How do I propose a session?
Once you submit your registration, your access to this site will be approved by the THATcamp administrators and you will receive a user account for this WordPress site and you will receive your login information by email.
Your session idea will appear on the front page of this site, and other attendees can read and comment on it beforehand. (If you haven’t worked with WordPress before, see codex.wordpress.org/Writing_Posts for help.) The morning of the event, all THATCamp participants will vote on those proposals (and probably come up with several new ones). That morning all attendees will collaboratively create a session schedule.
Remember that you may have to facilitate the sessions you propose. If you propose a hacking session, you should have the germ of a project to work on; if you propose a workshop, you should be prepared to teach it or find a teacher; if you propose a discussion of the Digital Library of the Caribbean, you should be prepared to begin the discussion.
When do I propose a session?
You can propose a session as early as you like, but most people publish their session proposals to the THATCamp site during the week before the THATCamp begins. It’s a good idea to check this site frequently in the week beforehand (perhaps by subscribing to its RSS feed) to see and comment on everyone’s session proposals. You can also come up with a last-minute idea and propose it to participants during the scheduling session, which is the first session of the THATCamp.
Why are sessions proposed this way?
Proposing sessions just before a THATCamp and building a schedule during the first session ensures that sessions are informal, topics are current, and participants will collaborate on a shared task. An unconference is fun, productive, and collegial.
See the About page for more information on the philosophy of unconferences.
What do I propose?
There are roughly four things people do in THATCamp sessions: Talk, Make, Teach, and Play. Sometimes one session contains elements of all these, but it’s also a fair taxonomy for THATCamp sessions. In a Talk session proposal, you offer to lead a group discussion on a topic or question of interest to you. In a Make session proposal, you offer to lead a small group in a hands-on collaborative working session with the aim of producing a draft document or piece of software. In a Teach session, you offer to teach a skill, either a “hard” skill or a “soft” skill. In a Play session, anything goes — you suggest literally playing a game, or you suggest some quality group playtime with one or more technologies, or what you will.
Talk session examples
- Jeffrey McClurken, Archiving Social Media Conversations of Significant Events, THATCamp Prime 2009
- Sherman Dorn, The Ill-formed Question, THATCamp Prime 2009
- 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
- Aditi Shrikumar, Text Mining and the Digital Humanities, Great Lakes THATCamp 2010
- Jon Voss, Toward Linked Data in the 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
Make session examples
- David Uspal, Hackfest: HTML5, THATCamp Philly 2011
- Wayne Graham, Mostly Hack Zotero hacking session, THATCamp Prime 2010
- Stéfan Sinclair, One Day, One Toolet, Great Lakes THATCamp 2010
- Ben Brumfield, Hackfest, THATCamp Austin 2009
- 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
Teach session examples
- 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
- Amanda French, Advanced Omeka, THATCamp Kansas 2012
- 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.
- Anne Flannery, Omeka and Scripto Workshop, THATCamp MLA 2013 (plea to learn about Scripto rather than offer to teach it; see also comments)
Play session examples
- David Staley, An installation, THATCamp Prime 2009
- Mark Sample, Zen Scavenger Hunt, THATCamp Prime 2010
- Zen Scavenger Hunt Results, THATCamp Virginia 2012
- Marta Rivera Monclova, Digital Tools for Research, THATCamp Caribbean 2012
- Donelle McKinley, Share Your Favourite Tools, THATCamp Wellington 2012
- Anastasia Salter, THATCamp Games Invasion, THATCamp Games 2012
- Anastasia Salter and Amanda Visconti, Q’s Quest, THATCamp CHNM 2012
- Anastasia Salter and Amanda Visconti, THATCamp Prime Alternate Reality Game, THATCamp CHNM 2012 (postmortem account of “Q’s Quest,” a game invented for and played at THATCamp Prime 2012)