Organized by: Lynne Siemens (U Victoria)


Project management is a tool that has long been associated with business. Its use in the academy is increasing as projects grow beyond the scope of a single researcher. Funding agencies are encouraging this trend by requesting detailed and realistic work plans as part of grant applications. However, challenges exist for the application of project management to research projects. For example, research goals may be articulated but the methodology to accomplish them is not well understood. This is further complicated by the fact that researchers see the application of these tools as rigid management approaches, perhaps not suited for the academy.


Having said this, due to increasingly collaborative interdisciplinary projects, many humanities scholars find themselves as “instant” or “accidental” managers. They are leading teams of researchers from a variety of disciplines, research assistants, librarians and others, as well as managing financial and other resources. This is something for which they are often not prepared due to a lack of training in this area.


This raises questions for exploration with regard to the application of project management in the humanities generally and digital humanities more specifically that are addressed in this conference.


To view presentations and related materials from this event, please see below.


Please note: the present site does not contain a full archive of DHSI events; some presentations and related materials are not represented here. To learn more about Project Management in the Humanities, please visit dhsi.org.


For a complete listing of past Project Management in the Humanities participants, visit our Course Archive!


Project Management in the Humanities


Session: 1

Anna Maria Neubert (Universität Bielefeld) “What’s in a Project: Disciplinary Differences in Addressing Temporality”

View presentation: https://echo360.ca/media/f18bea82-56c7-471b-81fc-2fe4aea606af/public


Abstract: The understanding and planning of ‘research project(s)’ depend on training, research practices, communication and the universally accepted culture in each respective field. Humanities on the one and Sciences on the other hand are furnished with unique dynamics in doing research a certain way that stem from centuries of tradition. Thus, when combining research practices from various disciplines in Digital Humanities research, “a systemic gap [emerges] that is rooted in paradigmatic differences across fields of practice.”1 I argue that one way to bridge this gap and to connect all fields invovled is to acknowledge the different notions of termporality and make room for those differences when planning projects. One illuminating example of the differing notions of temporality are research cycles: while (computer) scienctists are used to small(er) units of time and a research process that allows for many iterations, humanists (mostly) work towards one final result and thus in larger units of time. It is therefore the task of project management to coordinate research cycles and develop a plan that allows all sides to be productive while collaborating and benefitting from each other. In my lightning talk I want to elaborate on the topic of temporality, the meaning of duration and the specific ‘feeling of time’ and follow up on questions like ‘how can different time frames be brought together?’ and ‘what kind of project management is required for allowing enough room for each research culture?’. – 1 Kertcher, Zack. 2010. “Gaps and Bridges in Interdisciplinary Knowledge Integration.” In E-Research Collaboration, edited by Murugan Anandarajan, Springer-Verlag GmbH, p. 49.


Lynne Siemens (U Victoria) “Project Management Tools in a Large Humanities Research Project”

View presentation: https://echo360.ca/media/d36e9c96-f5c7-4aea-bcff-dc5dde7402a7/public


