THATCamp Shakespeare FAQs

Happy February, everyone. Believe it or not, we are less than 2 months away from THATCamp Shakespeare. We thought we’d answer a few questions about THATCamp Shakespeare, the expected schedule, and how to propose a session.

What is a THATCamp, and can I come?

“THATCamp” refers to The Humanities and Technology Camp, a so-called “UnConference” where interested humanists (digital or would-be digital), programmers, social media writers, systems administrators, students, and members of the public can come together to share their skills and knowledge.

You don’t have to be a digital maven or expert to attend a THATCamp. They are meant to introduce humanists to technologists and vice versa so that we can exchange ideas and perhaps collaborate on new projects. Register now.

Why THATCamp Shakespeare?

This year the University of Georgia celebrates its new Willson Center Digital Humanities Lab and co-sponsors the Shakespeare Association of America’s annual meeting in Atlanta, Georgia. To commemorate this happy coincidence, the University of Georgia, the University of Georgia Libraries, and the Folger Shakespeare Library are collaborating to host THATCamp Shakespeare. We invite Shakespeareans with an interest in digital culture and Digital Humanists with an interest in Shakespeare or in literary applications for their work to join us and share their skills.

What is the schedule?

The (tentative!) schedule is as follows:

8:00am  Bus leaves Hyatt Regency Atlanta for Athens

9:30am   Registration opens

10:30am THATCamp Opening and Vote on Sessions

11:00am  Breakout session 1

12:15pm   Lunch

1:15pm     Breakout session 2

2:30pm   Break

2:45pm    Breakout session 3

4:00pm   Break

4:15pm    Breakout session 4

5:30pm   Closing reception

7:00pm   Bus leaves Athens for Hyatt Regency Atlanta

9:30pm    Arrival in Atlanta (traffic-dependent)

Schedule subject to change. Note: for those seeking to attend The Duchess of Malfi back in Atlanta, please be aware that the bus will not get you back to Atlanta in time for the performance.

What’s the conference program?

Delegates have the chance to set their own agenda and to decide what they would like to learn. That is to say: you decide!

We will have four breakout session time slots. We will have concurrent sessions (two or more breakout sessions per time slot) depending on interest, attendance, and the number of proposals.

What kinds of activities or breakout sessions can I propose?

Sessions at THATCamp usually range from general discussions (Talk sessions) to project-based hackathons or writeathons (Make sessions) to technology skills workshops (Teach sessions) to miscellaneous experiments (Play sessions). 

THATCamp website

This rubric (Talk / Make / Teach / Play) is a helpful way to frame your proposed breakout session.

Some snazzy 17th-century shoes, courtesy of Folger Shakespeare Library. "Illus. Henricus priceps Walliae [graphic] / W.M., sculp." Marshall, William, fl. 1617-1650, printmaker. FSL Collection. Call no.: ART File H521.5 no.2 (size XS).

Some snazzy 17th-century shoes. Courtesy of Folger Shakespeare Library.
“Illus. Henricus priceps Walliae [graphic] / W.M., sculp.” Marshall, William, fl. 1617-1650, printmaker. FSL Collection. Call no.: ART File H521.5 no.2 (size XS).

One (fictitious) example: You participate in an online collective project around The Shoes of Shakespeare’s Globe, which documents the shoes worn on stage during Shakespeare’s lifetime in multimedia formats. You want to share your project with THATCampers to gain a larger audience for your work, to recruit new collaborators, and to see if others can shed light on challenges you face.

You could propose to lead a session inspired by your project in a number of ways, like:

  • Talk: Share lessons learned from collaborative digital humanities projects.
  • Make: Work for an hour to tag photos from the Shoes project backlog. (Or)       Design Renaissance-inspired shoes in Adobe Photoshop.
  • Teach: Learn best practices of shoe documentation, both from Shoes of Shakespeare’s Globe workers and from others at THATCamp who also have an    interest in shoe documentation.
  • Play: What happens if we cross-reference the images of shoes worn during performances with lines from the plays which reference shoes?

Other (real) examples:  During THATCamp Shakespeare, we’ll be proposing Teach workshops on “tagging” text in .xml for the multimedia Shakespeare journal Borrowers and Lenders; on how to prepare multimedia for digital publication; and/or on GIS mapping applications for the humanities.

Remember: if you propose a session and it is voted into the schedule, you are going to be the session leader.

How do I propose a session?

First, make sure you register. Your registration should be reveiwed within 3-5 business days.

Once your registration is approved, log into the THATCamp website, either by using the left-hand Meta navigation bar or by clicking here. Go to “Posts,” click “Add New,” and then write a post which will publish directly to the THATCamp website. Keep proposal posts brief, about one to two paragraphs. We will then vote on proposed sessions during the scheduling portion of the morning.

Don’t worry if you don’t manage to write a post prior to April 5. We’ll take day-of proposals as well.

What if my proposed session isn’t selected?

We can’t guarantee that your session will definitely be selected as part of the THATCamp schedule: the attendees will vote on the morning of the conference, not the organizers. However, given the common interests of those attending THATCamp Shakespeare, and the informal, participatory spirit of the event, there will most likely be a way for you to offer your expertise and ask your questions regardless of the final schedule.

I have another question. Whom can I ask?

We’d love to hear from you. Email Gabrielle Linnell at thatcampshax [at] gmail [dot] com.