This Week in Digital Humanities and Pedagogy

Each week, a member of the JITP Editorial Collective assembles and shares the news items, ongoing discussions, and upcoming events of interest to us (and hopefully you). This week’s installment is edited by Andrew Lucchesi.

I’m often struck by the increasingly important roles digital technology plays in times of conflict, strife, and tragedy. Obviously, Facebook, Twitter, and other social media platforms have become essential parts of the action, serving as important sites for information sharing and discussion. More than just serving as hubs for discussion and debate, however, we see that digital technology is serving an important function in helping people respond to tragedy and unrest in real time.

I’ll start with Nepal, where a magnitude 7.8 earthquake hit the area between Kathmandu and the city of Pokhara on April 25, 2015. This area has long been rated as among the most vulnerable urban areas to seismic disaster, and now, three days after the quake, international news coverage is beginning to grapple with the full scale of the tragedy still in progress, with death tolls and reports of destruction rising. In the midst of this chaos, people are turning to digital technology. Check out how Google has re-launched their crowd-sourced missing persons database, Google Person Finder, to aid in the search and rescue effort.

From this global tragedy to a scene of local unrest, we see digital technology playing an important role as well in the recent uprising in Baltimore, MD, following the death of Freddie Gray, who died of a spinal cord injury he is believed to have sustained while in police custody. As with other recent protest movements, social media have played important roles in capturing what’s happening on the ground, as in this Google Map where Redditors and Twitter users pull from police scanners and Tweets to provide live-action visualizations of the disruptions. The Mayor’s Office has also turned to digital media (again from Google) to respond to the situation, using a Google Form originally designed by a concerned citizen to allow individuals in Baltimore to request volunteer assistance.

Clearly, not only do digital tools and social media allow us to learn more quickly about what’s happening as high-stakes public events unfold, creative uses of established properties (especially the big names many of us tend to turn to in class assignments and everyday digital living) are playing a big roles in shaping what’s actually going on in the streets. Stay safe out there, people.

Upcoming and Ongoing Events and Deadlines

Call for Submissions: Journal of Interactive Technology and Pedagogy, Issue 8 Deadline “Disability as Insight, Access as the Function of Design
Deadline: May 15, 2015

Call for Proposals: Digital Humanities Forum 2015
Deadline: June 1, 2015
Event: University of Kansas

Call for Participants: Hybrid Pedagogy Summer Digital Pedagogy Lab
Registration is rolling, but workshops are filling up fast!
Event: August 10–14, 2015
Madison, WI

Call for Presentations: The Digital Arts Project 2nd Global Meeting, “The Borders of Digital Art
Abstract Deadline: May 1, 2015
Event: September 15–17, 2015
Oxford, UK

Call for Presentations: The Videogame Cultures Project
Deadline for abstracts: May 1, 2015
Event: September 11–13, 2015
Oxford, UK

Call for Proposals: Thirteenth International Conference on New Directions in the Humanities, “From the Digital Humanities to the Humanities of the Digital
Abstract Deadline: May 15, 2015
Event: June 17–19, 2015
Vancouver, BC

Call for Articles: FILE Digital Aesthetics E-Book
Abstracts due: June 15, 2015

Call for Submissions: Inaugural issue of Digital Literary Studies
Deadline: rolling

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