Hello world!

Welcome to Day of DH 2010. This is your first post. Edit or delete it, then start blogging!

Ready, set, go!

So here we are… Time to get ready for this nice blogging experiment. Right now I’m thinking and preparing my talk for my final phd discussion (18th march 2010). I’m kind of nervous about it, but I guess everybody should feel anxious about the last exam of any course.

My phd course has been about SOCIETY, INSTITUTIONS AND POLITICAL SYSTEMS IN EUROPE (19th – 20th CENTURY). It has been organized by the University of Tuscia in Viterbo (Italy). We have had a lot of seminars during the last three years, but only one about “digital humanities” and the use of digital tools in contemporary history… what a pity!

The title of my research (and final discussion) is

THE SCREEN AND THE MIRROR Italian migrants in belgian mass-media (1946-1984)

First chapter is an historical overview of the post war period in Belgium
Second chapter is about the belgian movie industry and the representation of the italian migrants
Third chapter is about the representation in belgian state radio and tv as well as an analysis of the program “Ciao amici” (aired in italian) on radio and tv. 
The fourth and last chapter is about  the representation and self-representation of the italian comunity on the “belgian” web.

On the 18th I will be nervous and very concentrated on this. Fingers crossed!

My phd research

Here it is!

Just added some web 2.0 features…

I added some of the widgets available. Not all of them…

Looks funny now! Next step adding some color and photos.

What a day…

So here I stand… with my phd thesis in one hand and my macbookpro in the other. I’m near a small pcbench from which I should begin my presentation. I tried to use something nice for this special occasion so this last week I have been working on my new Prezy account to deliver a good presentation of my research. Prezi is nice and quite easy to use…

Here’s the result… obviously in Italian for my italian commission.


Still the room wasn’t enough technological for this purpose.

The video-projector was above our heads, entangled in some wierd way to wobbling ropes… going to and fro at every air movement…

At the beginning the stupid projector would simply not reply to the commands, then the big white screen would just not come down to show the presentation and finally the mac batteries went down in just a sec…

Fortunately the power cable was in my bag.

The “technical guy” from the faculty eventually came with a long stick… yes a long stick to turn the projector off and on again… making it swing dangerously in the air…

All the scene was quite surreal. Me standing in front of the commission. The commission waiting in silence. The guy teasing the projector from the ground!

Here’s what it looked like:


Swinging to and fro

Swinging to and fro


At last I could deliver my presentation… the curtains were closed and the “prezi” began.

The discussion that came afteward was nice and not to hard on my research. I was pleased to hear interresting questions about my work, at least it gave me the sensation that the commission had read my stuff… and not only looked at it between a coffe and another more interresting book written by some clever fellow teacher, somewhere in some remote history faculty.

The discussion came to the points that had interrested me more in my hole research: the link between older and younger migrants generations and the differences in their self-representation. Did the medium had influenced the way to represent themselves? Why so much silence between the first and the second generations of migrants? What kind of sedimentation was necessary to enable younger generations to speak about their own communities?

The discussion went on for an hour or so… I was more relaxed as the time went by. I could feel the end of the exam approaching and it felt so good. I did it, it was done. I could have said so many other things, I could have spoken more about the movie industry and the television programs… but at the end I was happy. So strangely happy…

We all went out of the room to leave the commission debate on our works.

When we came back to hear the final verdict, I was felling on a little cloud, dizy and odd. what was I doing there?

They read the appreciation. My work was classified as good and original and I had shown to have a good preparation. Furthermore my approach was scientific and complete.

That was it. I went to sign the exam record. They handed me the phd diploma and we shook hands.


me and my phd

me and my phd

The day seemed to have stoped the moment I looked at the paper.

Not much of a digital humanist for today… but tomorrow I’m off to scan-OCR some old books, insert articles in www.officinadellastoria.info, create new sections for our e-journal, reply to a friend providing him a list of bookmarks about jewish studies in Italy, reply to another person about a new online project, write an article about the latest “european election on the web”, finish creating the template for the new faculty site, reply to the doaj.com inquiry, follow a lesson about “e-book” on an online moodle platform, and post some new stuff on Twitter and Facebook.

I was forgetting to mention that tomorrow I’ll be also booking my trip to Turin where I’ll follow:

Tecniche, pratiche e scienze sociali a confronto


… and I’ll work on a new project on the creation of a multimedia-lab in my faculty.

That’s all for today…


Last pics of the day

I though that, mabye, some picture of my desk might be a nice way to see from were I post.

Here they are…

A bit dark, but it’s 23.54… just in time for the last pics of the day!

My desk

My desk

wired fan

wired fan

the time has come to close the lid

the time has come to close the lid

Have a nice night!