Abstract: The Implementing New Knowledge Environments (INKE) was a large-scale, long-term interdisciplinary research project that researched the future of books, e-books and reading (Siemens et al., 2009). To coordinate tasks, budget and a research team with over 35 members, the collaboration used a combination of project management tools, including governance documents and a yearly planning cycle. Jointly developed by the administrative team, INKE’s governance documents guided the collaboration and supported accountability by providing a foundation of common understandings. These documents outlined an authorship convention, intellectual property clause, and decision-making and dispute resolution processes, among other things. To ensure accountability, researchers would sign an agreement before receiving research funds. Further, the documents were published and posted to the project planning workspace (Siemens & INKE Research Group, 2012b, 2012c). They also proved useful as orientation documents for new team members (Siemens & INKE Research Group, 2012a, 2013, 2016). Another important project management tool was the annual project plans which were used to trigger the release of research funds. These plans outlined tasks, outcomes, responsibilities and accountabilities, timelines and required resources (Siemens & INKE Research Group, 2012a). To ensure accountability, team members reported on actual activities compared to planned ones over the course of the year. The administrative team found that this process required skills that are not typically developed in graduate school (Siemens & INKE Research Group, 2014) and were often the equivalent to writing an article in terms of intellectual effort. Overall, the yearly project plans ensured that research was still completed when balanced against the team members’ other responsibilities (Siemens & INKE Research Group, 2015). INKE has been a successful research endeavor as measured in terms of conference presentations, articles, and prototypes (INKE, 2015). This project management framework contributed to that success. – References INKE. (2015). Implementing New Knowledge Environments. https://mcri.inke.ca/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/INKE-infographic_03-30-15.jpg Siemens, L., & INKE Research Group. (2012a). Firing on all Cylinders: Progress and Transition in INKE’s Year 2. Scholarly and Research Communication, 3(4), 1-16. http://src-online.ca/index.php/src/article/viewFile/72/151 Siemens, L., & INKE Research Group. (2012b). From Writing the Grant to Working the Grant: An Exploration of Processes and Procedures in Transition. Scholarly and Research Communication, 3(1). http://src-online.ca/index.php/src/article/viewFile/49/69 Siemens, L., & INKE Research Group. (2012c). INKE Administrative Structure: Omnibus Document. Scholarly and Research Communication, 3(1). http://src-online.ca/index.php/src/article/view/50 Siemens, L., & INKE Research Group. (2013). Responding to Change and Transition in INKE’s Year Three. Scholarly and Research Communication, 4(3), 12 pp. http://www.goingape.com/ape-arize/ape/src-online.ca/index.php/src/issue/view/14 Siemens, L., & INKE Research Group. (2014). Building and Sustaining Long-term Collaboration – Lessons at the Midway Mark. Scholarly and Research Communication, 5(2), 1-5. Siemens, L., & INKE Research Group. (2015). “INKE-cubating” Research Networks, Projects, and Partnerships: Reflections on INKE’s Fifth Year. Scholarly and Research Communication, 6(4). Siemens, L., & INKE Research Group. (2016). Faster Alone, Further Together: Reflections on INKE’s Year Six. Scholarly and Research Communication, 7(2), 1-8. http://src-online.ca/index.php/src/article/view/250/493 Siemens, R. G., Warwick, C., Cunningham, R., Dobson, T., Galey, A., Ruecker, S., Schreibman, S., & INKE Research Group. (2009). Codex Ultor: Toward a Conceptual and Theoretical Foundation for New Research on Books and Knowledge Environments. Digital Studies/Le champ numerique, 1(2). http://www.digitalstudies.org/ojs/index.php/digital_studies/article/view/177/220


Fabian Cremer (Leibniz Institute of European History), Swantje Dogunke (Bauhaus U), and Thorsten Wübbena (Leibniz Institute of European History) “Systemic, Theme-centered, Peer-led: Three Concepts for Collaboration Management in the Digital Humanities”

View presentation: https://echo360.ca/media/60246eca-1454-4daf-8a3a-feafb6d121d6/public


View transcript/additional materials: https://dhsi.org/wp-content/uploads/sites/7317/2023/03/cremer_dogunke_wuebbena_script.pdf


