Omeka Follow-Up

This post is inspired in part by Ryan Cordell’s ProfHacker post on developing strategies for writing productivity. He describes his current writing group’s use of Wendy Belcher‘s Writing Your Journal Article in 12 Weeks and some of the principles he is putting into practice. Those are tools I used a few years ago, and I’m watching with interest to learn how well they work for Ryan and his colleagues.

Another inspiration for this post lies in growing interest in developing principles for evaluating digital scholarship, an interest that I see expressed not only in the American Historical Association’s ad hoc Committee on the Professional Evaluation of Digital Publications by Historians, on which I have the privilege of serving, but many other places as well. Most notable today is the Google doc that Adeline Koh has started for establishing “ideal language for assessing promotion and tenure for digital scholarship.”

And a final inspiration comes from a wish to document the kinds of work I am doing during my sabbatical and the time it takes to do them. This latter comes in part from some things I have noticed as a result of the kinds of work Ryan describes in the ProfHacker piece. For me, narrating the process of research and writing as I engage in them helps me with that engagement. A trick I developed when I was using Wendy Becker’s very helpful tools back in 2011 was just writing about the writing process as a warm-up to my daily fifteen minutes.

Now, I also have the incentive of wanting to think through and be able to express for my colleagues in many contexts the joys and challenges that come with having chosen digital platforms as the best media for publication of the research and teaching that I have been doing for the past ten years. When I began to explore digital scholarship, I did not realize how much I would need to learn myself about the technologies that underlie pretty presentation on the inter webs. And some of my colleagues–including my co-author–have attempted to dissuade me from thinking that I need to learn XPath, XSLT, and a host of other languages that my humanist brain is less than ideally suited to understand.

But I am even more convinced now than I was in 2011 when I started to learn a little bit about WordPress that being able to do the sorts of things I want to do with and for digital scholarship entails learning how to do some technical things for myself rather than relying on technical “experts” to do them for me. (I find myself wanting to do an embarrassing girl power dance here….)

So finally, today’s sabbatical narrative is this:

After I completed the Dreamhost one-click installation of Omeka to this domain yesterday, I recalled something I had already learned when I performed the same task for encodinghfrs.org last year. That one-click installation is for Omeka 1.5.3, and Omeka 2.0+ has been operating for some time now.

As has been the case ever since I started teaching myself applications in the mid-1980s (that was WordPerfect, in case anyone is keeping score), becoming comfortable with each new tool is an iterative process. Bumbling through setting up a sub-domain and a db.ini file and the various other set-up details does get easier over time, even though I do forget how to use each tool in between moments when I take the time to engage with them.

I became reacquainted with this process when I started to learn TEI. Although I say this as though it is a joke, it really did take three times sitting through the Introduction to TEI with Julia Flanders and Syd Bauman before I began to feel comfortable enough with XML/TEI to work with the files. And taking the full week to do that at DHSI with my research assistant Lauren Pfendner helped a lot.

So having taken roughly a week to set up my new Omeka repository and still having ahead of me installing the update feels more like success than it does a setback to me. I have learned that this tortoise-like progress is progress nevertheless. The installation of the update will go more quickly, and the iterativity of my learning is simply a fact of the life of the digital humanist, or at least of the kind of digital humanist I choose to be.

Over the next couple of days, I will be installing the Omeka upgrade, converting TIFs to JPGs, uploading them, and then turning to an old version of a TEI transcription that I will need to update for compatibility with the contextual files that I have been working on with a different research assistant–John Burnett–over the past couple of years.

Doing the work of a digital humanities project happens with almost unbelievable slowness when your day job is teaching at a residential liberal arts college. I document that work here in the hope that it will serve to assist my colleagues who are transforming our understanding of scholarship for our ever more digital age.

 

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Filed under digital history, digital humanities, productivity

Ah, Omeka

For the past couple of days, I’ve been struggling to install Omeka on this website. It’s part of one of my larger projects for this sabbatical, a considerably expanded version of the poster that I presented at DH2010 with my colleague Wheaton College Archivist and Special Collections Curator Zeph Stickney. For the poster, we mapped a journey that Eliza Baylies Wheaton and her husband Laban Morey Wheaton made to London in the spring and summer of 1862.

For some time, I have been interested in developing the presentation into either a print publication or a website or both. Self-publication is the best option currently available to me for the digital version of the project.  And the Omeka installation to create a repository to hold the images that are associated with the project is a first step in building the website.

