I'd like to bring PowerPoint back to THATCamp. No, not like that. Many THATCampers will know that I'm interested in performance and deformance in digital humanities, something I've written about <a href="http://www.foundhistory.org/2012/02/15/game-change-digital-technology-and-performative-humanities/">here</a> and Mark Sample has written about <a href="http://www.samplereality.com/2012/05/02/notes-towards-a-deformed-humanities/">here</a>. In a <a href="http://www.merlinmann.com/roderick/ep-71-everybody-has-a-hamburger.html">recent episode of the podcast Roderick on the Line</a>, John Roderick described being asked by a conference organizer to provide slides for a talk he had been invited to give. Not knowing PowerPoint himself, Roderick asked a friend to make the slides for him — without, beyond mentioning the title of the talk, telling the friend what he was going to say. As the subject of the talk was punk, it was actually, if accidentally, about the most appropriate use of PowerPoint possible.
I'd like to experiment with using PowerPoint in this way at THATCamp. What I'd like to do is put together four teams of two campers. One partner would choose a topic and write a ten minute talk. The other partner–knowing only the title of the talk–would build a deck of 20 slides. At THATCamp, the first partner would deliver the talk, and the second partner would advance the slides. At the end of each talk, we'd use the Q&A to explore what, if any, creative tensions, serendipitous insights, and hilarious hiccups these accidental PowerPoint presentations-cum-Mad Libs reveal.
Please use the comments section below if you'd like to jump on board, ask questions, and help organize. If you already have a partner in mind, great. If not, people should pair up ahead of THATCamp. Each pair will probably need to settle on a title a couple weeks ahead of time in order to have enough time to write the talk and prepare the slides in time for presentation at THATCamp. Topics and titles don't have to (and probably shouldn't) relate to digital humanities topics. In some ways, I think the more traditional the topic and title, the more vanilla the humanities content, the better.
UPDATE: I think we will deliver these presentations as part of the Maker Challenge on Saturday afternoon. That will give everyone a little more time to organize. Please use Friday to pair up and write your talks/assemble your slides. Continue to use this space for connecting and coordination.