Everyone who goes to a THATCamp should propose a session. Do not prepare a paper or presentation. Plan instead to have a conversation, to get some work done, or to have fun. During the first session of THATCamp, we will put all proposals into a schedule and vote (if necessary) on session proposals. You may also wait until the day of the unconference to propose a session. Be prepared to run the session you propose.
How to propose a session
To submit a session proposal, first register for THATCamp. You will receive a username and password by email. Once you receive your login information, log in and click Posts –> Add New to add your session proposal to this site’s blog. It will be published here where other THATCamp Participants can comment on it.
What to propose
Here are some sample sessions from past THATCamps.
- General discussion — Sometimes people just want to get together and talk informally, with no agenda, about something they’re all interested in. Nothing wrong with that; it’s certainly a much better way of meeting people than addressing them from behind a podium. Propose a session on a topic that interests you, and if other people are interested, they’ll show up to talk about it with you.
- Jon Voss, Toward Linked Data in the Humanities, Great Lakes THATCamp 2010.
- Nick Mirzoeff, An actual digital revolution?, THATCamp Prime 2009
- Jeffrey McClurken, Archiving Social Media Conversations of Significant Events, THATCamp Prime 2009 (this session was combined with Nick Mirzoeff’s, above)
- Eli Pousson, How do we share our knowledge of historic places?, THATCamp Columbus 2010
- Frédéric Clavert and Véronique Ginouvès, Les archives orales et le web (Oral testimonies and the web), THATCamp Paris 2010
- Zach Whalen, ARGS, Archives, and Digital Scholarship, THATCamp 2010
- Hacking session — Several coders gather in a room to work on a particular project. These should usually take more than an hour or even two; if you propose such a session, you might want to ask that one room or swing space be dedicated to it for the entire day.
- Writing session — A group of people get together to start writing something. Writing can be collaborative or parallel: everyone can work together (probably in Google Docs) or by themselves (yet with a writing vibe filling the air) to write an article, a manifesto, a book, a blog post, a plan, or what you will.
- Julie Meloni, “Project develop self-paced open access digital humanities curriculum…, THATCamp Prime 2010
- Dan Cohen and Tom Scheinfeldt, One Week, One Book: Hacking the Academy, THATCamp Prime 2010
- Working session — You’re working on something, and you suspect that some of the various people who come to THATCamp might be able to help you with it. You describe problems you want solved and questions you want answered, and strangers magically show up to hear about what you’re doing and to give you their perspective and advice. This is not an hour-long demo; you should come with specific questions or tasks you want to work on with others for most of the session.
- Aditi Shrikumar, Text Mining and the Digital Humanities, Great Lakes THATCamp 2010
- Kathleen Fitzpatrick, “how to transform something like CommentPress into a viable mode of open peer review,” THATCamp Southern California 2010
- Sherman Dorn, The Ill-formed Question, THATCamp Prime 2009
- Workshop — A traditional workshop session with an instructor who leads students through a short introduction to and hands-on exercise in a particular skill. (Note: the workshop series was formerly called “BootCamp,” a term we have now deprecated. Note too that as of January 2012 the Mellon fellowship program for THATCamps with workshops has ended.) Workshops may be arranged beforehand by the organizers or proposed by a participant who agrees to teach it.
- Kirrily Roberts, FreeBase workshop, THATCamp Bay Area 2010
- Bethany Nowviskie and Bill Turkel, Hacking Wearables and E-Textiles Workshop, Great Lakes THATCamp 2010.
- Aditi Muralidharan, Visualization workshop, THATCamp Bay Area 2010
- Note that some (even most) THATCamp organizers prefer to arrange workshop sessions ahead of time (see THATCamp New England’s workshop series, THATCamp Virginia’s workshops series, and THATCamp Southeast’s workshop series), but you can still volunteer to teach something at the last minute, or even put in a plea for someone else to teach something you’ve always wanted to learn (though if no teacher volunteers, it’s best to nix the session). That’s what’s great about THATCamp.
- Grab bag — Ah, miscellany. One of our favorite categories. Indefinable by definition. It’s astonishing how creative people can be when you give them permission; performances and games are welcome.
We also encourage organizers to leave a few empty time slots during the THATCamp so that attendees can propose new sessions during the THATCamp itself; if the organizers of your THATCamp have done this, they’ll tell you how to propose a session while your THATCamp is taking place. Sometimes, for instance, your discussion was going so well at the one hour fifteen minute mark that you hated to end it; if there’s a slot available, you should be able to propose “Training Robotic Ferrets: Part Two” as a session as soon as “Training Robotic Ferrets” ends.