So watch this spot for updates on the progress of the build and–eventually–the website itself. I may even hold a virtual launch party once it’s ready. Who knows?

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Knitting in a Course about Sex and Work (with thanks to Sandy Coleman)

When I taught my Sex and Work course in fall 2012, it caught the attention of Senior Associate Director of Communications and Wheaton Quarterly Editor Sandy Coleman because the U.S. military had recently changed its policy regarding women in combat. I am not a historian of the military though since I teach the history of the United States questions of war and military service are part of my general teaching repertoire.

Because Sandy saw a connection between the news event and my course, we had a couple of conversations, and she brought a photographer to our classroom the day the class visited the FiberSpace. After the second conversation, which included some excellent prompts to help me sound more eloquent, Sandy published her distillation of the conversations here.

I am publishing our initial written interview here as one way into some of the Digital Humanities ideas behind my including the fiber project in the course. I really do sound more eloquent in Sandy’s version, though. And it’s shorter, too.

Sandy Coleman: Describe the class and what you are covering.

Kathryn Tomasek: The course is called “Sex and Work.”

It’s a 300-level course for students in History and Women’s Studies.  We read about a book a week, and the books are all monographs written by historians.  The books cover the “long nineteenth century,” from about the middle of the eighteenth century through the early twentieth century.  A lot of them are about women and needlework, especially variations on sewing as work for which women were paid in various places and at various times in the United States.

SC: How did the idea for the new class come about?

KT: I’ve taught a version of this course for a long time.  But the current iteration grew partly out of a desire to strengthen enrollments and to give students who are interested in U.S. Women’s History a way to fulfill their major requirements in a course that focuses on intersections of race, gender, and class.

The newest part of the course—the Fiber Project—emerged from an opportunity related to the development of Assistant Professor of Computer Science Tom Armstrong’s MakerSpace and the new FiberSpace that he and Library and Information Services Social Sciences Liaison Lauren Slingluff have set up on the main floor of the old Science Center.

SC: How is this related to your field of scholarship?

KT: I’ve always done work at the intersections of disciplines—Women’s Studies, Utopian Studies—and in the past ten years that has meant Digital Humanities, broadly defined.  In my research, I have been working on developing guidelines for the scholarly markup of historical financial records, and I have had students participate in this transcription and markup in various courses.

My goal in bringing Digital Humanities to the classroom has been to help students understand what’s “under the hood” of the digital tools and media that are so omnipresent in our daily lives.  We think of the current generation of college students as “digital natives,” but most of them don’t know much about the computer code that underlies the Internet, the World Wide Web, and the devices that we use to access information.  So I’ve done a lot of different projects with students who are not in the sciences or math or computer sciences, to give them a bit of experience with code and thereby take away some of the mystery behind the screen. I hope that students find this empowering.

The FiberSpace emphasizes the commonalities between mathematics and needlework of various kinds, including knitting, crochet, and sewing.  The crochet coral reef is a great example of a project out in the world that engages these commonalities.

SC: Why do you think it is important to explore this subject at this point in time?

KT: Women have always worked, but the transition to industrial capitalism in the nineteenth century created new ways of valuing work and compensating people for it.  Cash, which people earned for the most part in jobs they did outside their homes and for employers, became necessary to pay for food, shelter, and fuel as more and more people moved away from the rural household economies that had been more typical in earlier periods.  When women worked for cash, they generally were paid less than men because of assumptions about their needs for cash.  Whereas men were seen to be in the workforce for their entire lives because they were considered responsible for supporting their wives and children.

We would like to believe that work opportunities for women have expanded more and more over time, and as you’ve noticed, the armed services in the United States has recently made it possible for women to serve in combat units.  At the same time, women in most economic sectors continue to be paid less than men.  There are, we all recognize now, variations in the differentials between the compensations received by women and men depending on the jobs that they do.

SC: What are you most excited about covering in this class?

KT: I’ve really enjoyed watching the students learn about the realities of the work lives of women in the past, both within their homes and outside them.

SC: You mentioned a fiber project? Tell me about that and how it relates to the subject matter.

KT: We have a lot of cultural metaphors and sometimes even myths about needlework as women’s work, and historians have done a lot of work to discover evidence about the realities behind the metaphors and myths.  At various points in the past—the 1820s for instance—people felt it was important to instruct girls and young women in “traditional women’s work” because they were concerned that needlework skills were being lost.

