The Future is Here: Digital History at the 126th Annual Meeting

The AHA’s 126th Annual Meeting in Chicago this January 5-8, 2012, will feature nearly two dozen sessions on digital history. This series, titled The Future is Here, includes presentations, discussions, and demonstrations of how digital methods might assist historical research and the humanities in general.

For example, sessions will present digital approaches to the Civil War, digital technology in the history classroom, crowdsourcing projects, and more.

The AHA hopes that its meetings will become a hub where scholars and digital technologists come to debate, present new work, and stay up-to-date in research and publishing technology.

See below, and here online, for a full list of these digital history sessions.

Thursday, January 5

THAT Camp (The Humanities and Technology Camp) AHA (Local Arrangements Committee)
Thursday, January 5, 12:00-6:00 p.m. | Parlor C (Sheraton Chicago Hotel & Towers) 
THATCamp (The Humanities and Technology Camp) is a free, open "unconference" where attendees create sessions, ideas, and collaborations on the spot. There are no podiums or PowerPoint slides; instead, campers learn directly from one another. THATCamp is a productive and fun event for scholars and technologists, digital humanities practitioners, and those who don’t know much about digital humanities but wish to learn. There is no fee for attending. However, because space is limited, registration is required. Sign up at THATCamp.org.

AHA Session 5: Digging into Data
Thursday, January 5, 3:00-5:00 p.m. | Chicago Ballroom VIII (Sheraton Chicago Hotel & Towers)
The panel for this session will showcase the scholarly results of four teams from the Digging into Data Challenge, and will discuss what they discovered from the challenge in general, including issues related to collaboration in digital history, and the potential for similar work in other areas of history. Learn more.

AHA Session 6: Integrated Public Use Microdata Series (IPUMS) and North Atlantic Population Project (NAPP) Informational Workshop
Thursday, January 5, 3:00-5:00 p.m. | Chicago Ballroom IX (Sheraton Chicago Hotel & Towers) 
This workshop will cover the Integrated Public Use Microdata Series (IPUMS) and the North Atlantic Population Project (NAPP) databases. These data projects make up the world’s largest collection of publicly available individual level census data, and the data covers a time period from the 1800s through the present. Learn more.

Friday, January 6

AHA Session 36: Digital Humanities: A Hands-on Workshop (Research Division, Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media)
Friday, January 6, 9:30-11:30 a.m. | Chicago Ballroom IX (Sheraton Chicago Hotel & Towers)
Seven speakers discuss digital publishing, text mining, content management systems, Zotero, blogging and tweeting, teaching history, and digital storytelling. Learn more.

AHA Session 39: Hardtack and Software: Digital Approaches to the American Civil War 
Friday, January 6, 9:30-11:30 a.m. | Sheraton Ballroom II (Sheraton Chicago Hotel & Towers) 
The three projects featured in this session use visualization to investigate and offer new views of the dramatic events of the American Civil War. Learn more.

AHA Session 46: From Archive to Interdisciplinary Tool: Transforming Our Image of the FSA-OWI Photograph Collection
Friday, January 6, 9:30-11:30 a.m. | Chicago Ballroom C (Chicago Marriott Downtown) 
Panelists will discuss revisualizing, analyzing, and implementing the digital humanities into the FSA-OWI photograph collection website. Learn more.

AHA Session 67: The Future Is Here: Pioneers Discuss the Future of Digital Humanities (Presidential Session)
Friday, January 6, 2:30-4:30 p.m. | Chicago Ballroom X (Sheraton Chicago Hotel & Towers) 
This session will assemble the sharpest projects in Computer Science treating humanistic materials, presenting projects ranging from the spatial to the evaluation of whole markets with the data resolution to reduce to single terms and works. Learn more.

