Clearing the decks

My desk / dining table

My desk / dining table (and Bubba, one of my cats)

Another Day of DH! I always enjoy this — well, I enjoy it about every other year. I apparently flaked on the blogging portion in 2013, 2011, and 2010, but here’s my Day of DH 2012. I did do Day of DH in 2009, as well, which I think was its first year, but apparently all the links are dead. Boo, U of Alberta.

So, today! Which is more than half over already. I am technically unemployed at the moment, but I’ll tell you, being unemployed isn’t as awesome as it sounds. So far I’m just as busy. My grant-funded position as THATCamp Coordinator ended on March 31st, just about a week ago, and I’m still clearing the decks from that. As for what I’m doing now, the short answer is: a lot of freelancing. (Which is a better word than “consulting.”) I’m working on three separate freelance jobs right now: writing a grant proposal due at the end of April for an organization that shall remain unnamed (I’m under an NDA), helping to plan the second two-week Arthur Vining Davis Foundation Digital Humanities Summer Faculty Workshop at Northwestern University in August, and training to become a book sprint facilitator. Today, however, I am focusing on none of those three things: rather, I wanted to finish up a couple of nagging THATCamp-related tasks and then prepare for a panel I’m going to be on tonight in Charlottesville charmingly titled “Our Gadgets, Ourselves: Virtues, Vices, and these New Devices.” That panel is part of an interdisciplinary lecture series at UVA called “Transduction” — more about that later, including why I was invited to be on it and what I’m going to say / did say.

But first, my morning. Here’s a rundown of what I did before heading to Charlottesville (which is next):

  • Looked into setting up a sole proprietorship in Virginia to handle the taxes on all this freelance work, but concluded I need to do more research to figure out whether the sole proprietorship I already set up in New York a few years ago is sufficient. Maybe I can just change the address on that: not sure yet. As I did once before, I decided that the closest North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) code for all this kind of thing is 611710, “Educational Consultants.”
  • Read an article in the most recent issue of Women in Higher Education by Liana Silva-Ford about the MLA 2014 session on “Alt-Ac” organized by Sarah Werner that I was on.
  • Wrote lengthy response to Dr. Emmanuel Lemakis of the College Art Association answering his question about the best possible dates for THATCamp CAA 2015.
  • Wrote lengthy response to email from Dr. Stefan Andreas Keller at the University of Zurich about “the potential of unconferences to change the academic world” — he and his colleagues are going to publish some research about BarCamp and other unconferences in academia.
  • Sent my CV and A/V requirements to the organizer of tonight’s panel on gadgets.
  • Emailed Joan Troyano of PressForward to ask if she’d write an announcement for the RRCHNM blog about the brand-new Proceedings of THATCamp, since I never got around to it last week.
  • Wrote the Mellon program officer for the THATCamp grant to let her know that we’re going to send her the final report in a couple of weeks (that’s all done, thank heavens, but we need to wait for the final financial numbers).
  • Looked over the itinerary for next week’s visit to Northwestern to plan the August AVDDH workshop.
  • Replied in the negative to an email from Josh Lambert of the Yiddish Book Center asking if I’d be interested in being on a roundtable at next year’s Association of Jewish Studies conference on social media and pedagogy. (It was a mass email sent to several people, not just to me.) Sounds like a cool topic, but I only go to AJS for the THATCamps, and I don’t know that they’re doing another one. Also I rarely teach anymore and don’t myself do Jewish Studies.
  • Posted the draft agenda for the upcoming THATCamp Council meeting on the THATCamp Forums. Took me awhile to decide whether my plan to have the meeting by Skype was okay — decided to open up that issue to the community. Always hard to tell whether people won’t care at all or will be outraged, and it’s always hard to balance efficiency with openness to community input. I followed here my usual plan of making a decision (Skype) and then offering to change it if anyone objects. That way you get both the speed of fast decision-making and the benefit of community input. WIN-WIN, as the Stephen Covey bot would say until electrocuted by enraged humanoids.

And now I’ve got to hie my butt to Charlottesville …

DH 2009 word cloud tshirt

DH 2009 word cloud tshirt, gift of John Unsworth after I tweeted up a storm during DH 2009 and the subsequent THATCamp, which looms large in my legend