At this point in time, we tend to think of needlework as a hobby.  Nobody relies on their mom or sister for socks—we just buy them at the local big box store.  And over the past couple of decades, young women—feminists—have taken on needlework as their own.  We might call this the “Stitch ‘n’ Bitch” phenomenon—that was one phrase that caught on a few years back; the Wheaton College knitting club called themselves by that name at one point.

In part because Tom and Lauren created the FiberSpace and in part because I wanted to rethink this course, I decided that adding a fiber project to the course would give the students and me a way to bring together my interests in the history of women’s work with my desire to find new ways for students to engage with simple computer code.

So this semester, students in the course are each making something with fiber.  They are knitting or crocheting something—most of them are making scarves of one kind or another—and finding a way to incorporate the simply circuitry available in the MakerSpace to make the objects interactive.  Our class will have both a poster and an exhibit in the Academic Festival in April.

SC: What do you think of the lifting of the ban on women in combat jobs?

KT: Since we are a nation at war and have been for longer than ever before in our history, I think it is change that is long past due.  For myself, I would rather we were not at war and nobody had to put their lives on the line.

SC: What is the significance of that decision?

KT: Women have wanted to be in combat and have been told not to worry their pretty heads about it.  Having denied them these roles has not prevented their being raped when they serve in war zones.  Perhaps giving their male counterparts the opportunity to see them as equals on the field of battle will have a positive effect with regard to this kind of horrible gender violence within the armed services.

SC: Why do gender divisions in labor persist? And is that good or bad?

KT: We have a lot of cultural baggage about the differences between women and men.  Despite centuries of efforts on the parts of countless women and men to break down gender assumptions in various places at various times, human beings keep positing these differences.  Personally, I resist them because I feel limited by them and I think that they limit our collective accomplishments as human beings.

SC: Do we need to break down all gender divisions in labor or just particular ones?

KT: I would rather see us required to prove the necessity of gender divisions of labor than the opposite.  In my view, a world that begins from “yes” is always better than a world that begins from “no.”

SC: What are you hoping that students get most out of this course?

KT: I hope they learn to value women’s labor and ways to make arguments for that value.

SC: Why do you think the general public should be considering these issues?

KT: Our world continues to open opportunities for people who have previously been limited by “no.”  I would love to see every single human being have the opportunity to achieve their greatest potential.  I think that breaking down barriers to that achievement is one of the most important projects that women and men have undertaken across time and space.

 

 

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Knitting, Making, and U.S. Women’s History

One of my local projects for this leave is a presentation I’ll be doing at an event at the FiberSpace at Wheaton College this month. You can follow FiberSpace on Twitter @WHTNfiberspace .

The presentation focuses on the Wheaton family and cotton manufacture, a topic I’ve presented at a couple of conferences. The event also highlights some connections between my teaching and things I have learned about fiber work and mathematics over the past ten years. So over the next couple of days, I will post some things related to these connections.

Several are related to a course I taught during the spring semester of 2013. The course, Sex and Work in the 19th-century United States, included the first iteration of a Fiber Project that students wrote up in a poster for the college’s Academic Festival in April 2013. The poster is attached here.

AcademicFestival2013

Note: Students were asked for permission to post their work and images, and I have followed their wishes in posting.

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Sabbatical 2014: Setting Goals

This is a big year for me. As I noted in the paper I presented at the AHA annual meeting last month, January 2014 marked ten years since I began to learn about eXtensible Markup Language (XML) and the Text Encoding Initiative, the main tools that brought me from early experiments in using technology to enhance students’ learning to my present scholarly practice in digital humanities and digital history. So I am particularly thrilled to have the privilege of a sabbatical leave this spring, a leave that will give me time to bring to completion some of my first work with using TEI in teaching undergraduates how to do history and to move some more recent efforts to a next stage.

Photo on 2-3-14 at 3.00 PM

Since I work at an institution that begins its spring semester after Martin Luther King Jr. Day, I spent the weeks between the end of the AHA on January 5 and the beginning of the new semester two weeks ago optimizing the physical space for my work in my home study and using goal-setting and productivity tools to do the same with mental space. I have a lot of projects at various stages of completion, and because these usually share time and focus with teaching, many of them benefited from the kind of concentrated planning that–for me at least–requires taking a deep breath, calming my puppy brain, and getting out the colored pens and notecards.

Yes, notecards.

