Roundtable The Valley of the Shadow Project and Its Progeny after 20 Years

AHA Session 231
Sunday, January 8, 2012: 11:00 AM-1:00 PM
Sheraton Ballroom V (Sheraton Chicago Hotel & Towers)
Edward L. Ayers, University of Richmond
Scott Nesbit, University of Richmond
Anne S. Rubin, University of Maryland Baltimore County
Amy Murrell Taylor, University at Albany (State University of New York)
William G. Thomas III, University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Andrew J. Torget, University of North Texas
The Future Is Here: Digital Methods in Research and Teaching in History

Session Abstract

This session will explore the legacies of the Valley of the Shadow digital history project twenty years after it began at the Institute for Advanced Technology in the Humanities at the University of Virginia. Three generations of scholars connected with the project will address what the Valley Project in retrospect suggests about the landscape of digital history today. The group will lead discussion with the audience in interactive format on the subjects of: 1.) audiences--building an audience, finding the history online audience, and how audiences are changing, 2.) technologies--what mix of technologies are useful and why, what technologies have longevity and why, and whether we are seeing a new transition in technological capabilities for historians, 3.) institutional relationships--what affects digital scholarship and what historians are doing to build institutional settings since the Valley which offered one kind of model for achieving institutional buy-in and organizational focus, 4.) scholarly argument--why what we might call "cyberarguments" are important, whether an argument was embedded in the Valley, why scholars in Digital Humanities have been so averse to making an argument, and how historians can create arguments using the digital medium.

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