THATCamps PNW & Victoria
THATCamps PNW & Victoria
THATCamps PNW & Victoria
THATCamps PNW & Victoria

THATCamps PNW & Victoria

October 2010, June 2011, November 2011

The Humanities And Technology Camp

THAT (The Humanities And Technology) Camp is a user-generated unconference for people who work at the intersection of the humanities, technologies, and new media. Generally speaking, these people include professors, students, librarians, professional technologists, public historians, archivists, and museum staff. During the event, participants set the agenda “on the fly,” without a pre-arranged conference program. Participants do not give formal conference talks or deliver academic papers.

The THATCamp concept was founded at the Center for History and New Media at George Mason University in 2008. Since late 2009, THATCamps have occurred across the United States, Europe, and Australia.

THATCamp PNW

With Paige Morgan, in 2010 I organized the second annual THATCamp PNW, which (for the first time in THATCamp’s history) occurred on the University of Washington’s Seattle campus. It took place on Saturday, October 23rd and Sunday, October 24th and was sponsored by the Simpson Center for the Humanities, Microsoft Research, the Henry Art Gallery, and University of Washington Libraries. Approximately 80 people (from more than 15 different institutions/organizations) attended the event.

In 2011, I organized the third annual THATCamp PNW, this time on the University of Washington’s Bothell campus (UWB). However, unlike the 2010 event, this THATCamp had a theme: “Technologies and Social Justice.” Sponsored by The Center for Serious Play, Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences (at UWB), Microsoft Research, and the Simpson Center, it took place on Saturday, November 12th, with people from a wide variety of disciplines and organizations attending. The gathering was inspiring, to say the least. For more, read the Simpson Center’s coverage.

THATCamp Victoria

In 2011, I also organized THATCamp Victoria. Part of the Digital Humanities Summer Institute (DHSI), that event occurred on Friday, June 10th and Saturday, June 11th. It was Victoria’s first THATCamp, happening after four-plus days of intensive DHSI seminars and presentations. Over 50 people participated. In 2012, THATCamp’s unconference format will be stretched across the DHSI’s daily lunch gatherings.

What I Learned

As a humanities scholar of new media and technologies, I believe the collaborative character and conversational learning climate of THATCamps resonate well with my research and teaching practices. By organizing and participating in THATCamps, I have learned not only more about the digital humanities community (especially in the Pacific Northwest), but also more about how conventional conferences can be re-imagined with promising effects.

(THATCamp and the THATCamp logo are trademarks of the Center for History and New Media at George Mason University. All images on the left are screen shots of THATCamp event sites, which I designed.)