[SIGCIS-Members] coming up: Andy van Dam film screening, panel, and talk at UMD

Matthew Kirschenbaum mkirschenbaum at gmail.com
Tue Apr 19 05:37:06 PDT 2016

For those who are in range of Washington DC, *Andy van Dam* will be at the
University of Maryland College Park next week for two events sponsored by
the Maryland Institute for Technology in the Humanities, the Human-Computer
Interaction Lab, and the National Endowment for the Humanities, both of
interest to computer history.

The first and most special is a screening on the evening of Monday, April
25th of a 15-minute 1974 film van Dam produced as part of one of his early
hypertext collaborations, involving the teaching of poetry. The film has
not been previously seen in public. It will be accompanied by a panel
discussion with van Dam and UMD faculty on the history (and future!) of
humanities and CS collaborations.

Here's the key information:
Computer Science and the Humanities Then and Now A Film Screening and
Discussion with Andy van Dam*7:30pm on the evening of Monday April 25, 2016*
0320 Tawes Hall
University of Maryland, College Park

And here's some background:

In January of 2013, the National Endowment of the Humanities (NEH) began a
project to digitize all of its early grant records from the 1960’s and
1970’s. These records were stored on old punch-cards known as McBee
edge-notched cards. Their goal was to get all these cards entered into a
grants database by 2015, which was the NEH’s 50th anniversary. In September
of 2015, the NEH completed and announced the project. For the first time
ever, the public could search for any grant the NEH had ever made. *Time*
magazine ran a story in which they featured ten of the old McBee cards.

One of these cards described a grant to Andy van Dam at Brown University in
1974. The title was “An Experiment in Computer Based Education Using
Hypertext.” The brief description on the card simply said:

*To support an experimental program to teach a college-level English poetry
course, utilizing a new form of computer based “manuscript,” called a
hypertext. A documentary film about the project is being produced. An
evaluation is being performed to determine the usefulness of this technique
as an aid to humanities education.*

The short film that resulted is an early and remarkable document of the
kind of collaboration between humanities scholars and students and computer
scientists that is increasingly commonplace in the field known as Digital
Humanities. It has not been shown in public since its making.

The Maryland Institute for Technology in the Humanities and the Human-Computer
Interaction Lab <http://www.cs.umd.edu/hcil/about/> at the University of
Maryland, and the National Endowment for the Humanities
<http://www.neh.gov/divisions/odh> cordially invite you to its first public
screening at *7:30pm on the evening of Monday April 25, 2016* in the
auditorium at 0320 Tawes Hall. The screening will include commentary on
this experiment, which built arguably the first online scholarly community,
by Professor van Dam, followed by a panel discussion featuring van Dam as
well as Maryland’s own Ben Shneiderman, Kari Kraus (Associate Professor,
iSchool and English Department), the NEH’s CIO and Director of the Office
of Digital Humanities Brett Bobley, and NEH’s Program Analyst Ann
Sneesby-Koch (to be moderated by MITH’s Associate Director Matthew

*Andy Van Dam will also be joining us for a special Digital Dialogue talk
the following Tuesday afternoon, April 26th:*

Both events are free and open to the public.

Matthew Kirschenbaum
Associate Professor of English
Associate Director, Maryland Institute for Technology in the Humanities
University of Maryland
http://mkirschenbaum.net or @mkirschenbaum on Twitter
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