Last minute info

Greetings, comrades!  There are few things you’ll want to keep in mind as you finalize your DH projects:

  1.  Email me ( the link to your Scalar essay by Wed., May 25, at 11:59 p.m.
  2. For me to enjoy your project, you’ll have to make your Scalar essay public.
    1. What does this mean?  It means that with the click of a mouse you will publish your essay  to the web so that I can read it without logging in.
    2. How do I do this?  Easy.  Go to your dashboard in Scalar (click on the little wrench icon in the upper right-hand corner of your typical Scalar page).  Click on the “Sharing” tab.  Under “Availability,” be sure that “Make URL public?” is set to “yes.”  Once you’ve done this, all you have to do is copy the url of your project (typically, something like this:[title of your book]/index) and email me the link.
    3. Try to make your Scalar project public during the editing process.  E.g. avoid last minute convolutions, consternations, etc.   If you have trouble publishing the project, let me know in advance of our deadline.
  3. Good luck and godspeed!  I’m eager to read your final projects.  And, don’t forget, if you need advising, help, etc. next semester . . . I’ll be on-campus and in my office.
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For Tuesday (May 17)

Here we are: the final class of the semester.  Let’s spend our last hours together: working with Scalar; conversating about final projects; enjoying each others’ company.

PS: I’ll be doing one final sweep of your blogs on Thursday (May 19).  If you’re missing any posts, now’s the time to make additions etc.

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For Thursday (May 12)

Let’s do the following for Thursday:

  1.  We discussed Spiro’s five Digital Humanities values. Based on your experience of Digital Humanities this semester, are there any values missing from Spiro’s list? What sixth value would you add? Blog this.
  2. Read Mark Sample’s essay, “Notes toward a Deformed Humanities.”
  3. Keep tinkering with Scalar.  We’ll have a more intensive Scalar session in class.  Bring questions, insights, etc.
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For Tuesday (May 10)

For Tuesday, let’s set our sights on the following:

  1. Read Lisa Spiro’s essay, ‘“This Is Why We Fight”: Defining the Values of the Digital Humanities.’  (You might also want to check out Matt Gold’s introduction – – “The Digital Humanities Moment” – – to the Debates in the Digital Humanities anthology.)
  2. Install Scalar into a new subdomain.  Head to the cPanel in your ReclaimHosting domain and install Scalar via the Installatron web app installer.

3.  Keep working on your datasets and visualization tools.

4.  Don’t forget: final projects are due Wed., May 25, at 11:59 p.m.  Here’s the template for evaluating your final project.


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For Tuesday (May 3)

Let’s get silky in the Temporary Autonomous Learning Lounge!

What you’ll need:

  1. A fairly complete dataset in a spreadsheet.
  2. An account on Silk, our chosen data visualizer.  Also, be sure to review the Silk help pages, especially on importing a spreadsheet and refining your visualization.  Silk allows you to import Excel, .csv, and Google Sheets.  (I’d be sure to download or save your spreadsheet in a .csv file, just to see if this makes any difference in the visualization.) Silk works a bit differently than some of the other data visualization tools: the platform creates “datacards” for every row in your spreadsheet.  This does seem to make things a bit easier, but we may encounter some interesting rubs as we start to visualize.
  3. Food, drink, and any other social emollients (subject to CSU regulations).
  4. After we’ve played with silk, you’ll want to blog your experience.
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Working with SF Beats data


After wrangling, mangling and otherwise massaging the data in our SF Beats dataset, here’s the first offering via Palladio.  The map shows the connections between the birthplaces of Beat figures and San Francisco.  This is a pretty cool map.  But, what I discovered: locations have to be geocoded to be plotted by Palladio.  This means: first, geocoding the locations (via a script I found for Google sheets), downloading the Google sheet into Excel, merging the longitude and latitude columns, adding in a column with the geocoded location for San Francisco (37.7749295, -122.4194155), cleaning up data to make sure that all entries are in the proper (lat, long) format, etc.  In other words, you may have the data and it may be very good, but you might have to translate the data into terms that will work for your visualization app.


Here’s a Google Fusion-ized map of our SF Beats data.  The map shows the places of education for 37 of our SF Beat figures.  Google Fusion will geocode locations (e.g. Cambridge, Mass, etc.) automatically.  Also, notice the little card that pops up for Catherine Cassady.  That’s nice.  However, Google Fusion doesn’t seem to allow as much sorting or customizing in your visualization – – as in Palladio’s “Connected Points” tile.  Perhaps there are extensions that add these things to the Fusion maps.


