iSchool faculty present at digital humanities conference

Sara Schwebel
Sara L. Schwebel, Professor and Director of the Center for Children's Books
David Dubin
David Dubin, Teaching Associate Professor
Judith Pintar
Judith Pintar, Teaching Associate Professor

iSchool faculty presented their research at the Digital Humanities Initiative at the University of Illinois Chicago conference, "Resources and Visibility in Digital Humanities," which was held virtually on October 22-23. A collaborative effort between UIC’s Institute for the Humanities and University Library, the Digital Humanities Initiative provides technical resources for humanities scholars at UIC. Sara L. Schwebel, professor and director of The Center for Children's Books, was a keynote speaker for the conference, and Teaching Associate Professors David Dubin and Judith Pintar served on the panel, Gaming and Transmediation.

Schwebel's keynote, "Children's Literature as Public History: Bridging Divides Within and Beyond the Academy," showcased a collaborative project that brought together undergraduates, MS/LIS students, and Channel Islands National Park staff to build a web resource and digital archive on Scott O’Dell’s Island of the Blue Dolphins.

Schwebel's research interests include children's and young adult literature, history of education and literacy, history of childhood, history pedagogy, public history, digital humanities, and historical fiction. She is co-editor of the National Park Service web resource on Island of the Blue Dolphins and editor of a digital archive on the Lone Woman of San Nicolas Island.

Dubin gave the talk, "Games as Works," in which he examined how the essential properties of a work of authorship or design are preserved when the work is translated into a different medium. According to Dubin, the U.S. copyright law's views of authorship "pose explanatory challenges for what makes any work of art, design or authorship the particular work that it is."

Dubin's teaching and research concern foundations of representation and description, and issues of expression and encoding in documents and digital information resources.

Pintar presented "Where Wikipedia Meets Minecraft: Collaborative Game Design as Transmediated Public History." In her talk, she discussed an undergraduate course she developed at the U of I, "Mapping Inequalities: Programming the Illinois Map." Students in the course conduct research on Illinois minority histories; choose a narrative angle on the event, place, or person; and produce an interactive simulation of their historical topics using a "natural language" programming language.

Pintar serves as acting BS/IS program director at the iSchool and director of Games @ Illinois: Playful Design for Transformative Education. She was recently selected as the 2020-2021 University of Illinois Distinguished Teacher-Scholar. Her research interests include digital storytelling, game studies, and the development of interactive and narrative AI.

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