Dec 09

Slavic Linguistics Conference

5th Annual Slavic Linguistics Conference. Jointly sponsored by the Slavic Linguistics Society, the Slavic and Linguistics departments, CEERES and the Chicago Linguistics Society.

Design Notes:

Simple conference website using the MistyLook WordPress theme. The front page can continue to be used for updates, news, schedule changes, announcements etc using posts while the rest of the site content is built on pages. The site uses a Page widget on the right in the sidebar for navigation. To prevent the list of pages from appearing twice the default horizontal page menu at the top of the site was turned off in the theme options for all pages except “Home”.


Nov 09

The Material and the Code

The Material and the Code is a two-day symposium at the University of Chicago’s Film Studies Center on February 26 & 27, 2010.

Design Notes:

A very simple site with a visually striking header image whose colors match the default background color of the Traveller WordPress theme. The site repeats the default horizontal page menu underneath the menu in a vertical menu in the sidebar. A recent posts widget keeps track of additions to the site. The site also makes good use of the space set aside by the theme for a site tagline to complement the site title.

Feb 09

Albanian Linguistics Conference

Conference on Albanian Linguistics hosted at the University of Chicago on February 28th, 2009.

Design Notes:

Elite WordPress theme (outdated). This is a very simple, but effective site with separate pages for all conference related issues such addresses, the conference program, directions, sponsors etc. The post features of the blog are not being used at all and the blog page has been set to re-direct to the workshop program / conference schedule page (in most themes it is possible to turn off unneeded pages in the site menu).

Of especial note on this site are the links to audio, videos and screencast recordings for each speaker as well as links to downloadable PowerPoint files and PDFs of their handouts. The multimedia files from the conference accessible on the site were prepared with Podcast Producer. The same files were then re-used and placed on in the CEERES album on the university’s iTunesU site for easy download and syncing to a mobile device such as an iPod.

Unfortunately it is not advisable to use this particular theme today since it has not seen any updates for several years. Please follow this link to see other model conference websites using a variety of different readily available WordPress themes.


Sep 08

Chinese Opera Films after 1949

Conference held at the University of Chicago on Chinese Opera Films after 1949 – Music, Theater, and Cinematic Arts.

Design Notes:

Roundflow WordPress theme (outdated). This is a quietly elegant site characterized by a careful and harmonious selection of colors for the banner, menus and linked text. The colors for these elements (which can be set in the theme options) are derived from the photo on the front page. The post features of the site have been turned off so that each element of the site is based on an individual page.

Unfortunately it is not advisable to use this particular theme today since it has not seen any updates for several years. Please follow this link to see other model conference websites using a variety of different readily available WordPress themes.



Mar 08

What Poetry Narrates Conference

Conference website at the University of Chicago for (Ce) que la poésie raconte or, (What) Poetry Narrates.

Design Notes:

NigaRila WordPress theme. Very simple, easy to make conference website consisting of a single post on the homepage announcing the event (additional posts could have been added here for updates, announcements, schedule changes etc.) and a small number of pages for the other elements of the site (Sponsors, Contacts etc.). The text overlaid on top of the banner image is created automatically by the template. All you need to do is to prepare an image with the appropriate dimensions (the theme will even let you use and crop images that are too large for this purpose). In addition the theme allows for the use of different colors beside the default white for the site title. A site like this can easily be put together in under 20 minutes.


Mar 08

Chicago Colloquium on Digital Humanities and Computer Science

Website for the third annual Chicago Colloquium on Digital Humanities and Computer Science in 2008. The goal of the annual Chicago Colloquia on Digital Humanities and Computer Science (DHCS) is to bring together researchers and scholars in the humanities and computer science to examine the current state of digital humanities as a field of intellectual inquiry and to identify and explore new directions and perspectives for future research.

Design Notes:

The DHCS conference website (built on the Tarski WordPress theme) is structured a little more elaborately than most of the other WordPress conference sites listed on this site. To begin, the site’s home page does not default to a page listing individual posts (which is the WordPress default) but to a static page. This allows the site to specify a different page for posts. Visitors to the site first see the general info page and can then switch to the blog page for announcements and updates. In this case, the blog page was also used to record the registration information of each participant at the conference including areas of interest recorded as post categories. This in turn allowed the organizers to provide a running overview (and allow visitors to search for) who was coming to the conference, what areas they were interested in etc. You’ll also note that the items (widgets) in the sidebar are different on the home and the blog page – this is a special feature of the Tarski theme (it also provides the same functionality for footers). As a final point of interest Tarski does a nice job styling the default Page widget. You can see this on the site’s home page where parent and child pages are displayed in an easy to follow hierarchy. Once you know that such options are already built into Tarski and WordPress creating a site such as this is not at all difficult.



Feb 08

South Asia Graduate Student Conferences

Website for the annual South Asia Graduate Student Conferences at the University of Chicago.

This MistyLook WordPress theme based site cleverly organizes each year’s conference as a set of linked pages (one parent page and several child pages). Each packet of pages follows the same structure (Abstracts, Participants, Program, Locations, Maps and Directions) allowing the conferences to be displayed one under each other in the site’s sidebar. Navigating through the site is also helped by the fact the each parent page will (at the bottom of the page) automatically link to its child pages and by the decision to repeat the top level or parents pages in a horizontal menu provided by the theme at the top of the site. While all this may sound complicated it really is not – the adjustments required for this type of page organization are very easy to follow once seen in practice.


Sep 07

Virtual Tourist in Ancient Rome

The Virtual Tourist in Ancient Rome symposium brings together scholars from the United States and Europe to address new directions in research on Renaissance antiquarianism and visual culture, including those making use of digital technology.

Design Notes:

This is a very simple site built on the NigaRila WordPress theme. It has a clean and simple design that relies in large part for its positive effect on the striking nature of the custom header image. A site like this with a solid color header is likely to be visually less effective. This was one of the first sites we created in WordPress for conferences. Today we would probably structure the site navigation a little differently (using a horizontal menu under the header image for example). However it’s still worth considering as a model as an example of how much can be done with very little effort. The whole site was put together in 20 minutes.