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Meeting (2019-10-03) - Initial Meeting of Year

Page history last edited by Alan Liu 4 years, 9 months ago


Meeting Time:       Oct. 3rd, 10am - noon (Pacific)

Meeting Location: South Hall 2509 (Transcriptions Center) 

Meeting Zoom:     We'll use Alan's "instant" Zoom ID (our default meeting Zoom):  https://ucsb.zoom.us/j/760-021-1662



0. Preliminary Business


  • Announcements
    • Mellon Foundation funds Humanities Indicators survey of the public's views on the humanities (press release). 
      --The survey explores "how Americans engage with the humanities in person and online; the extent of their early exposure to the humanities; the role of the humanities in their work lives; to what extent they value humanities education; and how they believe the humanities shapes individuals’ lives, civic life, and the nation’s economic fortunes."
    • New version of Sihwa Park's Topic Bubbles (example
  • Introductions (WE1S current participants
  • Reminders about:
  • Next all-hands meeting date
    • Friday Oct. 18th, 10-noon, or noon-2?
    • Thursday Oct. 24th, 10-noon?


Purpose of today's meeting

  • Organizing for the year's work:
    • Main goals of the year -- prepare for final outputs (and begin to disseminate them)
      • Explore research questions that lead to key findings (and begin to disseminate findings and prepare for final outputs)
      • Finalize collections of materials (and prepare for disseminating and depositing them)
      • Finalize technical platform (and prepare for disseminating and depositing tools)
  • Draft timeline of work 



1. The State of the Project

(Note: we may need to jump to meeting agenda items 2-3 below first if there are people who need to leave the meeting early).




2. Creating Teams to Address Research Questions


  • Initial exercise: harvest key findings from summer research camp
    1. Before next all-hands meeting, everyone to read research reports from the teams in summer, using a copy of those reports designed for annotation (Copies of research question reports from summer 2019 for commenting)
    2. Use comments to add tag: "Key finding" (plus any notes). A key finding is something that we think is important or interesting enough to report out to the public (and/or use to guide advocacy outputs)
      1. Example of a commented "key finding"
      2. Reminder of main goals of WE1S project (from our grant proposal and online Prospectus):

Main Public Goals (addressed to the public or to humanities advocates addressing the public):

Provide a richer stock of themes, narratives, examples, and evidence types that can be drawn upon in discussing the humanities, whether at the policy level (e.g., how society should apportion investment in STEM versus humanities education) or at the individual or social level (e.g., how parents and students talk to each other about what life or career is about).


Provide recommendations for humanities advocacy in the form of executive summaries addressed to different sectors of the public (journalists, politicians, business leaders, parents, students) and best-practices advice (e.g., avoiding untrue or overused themes in public discussion of the humanities, and drawing connections between the humanities and themes of interest to the public).


Provide resource “kits” of themes, examples, and evidence for journalists, scholars, and administrators to draw on in discussing the humanities; or for students to draw on as they consider choosing a major and discussing it with parents....

For the public, WE1S will provide research-based examples and analyses of themes, narratives, metaphors, evidence, and value statements about the humanities, together with links to readings in the original journalistic material. In addition, WE1S will create resources and recommendations to help guide discussion about the humanities by journalists, politicians, business people, university administrators, parents, and students.


    1. Keep notes for yourself of issues you think we should research that are missing so far from our work on the topic models.
    2. Once we assess all the key findings people have identified, we'll have a sense of:
      • what is important enough to confirm with additional research and evidence
      • what research questions to ask next. 
  • Research questions plan for ensuing year
    • Topic model interpretation research teams of 2-4 members that function as follows:
      • individual team members work on specific questions of their own. . .
      • . . . but framed within a set of related questions that the overall team coordinates and consults on . . .
      • with periodic reporting out to All-hands (at all-hands meetings every two or three weeks)
      • Teams will also output from their findings materials for blog posts/social media
    • Team membership:  (spreadsheet for drafting team membership)
      • Try to continue or build on the summer UCSB and CSUN teams?
        • Embed new RAs at UCSB in veteran teams  
      • Revise the teams so that they can work locally on each campus rather than across campuses?
      • How will U. Miami teams be involved? 
    • Possible teams (?). The below early draft of teams is based on research areas investigated during the summer, which may change or be revised as we go forward. Members listed for each team at present are just those in that team during the summer who are also with WE1S for this academic year. The draft of teams does not yet incorporate the U. Miami team(s).
      • (1) Humanities crisis research team
        • Mauro Carassai (?) 
      • (2) Geolocation research team
        • Dan Baciu, Cindy Kang, Sihwa Park
      • (3) Social groups and the humanities research team
        • Su Burtner, Giorgina Paiella, Jamal Russell
      • (4) Economic contexts of the humanities ("values") research team
        • Phillip Cortes, 
      • (5) Broader profile of humanities in society research team
        • Malinda Hackett, Alan Liu, Tarika Sankar 
      • (6) The humanities in different media (news print, TV, born-digital news, social media)
        • Joyce Brummet, Joseph Jaffray, Ryan Leach 
      • (7) Impact of government, funding agencies, and foundations on public discourse on the humanities
        • Sean Gilleran, (Christina Roberts beginning Winter quarter) 
      • (8) Human subjects teams:
        • UCSB human subjects team to continue their analyses.
        • U. Miami human subjects team to start work 
        • (What are ways to bridge between the human subjects research and the topic model research?) 



3. Creating (or continuing) Other Task Teams

Members of the research questions teams above will also be engaged as time allows on the following work. (We'll see who is interested, and ask them to create a rough timeline or outline of main activities for the year)

  • Visualization development team (Interpretation Lab)
  • Documentation & Dissemination team -- to create or edit materials for releases of the following every two to three weeks:
    • Social media postings
    • Research blog posts 
    • Bibliography 
    • Web site 
    • Journal publications, etc. 
  • Final outputs planning team 
  • Technical repository and dissemination team (PIs + Greg Janée)
  • Mellon progress report team (PI assisted by co-PIs and project managers) 



Planning for Future Meetings








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