Fancy mind-mapping programs and electronic to-do apps have had their shiny appeal for me over the past decade, and thinking on a keyboard is certainly part of my tool-kit. But my longest-used, most familiar tools for are pen and paper. And these tools sit alongside keyboard and touchscreen in all of my work spaces.

Oh, and sticky whiteboard sheets. I love using sticky whiteboard sheets on the walls to help me keep my projects and goals in sight.

The projects range from finally publishing the files from the first project my colleagues and I undertook with using TEI in teaching nineteenth-century U.S. women’s history, through creating a website based on primary sources that document an 1862 journey to London and Europe, to testing the model that my co-author and I have been developing for marking up financial records. It’s a big agenda for a relatively short period of time.

So as the first week of February begins with yet another snowfall, I sit a my desk with a fresh project inventory and stacks of “next actions” sorted by context and cross-referenced by project. I still have plenty of organizing and brainstorming and many weekly reviews ahead of me. But I have completed the first pass in this iterative process we call being “on leave.”

And I look forward to narrating the process over the next several months, using this space to write informally about the professional effort that goes into building websites, updating a longterm teaching project, and demonstrating how digital publication is an ideal way to express the fruits of ten years’ teaching and research in digital history.

Let the sabbatical begin.

 

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Digital History at AHA 2014

Now that the focus on holiday giving is almost over (see this short humorous bit from the New Yorker on Boxing Day and its meanings for a sideways indication of what I mean by “almost”–boxing up goods for the unfortunate, what a concept!), I am turning my attention to wrapping up preparations for AHA 2014.

It’s been a long time since I’ve attended the AHA annual meeting.  I thought I might compare my avoidance to  Miriam Posner‘s, but then I realized that her first AHA was in 2004.  I interviewed for my current job in 1992.  Sigh.  

My own avoidance began with an early-career academic’s sense that the annual meeting was for those involved in job searches from one side or the other.  And more recently, I found myself having other obligations during the first week in January, obligations associated with my involvement in digital humanities and initiatives focused on integrating digital humanities into the undergraduate curriculum.  I’m very pleased to say that this year my ongoing explorations in digital humanities and digital history have come together to bring me back to the AHA.

In November’s Perspectives the new AHA Director of Scholarly Communication and Digital Initiatives, Seth Denbo,  contributed a piece on digital history at AHA 2014.  There are numerous sessions during the meeting proper, as well as a pre-conference workshop on “How to Get Started in Digital History” and THATCamp AHA2014 on the final day of the conference, Sunday, January 5.

I’ll be presenting in one of the digital history sessions focused on the various places we use digital tools to teach history, both in and out of the classroom.  I’m looking forward to hearing what my fellow panelists Steve Lubar and Julian Chambliss have to say about their work in public history and local history projects respectively.

I’m also excited to be presenting my work on TEI-compatible markup for financial records during the poster session on Saturday, January 4.  I’ve gotten great feedback on this work from my colleagues in the TEI community, and I’ll be pleased to discuss it with other historians at AHA.

 

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Digital Tools, Content, and Methods in the Classroom (with thanks to Lisa Spiro)

A few months ago, Lisa Spiro asked me some questions about my experiences using digital tools, content, and methods. She was preparing a presentation, and her questions reminded me of a series of posts that I have been meaning to write for some time. For a variety of reasons, including family needs, I have not had time to do this writing, so I am taking a shortcut to get these ideas out there in short form.  With many, many thanks to Lisa, I am publishing this post in the form of an interview, so as to give her credit for the prompts.

Lisa Spiro:  How have you integrated digital tools, content and methods into your teaching?

Kathryn Tomasek:  In more ways than I can count over the past twenty years.  Early on, I was interested in using online discussion to expand opportunities for students who were uncomfortable speaking in the classroom.  In the past ten years, my focus has been on finding ways to use digital tools to help students do historical research.  Some examples have been using transcription and markup of primary sources in our local archives and special collections to teach students close reading and interpretation and scaffolded assignments using online collections and digital publication tools for similar purposes.  For transcription and markup, we have used spreadsheets, the oXygen text editor, eXtensible Markup Language and the guidelines of the Text Encoding Initiative.  And for online peer review and publication, we have used the History Engine as well as local wikis in our Moodle LMS.

LS:  Why? What motivated you?

