If you find yourself in London on the 21st… [via JISC’s blog]

Developing International Collaboration for Digitisation: the JISC – National Endowment for Humanities perspective

In celebration of their transatlantic digitisation collaboration grants, JISC (Joint Information Systems Committee) and the NEH (National Endowment for Humanities) are hosting an evening panel session looking at issues related to international digitisation. The evening will draw on the experiences of projects in the area and will also involve discussion to inform future directions.

Hosted by King’s College London. Monday 21st January, 5.30pm – 6.45pm (Room 2B08, Strand Campus)

Chaired by Sarah Porter, Head of Development, JISC, with presentations and commentary from:

  • Bruce Cole, Chairman, National Endowment for Humanities
  • Malcolm Read, Executive Secretary, JISC
  • Paul Ell, Director, The Centre for Data Digitisation and Analysis, Queen’s University Belfast
  • Robert K. Englund, Professor of Assyriology at the University of California and Director of the Cuneiform Digital Library Initiative

The event is open to all. The evening will be followed by a wine reception for all attendees.

JISC and the NEH are grateful to the Centre for Computing in the Humanities at King’s College London for hosting the event.

Location: http://www.kcl.ac.uk/about/campuses/strand-det.html



Reading Digital Literature: American-German Conference
organized by
Roberto Simanowski and the Department of German Studies,
Brown University

Exhibition in List Art Center, opening: Oct 4, 8 PM
Conference Opening: Oct 5, 4:30 PM
Sessions: Oct. 5, 5:00-6:30 and Oct. 6, 9:30 AM – 6:30 PM
Performances of Digital Literature: Oct. 5, 7:00-8:00 PM and Oct 6,
8:30-10:00 PM
Sessions and Performances in Smith-Buonanno 106

Details: http://www.interfictions.org/readingdigitalliterature

* Katherine Hayles: The Literary as Distributed Cognition in
Strickland and Jaramillo’s slippingglimpse
* Rita Raley: List(en)ing Post
* Jörgen Schäfer: Looking Behind the Facade: Playing and Performing
an Interactive Drama
* Fotis Jannidis: Understanding S.T.A.L.K.E.R. or the hermeneutics of
popular digital art
* Peter Gendolla: The Art of Poetry Machines
* Chris Funkhouser: Kissing the steak: The Poetry of Text Generators
* Thomas Swiss: Reading “Wrong”: Flash Work by Motomichi Nakamura,
Nils Muhlenbruch, and Yoshi Sodeoka
* Karin Wenz: The Demon Machine or 79 Ways to Face a Demon
* George P. Landow: Symbolic (but unreadable) Texts in Digital Culture
* Mark Tribe: Reading Young-Hae Chang Heavy Industries: An
Ornithology of Digital Art

A curtain of tiny screens with live quotations from Internet chat;
stories generated by computer programs; narratives generated by their
readers; words that disappear or reveal themselves depending on their
readers position, texts that peels off the wall and require the
‘reader’ to push it back. How shall we read such moving letters? How
do we catch their meanings? How might they make us feel? The
conference brings together ten specialists from the USA and Germany
to search for answers through in-depth analyses.

[via Humanist]


I’m not one to advertise my birthday, but if you were an early-shopping type, you can never go wrong with these rockin’ Space Invaders (set of 4 rocks glasses). I’m just saying…



We have been terrible about uploading pictures, so thank goodness for Natalie, Claire’s new godmother, who posted to Flickr several pictures of Claire’s baptism this past weekend. In this photo, Father Bill (who married us and baptized Evie) holds a wet-headed Claire, while Natalie (godmother, far right), Angelo (godfather, far left) and “GG-Mom” (Lisa’s grandmother and Evie’s godmother) look on…


It seems that most of my posts these days have to do with trying to fix MT… and this is a quick note to say, I’m still trying to fix the Wordherder comments, and I’m very grateful for the help that George has been providing.

