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Great Lakes THATCamp


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By Ethan Watrall - Posted on 05 January 2010

Announcing Great Lakes THATCamp

Held on the campus of Michigan State University on March 20th and 21st, Great Lakes THATCamp (The Humanities And Technology Camp) is a user-generated “unconference” on digital humanities originally inspired by the Center for History and New Media (CHNM) at George Mason University.

At THATCamp 2009, CHNM floated the idea of holding regional camps around the country, an idea that quickly took hold, leading to events in Austin, Texas (THATCamp Austin) Washington state (THATcamp Pacific Northwest), Columbus, OH (THATCamp Columbus) as well as planned events in California (THATCamp SoCal), and Paris (THATCamp Paris).

Who Should Attend?

Anyone interested in studying, supporting, teaching, researching, creating or otherwise shaping digital humanities, humanistic social sciences, information sciences, new media, and any other allied fields. You can be an academic, a librarian, an archivist, a developer, a writer, a student (grad or undergrad), a curator, a designer, an educator, a public historian, an archaeologist, an independent scholar, or any combination thereof (as most of us are). You can be an expert or a newbie; as long as you have something to talk about and things you want to learn regarding the intersection and integration of the humanities and technology, this is the place to be. The list of “who should attend” is as broad as the field of “digital humanities” itself.

So, No Suits, No Papers…What Do You do?

Show, tell, collaborate, share, and walk away inspired. Sessions at Great Lakes THATCamp will range from software demos to training sessions to discussions of research findings to half-baked rants.  The only real thing we don’t want to see is people standing up and reading a full blown paper, this isn’t your typical academic conference – we’re not here to read or be read to.

Submitting a Proposal

Submitting a proposal to Great Lakes THATCamp is easy.  Just fill out the form on the website (http://greatlakesthatcamp.org).  No formal (lengthy) proposal is required - just a brief description of what you would like to talk about.  Unfortunately, we can only accept a max of 75 people, so we’re going to have to do some vetting. Deadline for submitting is February 10th, 2010.

Hacking Wearables and E-Textiles Workshop

In addition to sessions, Great Lakes THATCamp will be hosting a “Hacking Wearables & E-Textiles Workshop.”  Organized by Bill Turkel and Beth Nowviskie, the workshop will allow participants will play with components like the Lilypad Arduino (http://web.media.mit.edu/~leah/LilyPad), a tiny computer that can be sewn into clothing, stuffed toys, textiles and other craft items to create soft, interactive devices that are ‘high-touch’ as well as high tech.  The workshop is intended for people of all skill levels – so no prior experience is required.

The workshop will be limited to those who are attending Great Lakes THATCamp (and only 20 people max).  So, if you are interested in participating, just fill out the relevant sections of the form when you submit your Great Lakes THATCamp application.

How Much Does Great Lakes THATCamp Cost?

THATCamp isn’t your average academic conference, so you aren’t going to have to pay an expensive conference registration fee.  All we ask is that all attendees pay $25 to cover meals (attendees will be provided breakfast & lunch during the event), as well as a t-shirt to commemorate the event.

For more information on Great Lakes THATCamp, go to http://greatlakesthatcamp.org.  Any questions can be sent directly to Ethan Watrall (watrall@msu.edu)