Abstract: As DH is based on the collaboration and co-production of different disciplines and cultures, there is a fundamental need to manage this collaboration. As a consequence, project management in the DH is collaboration management. As an intermediary, the DH project manager often combines perspectives from both the H and D domains,1 but where are the professional skills for collaboration management (mediation, coaching, leadership) are learned from? We would like to highlight three concepts from psychological and social sciences domains and suggest their adaptation in DH project scenarios on three levels: analyzing situations, supporting teamwork, reflecting the management approach. 1) Systemic Thinking offers a framework for the understanding of individuals, their motivations and interactions within complex systems – such as interdisciplinary research projects.2 2) Theme-Centered Interaction (TCI) provides a concept for working in groups aiming at social learning and individual developments, both crucial in academia and in particular within DH project settings, in which diverse skills, cultures and interests are assembled.3 3) Peer Group Intervision is a method for a structured leaderless consulting within one’s own peer group, providing a form of reflection and support for the (often) lone project managers.4 By putting a spotlight on selected aspects from these concepts and their relation to DH project management, we would like to advance the discussion on professionalizing the collaboration management tasks of counseling and mediation as theory-based and method-driven activities. This may complement hard-learned experiences on the job. Moreover, as all three concepts are more common in German speaking countries or continental-Europe, but do have Anglo-American roots, developments or adaptions, we are very much interested in an international knowledge exchange. – 1 See the intermediary person in DH projects described by Jennifer Edmond and the D/H/DH-role setting described by Edin Tabak. Jennifer Edmond. “Collaboration and Infrastructure.” In A New Companion to Digital Humanities, edited by Susan Schreibman, Raymond George Siemens, and John Unsworth, 54–67. Chichester, West Sussex, UK: Wiley/Blackwell, 2016, https://doi.org/10.1002/9781118680605; Edin Tabak. “A Hybrid Model for Managing DH Projects.” Digital Humanities Quarterly 11, no. 1 (January 10, 2017). http://digitalhumanities.org/dhq/vol/11/1/000284/000284.html. 2 See Christiane Veronika Müller. “About Differences and Blind Spots: A Systemic View on an International, Interdisciplinary Research Team.” Journal of Managerial Psychology 13, no. 3/4 (January 1, 1998): 259–70. https://doi.org/10.1108/02683949810215066. For a more in-depth view on the historical development of the principles of Systemic Thinking / Systemic Approach and the roots of family therapy see Kurt Ludewig. “Systemic Therapy – A Practical Implementation of Systemic Thinking.” Culture – Society – Education 15, no. 1 (June 1, 2019): 177–205. https://doi.org/10.14746/kse.2019.15.12. 3 For an introduction in TCI in English see Anja von Kanitz, Mina Schneider-Landolf, Jochen Spielmann, Walter Zitterbarth, and Joseph A. Smith Satzspiegel. Handbook of Theme-Centered Interaction (TCI), 2017. https://doi.org/10.13109/9783666451904. Implementations within university settings are explored in Sylke Meyerhuber, Helmut Reiser, and Matthias Scharer. Theme-Centered Interaction (TCI) in Higher Education: A Didactic Approach for Sustainable and Living Learning, 2019. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-01048-5. 4 The method of peer group intervision is set out by Kim-Oliver Tietze. Kollegiale Beratung: Problemlösungen gemeinsam entwickeln. Reinbek: Rowohlt, 2010. An introduction in English is given on a website of Tietze: http://www.peer-supervision.com/. An implementation for university students and a recent overview on German and English literature is discussed in: Adi Staempfli and Anna Fairtlough. “Intervision and Professional Development: An Exploration of a Peer-Group Reflection Method in Social Work Education.” The British Journal of Social Work 49, no. 5 (July 1, 2019): 1254–73. https://doi.org/10.1093/bjsw/bcy096. The authors were part of a self-formed peer group supervision for DH projects in Germany: Timo Steyer, Fabian Cremer, Swantje Dogunke, Corinna Mayer, Katrin Neumann, and Thorsten Wübbena. “Peer-To-Peer statt Client-Server: Der Mehrwert kollegialer Beratung und agiler DH-Treffen.” In DHd2018: Kritik der digitalen Vernunft. Köln, 2018. https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.1186594.


Jamie Folsom (Performant Software) “Collaborative Software Project Management for Humanities”

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Abstract: In our work as a software development company with a focus on the digital humanities, Performant Software Solutions collaborates with teams consisting of faculty, students, developers, managers, librarians, and others, on projects in a wide range of fields, and on tasks from concept development, to fundraising, development, and support. Through that experience, we’ve developed a project management process which we believe is a key to the success of DH software projects. This presentation covers key elements of that process, including: – How we define goals, deliverables, schedules, and budgets, and manage change. – The tools we use to communicate and collaborate across time, space and organizations. – Some common challenges and suggested solutions.


Session: 2

Clarissa Ai Ling Lee (Universiti Malaya) “From Multi-Disciplinary Teams to Interdisciplinary Projects: A Humanist’s view on Managing Cross-disciplinary Collaborations in a Developing Country”

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Abstract: In this talk, I intend to discuss the challenges of project management and post-project data curation and maintenance through the perspectives provided by two projects that involve managing two different multidisciplinary teams, one of which took place pre-COVID from 2018 to January 2020, and the other which took place for about six months during the pandemic from May to October 2020 while having to navigate ad-hoc policies relating to movement controls. The pre-COVID project involved multiple institutions that spanned both Malaysia and the UK, while the project that we tried to run during the pandemic involved multiple Malaysian institutions. While the pre-COVID project was completed, the pandemic project was only partially successful due to logistics difficulties and disciplinary priorities. In both cases, researchers did not demonstrate interest in considering the long-term maintenance, or value proposition, of public data post-project (Edmond Jennifer and Morselli Francesca). This is compounded by research infrastructures not equipped in the maintenance and curation of born-digital data (together with the unavailability of librarians with digital humanities skills), especially at the Malaysian end. In the talk, I will consider the challenge of managing projects involving researchers speaking different disciplinary languages with their own methodological priorities, which also shapes different views on the possibility of interdisciplinary research, as well as how that complicates the process of data management given the different skillsets of the researchers (König et al.). While presenting the challenges, I also present some of the practices I had been able to adopt to mitigate some of the challenges. – Works Cited Edmond Jennifer and Morselli Francesca. “Sustainability of Digital Humanities Projects as a Publication and Documentation Challenge.” Journal of Documentation, vol. 76, no. 5, Emerald Publishing Limited, Jan. 2020, pp. 1019–31, doi:10.1108/JD-12-2019-0232. König, Bettina, et al. “A Framework for Structuring Interdisciplinary Research Management.” Research Policy, vol. 42, no. 1, Feb. 2013, pp. 261–72, doi:10.1016/j.respol.2012.05.006.


