Statements for Project Bamboo Proposal

It turns out I wrote down the wrong day for the annual rice field day at LSU’s Rice Station west of Rayne, and so I am home, with my cold, working on various Project Bamboo tasks.

### Value Statement

The first thing I got done was to draft a value statement for scholarly / professional / learned societies:

> The central focus of the learned society remains the pursuit of reliable knowledge and its effective communication within and without the society. Cyberinfrastructures expand the communicative modalities available to learned societies and their members. However, these same infrastructures threaten some of the most venerable revenue streams, emphasizing the importance of maximizing the return on investment in the digital realm. What learned societies need are at least interoperable, if not common, infrastructures that allow members to communicate and collaborate, in a trusted fashion, with other scholars, be they mutual members of the same society or in an adjacent field. By participating in a common technological ecosystem, learned societies can leverage their investment to give their members the tools and content they need to advance their own scholarship, and thus the impact of the society itself.

This has now been [posted]( on the Bamboo Wiki. (N.B. I believe the wiki is currently private, so that link will probably not work.)

### Case Statement

The second thing I did was to add a potential new case statement to the proposal that focused on the outreach / public relations potential of Bamboo:

> Bamboo’s goal of increasing the visibility and accessibility of digital tools and content to humanities scholars themselves will necessarily not only radiate out to graduate and undergraduate students who will thus be able to participate in and work with these materials and methods but it will also increase the visibility of the work of humanities scholars to an increasingly connected public who are often in search of humanities content but are often stymied in their search for trusted materials and ideas.

> [You could think of this as something like Stanford’s SEE (Stanford Engineering Everywhere) program. One-upping to a definite article: the THE (The Humanities Everywhere). Maybe.]

### Use Statement

> I remember a conversation from graduate school where students were trying to hash out where they thought the field was going. One of our cohort finally spoke up and said, “Well, I don’t know where the field is going, but I do know where I want to take it.” Perhaps, Project Bamboo is something like that for those of us at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette.

> We have taken a multi-level approach to our efforts:

> * At the base level, there is an enormous benefit for an university like the University of Louisiana simply to be among the founding members of anything of the scope and scale as Project Bamboo. We are the only university from the Deep South to have participated throughout the process.
* Building from such a base, we have already, as it were, used the fact of our participation in Bamboo to leverage state funding of a “digital humanities lab.”
* Moving from an institutional scope to one focused more clearly on the humanities, we have emphasized the inevitability of the IT revolution and the ability to be in control of one’s own destiny to which Bamboo aspires to discuss with faculty not only our involvement in the consortium but also to begin to make them aware of the possibilities contained within under the rather diffuse rubric of the “digital humanities.”
* At the level of particular disciplines, my involvement in Project Bamboo has also helped me steer a parallel project, the design and development of a new website / communications platform for the American Folklore Society, of which I have been named editor.
* Finally, at a personal level, there can be no doubt the enormous professional development I have enjoyed thanks to the incredibly challenging conversations we have had as a result of the mixing of humanists, technologists, and archivists / librarians. The multi-disciplinary discussions have been amazing.

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