AHA Session 68: Successfully Teaching History in the Online Environment: Experiences, Tips, and Thoughts (Teaching Division, Two-Year College Faculty Task Force)
Friday, January 6, 2:30-4:30 p.m. | Chicago Ballroom IX (Sheraton Chicago Hotel & Towers)
In this interactive session, panelists will discuss experiences, tips, strategies, and thoughts on creating successful online and blended learning classes in the field of history. Learn more.

Saturday, January 7

Workshop: Teachinghistory.org Workshop: Teaching the Past in a Digital World: New Perspectives for History Education 
(Teaching Division, Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media, National History Center)
Saturday, January 7, 9:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m. | Sheraton Ballroom IV (Sheraton Chicago Hotel & Towers) Learn more.

AHA Session 101: New Directions in Spatial History (Presidential Session)
Saturday, January 7, 9:00-11:00 a.m. | Chicago Ballroom X (Sheraton Chicago Hotel & Towers) 
This roundtable discussion session is meant to introduce some of the latest and most creative uses of Geographic Information System (GIS) in historical research to the larger community of American historians. Learn more.

AHA Session 105Digital Technology and the Twenty-First-Century History Classroom 
Saturday, January 7, 9:00-11:00 a.m. | Chicago Ballroom VI (Sheraton Chicago Hotel & Towers) 
Digital archives, websites, documentaries, virtual museum exhibitions, wiki-based encyclopedias, and geospatial visualizations have altered how we conceptualize and teach history. This panel explores the use of digital technologies in the history classroom at the primary and secondary levels. Learn more.

AHA Session 106: Presenting Historical Research Using Digital Media
Saturday, January 7, 9:00-11:00 a.m. | Chicago Ballroom IX (Sheraton Chicago Hotel & Towers) 
This roundtable will discuss different ways of presenting historical research in audio-visual media. In addition to personal experiences with creating podcast, documentary, and online presentations, panelists will discuss applying for funding for such projects. Learn more.

AHA Session 136: Digital History Workshop, Part 1: The Future of History Journals in the Digital Age (Research Division)
Saturday, January 7, 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. | Chicago Ballroom X (Sheraton Chicago Hotel & Towers) 
This roundtable discussion seeks to explore avenues of practice for integrating digital scholarship into the record of professional scholarly activity and to consider how best to help authors, reviewers, and editors negotiate a difficult transition. Learn more.

AHA Session 137: Talk Data to Me: A Conversation with Historians about Using Large-Scale Digital Data in Research and Teaching
Saturday, January 7, 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. | Armitage Room (Chicago Marriott Downtown) 
Participants at this roundtable will share their experiences of using and analyzing large datasets in their research. Following the discussion, there will be a short demonstration of how to access the IPUMS-USA on-line tabulator to produce statistical tables with a click of a mouse—and no knowledge of statistics. Learn more.

AHA Session 138: Crowdsourcing History: Collaborative Online Transcription and Archives
Saturday, January 7, 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. | Chicago Ballroom IX (Sheraton Chicago Hotel & Towers) 
This experimental session will feature 5 minute “lightning talks” by a number of scholar-technologists who are studying and working on crowdsourcing projects. Learn more.

AHA Session 166: Digital History Workshop, Part 2: Digital History: State of the Field (Research Division)
Saturday, January 7, 2:30-4:30 p.m. | Chicago Ballroom X (Sheraton Chicago Hotel & Towers) 
This panel discussion by a slate of researchers actively pursuing digital forms of scholarship is aimed at discovering and lowering barriers to technology in the discipline of history. Learn more.

AHA Session 168: Teaching History in a Digital Age (Teaching Division)
Saturday, January 7, 2:30-4:30 p.m. | Sheraton Ballroom IV (Sheraton Chicago Hotel & Towers) 
This session explores the current world of digital tools and information available for history classrooms. Presentations will address how to plan as well as implement lessons that use digital materials, discuss why and when to use digital tools, and demonstrate how to find free tools that meet teachers’ needs. Learn more.

