Propose A Session

Propose your session and view previous session proposals on the homepage.

In brief
Everyone who goes to a THATCamp proposes a session. Do not prepare a paper or presentation. Plan instead to have a conversation, to get some work done, or to have fun.

Session proposers are session facilitators
If you propose a session, you should be prepared to run it. If you propose a hacking session, you should have the germ of a project to work on; if you propose a workshop, you should be prepared to teach it; if you propose a discussion of the Digital Public Library of America, you should be prepared to summarize what that is, begin the discussion, keep it going, and end it. But don’t worry — with the possible exception of workshops you’ve offered to teach, THATCamp sessions don’t really need to be prepared for; in fact, we infinitely prefer that you don’t prepare.

At most, you should come with one or two questions, problems, or goals, and you should be prepared to spend the session working on and working out those one or two points informally with a group of people who (believe me) are not there to judge your performance. Even last-minute workshops can be terrifically useful for others if you know the tool or skill you’re teaching inside and out. As long as you take responsibility for running the session, that’s usually all that’s needed. Read about the Open Space Technology approach to organizing meetings for a longer discussion of why we don’t adopt or encourage more structured forms of facilitation.

Session genres

General discussion– Sometimes people just want to get together and talk informally, with no agenda, about something they’re all interested in. Nothing wrong with that; it’s certainly a much better way of meeting people than addressing them from behind a podium. Propose a session on a topic that interests you, and if other people are interested, they’ll show up to talk about it with you.

Hacking session– Several coders gather in a room to work on a particular project. These should usually take more than an hour or even two; if you propose such a session, you might want to ask that one room or swing space be dedicated to it for the entire day.

Writing session– A group of people get together to start writing something. Writing can be collaborative or parallel: everyone can work together (probably in Google Docs) or by themselves (yet with a writing vibe filling the air) to write an article, a manifesto, a book, a blog post, a plan, or what you will.

Working session — You’re working on something, and you suspect that some of the various people who come to THATCamp might be able to help you with it. You describe problems you want solved and questions you want answered, and strangers magically show up to hear about what you’re doing and to give you their perspective and advice. This is notan hour-long demo; you should come with specific questions or tasks you want to work on with others for most of the session.

Workshop– A traditional workshop session with an instructor who leads students through a short introduction to and hands-on exercise in a particular skill. Workshops may be arranged beforehand by the organizers or proposed by a participant who agrees to teach it.

Grab bag– Ah, miscellany. One of our favorite categories. Indefinable by definition. It’s astonishing how creative people can be when you give them permission; performances and games are welcome.

Empty sessions
Organizers will leave a few empty time slots during the THATCamp so that attendees can propose new sessions during the THATCamp itself. We will tell you how to propose a session via email and while your THATCamp is taking place. Sometimes, for instance, your discussion was going so well at the one hour fifteen minute mark that you hated to end it; if there’s a slot available, you should be able to propose “Training Robotic Ferrets: Part Two” as a session as soon as “Training Robotic Ferrets” ends.

And…Dork Shorts – What we’re planning- a series of 7-10 minute presentations of ideas or in progress projects that presenters is are interested in receiving feedback on or finding collaborators for (especially emphasizing ‘teachable moments’).

Please submit session proposals and workshop ideas by adding posts! Having trouble? Contact moc.l1525921137iamg@1525921137ynpma1525921137ctaht1525921137.

3 Responses to Propose A Session

  1. Gail Schwab says:

    I am very interested in the ways the DH could be used to rejuvenate the curriculum of the liberal arts. Would anyone be interested in a general discussion session on implementing DH methods into the curriculum?

  2. roger panetta says:

    Workshop Proposals
    “Working Sessions”

    Roger Panetta
    History Fordham University

    1. Student Digital Projects
    Find a consistent and effective platform for the development of semester long collaborative class projects.
    Upgrade the organization and programming to develop projects that are more fully digital.
    Review past projects to establish a base line for moving forward in a more dynamic format.
    See the following

    South Street Seaport

    Hudson-Fulton Celebration 1909

    SS Normandie: Paris and New York

    Lincoln Center and Lincoln Square

    Not the Hudson River

    2. Discuss the state of EARCHIVES and ways to engage the public in their use and development.
    See DigitalHudson

    3. Models and support for the creation of an ETEXT for an interdisciplinary history of the Hudson River.

  3. Jonathan Maxwell says:

    For THATCamp this Saturday, I would like to have a general discussion about the relationship between the digital humanities and scholarly communication and the different forms of online scholarly communication, such as MediaCommonsPress and hypertext. This week at my DH class, Kathleen Fitzpatrick, director of scholarly communication at the MLA and author of the DH book Planned Obsolescence, discussed online peer review and blogging and the changes regarding professors receiving tenure- it was interesting and very insightful.

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