Session: 3

Sarah Ketchley (U Washington) “Developing a Project Management Framework for Virtual Undergraduate Internships: A Case Study”

View presentation: https://echo360.ca/media/2b82adc4-f188-48d7-94ce-62e1932a283c/public


Abstract: The Emma B. Andrews Diary Project began a decade ago, in 2011, with the goals of transcribing and encoding the journals kept by the companion of an early excavator in Egypt’s Valley of the Kings. Dating between 1889 and 1913, these diaries offer important and unique insights into the disciplinary development of Egyptology, as well as providing a comprehensive record of society and travel in Egypt during the so-called ‘Golden Age’. Our Project’s archive of primary source material has continued to expand, and now includes the correspondence, diaries and other ephemera kept by contemporary travelers. From the outset, the team working on this project has comprised of an interdisciplinary group of faculty, graduate and undergraduate students. For the first nine years, we met in person once a week for check-ins and report-outs, which provided a framework for accountability and quality control. New students were provided with hands-on training in transcription and text encoding best practices and got immediate feedback on their efforts. The pivot to virtual work a year ago necessitated a rethink of how to develop and implement an effective pipeline for managing our ongoing projects, including training, meetings and dissemination of work. This talk will discuss the strategies we have developed for managing a distributed team of student interns, including synchronous and asynchronous communication, training strategies and project documentation. We’ll describe the tools we use to manage our workflow ranging from quarterly roadmaps, templates for meetings, onboarding documentation and collaborative workspaces. – Bibliography: Carnahan, B (2021). Best Practices for Creating a Successful Virtual Internship. Harvard Business School Blog https://www.hbs.edu/recruiting/blog/post/best-practices-for-creating-a-successful-virtual-internship Chase, N. (1999). Learning to Lead a Virtual Team. Journal of Quality 38(9): 76. Creating an Internship. University of Washington Career and Internship Center. https://careers.uw.edu/employers/create-an-internship/ accessed 3/10/2021 Garland D. et al. Team-based Research. Notes from the Field. Qualitative Social Work 5(1): 93- 109. DOI:10.1177/1473325006061540 Precup, L. et al. (2003). Virtual Team Environment for Collaborative Research Projects. OBMS International Journal of Applied Management Studies – 08-10-03.


Alliyya Mo (U Guelph), Sarah Roger (U Guelph), Thomas Smith (U Guelph), and Hannah Stewart (U Guelph) “Agile LINCS: Building Student Community Through Project Management”

View presentation: https://echo360.ca/media/7057f0f2-7c81-45b0-a394-703c3844d08a/public


View transcript/additional materials: https://dhsi.org/wp-content/uploads/sites/7317/2023/03/Transcript_Agile_LINCS_Mo_Roger_Smith_Stewart_DHSI_2021.pdf