KT:  When I began teaching in the 1990s, the college offered incentives for course transformations that included digital tools.  I was also a feminist teacher with less interest in being a “sage on the stage” than in finding ways to empower students as learners, and that search led me to experiment with digital tools.

A combination of outreach from the Text Encoding Initiative and opportunities fostered by NITLE prompted my turn to text encoding and project-based learning in 2004.  The opportunities included participating in piloting use of the History Engine outside its original institution—the University of Virginia, learning about digital publication and libraries, founding the Wheaton College Digital History Project, attending the Digital Humanities Summer Institute, and becoming involved in the international Digital Humanities community.

And the American Historical Association has recommended that students be taught to “do history” rather than simply to take notes and regurgitate information into the pages of blue books.  I was very surprised in fall 2010 when Robert Townsend published the results of his study on the impact of digital publication and research in the discipline.  I had hoped to see more impact on teaching, but that was the portion of the profession least affected, according to Townsend’s data.

LS:  What have been the results?  What have been the impacts on student learning? On your approach to teaching? On your career?

KT:  The first project that involved transcript and markup of a nineteenth-century woman’s journal had such a striking impact on students’ investment in their research and writing that I became determined to continue such work.  The sense of ownership and of the significance of their work both for their own learning and for its contribution to the larger fund of knowledge about the past that the students expressed has led me to try to find ways to include project-based learning with digital tools in at least one course I teach each semester since fall 2004.

For some individual students who continued their work with the various projects outside the classroom, opportunities have arisen for collaborating with me in presenting our work at conferences and for attending events like DHSI.  The student who attended DHSI with me in 2009 has gone on to complete library school, and I expect my current research assistant to achieve significant successes in fields that bring together history and new media.

My career has gotten a real boost from this work.  The successes of the first text encoding project and of subsequent assignments using project-based learning inspired me to tell others about forays into this kind of teaching and learning, so I have presented at numerous conferences, written for a number of publications, and offered workshops for members of faculty and staff interested in digital pedagogies.  My research agenda has expanded, and I was PI on Start-Up Grant from the Office of Digital Humanities at the NEH.

Our college has also benefited.  Members of our team have gone on to participate in a large and well-funded project that extends beyond our own campus, the TEI Archiving, Publication, and Access Service (TAPAS) Project.

LS:  What challenges have you run into? How have you addressed them?

KT:  I think the biggest challenge has come in the form of institutional understanding of the projects, their need for support in the form of staff and funding for Library and Information Services, and the importance of computational thinking for undergraduate liberal arts education.  By institutional understanding I mean that of both administration and faculty members.  I served for many years on the committee that addresses Library, Technology, and Learning on our campus, and I found myself frustrated with the way this committee comes last in order of importance from a faculty governance standpoint.  It has been important to me to bring in additional colleagues as advocates for the role of LIS in the curriculum.  I led a faculty working group with the goal of articulating this role for the institution, but progress stalled with new leadership of the Educational Policy committee.  From the administrative angle, difficult economic times have meant that funding for LIS has been stagnant or cut over the past five or ten years, and we have lost staff FTE at a time when expansion would have seemed more appropriate.

LS:  What suggestions do you have for faculty interested in experimenting with digital pedagogy?

KT:  Go for it.  Digital technologies are both the present and future of higher education in the United States, and there is much more to digital pedagogies than MOOCs.  Using digital tools, content, and methods in liberal arts classrooms gives educators ways to expose students to computational thinking, project-based learning, and real research problems that translate into skills they will use for the rest of their lives.  Other faculty members and administrators will come around eventually, and those of us who do this work now are mapping the future course of higher education.

LS:  Anything else?

KT:  I started my own work with digital pedagogies after I was granted tenure.  That gave me the privilege of room to experiment without threat to my job security.  Faculty members who are part of the extraordinarily small proportion of the professoriate who are either tenured or on the tenure track have an obligation to acknowledge, encourage, and advocate for the courageous people in adjunct, contract, and alt-ac positions who are advancing work in digital pedagogies and other areas involving digital tools, content, and methods without the protections of tenure.

 

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First I Made It, Then I Broke It, But I Think It’s Fixed Now

Part of the fun of having set up my own domain this year has been the challenge of adapting to more advanced programming demands. And since my brain remains more than a little analog, it’s been a big challenge. So this is where I tell you a funny story in which I display how little you need to know in order to call yourself a digital historian/digital humanist.

