide an audience as possible of scholars and teachers and students gain access.

More conversation to continue this morning at the second “Digital Eighteenth Century 2.0” roundtable…

ASECS 2010: a few details, a few ideas

“The Digital Eighteenth-Century 2.0”

Below are a few details (and a few ideas) about the 2 ASECS 2010 roundtables we’re organizing under the above title.

2 different sessions, but 1 big conversation: We see these two sessions as one roundtable, and we strongly hope to see all participants at both sessions.

Availability of digital tools: The conference organizers have assured us that each session will have a live Internet connection, an LCD projector, and an audio system. However, it’s always a good idea to have a backup plan, just in case.

Online supplements: Posting presentation-related material on this site before, during, and after the conference is strongly encouraged. You might provide screenshots, screencasts, PDFs or other documents.

Length and format of presentations: Each presentation should be no more than 10 minutes. The “Pecha Kucha” format (20 slides X 20 seconds each) is encouraged but not required. (For background on this format and instructions for how to set up your slides, click here.)

Time for questions, discussions, more elaborate demonstrations: After the short roundtable presentations, there will be plenty of time for audience members to ask further questions, to request more detailed demonstrations of certain things, or (perhaps) to talk 1-on-1 with individual roundtable participants if it seems that format would work best.

Post-roundtable gathering: Roundtable participants and audience members are encouraged to arrange to meet afterwards for further discussion, demonstration, and brainstorming. If history is any indication, the conversations will expand to a size larger than the time constraints of each session.

Details of Sessions

Session 67. “The Digital Eighteenth Century 2.0” – I (Roundtable)
Thursday, March 18: 4:15-5:45pm in Alvarado E
Chair: Lisa MARUCA (Wayne State University)
1. Randall CREAM (University of South Carolina): “The Human Voices Project: Semantic Units, Citational Meanings, and Imaginary Texts”
2. Molly O’Hagan HARDY (University of Texas at Austin): “Mapping Collaboration: Eighteenth-Century Textual Production”
3. Laura MANDELL (Miami University, Ohio): “Future plans for 18thConnect and ECCO”
Session 109. “The Digital Eighteenth Century 2.0” – II (Roundtable)
Friday, March 19: 9:45-11:00am in Alvarado E
Chair: George H. WILLIAMS (University of South Carolina, Upstate)
1. Sharon HARROW (Shippensburg University) “Performing 18th-century British Literature:
Facebook & Pedagogy in the Web 2.0 Classroom”
2. Tonya HOWE (Marymount University) “Collaborative Research Tools in the Methodologies Course”
3. Benjamin PAULEY (Eastern Connecticut State University) “Eighteenth-Century Book Tracker”
4. Adrianne WADEWITZ (Indiana University, Bloomington) “Wikipportunities”

ASECS 2010 Reminders

———- Forwarded message ———-
From: Vickie Cutting
Date: Tue, Nov 24, 2009 at 8:01 AM
Subject: [Asecs] Weekly Announcements

The program for the 2010 ASECS Annual Meeting, March 18-21 and
the Registration Form are
now available at:

All participants must be members in good standing of ASECS or a
constituent society of ISECS and must pay the registration fee for the
meeting.Those members of constituent societies of ISECS MUST furnish a
snail mail address to in order to receive pre-registration

We will soon be sending details concerning voting for the 2010-11 Executive Board. In order to cast a vote, your ASECS membership will need to be current, you will need to have your membership number as well as the e-mail address of record with Johns Hopkins University Press.

How To Find Your ASECS Membership Number

Your ASECS membership number appears on various pieces of correspondence:

  • On your membership/subscription acknowledgement letter (for new members)· Above your name and address on your annual renewal notice
  • On the mailing label for the journal Eighteenth-Century Studies
  • The online order form has a link to have your member number sent to you
    by email:

(If you have lost or forgotten your membership number, request a
reminder here.)

You can request your member number by entering the email address of
record at the following:

Your member number will be emailed to you within seconds.

You can call the Johns Hopkins University Press at 1-800-548-1784 for
your membership number, or email JHUP Customer Service at

Your member number will be emailed to you within seconds.