Abstract: The Linked Infrastructure for Networked Cultural Scholarship project (LINCS; lincsproject.ca) launched in April 2020, and the project’s first student research assistants joined the following month. The summer program—which had been designed to take place in a humanities lab— needed reimagining to accommodate the pandemic and its stay-at-home orders. Enlisting the experience of LINCS computer scientists, we adopted an Agile framework to organize the students’ remote work. Although traditionally used for software development, Agile’s values are simpatico with LINCS’s goal of building knowledge and community in tandem. For our restructured student program, we adapted three of Agile’s four manifesto tenets: “individuals and interactions over processes, […] collaboration over negotiation, [… and] responding to change over following a plan” (Project Management Institute, 8). Using core Agile components—daily standups, iterative and incremental tasks, and continuous improvement—we moved the project forward while also fostering collaboration and ownership. Agile’s primary use may be rapid delivery of complex projects, but its secondary benefit is an empowered, connected, and self-supporting team. At the end of the summer, one student noted that our scrum had captured the spirit of the humanities lab. It brought a “model of inclusivity into people’s temporary workspaces” and “welcome[d] everyone’s differences as a source of intellectual and cultural strength” (Smith). In this paper, we reflect on our experiments in using Agile methodology for working with digital humanities students, and we showcase the approaches developed in the first four months of collaboration. In particular, we focus on how using Agile as a “metamethod” helped organize work and build community (Twidale and Nichlos, 34). For us, LINCS community-building is as much a result as our progress on the project. – Works Cited Project Management Institute and Agile Alliance. Agile Practice Guide. Newtown Square, PA: Project Management Institute, 2017. Smith, Thomas. “Collaboration in Times of Social Isolation.” LINCS Blog. 16 December 2020. lincsproject.ca. Twidale, Michael B. and David M. Nichols. “Agile Methods for Agile Universities.” In Reimagining the Creative University for the 21st Century, edited by Tina Belsey and Michael Peters, 27–48. Rotterdam: Sense Publishers, 2013.


R.C. Miessler (Gettysburg College) “Project Management as Core DH Skill for Undergraduates”

View presentation: https://echo360.ca/media/8d92e2e3-d82d-4e7d-83bb-ecadf0962e78/public


View transcript/additional materials: https://dhsi.org/wp-content/uploads/sites/7317/2023/03/miessler_project_management_dhsi_2021.pdf


Abstract: Gettysburg College’s Digital Scholarship Summer Fellowship (DSSF) is an opportunity for undergraduate researchers to develop an independent, scholarly digital project while learning Digital Humanities tools and methods. Based out of Musselman Library, librarians work with a cohort of 3-6 students each summer to guide them through research strategies and technical training. Since its inception in 2016,the DSSF program has placed project management at the forefront; most of the students who enter the program are new to the process of doing independent research and the field of DH, so when the curriculum for the program was created, it was decided that giving them an early baseline understanding of project management would be key to their success. As members of the DSSF cohort, students are required to participate in workshops that help them chart out their projects and negotiate issues with copyright and accessibility that can disrupt their plans. Students create project charters that publicly posted and are reviewed and revised throughout the 8-week program with the assistance of a librarian mentor. This lightning round presentation will introduce how the DSSF program situates project management as a core skill of DH, describe the structure of the various workshops used to support project management in the DSSF program, and show how students have found value in applying project management skills and techniques to their independent research projects.


Session: 4

Kathryn LeBere (U Victoria) “Pandemic Project Management: What can the “New Normal” Tell Us About Our “Old Normal”?”

View presentation: https://echo360.ca/media/7e8c4674-53dd-43ae-8da5-a53298f95918/public


Abstract: For many Digital Humanities projects, the advent of COVID-19 posed an immediate series of challenges as universities closed and teams transitioned to remote work. While we may yearn for a return to “normalcy,” what can our experiences during COVID-19 teach us about the state of our projects before the pandemic? Reflecting on my role as Project Manager of Map of Early Modern London (MoEML) and Linked Early Modern Drama Online (LEMDO), I argue that the pandemic revealed two main areas for improvement: the lack of detailed training documentation and the need for more effective methods of team communication. Before the pandemic, MoEML already had a robust “Praxis” which thoroughly documented the project’s research protocols, encoding practices, and stylistic conventions. Our experience hiring and training new Research Assistants over Zoom, however, exposed MoEML’s need for extensive training documentation—in particular, “quickstart” guidelines and videos to support trainees as they worked from home. While MoEML and LEMDO were both team-based, collaborative projects before COVID-19, the switch from in- person to online discussions via instant messaging—necessitated by the closure of our university— flattened our team’s hierarchy by encouraging direct communication between the RAs, Programmers, and Principal Investigator. Since online messages can be read and re-read by all team members, searched by the Project Manager for agenda creation, and archived for later reference, the pandemic has made our team’s communication more efficient and inclusive. – Affiliations: Map of Early Modern London, Humanities Computing and Media Centre, University of Victoria, Victoria, British Colombia. Linked Early Modern Drama Online, Humanities Computing and Media Centre, University of Victoria, Victoria, British Colombia.


