Amanda  French


(Please ask any THATCamp questions on the THATCamp forums at -- I'm no longer THATCamp Coordinator.)

I am now a member of the THATCamp Council, and I am the former THATCamp Coordinator and Research Assistant Professor at the Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media at George Mason University, in which capacity I provided support for THATCamp organizers and participants, maintained, traveled to some (not all!) THATCamps, and directed large-scale projects such as the Proceedings of THATCamp. Before that, I worked with the NYU Archives and Public History program on an NHPRC-funded project to create a model digital curriculum for historian-archivists. I held the Council on Library and Information Resources Postdoctoral Fellowship at NCSU Libraries from 2004 to 2006, and afterward taught graduate and undergraduate courses at NCSU in Victorian literature and poetry as well as in the digital humanities and in advanced academic research methods. At the University of Virginia, while earning my doctorate in English, I encoded texts in first SGML and then XML for the Rossetti Archive and the Electronic Text Center. My 2004 dissertation was a history of the villanelle, the poetic form of Dylan Thomas' "Do not go gentle into that good night" and Elizabeth Bishop's "One Art."

  • Link to THATCamp evaluation


    Hope you guys had a good THATCamp. Whether you did or whether you didn’t, you can tell us more on the THATCamp evaluation form — only two fields required: which THATCamp you went to, and your rating of it on a scale of 1 to 5. There’s space for you to rate and comment on other aspects of the THATCamp, though, and we appreciate that input.

    Note that all evaluations are anonymous and are publicly posted.

  • Post-THATCamp Happy Hour


    I’ve reserved some post-THATCamp pre-prandial time and space at a nearby pub. They’ll be expecting a large group at D4 Irish Pub & CafĂ© at about 6:15pm — they’re saving a spot by the fireplace, even. The pub is located just a couple of blocks away at 345 Ohio St. — it’s on the map on the Travel page. All are welcome, even non-THATCampers.

  • Preparing for THATCamp AHA


    Hi all — Amanda French here, THATCamp Coordinator and co-organizer (which is rare) of THATCamp American Historical Association, even though I won’t be there. (I’ll be at the Modern Language Association meeting instead, since I’m a *literary* historian.) As we get closer to THATCamp AHA on Thursday, January 5th, I wanted to give you a few important logistical details, especially about proposing sessions.

    Proposing sessions

    Now is the time to start thinking about what you’d like to do or talk about at THATCamp AHA. If you’re not familiar with the unconference model, you might want to read our About page, but also and especially our page on Proposing a Session. If you’re stuck, you might think about it this way: describe whatever professional problem is currently bothering you most, and pose your session proposal in such a way that you’ll get help with that problem. You don’t *have* to propose a session, but since unconferences are participant-driven, if no one proposes anything, then there won’t be an unconference. (That never happens.)

    To propose a session, log in at and write a blog post outlining your session idea. To write and publish your blog post, go to Posts –> Add New, write your post, and then click Publish. Your blog post will be published to the main page of the THATCamp AHA site, which will allow us all to read and comment on it. Do please plan to visit the THATCamp AHA site fairly often in the coming days to see what people are proposing and to comment on the proposals.

    In the first 90-minute session on Thursday at 12pm, everyone will discuss and vote on the session proposals in a process run by Dan Cohen, and you’ll have a chance then to propose last-minute session ideas or to ask for a particular time slot. Some sessions might not make it on to the schedule, and some might be combined with other sessions. If your session proposal makes it to the program, you will be expected to facilitate it, but very often that just consists of making the first and the last remarks. You can engage in more structured activities aimed at producing a document or other result if you like: it’s your session, so as long as it doesn’t consist of you giving a presentation, you can run it as you choose. The one exception to the “no presentations” rule is if you’d like to teach people a particular skill, and you can certainly offer to do that, though even then we encourage workshops to involve hands-on exercises.

    We have pre-scheduled several workshops, and you can see their times and rooms on the schedule. (Note that there’s been a room change: workshops that were in “Parlor B” are now one floor up in “Michigan B.”) By 1:30 on Thursday, the rest of the time slots on the schedule will be filled, and you’ll refer to that web page to see where to go.

    The most important thing to remember is that unconferences are casual, spontaneous, fun, collegial, open, non-hierarchical, inquiry-driven, and (ideally) productive. (Well, that’s several things.) Apart from that, there’s not much else to know. If you’re curious about other THATCamps, try doing a Twitter search on THATCamp, or check out some of the websites for one of the fifty-plus other THATCamps.


    On Thursday, 1/5, we’ll be checking in THATCamp AHA participants at a table outside Parlor C in the Sheraton. See our Travel page for a map to the hotel. You can pick up your THATCamp AHA badge starting at about 11:15am, and we’ll begin the crucial first all-hands scheduling session promptly at noon. You’re welcome to bring lunch and eat it during that session; unfortunately, our budget didn’t run to either food or coffee. We made sure, however, that the budget would run to wi-fi, which will be available in all the rooms. We recommend that you bring a laptop, especially if you plan to attend one or more of the workshops. Unconferences are deliberately informal, so dress is casual. Wear whatever you like (that’s warm).

    Instead of running a wait list, we overbooked our capacity a bit, anticipating a few cancellations. Therefore, there are currently 111 people registered for THATCamp AHA: see our list of Participants to check out who’s coming, and consider updating your own profile when you log in. To add a picture, upload one at — it will automatically appear on all Gravatar-enabled sites.

    I think that’s about it. Questions? Write me at . Hope you have a fun and productive and enlightening THATCamp.

  • Workshops and Fellowships


    We’ve just confirmed that we will be offering technology skills workshops at THATCamp AHA. On the roster already is a blogging workshop by Professor Dan Cohen of, and we’ll be letting you know more in December as we confirm topics and instructors.

    Offering workshops means that we can also offer small fellowships courtesy of the Mellon Foundation. If you are registered for THATCamp AHA and are a graduate student or faculty member in the humanities, you can apply for a fellowship until Monday, December 4. Fellowships are granted in the amount of $500 or $250. (Be advised that fellowship funds might not arrive until after THATCamp AHA has taken place.) The deadline isn’t far away, but the fellowship application isn’t onerous: just a 1- to 3-paragraph essay.

    Spread the word . . .

  • Registration is now open


    We have opened registration for THATCamp AHA! We will be accepting the first 100 registrants, after which we will close registration.

  • Announcing THATCamp American Historical Association


    Hi all,

    We’re pleased to announce that there will be a THATCamp at the annual meeting of the American Historical Association. THATCamp AHA will take place from 12pm to 6pm on Thursday, January 5th, 2012.

    Registration for THATCamp AHA should open in early October. Watch this space for more information.

    Amanda French

    THATCamp Coordinator


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