ThatCamp Pedagogy is done! Our Bootcamp surprised some people, especially since the undergraduate, Pollyanna Macchiano, had some critical assessments of the teaching strategies and use of digital tools that were intriguing for an audience of faculty, staff, and librarians. Instead of being a skills workshop, like a typical Bootcamp, we decided to place Pollyanna front and center to discuss her ideas. She delivered with clarity, objectivity, and grace. ThatCamp Pedagogy organizers generously placed the videos of the Bootcamps online; this means our Bootcamp is available for you to watch along with Pollyanna’s Prezi presentation.

See also Roger Whitson’s report, “The Politics of Digital Pedagogy: A Report on THATCamp Pedagogy 2011,” ProfHacker Series, Chronicle of Higher Education (24 Oct 2011).

My portion of the presentation is based on my poster for the Digital Humanities Conference 2011.


Course Websites

Student Projects

Harris, Katherine D. “TechnoRomanticism:  Creating Digital Editions in an Undergraduate Classroom.” Journal of Victorian Culture 16:1 (2011 April): 107-112.

Day of Katherine D. Harris.” Day in the Life Digital Humanities Project. Ed. Geoffrey Rockwell. University of Alberta. March 2009 and repeated in March 2010 and March 2011.

Entries by Katherine D. Harris. Teaching Romanticism: An RC Pedagogies Blog. Ed. Kate Singer

Reflections by Katherine D. Harris. THATCamp Bay Area (Oct 2010)

DH & Pedagogy & Undergrads: Continuing the Conversation.” triproftri research blog (March 2011)


Original Post

When I heard about THATCamp Pedagogy, my heart skipped a beat. THATCamp Bay Area was fabulous but this time, I wanted to do something a bit different, something that I’ve been working on for years: talk more about pedagogy in the undergraduate curriculum. With the help of an intrepid English major, we submitted a proposal to run a bootcamp at THATCamp Pedagogy in which this English major’s voice was prominently featured.

Erin Templeton’s ProfHacker post today reminded me to finish up all of those details, including scraping around for said undergraduate’s travel funds. We already got the official word back from the organizers — IT’S A GO! Pollyanna Macchianno (@Poriiana) and I will offer the below bootcamp at THATCamp Pedagogy (October 15 & 16, Vassar College):

The Undergraduate’s Voice in Digital Humanities

In the Chronicle of Higher Education article “Questions, Questions, and more Questions: A Student’s Perspective on THATCamp LAC,” Celeste Marshall Kahn issues a call to include more undergraduate voices in THATCamp (and other) gatherings. Jen Rajchel’s video attests to the efficacy of learning through Digital Humanities after her experiences at Bryn Mawr. Rebecca Frost Davis, at NITLE, has been encouraging the undergraduate voice in Digital Humanities research, and Digital Humanists have responded by integrating more undergraduates into their research plans. But, we are still lacking that undergraduate voice in the formation of digitally-inflected courses over a broad range. I propose to co-teach this Bootcamp with an undergraduate to address the following:

I would like the bootcamp to be about this student’s movement into Digital Humanities (a narrative with some reflection). I will then offer up some assessment about my pedagogical decisions in helping her get there:

  • How did the tools allow her to sharpen your understanding of humanities/liberal arts/brilliance
  • What was her process for using digital tools, participating in digital projects, or theorizing DH?
  • What incremental moves from one tool to the next opened up her thinking?
  • My response will be to her narrative, my assessment of her process & a statement about my process

This is an opportunity for Bootcamp participants (both faculty and students) to collaborate with an undergraduate in the formation of pedagogy before it happens and to experience the evolution of strategies for creating a digitally-inflected course.

Harris Brief Bio

I attended the Bay Area THATCamp where many Silicon Valley industry members attended to provide updates on interesting tools. The Bay Area is also host to many different types of higher education institutions (from private, elite universities to junior colleges). I come from San Jose State University where I’ve been working on Digital Humanities projects and, more importantly, integrating digital tools into my graduate and undergraduate curriculum. This Fall, I will move one step further and offer some of our English majors the opportunity to collaborate on a scholarly project that will result in a special collections exhibit, a scholarly essay, and a digital edition.  Since SJSU is part of the California State University, we are often taxed with over-enrolled courses and students will too little time to explore research projects with faculty — let alone play with digital tools to build relevant projects that will serve their educational needs outside of academia.

THATCamp Pedagogy will be hosted by Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, New York on Saturday, October 15th, and Sunday, October 16th, 2011.