Kevin McMullen (U Nebraska-Lincoln) “The Digital Zoomanities: Fostering collegiality and keeping up morale as a project manager in the age of COVID-19”

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View transcript/additional materials: https://dhsi.org/wp-content/uploads/sites/7317/2023/03/mcmullen_dhsi_talk_transcript-Kevin-McMullen.pdf


Abstract: Like most facets of life, the ecosystem of collaborative digital humanities projects was rocked by the COVID-19 pandemic. While perhaps better positioned than some fields to deal with the shift to remote work due to its inherently digital nature, many DH projects nevertheless thrive—and, indeed, rely—on the spirit of collegiality and collaboration born by the in-person interactions that take place in project workspaces and digital humanities studios and centers. This shift to remote work was particularly difficult for many graduate students—who make up a large percentage of the staff of many digital projects—as their team-based work on the digital project is quite often one of the few regular sources of interpersonal interaction at a time and in an environment (humanities MA and PhD programs) that often centers on rigorous solitary research. As such, in the wake of the COVID-induced remote-working shift, digital project managers were tasked not just with establishing and keeping tabs on a new project workflow and making sure goals were still met, but also with establishing a new form of virtual collegiality. This talk will discuss some strategies that I employed as project manager of two NEH-funded multi-institutional DH projects (The Walt Whitman Archive and The Charles Chesnutt Digital Archive) to meet this challenge— to varying degrees of success—with a particular focus on ways of keeping graduate and undergraduate students engaged in the work and life of the project. I also use the opportunity to reflect on the implications of this fully remote working experience for digital projects once “normal” working conditions resume.


Nigel Maister (U Rochester), Meaghan Moody (U Rochester), Josh Romphf (U Rochester), and Daniel Gorman Jr. (U Rochester), “Managing The Government Inspector: Staging a Virtual Play in a Pandemic”

View presentation: https://echo360.ca/media/ed6089d5-4aa3-4910-9c04-91319797b055/public


View transcript/additional materials: https://dhsi.org/wp-content/uploads/sites/7317/2023/03/DHSI_GovernmentInspector_Script-Daniel-Gorman.pdf


Abstract: COVID-19 posed a major logistical challenge to the University of Rochester’s International Theatre Program. How could students stage a play without gathering in person? This presentation details the planning and remote filming of the fall 2020 production, a free adaptation of Gogol’s The Government Inspector. Director Nigel Maister collaborated with the University’s Digital Scholarship team to identify video recording, editing, and streaming technology that could support a remote theatre project with a 40+ member cast. DS members Meaghan Moody and Josh Romphf and PhD candidate Dan Gorman identified platforms for remote filming, created proof-of-concept videos, and developed workflow literature. They also troubleshooted the significant technical issues that arose and helped pivot to new solutions when necessary. Maister, collaborating with students enrolled in theatre courses (who were working both in-person and remotely) as well as alumni scattered across the nation and internationally, coordinated actors’ schedules, so that on-campus and remote actors could meet for virtual rehearsals. Filming and editing took place remotely in October–November 2020 for a December premiere on Vimeo. In this presentation, we will identify major lessons learned (scoping virtual projects, determining metrics for technology adoption, and coordinating a large, primarily remote cast), and the implications for supervising future online events/plays, such as establishing a technical infrastructure and cultivating institutional buy-in.


Melinda Cohoon (U Washington-Seattle) “Digital Iran Project Management”

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View transcript/additional materials: https://dhsi.org/wp-content/uploads/sites/7317/2023/03/Cohoon_Digital-Iran-Project-Management-Script-Melinda-Marie-Cohoon.pdf


