Propose a session

Everyone who goes to a THATCamp proposes a session. Do not prepare a paper or presentation. Plan instead to have a conversation, to get some work done, or to have fun. If  your submission to THATCamp Melbourne is accepted, you will be able to propose sessions on this site and also at the event on the morning of the March 25.

No papers, no presentations

An unconference, in Tom Scheinfeldt’s (the Managing Director of the Centre for History and New Media) words fun, productive, and collegial, and at THATCamp, therefore, “[W]e’re not here to listen and be listened to. We’re here to work, to participate actively.[…] We’re here to get stuff done.” Listen further:

Everyone should feel equally free to participate and everyone should let everyone else feel equally free to participate. You are not students and professors, management and staff here at THATCamp. At most conferences, the game we play is one in which I, the speaker, try desperately to prove to you how smart I am, and you, the audience member, tries desperately in the question and answer period to show how stupid I am by comparison. Not here. At THATCamp we’re here to be supportive of one another as we all struggle with the challenges and opportunities of incorporating technology in our work, departments, disciplines, and humanist missions.

Session genres

  1. General discussion — Sometimes people just want to get together and talk informally, with no agenda, about something they’re all interested in. Nothing wrong with that; it’s certainly a much better way of meeting people than addressing them from behind a podium. Propose a session on a topic that interests you, and if other people are interested, they’ll show up to talk about it with you.
  2. Hackathon — Several coders gather in a room to work on a particular project.
  3. Helpathon — You’re working on something, and you suspect that some of the various people who come to THATCamp might be able to help you with it. You describe problems you want solved and questions you want answered, and strangers magically show up to hear about what you’re doing and to give you their perspective and advice.
  4. Writeathon — A group of people get together to start writing something, whether it’s an article, a manifesto, a book, or a plan.
  5. Solvathon — People get together to figure out how to address a shared or general problem.
  6. Readathon — A group of people show up to discuss a particular blog post, article, video, report, or book. Not much different from a graduate seminar or highly intelligent one-time book club.
    • So far no one has proposed such a session, but I’m really hoping they will. icon smile Propose a session
  7. Workshop — A pre-planned session with an instructor who leads students through a short introduction to and hands-on exercise in a particular skill. Any THATCamp with three or more workshops that fit the BootCamp curriculum is considered to be offering a BootCamp, which means that attendees can apply for a fellowship.
  8. Grab bag — Ah, miscellany. One of our favorite categories. Indefinable by definition. It’s astonishing how creative people can be when you give them permission; performances and games are welcome.
    • David Staley, An installation, THATCamp Prime 2009.
    • Mark Sample, Zen Scavenger Hunt, THATCamp Prime 2010 (N.B.: The Zen Scavenger Hunt didn’t actually happen, but it was still a great idea).

Adapted from: