What was both the most enjoyable and the most productive conference I went to last year? THATCamp: The Humanities and Technology Camp. OK, I’m slightly biased because THATCamp takes place at the Center for History and New Media at George Mason University, but you can get confirmation from last year’s other attendees. THATCamp is the brainchild of CHNM’s Dave Lester, Jeremy Boggs, and Tom Scheinfeldt.
For those new to the concept, THATCamp is an unconference, which means that there are no stodgy panels or fussy exchanges. Instead, the attendees self-organize on the first morning into sessions of interest, and then plunge right into learning from each other. Everyone is a participant, and subgroups often break off to try out new things. It is a very casual but fairly intense two days of conversation, coding, and comraderie. And it’s free. (We do pass around a trucker’s hat for donations to provide coffee and snacks.)
THATCamp 2009 will take place on June 27–28, right after Digital Humanities 2009 at the University of Maryland. You need to apply if you would like to come, and slots are limited, so unfortunately the organizers will have to be selective. We have a larger number of slots this year, but still expect to be oversubscribed, so please put on your application what you would be willing to share with the other attendees.
Also, there are a limited number of sponsorships available to organizations, institutions, and companies. It’s a great way to get the word out about your program or product, so if you’re interested in sponsoring THATCamp, send an email soon to firstname.lastname@example.org.