New CLIR Report: The Problem of Data

The Problem of DataSome of my recent research is featured in a new Council on Library & Information Resources (CLIR) report, The Problem of Data. The two-part report features an anthropological study of data curation professionals conducted by my colleagues Andrew Asher (Bucknell) and Lori Jahnke (Emory).

My portion of the report is a snapshot of data curation education as it exists in the LIS field:

Spencer D. C. Keralis, director of the Digital Scholarship Co-Operative at the University of North Texas and former CLIR postdoctoral fellow, provides a snapshot of the current state of data curation education. He finds that while LIS and iSchool programs are making efforts to develop data curation curricula “much work still needs to be done to prepare LIS graduates for roles as data professionals in and out of libraries.” He adds that “the LIS world largely remains a closed circuit, providing concentrations within tracks restricted to LIS enrollees.” Keralis notes that the trend in emerging curriculum development programs is to open up this closed circuit and allow post-baccalaureate students and professionals to take courses in data curation.

I hope the report generates some conversation about this important trans-disciplinary practice in and out of LIS programs.

You can find more information and download the report here.


On Being a Wild Thing

“I cry a lot because I miss people. They die and I can’t stop them. They leave me and I love them more.” ― Maurice Sendak

Maurice Sendak is dead at 83. Rachel Maddow reminds us that the important thing is that Maurice Sendak lived; and for four decades I lived with him.

When I was four I read Where The Wild Things Are – a gift from my uncle, I believe – and wanted to be Max. There was a Wild Rumpus in my family’s trailer house every night before bedtime.

In third grade, in Catholic school, in Wyoming, classmates and I read In The Night Kitchen (somehow fear of an illustrated penis didn’t get the book banned from the shelves) and chanted “I’m in the milk, and the milk’s in me!” until Sister Kathleen threw us out of the library and sent us out to the winter playground to freeze the wild things out of us before math lessons began.

In seventh grade, a boy with wild black hair and green eyes stole my heart and never knew it. His name was Max, which is only a coincidence if you believe in such things, which I don’t.

I read Where the Wild Things Are to my baby brothers. I’ve read it to the children of friends. I read it to myself, at least twice a year. I want to go out into the library today and read it to the undergrads who are preparing for finals.

I’m sad today because a good man is gone, a man with whom I had some things in common, and who gave me things he never knew about: a love of rhyme, a feel for the darkness that adumbrates the forced brightness of modern childhood. I’m sad today because I feel I’ve lost a life-long friend who I never met, but who I knew, and who knew me, just the same.

I’m also full of joy today because of those things he gave me, and because this great artist’s work taught me that the Wild Thing your child-self claims is yours forever.

Let the Wild Rumpus start!


The Vanity of Systems: Data Management for Humanists

Last week at the c19 conference in Berkeley, I had the pleasure of sitting on the “Digits, Data, and Dilemmas” panel with some very distinguished folks from the Digital Humanities world. My remarks, “The Vanity of Systems: Data Management for Humanists,” are below:

Unless you’re a librarian or scientist, you probably neither know nor care that last fall the National Science Foundation mandated that all grant applications must include a 2-page plan for the retention and sharing research data. This has caused a significant kerfuffle in the scientific research communities tasked with making and implementing these plans, and in the library community tasked with helping academic researchers follow through on what they promise the NSF. Continue reading “The Vanity of Systems: Data Management for Humanists”

CFP for Roundtable on Data Management for Humanities Research at MLA 2013

In collaboration with my friend and colleague Korey Jackson at University of Michigan, I put out a CFP for a panel on Issues in Data Management for Humanities Research for the 2013 MLA in Boston.

Since the MLA site only allows eeensy-teeensy little abstracts (check ours out here), we decided to elaborate a bit. And please note that it’s not “for Digital Humanities Research.” We’re thinking about data broadly in the Humanities, and wondering what exactly that might mean.

MLA Call for Papers: Issues in Data Management for Humanities Research Continue reading “CFP for Roundtable on Data Management for Humanities Research at MLA 2013”

Digital Humanities Discussion Group

In a few minutes I’m going to be facilitating the first digital humanities discussion group at the University of North Texas. I’m a tad trepidatious about this undertaking since I’m a learner in DH, not an expert. It’s a diverse group, from LIS students and librarians, to Deans, so that’s great. For our first session, on the theme “What are Digital Humanities”, I asked folks to read the following:

Matthew G. Kirschenbaum. “What is Digital Humanities and What’s it Doing in English Departments?

Julia Flanders, et al. “Welcome to Digital Humanities Quarterly

Lisa Spiro. “Getting Started in Digital Humanities

I’m a big believer in the plural in the humanities, since to say “what is digital humanities” implies it’s something singular, monolithic, which it decidedly is not.

What other readings would be useful for folks getting started in DH, at an institution that’s just getting started in DH?

Wish me luck on this little experiment!

Helena Beat

Another music video featuring child violence. In the last video I posted on tumblr, the violence was play violence that had been re-imagined using animated gore. Here, the kids are kicking grown up butt. In a steampunky fantasy twist, the beleaguered adult is transformed into a child at the end of the video. Beyond noting that there seems to be a recurring interest in kids play violence dramatized in music videos (check out The Limousines’ “Internet Killed the Video Star” for a zombie apocalypse twist on the theme), I don’t have much to say about this, but it might be worth exploring further in terms of mediation and adult fantasies of childhood.

Research & Destroy – Appendix 1

There’s a lot of stuff that I come across that relates to this blog, but that I either can’t commit to writing a whole post about, or that just catches my eye as I’m cruising through blogs and such (ooooh, shiny!). I always intend to eventually share them on the blog or write some commentary about them, and inevitably when I get to it, I’ve forgotten where I found the original item, it’s no longer timely, or I’m just not as inspired by it as I was when I first discovered it.

So, to catch some of the desiderata of my browsing, I’ve made a tumblr: Research & Destroy – Appendix 1

Here you’ll find links to articles, images, and videos that relate, often only tangentially, to the issues I’m exploring (much more slowly) here.  Enjoy!