Digital art history

Working now on digital art history.  Here are some resources:

Diane M. Zorich’s report to the Kress Foundation on the role of digital scholarship in art history;  “Transitioning to a Digital World:  Art History, Its Research Centers, and Digital Scholarship,” June 2012.

A post from Emory University’s Woodruff Library on Zorich’s report for the Kress Foundation.  Quick links here to digital art history projects cited in the report.

A post by Hasan Niyazi with references to recent discussions, December 2012.

Five participants in the Digital Art History Lab held March 5-7, 2013 at the Getty discuss the state of the field and the principles of networked scholarship:

• Hans Brandhorst, editor of the Iconclass system ( and the Arkyves Web catalogue (

• Johanna Drucker, Bernard and Martin Breslauer Professor Bibliography in the Department of Information Studies and founder of the Digital Humanities program at UCLA

• Emily Pugh, Smith Postdoctoral Research Associate at the Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts (CASVA) at the National Gallery of Art, and Web developer for the online journal Nineteenth-Century Art Worldwide

• Nuria Rodríguez Ortega, chair of the Department of Art History at the University of Málaga, Spain

• Moderator: Susan Edwards, art historian and digital humanities technologist, J. Paul Getty Trust

Digital art history

Here’s something I came across in the CAA News (May 22, 2013). “It’s time to rethink art history for the digital age,” by Nuria Rodríguez Ortega. It’s old news (March 5, 2013) from The Getty Iris, but something I need to think about now. Digital art history. Good references and questions, interesting comments. But it isn’t clear to me what “digital art history” looks like or how one does it. Anne Helmreich’s response resonates for me. “This points to another opportunity afforded by the multi-layered digital environment—that of including both one’s scholarly conclusions as well as the evidence on which these conclusions are based. This can be a daunting proposal—the equivalent, perhaps, of putting one’s file drawers out for public viewing. It also means making easily accessible a document that may have taken years of sleuthing to track down and identify. But it is also an exciting opportunity: such shared documentation can become a platform around which a robust and dynamic scholarly community can be formed. It also can help to push forward the development or adoption of intellectual argument in a more rapid (and global) fashion than was previously possible.” This is exactly the sort of thing we were discussing in the Domain workshop.

Here’s a great post on getting started in Digital Humanities by Lisa Sprio for the Journal of Digital Humanities (2011).

Diversity Academy at UMW, day 2

Diversity Academy Blog

World Cafe — questions on poster boards or on table tops.

Reflections on yesterday

Changes in student body — anti-war;  shaped by the horrors of the age;  can more easily talk about Marxism

Myth at UMW that male students only need to breathe to get in.

Syracuse U — resources on transgendered students

Veterans as a minority group at UMW

Unrecognized populations on campus

Diversity in writing

“You write the way you talk.”

The Skin that we Speak, Thoughts on Language and Culture in the Classroom, Lisa Delpit and Joanne Kilgour Dowdy

Lee Warren, “Managing Hot Moments in the Classroom,” Derek Bok Center for Teaching and Learning, Harvard University

Writing or speaking assignment

Topic:  Focus on several images from Jacob Lawrence’s “Migration of the Negro series,” 1940-41.

Themes:  African-American experience;  experience of migrants (opportunity to relate the images to their own experiences or their family’s experience, or immigration in the news);  experience of being/feeling threatened.

Structure:  Moving from art (formal qualities of color, perspective, style) to narrative;  moving from discussing something safe (formal qualities of the image as art);  to how do formal qualities communicate emotion;  to meanings of images (to Lawrence, to student).  How do the images suggest a threat?

“Child labor and a lack of education was one of the other reasons for people wishing to leave their homes.”


“In every home people who had not gone North met and tried to decide if they should go North or not.”


“They also made it very difficult for migrants leaving the South. They often went to railroad stations and arrested the Negroes wholesale, which in turn made them miss their train.”


“Among the social conditions that existed which was partly the cause of the migration was the injustice done to the Negroes in the courts.”


Diversity Academy at UMW

What do we/I want students to know? …to think?…to do?

Intersectionality theory — for connecting race, class, age, ability;  how people are defined by different categories

Empathy — know our audience


Objective culture — artifacts

Subjective culture — concepts and behavior

Practices and practices — symbols, heroes, rituals, values

Etics (from phonetic; culture general) and Emics (phonemic; culture specificof culture, Pike

Advising international students

-Prescriptive to developmental advising model

-Appreciative advising — disarm, discover, dream, design, deliver, don’t settle;  J. Bloom (2008)

Transgender awareness

U Mass Stonewall Centers

Disability and Diversity

No Disabilities Studies program in Virginia;  possible focus for UMW.

Are students becoming self advocates?

Frame conversations with students around learning needs, not disabilities.

Universal design — anticipating diversity and accommodation

UMD ODEC (Office of Diversity Education and Compliance, partnered with CoE)

Assessment of multicultural issues in classroom — rubric available

Words of Engagement — 1 to 3 credits;  different groups; course; tough subjects; intergroup dialogue

Partnership for Curriculum Development —  intensive two-week institute for faculty;  $3000-5000 per faculty member

Game Camp, day 2

Follow-up from “Settlers of Catan”:  What did we learn?  Strategizing…mix of luck and strategy.  Everybody’s turn matters.

How do we incorporate this into classes?  Examples:  urban planning

Carcasonne — game about medieval life.

Seven Wonders — game about the ancient world.