Hopefully we’ll get stuff sorted out soon. I’ll keep everyone posted.


From an interview about the forthcoming Mass Effect:

IGN: Mass Effect: The Write Stuff – AU Interview

IGN: In terms of novel-lengths, how many pages or books worth of writing would you estimate you’ve done for Mass Effect?

Drew Karpyshyn: Mass Effect has a word count of around 400,000 words – somewhere in the area of 4-5 full novels. But, unlike a novel, we also have visual images and other ways to tell a story. Our word count would be even higher if we had to describe settings or characters, but we actually have art and graphics to do that for us. I think a better comparison to give the full scope of our game is to use movie scripts. In Mass Effect, every line of dialog has full voice over, and we have 20,000 lines of dialog – roughly the equivalent of 20 movies. That seems like a lot – and it is – but it’s necessary to keep a player engaged in our game and story for the 20 hour critical path.


Despite celebrating its fourth year a few months ago, this blog has been quiet of late, partly due to technical problems (MovableType and spam…) and mostly due to time constraints. Unfortunately for the blog, but terrific for me, my writing time is dedicated entirely to the dissertation. At some point I’d like to continue sharing my research here (especially since in the past it led to some very fruitful conversations like this and this), but for now overcoming the technical issues plaguing the blog requires more energy than I’m willing to invest.

And all my other time is dedicated to my family (I won’t link to the entirely neglected family blog, which hasn’t been updated since I posted pictures of Claire the day she was born… 8 months ago) and to work, where I have the fortunate opportunity to work on a new initiative while continuing my work on an old one. I recently attended a few conferences and summits, including the MITH/NEH-hosted “Digital Humanities Summit” (blogged by Dan Cohen) and a swing-through at the Internet2 conference in DC. So, that’s where I’ve been.

Where am I going?

This Thursday I will be at the ELO: Future of Electronic Literature at MITH. Early June I will be presenting some personal work–and representing work–at Digital Humanities 2007 in Illinois.

If you plan to be at either of these events and want to chat about e-lit, games, or digital humanities, feel free to drop me an email (jasonrhody [at] gmail [dot] com). Don’t try to leave a comment here… spam has driven me back to the “old tech” of email.


NEH has recently introduced a distribution list that provides updates pertaining to the Digital Humanities Initiative. The “DHI Update” will give details on grant deadlines, speaking engagements, programs, and other events notable to the Digital Humanities community. To subscribe/unsubscribe: http://grants.neh.gov/dhi.asp

And remember to check DHI grant deadlines.


I admit no small amount of surprise when I first saw an image of an Xbox controller featured in the latest Humanities magazine, a bi-monthly publication from the National Endowment for the Humanities. While the images are (unfortunately) only in the print version, you can read online the Chairman’s interview with Steven Johnson, author of Everything Bad is Good for you.

I find the whole dance around whether or not video games can be “good” morally, or “good” aesthetically (“great art”), versus just good for stimulating problem-solving skills, quite fascinating (both in the interview and in Johnson’s book). But overall, it’s great to see games talked about in federal grant-making agencies, at least. The recent interviews with folks like Johnson and Vinton Cerf reflect NEH’s continued interest in humanities computing (having provided funding for many of the largest projects in past years), an emphasis that has been recently reinvigorated by the Digital Humanities Initiative.


A wonderful, brief introduction to technologies of writing, online media technologies, and Web 2.0, by Michael Wesch.

[via Jill]


Another promising offering in the discussion of game fictions, role-playing, and computer games:
Second Person: Role-Playing and Story in Games and Playable Media, edited by Pat Harrigan and Noah Wardrip-Fruin. I’m looking forward to reading this one, especially Jordan Mechner’s discussion of creating Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time (view the entire table of contents).


A Companion to Digital Humanities is now freely available online. Edited by Susan Schreibman, Ray Siemens, and John Unsworth, this is an invaluable collection of essays and a wonderful resource for both research and in the classroom.

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