AHA Session 169: Practicum: Teaching and Learning U.S. Social History with HERB (Teaching session)
Saturday, January 7, 2:30-4:30 p.m. | Chicago Ballroom IX (Sheraton Chicago Hotel & Towers) 
This practicum session will demonstrate HERB (http://herb.ashp.cuny.edu), a new free website of primary sources and teaching activities, and model teaching strategies using these materials. The materials focus on the experiences of working people and “ordinary” Americans. Learn more.

AHA Session 170: Digital Research Learning Curve: Practical Lessons From a Seven-Year Historical Census Database Project 
Saturday, January 7, 2:30-4:30 p.m. | Chicago Ballroom A (Chicago Marriott Downtown) 
This panel explores the benefits and challenges of historical database construction, offering practical lessons from The Guadalajara Census Project, 1791-1930 (GCP), funded by the U.S. National Endowment for the Humanities, Division of Preservation and Access, from 1999 through 2006. Learn more.

Sunday, January 8

AHA Session 201: The Digital History Seminar (American Association for History and Computing)
Sunday, January 8, 8:30-10:30 a.m. | Sheraton Ballroom II (Sheraton Chicago Hotel & Towers) 
This panel will illustrate the possibilities, opportunities, and challenges digital historians face by examining the conception, development, and use of digital history in the course of a semester-long graduate seminar. Learn more.

AHA Session 202: A Conversation about Text Mining as a Research Method 
Sunday, January 8, 8:30-10:30 a.m. | Sheraton Ballroom III (Sheraton Chicago Hotel & Towers) 
In this roundtable session, five practitioners of text mining will discuss the pros and cons of using computational tools to do a number of different kinds of analysis that can supplement and extend traditional modes of reading. Learn more.

AHA Session 231: The Valley of the Shadow Project and Its Progeny after 20 Years
Sunday, January 8, 11:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m. | Sheraton Ballroom V (Sheraton Chicago Hotel & Towers) 
This session will explore the legacies of the Valley of the Shadow digital history project twenty years after it began at the Institute for Advanced Technology in the Humanities at the University of Virginia. Learn more.

AHA Session 234: From Digital Humanities to Cultural History: The French Book Trade in Enlightenment Europe (American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies)
Sunday, January 8, 11:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m. | Ontario Room (Sheraton Chicago Hotel & Towers) 
This panel will be of wide interest for teachers and specialists working on the enlightenment history and literature, book history and the history of eighteenth-century France, as well as those interested in digital humanities. It both showcases an important new inter-disciplinary digital research tool for research and teaching in these areas and addresses important and enduring historiographical issuesLearn more.

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  1. Jay

    Please make sure that the meeting isn’t all digital. Many of us are unemployed or underemployed and we don’t have extra cash to waste on iPhones and devices to read twitter feeds on top of paying to attend the meeting. I’m an adjunct who’ll likely make no more than $2000-$8000 this year. I have a PhD, but don’t have an iPhone! I found the last meeting really frustrating, because the AHA seemed to assume that we were all paying attention to some twitter feed to get information. There seemed to be less signage regarding panels and meetings, which I assume was a product of the AHA’s thinking we’d all just get information through hand-held devices. I also didn’t appreciate seeing so many people glued to their iPhones in between sessions. My guess is that they were looking to their devices to get information from the AHA. It was the most isolating, alienating AHA meeting I’ve ever attended. I usually get to meet people, but so many people looking to their iPhones and like devices made that impossible. If that’s the future, we need to hand out etiquette books or apps or whatever. We also might as well not have a meeting and just plug in from home.

    Reply
  2. Elisabeth Grant, AHA Web Editor

    Jay,
    I’m sorry to hear you had a negative experience at the meeting last year. I can assure you though that we aren’t replacing signage with tweets. I think that most digital projects are created with the hope that they’ll be inclusive and bring people together, but it’s important to hear that sometimes people feel left out. Thank you for your comments and we hope to see you at the 126th Annual Meeting.

    Reply
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