Abstract: Learn one. Do one. Teach one. I propose to present the pedagogical discussion and discourse from the Digital Iran project, and how it constellates learning, doing, and teaching in a digital/online environment. I argue for the necessity of communication and scaffolding of tools, scope, methods, and technique when planning and designing a digital humanities project (Ermolaev et al. 2018). Additionally, I desire to touch on my experience organizing a team throughout the COVID pandemic, which proved to be a daunting yet instructive task in the summer of 2020. I led the Digital Iran project, sponsored by the Simpson Center for the Humanities at the University of Washington and the National Endowment for the Humanities. The team consisted of two PhD students and an undergraduate research assistant. We aimed to analyze video games based on Iran in a way that paints an image the culture industry of games and player experience. In order to collaborate, we met through Zoom, and began envisioning a website, real time interaction with gamers, and creatively imagine video essays that convey cultural nuance in games. I did not envision that I would become the manager of all things technical. The knowledge gap between myself, a gamer and digital humanities enthusiast, and my collaborators became evident as we initially embarked on our Digital Iran journey. I realized that in order to produce this project successfully, the question of critical pedagogy was and continues to be ever pervasive throughout the production side of this digital humanities project (Stommel 2014). Through this experience, I learned how imperative it is to critically engage in discourse while evaluating and reevaluating old and new data, to produce tutorials for the less technically savvy, and in tandem, foster an ethical yet inclusive environment for collaborators (Reed 2014, 9). – Works Cited Ermolaev, Natalia et al. “Project Management for the Digital Humanities.” DH 2018 (2018). https://dh2018.adho.org/en/project-management-for-the-digital-humanities/. Reed, Ashley. “Managing an Established Digital Humanities Project: Principles and Practices from the Twentieth Year of William Blake Archive.” Digital Humanities Quarterly vol. 8 no. 3 (2014). http://www.digitalhumanities.org/dhq/vol/8/1/000174/000174.html. Stommel, Jesse. “Critical Digital Pedagogy: a Definition.” Hybrid Pedagogy (2014). https://hybridpedagogy.org/critical-digital-pedagogy-definition/


Session: 5

Serenity Sutherland (SUNY Oswego) “Building the Airplane While Flying: Project Management and Digital Humanities Education”

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View transcript/additional materials: https://dhsi.org/wp-content/uploads/sites/7317/2023/03/DHSI-pm-talk-Serenity-Sutherland.pdf


Abstract: This presentation will build off the speaker’s experience with project management in two different settings. First is my experience as project manager of a well-funded, established digital project (the Seward Papers Project) with R1 institutional support and student involvement. This experience occurred during my time as a graduate student. As part of my project management responsibilities I taught undergraduates, researched historical topics, oversaw undergraduate and graduate workers, and collaborated with the university’s staff, faculty, archivists and librarians. At the time, this process felt a lot like herding cats, although the official title on my job description (which I did have) was “project manager” not “cat-herder.” Overall, this experience taught me a great deal that was later useful for attempting to manage a project in a completely different setting, as a faculty-member at a public university, yet I still feel overwhelmed and unprepared for my work as “project manager” outside of graduate school where I am principal investigator and mostly solo contributor to a digital edition (the Ellen Swallow Richards project). In this setting, I have little institutional support, only one student worker, and almost no collaboration within my own institution. I am collaborating with a digital cooperative which provides structure and some funding for completing the project. My presentation will examine what project management looks like in these two settings and the challenges and opportunities present in both. In the background of the presentation will be the question of how graduate training “on-the-job” prepares students to undertake their own project management, especially when institutional settings are vastly different.


Ian Gregory (Lancaster U) “Managing and leading interdisciplinary project teams: Lessons and reflections”

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View transcript/additional materials: https://dhsi.org/wp-content/uploads/sites/7317/2023/03/IG-Project-Management-in-DH-2021-transcipt.pdf


Abstract: Digital Humanities projects frequently involve collaborations between people from disciplines who have diverse norms associated with how they conducted research, and different pressures on how they disseminate it. Making these teams work effectively requires skills in both management and leadership, skills that are rarely trained to humanities academics. In many ways, project management is the easier of these two. It involves determining what the objectives are and how these are going to be reached. Leadership is a more nebulous concept that is primarily concerned with dealing with members of project teams effectively, such that the project team performs at its best for the team as a whole and for its individual members. From a DH perspective, this frequently involves getting people from different disciplines to understand the research paradigms, questions, opportunities and challenges that they face from their different disciplinary perspectives and developing the team’s research in ways that cross the boundaries between different fields and disciplines. It also involves mediating potential conflicts particularly around issues such as publication venues and authorship norms. This talk will draw on experiences from leading DH teams including academics and research staff from disciplines as diverse as history, literary studies, geography, archaeology, linguistics and computer science and will give suggestion about what humanities academics need to be taught, and to learn, in order to be effective project leaders.


