Risky Business: Managing Risks in the Design and Development
of Digital Humanities Projects
Anne MacNeil, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
Deanna Shemek, University of California, Santa Cruz
Funding agencies often ask the principal investigators of digital humanities projects to reflect on the risks inherent in their proposals and to identify potential strategies for addressing such threats. For this seminar, we will invite contributors to share information about their digital humanities projects, highlighting how hazards have materialized and what approaches project teams have employed to address them. Common threats to digital projects include unforeseen changes in personnel; the superseding of chosen technology and/or tools by better ones; hiccups in the research team’s time management or work flow; shortfalls in participation for crowd-sourced project elements; the complexities of obtaining rights to use proprietary materials; hitches in parsing both work plan and funding for a multi-stage project; and more. Our seminar’s goal is to strengthen the knowledge base and confidence of current and future leaders of digital humanities projects by airing some of the pitfalls encountered in digital work and sharing the various strategies our community has devised to confront them. By coming together as a group, we aim not only to learn from previous projects, but also to brainstorm new approaches to digital studies of the Renaissance.
Seminar participants should apply via the RSA website starting 1 July 2018.
Roberta Piccinelli, IDEA Researcher and Co-Principal Investigator of the IDEA Letters Platform, has been named the new Conservator of the Palazzo Te in Mantua, Italy.
❧ See the article in the Gazzetta di Mantova here
We hope you like the new design of IDEA’s websites! All of the content from the old sites is still here, just in a different format. You’ll see on the IDEA Home site that the events calendar and IDEA Blog are highlighted so you can more readily keep track of the public presentations, project launches, and research developments that have become such a big part of IDEA in the last few years.
The new sites are designed to accommodate more content, and we’ve been busy working with new researchers and commissioning essays. Each essay is evaluated by readers and copy-edited to insure standards of scholarly excellence. If you would like to propose an essay or an entire project to IDEA, please tap the “Contact Us” button in the blue field at the bottom of any screen – we welcome your contributions!
On all of IDEA’s sites – IDEA Home, Art/e, Letter/e, Music/a – the left side of the splashpage focuses on the continually developing environment – the events calendar, project descriptions, research platforms, and users’ guides, – while the right column offers introductory essays about the Isabella d’Este Archive and Isabella’s interactions with various subjects. Each site contains different essays, and we’ve begun peppering IDEA’s sites with secret treasures as well, so be sure to explore!
IDEA’s new design makes navigation much easier than before. The navigation bar at the top of every screen features nested menus with links to all IDEA’s websites and informational pages about each project. The blue field at the bottom of every screen offers a site map, image links to IDEA websites, and a “Contact Us” button. If you would like to receive email notifications about new events, tap the “Follow” tab on the right side of your screen.
Watch for new developments at IDEA! The IDEA Bibliography project is preparing to launch, and we’re looking forward to new essays in the early months of 2018.
Guest scholar Lisa Boutin Vitela writes about her visit to the University of Wyoming on October 26, 2017:
“I helped lead discussion about Isabella d’Este’s patronage for an art history seminar about medieval and Renaissance women. I then gave a quick introduction about maiolica at a ceramics workshop where we painted maiolica tiles and plates. Finally, I gave my talk. Because Wyoming has a large studio arts program, many of the students and faculty were primarily interested in the making of the maiolica and Ester Mantovani’s project (which you can see in The Illustrated Credenza video). Students were also interested in exploring the IDEA website and databases. Everyone especially enjoyed the Virtual Studiolo preview video when I showed it in the seminar.”