THATCamp has opened up many opportunities for participants to share and develop skills in areas such as text mining, project management, material culture, and digital pedagogy (to mention just a few of the topics I’ve seen in browsing past THATCamps). But I want to take a step back and ask what are the skills important to digital scholarship? My interest in the topic comes in part from my work with colleagues on a Mellon-sponsored global benchmarking study examining the skills and competencies necessary to support (and practice) digital scholarship. I think there are some important commonalities between this proposed session and Rebecca Davis’ proposal to explore “Learning Outcomes for a Globally Networked World,” but the focus here would be more on scholars/librarians/technologists/professionals than undergraduates. (It might be interesting to compare lists of skills and competencies important to these different constituencies.)
In addition to understanding what skills and competencies are important to digital scholarship, I’d also like to explore how best to cultivate these skills. How do digital humanities centers and programs help their members to gain the skills and knowledge to do innovative, significant work? I love the spirit of exploration, collaboration and play embodied by THATCamp, but I also see the need to enable digital humanists at various levels of experience to hone their skills over a longer period of time than a day or a day and a half. (Ryan also points to the need to go beyond 101 in some THATCamp sessions.) Could we imagine new variants of the THATCamp model? Are there possibilities for online/ hybrid training, mentoring, local reading groups, partnerships with DH centers, iterative THATCamps, etc?