Just a few brief announcements for those of you planning on attending the American Academy of Religion's annual meeting in sunny San Diego at the end of the month. There are a couple of fantastic panels, workshops, and sessions that focus on how technology is rapidly changing the study of religion. So if you're planning on attending, consider adding some digital humanities to your conference schedule.
First, I wanted to let everyone know about a late addition to the AAR program that may be of interest to many of our readers. On Saturday, November 22 at 12:30pm the Social Science Research Council is sponsoring a roundtable I am leading titled "New Media, New Audiences: Making the Study of Religion Online." The roundtable is a part of a report Hussein Rashid and I are writing for the SSRC on the study of religion's new digital landscape and will feature the directors and curators of some of the most innovative born-digital projects out there. Our stellar line up includes:
- Sally Promey presenting on Yale's ambitious Material and Visual Cultures of Religion Site,
- R. Marie Griffith talking about the Danforth Center's award-winning Religion & Politics journal,
- Kyle Roberts of Loyola University Chicago discussing his Jesuit Libraries Project,
- and Nausheen Husain talking about her born-digital graduate thesis Islam for Reporters.
THATCamp--or The Humanities and Technology Camp--on Friday, November 21 from 9am to 5pm. I'll save you my usual spiel that unlike regular conference meetings THATCamps focus on practical, hands-on discussions of technology's role in the study of religion over individual presentations of research. I'll also save you the pitch I typically make on the way campers have significant impact on a camp's program by proposing--beginning next week!--what sessions will run at THATCamp.
But I did want to let everyone know that just a few slots remain, so if you're interested in attending head over to the THATCamp AAR 2014 blog and register now. It's free, and you're by no means obligated to stay the whole day. But you may want to because I can also now confirm the workshops featured at this year's camp. A number of sharp scholars have generously donated their time to come lead campers in how to use a variety of tools. You can get the full abstract for these workshops over at the blog, but as a teaser I can tell you that:
- Podcasters S. Brent Plate and Kristian Petersen will be leading a workshop devoted to podcasting the study of religion with an emphasis on how podcasting can advance both teaching and research.
- Scholar of Buddhism Marcus Bingenheimer, whose personal website maintains a robust list of tools for Buddhist studies, will be leading a workshop on the suite of textmining tools offered by Voyant. He's even bringing sample texts and corpus to analyze, so every technical skill level will benefit.
- Finally, I will be leading a workshop on how to use Omeka, an open-source content management system and exhibit software that can be used for building digital archives and classroom projects.
Like last year, this year's THATCamp promises to be a lot of fun. So make sure to follow the THATCamp AAR 2014 blog for the latest news!