About

About Delta’s 2017 THATCamp

Delta College is hosting its 3rd Annual THATCamp on Monday, August 21. We’ll start our day at 10:30 a.m. in A135 (room inside library). We expect two sessions from 11-12 and 12:30-1:30. The first 40 registrants will receive a free lunch. Please register on this website by August 1. A registration tab can be found in the menu, or you can go to this link. We look forward to seeing you there!

You can read more about the Delta’s Humanities Learning Center (who is sponsoring THATCamp 2017) at: historyatdelta.com/

For campus directions and a map, go to: www.delta.edu/locations-maps/

Read more about the THATCamp movement and browse other THATCamps at thatcamp.org.

Questions can be directed to the Humanities Learning Center Coordinator, Amy French at: ude.a1511000268tled@1511000268yrots1511000268ih1511000268 (Please note that she will not be in correspondence for the month of May.)

What is a THATCamp?

THATCamp stands for “The Humanities and Technology Camp.” It is an unconference: an open, inexpensive meeting where humanists and technologists of all skill levels learn and build together in sessions proposed on the spot. An unconference is to a conference what a seminar is to a lecture, what a party at your house is to a church wedding, what a pick-up game of Ultimate Frisbee is to an NBA game, what a jam band is to a symphony orchestra: it’s more informal and more participatory. Here are the key characteristics of a THATCamp:

  • It’s collaborative: there are no spectators at a THATCamp. Everyone participates, including in the task of setting an agenda or program.
  • It’s informal: there are no lengthy proposals, papers, presentations, or product demos. The emphasis is on productive, collegial work or free-form discussion.
  • It’s spontaneous and timely, with the agenda being mostly created by all the participants during the first session of the day.
  • It’s productive: participants are encouraged to use session time to create, build, write, hack, and solve problems.
  • It’s small, having anywhere from 25 or 50 to about 150 participants: Delta’s camp is limited to 50 participants.
  • It’s non-hierarchical and non-disciplinary and inter-professional: THATCamps welcome graduate students, scholars, librarians, archivists, museum professionals, developers and programmers, K-12 teachers, administrators, managers, and funders as well as people from the non-profit sector, people from the for-profit sector, and interested amateurs. The topic “the humanities and technology” contains multitudes.
  • It’s open and online: participants make sure to share their notes, documents, pictures, and other materials from THATCamp discussions before and after the event on the web and via social media.
  • It’s fun, intellectually engaging, and a little exhausting.

What is an “unconference”?

The shortest answer is this: an unconference is a highly informal conference. Two differences are particularly notable. First, at an unconference, the program isn’t set beforehand: it’s created on the first day with the help of all the participants rather than beforehand by a program committee. Second, at an unconference, there are no presentations — all participants in an unconference are expected to talk and work with fellow participants in every session. An unconference is to a conference what a seminar is to a lecture; going to an unconference is like being a member of an improv troupe where going to a conference is (mostly) like being a member of an audience.

Who should attend?

Anyone with energy and an interest in the humanities and/or technology.

What are “the humanities”?

Good question. Turns out there’s a legal definition! As the National Endowment for the Humanities puts it:

According to the 1965 National Foundation on the Arts and the Humanities Act, “The term ‘humanities’ includes, but is not limited to, the study of the following: language, both modern and classical; linguistics; literature; history; jurisprudence; philosophy; archaeology; comparative religion; ethics; the history, criticism and theory of the arts; those aspects of social sciences which have humanistic content and employ humanistic methods; and the study and application of the humanities to the human environment with particular attention to reflecting our diverse heritage, traditions, and history and to the relevance of the humanities to the current conditions of national life.”

Delta’s Humanities Learning Center encourages scholars from all fields, who are interested in digital pedagogy, to attend.

What is “technology”?

We suggest you read this brilliant article by Professor Leo Marx, American cultural historian at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology: “Technology: The Emergence of a Hazardous Concept.” (Side note: those who love technology should be those who are most aware of its hazards.)

Is a THATCamp only for scholars / grad students / librarians / archivists / programmers / instructional technologists? Can scholars / grad students / librarians / archivists / programmers / instructional technologists apply?

No to the first, yes to the second. THATCamp aims at the broadest diversity of backgrounds and skills possible.

 

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