Day of DH in the MA DAH

As tweeted (#uccmadah, #dhie and of course #dayofdh also #fdayofdh – for obscure reasons until I was corrected), I was privileged to be part of the MA DAH Interventions symposium today. Tweets aplenty and the discussion was rich and varied. The presentations by the students tackled the big questions head on and raised no end of valuable further questions. Ranging uccmadahfrom ethics and how these apply to robots/AI to how we can fleece the irish diaspora more effectively (I jest ;-), Continue reading Day of DH in the MA DAH

The DH Commute

As a quick personal anecdotal reference, the Day of DH dawns early for me. It’s up at 5 for an hour long walk to the train station – great exercise – have to find it where I can these days. The 7am departs from Dublin for Cork and I am ensconced with my porridge and cappuccino. Although there’s no electrics on the train, we have wifi for approximately 60% of the 3 hour journey so that’s a plus.

journeyToCorkToday is looking forward to the aforementioned Interventions MA Symposium at UCC. So far on the journey illustrated accompanying have been able to catch up on email, get a little prep work done on an upcoming project management workshop, start to promote an upcoming guest lecture and georeference a few postboxes (as one does). The three hour journey is generally a very productive time with the wifi being the major hurdle. Twitter though is generally always available even before authentication through the Irish Rail wifi gatekeeper. Makes one rely on it all the more and realise how much work one can accomplish 140 characters at a time.

DH Happens on the Train!

Social Media as the Classroom

Last term I delivered a course entirely through social media. Well, I actually showed up in lecture hall one evening to announce that this was to be the case – so not entirely, but pretty close. The mode of delivery was necessitated by physical circumstances, but also seemed very germane to the nature of what we were studying – Social Computing.

examHallTCDCS3107Although the initial reaction of the students to this mode of delivery was mixed (quite justifiably because they had enrolled in a regular lecture-based course) the final reaction was largely positive. Continue reading Social Media as the Classroom

In Advance of the Day

It’s been a day of prep on all fronts for tomorrow. Launching the Heaney at Queen’s Exhibition as part of a larger symposium has involved consultation with various stockholders in the project, chasing artefacts and assembling metadata. Thankfully the bulk of the narrative has been assembled and ingested and the general shape of the exhibition established. The narrative prepared (in very short order) by: Stephen Connolly, Manuela Moser, Caitlin Newby heaneyQUBand Charlene Small is top notch. After making some editing choices to adapt it for on-screen presentation it feels very strong. Getting digital rights to some of the other pieces has been the most close run thing. Word only arrived let this afternoon that we finally have the go ahead between various different stakeholders in the process. Digitisation has also been done in rapid production mode by the Special Collections staff in the Library to make a variety of other assets available for use.  Continue reading In Advance of the Day

Sharing Interventions

As part of the Day of DH, the MA DAH students at University College Cork are running a day long symposium to share their own research trajectories. It Screenshot 2014-04-07 16.47.32promises to be informative and exciting and I am really looking forward to it. They have constructed a site in support of it and you can check out the emerging practice in real time. They’ll be tweeting as @interventions1 as well as the hashtag #uccmadah.

Interventions. Day of DH 2014 explores three broad themes that are emerging from the digital projects being undertaken by the participants: Digital History, Digital Media and Digital Pedagogy.

Tune in for all the action.

Navigating Edgy Education in a Public Space

Dr Dominic Bryan, Director of the Institute for Irish Studies at Queen’s, is running an experimental course offering via FutureLearn – a UK-based MOOC (that I will admit not being previously aware of). His course is looking at: Identity, conflict and public space: contest and transformation. Although the nature of the emergence and sustainability of the various MOOC programmes is a huge discussion, this course faces a different sort of challenge.

Screen Shot 2014-04-07 at 10.52.44

Exposing discussion of what is predictably provocative by design raises a huge issue around what sort of ‘learning environment’ can be acknowledged under the aegis the university. It is crucial for this course to allow contestation and conflict as part of its delivery. Studying by doing in this context threatens the nature of ‘management’ of the discourse  by the institution.

The course is set to roll starting 28 April, but the negotiations over how comfortable the institution may be with attaching its name to such a contentious experience is taking place now. This raises some important questions around how we teach in an era of social scholarship.

Now of course Dominic has admitted that it involves himself stripping through layers of history in his own performative self-exposure –  hmmmm …. edgy indeed.

Omeka in the Wild: Getting to Practice What We Preach

Over the past few years, in consultations with a wide variety of projects I have increasingly


identified opportunities where Omeka would make an excellent platform for digital curation. However, aside from a few tentative ventures with it, and a few instances where myself of DHO colleagues were consulted about some knotty problems, I have not had the ‘pleasure’ of living with it as a tool. That has changed as of late in collaboration to deliver some superb exhibitions using the basic Omeka platform and starting to plug through some NeatLine implementations well.

I tweeted two weeks ago when doing a soft launch of the Sir Robert Hart exhibition for the Library st Queen’s University Belfast. Continue reading Omeka in the Wild: Getting to Practice What We Preach

Appropriate Hello Post

Just as a brief backgrounder, for those browsing about and catching wind of blogging activity. My fuller bio is available elsewhere ( or LinkedIn or but in a nutshell I am actively  fostering digital humanities practice in Ireland.


Under the auspices of the Digital Humanities Observatory from 2008 – 2013 I (and we) provided workshops, symposia, a series of successful summer schools and met with hundreds of scholars to assist in their own individual projects. More recently I am directly involved institutionally lecturing on topics ranging from digital project management, data visualisation, text mining, support infrastructures for digital humanities to broader courses in social computing and the philosophy of technology.  My further past lives involved dot com startups in marketing automation and information architecture. There’s even a personal research agenda buried somewhere in there involving pubkeepers, their families and drink in the Victorian community.

Peering further into the shadows

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