I wanted to set up my own domain and migrate my blog here because it seems more legitimate to me than the WordPress.com option. Legitimacy here represents a not-necessarily-correct judgment about technical literacy, and plenty of people might well disagree with me.

Not surprisingly, the real challenge that kept me from posting over much of the past five months had precious little to do with programming. In fact, it had an awful lot to do with the ever increasing number of passwords that we generate in our digital age. Sigh.

Because you see, I decided that the passwords I could generate with my analog brain were more hackable than made me comfortable. Also, my stack of 3×5 cards was getting way too big. So I use an app that does a better job of both producing strong passwords and not breaking my back: mSecure. I don’t use the cloud function because…. I just say that it doesn’t make sense to me to store passwords there….

Joy of Challenges

But oh, the humanity! For one thing, the WordPress login appears in an entirely different place in this version than it does if you use WordPress.com. Why, oh why, is it so far down on my screen? I’m sure I could fix that at some point….

“I spy with my little eye” v. GIGO

For another, organizing usernames/passwords in the mSecure works differently than the 3×5 cards. With the cards, I can shuffle them and scan for what I’m looking for in a comfortable old analog way. Whilst the app is just a database, and my ability to find things within it depends on how well I build the entry for a particular password.

Lessons Learned?

Which brings me to the perhaps-not-all-that-funny part of the story. I have not been able to find either the login link or the username/password for this blog for the past five months. At least I’m beginning to remember that it’s way low on the page and I need to scroll down. I’m confident this will improve with more frequent use.

But the thing that was really standing in my way over these past few months was the whole lost username/password thing. And so the real “Kathryn’s foibles”/GIGO lesson here is about doing a better job of paying attention to how I label entries in the mSecure database. I know that lots of people have lots of different ways to keep track of password, and that’s not really the issue I mean to highlight.

What I’m describing here is a lesson I learned about the power of thinking ahead when you organize your data. (Gasp!) Or revising the way that you have labeled your entries once you find they don’t work for you.

And I learned this lesson as a result of the way that creating my own domain generates a whole new set of usernames/passwords. Definitely a learning opportunity.

 

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Migrating

Hah! Just set up my new domain and migrated my old WordPress blog here. I confess that I used the one-click install rather than just working through breaking things as Patrick Murray-John recommended at the DHCommons workshop at last week’s MLA convention.

But setting up the domain has been a goal of mine ever since I started the blog a couple of years ago. Soon, I’ll be php-ing with the best of ’em…. Well. With the rest of them, at least.

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Clichés, Non Sequiturs, and Meditations from the Road

Today I drove back from the Communal Studies Association ‘s annual conference in upstate New York. One of the joys associated with this organization of scholars, librarians, curators of historic sites, and residents of contemporary communities lies in its commitment to meeting at the sites of intentional communities, past and present. So the fact that this year’s conference was held at the Oneida Community’s Mansion House, a mere five hours’ drive from my home, gave me triple incentive to attend: In addition to its appealing topic, “Women in Communities,” the conference was held nearby and at a site I had never before visited. I held my regular office hours on Friday, did some other business on campus, dropped off my dog, and drove out late in the afternoon. As the sun set while I was driving through the Berkshires, I realized that this trip also presented an opportunity leaf-looking. Having grown up in Texas, I take real pleasure in the changing seasons.

I missed hearing many papers at the conference because I seized the opportunity to tour the Mansion House on Saturday morning, first taking the regular tour and then glomming on to a too-big group to go “Behind the Scenes.” Perhaps the high point for me was seeing the image of Charles Fourier that is part of the group of framed images at the top of the main stair, facing the community’s cabinet of curiosities. The Fourier image was sent to the community by Victor Considerant, a French adherent of the group that promoted some of Fourier’s theories in Paris in the 1830s and 1840s and the leader of another that tried to set up a community in what is now Dallas, Texas, in the wake of the European revolutions of 1848. Since John Humphrey Noyes, the founder and patriarch of the Oneida Community, discussed U.S. communities that had been founded on ideas based on Fourier’s theories in his History of American Socialism (1870), I was delighted to see this evidence of interaction between Considerant and Oneida.

I also reconnected with folks in communal studies, as I haven’t been able to attend this conference for some years, and I had a chance to meet some members of the new generation who are continuing the work of the organization. Some of the members of this new generation share my interest in digital humanities, so I look forward to checking in with them now and again to do what I can to help foster digital projects in addition to all the other good work CSA members do preserving the sites, records, and stories of intentional communities.

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