Here, I’ve fed our SF Beats dataset into the Silk platform.  This produces a pretty nice pie chart showing the years in which our Beats arrived in SF.  Lesson learned: each platform (Palladio, Silk, Fusion, etc.) has different expectations about the organization and form of your data.  You’ll have to monkey around a bit – – adjusting the format of your data in Excel or Google sheets to match the expectations of the platform or app that you use.

I’ve just started to really explore Tableau – – which looks like one of the most powerful of the visualization tools.

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For Thursday (4/28)

Here’s what we’ll accomplish for Thursday:

  1.  Since we’ve adopted the Mission School page on Wikipedia, take a look at the Talk page for the article.  I’ve started the discussion.  The questions remains: what is to be done?  As you think about what needs to be done, take a look at the Wikipedia page on how to edit articles.
  2. Yes, we’ll install MediaWiki into your domains, at last!
  3. Spreadsheet workshop.  Let’s try to take a half hour or-so of class to review progress on spreadsheets and, for those of you with robust datasets, to start testing some visualization apps.  (See our DH Tools page.)  It might be helpful before hand to take a look at this dandy, brief introduction to data visualization.
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For Tuesday (4/26)

Here’s what we’ll try to get done on Tuesday:

  1.  Wikipedia.  Create an account on  Then, take a look at the Dagoberto Gilb page.  Check out the “Talk,” “Edit,” and “View History” tabs.  Each will offer you a different perspective on the machinery behind the wikipedia page.  We’ll talk about these in class.  If I asked you to contribute to Wikipedia, what page would you edit?
  2. We’ll install MediaWiki on your domain.
  3. I’ve created a DH Tools page.  Here you can find a variety of different platforms to visualize your growing datasets.  Try out at least two (besides Palladio) and blog about: 1) the platform (its ease-of-use or not), its capabilities, etc.; 2) what each platform helped you discover about your data.
  4. On Thursday, we’ll talk about the final form of your project.
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Thursday (4/20)

Here’s our agenda for Thursday (4/21):

  1. Read either the Hardt or Dyer-Witheford essay on the commons and commoning.  Blog a response!
  2. Spreadsheet links are accumulating.  For Thursday, take a look at one spreadsheet by a fellow student.  Comment on the spreadsheet, via Google’s “comment” function, and blog about your data collection and anything you may have learned by looking at your comrade’s work.
  3. On Tuesday, we’ll take a look at Wikipedia and install MediaWiki into your domains.  You can get a head start by browsing over to Wikipedia and: 1) creating a Wikipedia account; 2) taking a look at Dagoberto Gilb’s page; 3) browsing through the “history” of the page (via the “view history” tab in the upper right-hand corner) and checking out the editing interface (by clicking on the “Edit” link in the upper right-hand corner of the page).  Enjoy!
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For Tuesday (4/19)


Here’s what we need to do for this Tuesday:

  1. Check out your comrades’ spreadsheets here.  (The page is password-protected.  At the prompt for the password, type in “holloway.”)  If you haven’t emailed me your spreadsheet link, do so now!  (Let me reiterate: the semester project is labor-intensive, and you won’t be able to do it via all-nighter/weekend-at-Starbucks, etc.  Get things underway pronto.)  We’ll team up in class to review spreadsheets.  In the meantime, you can use the “comment” function in Google sheets (“Insert” and then “Comment”) to offer feedback to your fellow DH’ers.
  2. Read David Bollier’s “The Commons, Short and Sweet.”  (We’ll move on to Dyer-Witheford and Hardt for Thursday.)
  3. Let’s do a quick Zotero tutorial in class.  I’ll handle this, but you might want to preview Zotero here.
  4. For those more ambitious, we’ll soon be exploring MediaWiki, the platform that powers Wikipedia.  We’ll do a quick install tutorial on Thursday.
  5. It’s a good time to clear up any grading mysteries.  The final grade breakdown will look like this: blogs, out-of-class stuff (like the JStor project, etc.), etc. = 66% of your final grade; final semester project = 34% of your final grade.  Questions? Concerns? Talk to me in class or during office hours.
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