Tumblr for 115:  Ask students to find images of [xxx] and post these (daily, weekly).  Use this as an opportunity to have students identify style, artist, period, and explain how that work exhibits that style, artist, period.

Game Camp, day 1

The games have begun…

Four claims:

-built on sound learning principles (collaborative…);  why we do this in the classroom.  WHy we do what we do.

-personalized learning experience;  personal take away;

-engagement and 21st-c. skills; how do we engage our students in meaningful ways;  gamification = game mechanaics;  quest-based learning;  but must integrate the other principles;  must have tight connection to other principles;

-authentic and relevant assessment;  can’t reach the goal without using the skill;  ok to fail because you can try again;  game format = less pressure.

Jeopardy — get online;  use this instead of “memorizing;” use this for review of the previous day’s material.  (Ask Andi about this. Get dog toys for ringing in.)  Search:  Jeopardy template.

Game-based learning — shift the power/center;  not giving all the info, but allowing students to come to the knowledge.  NB:  Games and competition are not necessarily connected.

Game elements:

-Goals:  purpose, focus, measures, outcomes (a way to measure the quality of play);

-Rules:  operational, foundational, behavior, instructional;

-3Cs:  conflict, competition, cooperation

Scavenger hunt:  Give students a list of things to find;  then return with photos. Can work in teams.  Prizes for funniest photos, etc.  List: amazing chocolate thing, interesting parking job.  Problem:  took lots of time uploading to their blogs.  Solution:  upload to a site; see DTLT about this.

Gaming:  quantitative or participation

Bernini exhibit

Dear Bernini students,

Please complete this sentence:

Working on this online exhibit has….

Here are some things to consider:

-other 400-level work you’ve done,

-research papers in other classes,

-how you might use this professionally,

-how this has prepared you for work in other classes or beyond UMW,

-how you might use this kind of project in your own work at a museum, school, etc.,

-what it means to work collaboratively on a project such as this,

-did you work differently on this project?

-And finally, what would you like to see added to an online exhibit project?  Any advice to students?  Recommendations to me?

Thank you.  I’m not grading you on this…I very much would appreciate your responses.

Digital Humanities

William Pannapacker’s article in today’s online Chronicle of Higher Education speaks directly to some aspects of our project’s concerns and what we’re presently developing.  He includes recommendations for building Digital Humanities (or Digital Liberal Arts for greater inclusiveness) at small liberal-arts colleges.  One area he discusses where I think we need more focus is informing administrators about our work.  His recommendation here:

“Seek the support of the higher-ups. Your administrators are probably pro-technology in general, but they may not know a lot about DH. Show them how digital methods enhance the college’s mission and can promote its image. Call attention to the value of encouraging faculty and staff members to use new technologies.”

What are our plans for highlighting the work of the Domain project?  How might we talk/write about it as central to the mission of UMW?  Images on the home page are an indication of some support or awareness.  But is that sufficient?  The fact that we have this Domain project at all clearly indicates support.  But here we owe our thanks to Mary Kayler and everyone in DTLT.  What, if anything, does the administration want to see come out of this?  That’s a conversation we need to direct.

AHPT at CAA business meeting

We’re starting the business meeting with a continuation of the earlier session.  Here are some things we’re talking about:

-How to connect the different professional arts groups interested in pedagogy and technology?

-Changing learning pedagogies.

-Know what’s going on in other programs/disciplines.

-Getting engaged with pedagogy doesn’t necessarily mean you have to talk (only) with art historians.

-First CAA session on pedagogy and technology — 1997

-Teaching the survey course — revising this is a moving target!

-How do we get students to think — through writing.

-importance of assessment and learning outcomes — for every class;  planning the class as one might in K-12.

-The works we enjoy and are passionate about — focus on these.  This isn’t what our teachers did.  (I think they had the passion…but there wasn’t a place for “passion” in the classroom in those days.)

-Prezi — as a collaborative project;  students will contribute an image and THINK about why they chose that image.

-We keep coming back to the survey.

-Tell students why it’s important to[talk with Michelangelo].  The goals today are….;  halfway point:  where are we?…;  at the end:  this is where we are and these are our conclusions.

-Structure an activity:  write every week (electronic) that involves a little bit of research (not necessarily going to JSTOR).  Tell me (x) things you know about this object;  then go to a good source and add to what you thought you knew.  This involves some revision, some research, some rethinking.

-Compare:  a Cabanel nude with Britney Spears on the cover of Rolling Stone.

-Students need ownership

-What do we want students to know from a survey course?  Style;  meaning.  Post unknown works from different periods;  put students in groups;  have them analyze these — style, meaning.  have them do (some) research in class — textbook, online searches.

-The things they don’t know are the things that drive them more.

-Give them a work and tell them “You’re Manet, you’re Courbet, you’re Cabanel, and you’re Judy Chicago” — argue a point and persuade the audience.  What’s going on in this image?

-Learning experiences with creative element.

-Would we be embarrassed by anything our students say (in class)?

-Search for parody of an iconic image;  this gets across the idea that images aren’t in a vacuum.

-What has to be covered or not?  Why did we get into this?

Ideas for next year:

-Focus on the survey;  alternative pedagogical models

-Journal of Interactive Technology and Pedagogy;;  special issue for art history

-We need to look at the bottle, not the wine.  Putting old wine into new bottles just won’t work.

-Universal design

-Content production — forthcoming

-Beginning career people

-The future of higher education

Well…it’s been quite a meeting.