Anna Mukamal (Stanford U) “The PM Ethos: Project Managing the Modernist Archives Publishing Project”

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Abstract: In this lightning talk, I outline the skills I gained throughout my two years as Project Manager (PM) of the Modernist Archives Publishing Project (MAPP), a critical digital archive of twentieth-century publishing culture. Building on my forthcoming article solicited for a special issue of Digital Studies/Le champ numérique on student labor in the digital humanities, I assert that PM work equips graduate students to move dialectically between conceptualizing a large-scale project and the local acts of interpretive labor that iteratively bring that project into fruition—an invaluable skill for both independent and collaborative research. As MAPP’s PM, I learned to navigate two would-be binaries: first, between “hacking” (coding, the technical) and “yacking” (theorizing, generating new scholarly knowledge and presenting it in new, more networked ways); and second, between inward- and outward-facing initiatives. For each of these would-be binaries, I argue that the terms in tension are not independent but instead interdependent—a synthesis the PM ethos itself epitomizes. Describing both my responsibilities as PM and the skills the role required and reinforced, I demonstrate how working as MAPP’s PM fostered interinstitutional collaboration and non- hierarchical mentorship benefiting differently-staged careers in different ways. I also illuminate how my MAPP PM experience continues to enrich my graduate studies and professional development as an advanced PhD candidate. The manifest, yet undertheorized value of the student PM ethos offers up new ways of conceptualizing pedagogy and training within graduate programs, casting intergenerational mentorship as the cornerstone of research rather than a felicitous but not-strictly-necessary by-product. – Works cited in full talk: Anderson, Katrina, Lindsey Bannister, Janey Dodd, Deanna Fong, Michelle Levy, and Lindsey Seatter. 2016. “Student Labour and Training in Digital Humanities.” Digital Humanities Quarterly 10(1): n.p. http://www.digitalhumanities.org/dhq/vol/10/1/000233/000233.html. Battershill, Claire, Helen Southworth, Alice Staveley, Michael Widner, Elizabeth Willson Gordon, and Nicola Wilson. 2017. Scholarly Adventures in Digital Humanities: Making The Modernist Archives Publishing Project. New Directions in Book History. New York: Palgrave Macmillan. Borgman, Christine L. 2010. “The Digital Future Is Now: A Call to Action for the Humanities.” Digital Humanities Quarterly 3(4): n.p. http://digitalhumanities.org/dhq/vol/3/4/000077/000077.html. Boyles, Christina, Anne Cong-Huyen, Carrie Johnston, Jim McGrath, and Amanda Phillips. 2018. “Precarious Labor and the Digital Humanities.” American Quarterly 70(3): 693–700. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1353/aq.2018.0054. Golden, Amanda, and Cassandra Laity. 2018. “Feminist Modernist Digital Humanities.” Feminist Modernist Studies 1(3): 205–210. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/24692921.2018.1503786. Hankins, Gabriel. 2018a. “The Weak Powers of Digital Modernist Studies.” Modernism/Modernity 25(3): 569–85. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1353/mod.2018.0040. Hankins, Gabriel. 2018b. “We Are All Digital Modernists Now.” Edited by Shawna Ross. Modernism/Modernity Print Plus 3(2). DOI: https://doi.org/10.26597/mod.0054. McCarty, Willard. 2005. Humanities Computing. New York: Palgrave Macmillan. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1057/9780230504219. Price, Kenneth M. 2010. “Collaborative Work and the Conditions for American Literary Scholarship in a Digital Age.” In The American Literature Scholar in the Digital Age, edited by Amy E. Earhart and Andrew Jewell, 9–26. Literary Studies in the Digital Age: An Evolving Anthology. Accessed July 12, 2020. https://dlsanthology.mla.hcommons.org/introduction/. Ross, Shawna. 2018. “From Practice to Theory: A Forum on the Future of Modernist Digital Humanities.” Modernism/Modernity Print Plus 3(2): n.p. DOI: https://doi.org/10.26597/mod.0053. Saint-Amour, Paul K. 2018. “Weak Theory, Weak Modernism.” Modernism/Modernity 25(3): 437–59. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1353/mod.2018.0035. Siemens, Lynne. 2009. “It’s a Team If You Use ‘Reply All’: An Exploration of Research Teams in Digital Humanities Environments.” Literary and Linguistic Computing 24(2): 225–33. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1093/llc/fqp009. Wernimont, Jacqueline. 2013. “Whence Feminism? Assessing Feminist Interventions in Digital Literary Archives.” Digital Humanities Quarterly 7(1):n.p. http://www.digitalhumanities.org/dhq/vol/7/1/000156/000156.html. Wernimont, Jacqueline. 2015. “Introduction to Feminisms and DH Special Issue.” Digital Humanities Quarterly 009(2): n.p. http://www.digitalhumanities.org/dhq/vol/9/2/000217/000217.html.