May 18th, 2010 | Bethany Nowviskie
Okay, professional societies, large and small — what have you done for us lately? Are you ready to do more of what the digital humanities crowd needs? Less of what we don’t? (And, um, what is that, precisely?)
Because I’m in thorough agreement with the THATCamp mantra of “more hack, less yak,” I’m not actually proposing the following as a session — instead, I just want to put this concept out there with an open invitation to all of you, to corner me between sessions and share your views. I’m volunteering to take them back to the following groups:
- the Association for Computers and the Humanities (ACH), the primary professional society for the digital humanities;
- the program committee for the annual Digital Humanities conference;
- the Information Technology Committee of the Modern Language Association (MLA);
- NINES & 18th-Connect, established peer-reviewing bodies for 19th- and 18th-century electronic scholarship;
- the Scholarly Communication Institute (SCI), which is well-positioned to liaise with professional societies (and publishers and libraries and centers and institutes) around issues that matter to THATCampers.
I’m currently Vice President of the first organization (and a member of its outreach and mentorship committees), Vice Chair of the second group, an incoming member of the third, Senior Advisor to the fourth (for my sins as developer emerita), and Associate Director of the fifth. That’s a lot of administriva and service activity for a gal who hates to waste time — so I’m highly motivated to hear from the people these groups should be serving — that’s you — about how to serve you better and make what we do immediately meaningful to your lives as digital humanists.
There will actually be a few people at THATCamp who are involved in these organizations. I’m not naming names — although they’re free to self-identify in the comments section. I will, however, be quite cheerful about dragging my colleagues into any discussions you initiate. (Fair warning!)
Basically, I’m volunteering to be a walking suggestion box. Professional societies, by and large, can do better. How, exactly? You tell me.