From the resource:
Second, you need to communicate your research to whomever you can find, wherever and whenever you can. Just like an entrepreneur, you need to have a 30-second, 1-minute, 3-minute and 5-minute versions of your research project. Think of it as pitching your research project and include all the essential parts (topic and main question, key methodology, progress so far and the projected impact of the final project) depending on the length of the version. These pitches need to be crafted for at least two different types of audience: lay-people and experts in your field. Whenever in doubt, offer the lay-person version and depending on the feedback of your audience, switch to the expert version for details.
You might have thought of many reasons in the past not to engage in communication about your research. Let’s go over a couple of common excuses…
As a 2018–2019 NULab Fellow, I worked with the Early Caribbean Digital Archive (ECDA) to investigate disability and slavery in eighteenth- and nineteenth-century texts, studying how we can read, represent, and understand this complex history. The ECDA focuses on decolonizing the archive through remix and reassembly, using the affordances of a digital archive to create new representations, curations, and connections for historic materials.
Using this theoretical position as critical practice, I began my research with a survey of the archive, looking for texts where facets of ability and disability were both mentioned and conceptualized. When working with historic documents, one of the most important yet challenging components is deciding how to apply contemporary concepts to historic materials. Following Sari Altschuler and Cristobal SIlva’s theoretical framework for a disability studies reading of early American texts in “Early American Disability Studies,” I explored ability and disability in James Grainger’s The Sugar-Cane: A Poem and An Essay on the Most Common West-India Diseases. Grainger, a physician from the UK who worked on plantations in the Caribbean, combined natural history and medical knowledge in these texts. In my reading of Grainger, I explored the material and historic structures that disorder and classify bodies in physician’s journals, such as the empty casebook page (akin to our medical charts today) where a person’s health and ability were defined by disorder, ending in either cures or death. While Grainger’s medical text, An Essay, is a manual for plantation physicians and not a working roster of individuals, it reads as a symbol of the silenced voices and bodies that exist in the archives and must, as Altschuler and Silva note, continue to be examined.
However, this exercise in examining historic documents raised even further questions about practice: how can we reframe, revalue, and re-imagine historic knowledge and narratives? Are there ways that digital forms of exhibition and storytelling can facilitate this? The ECDA works to decolonize and reclaim silenced voices in the archive, in particular, the voices of enslaved individuals whose narratives are within colonial narratives. However, in thinking about positionality, materiality, and the body, there are further ways and needs to examine the connections between historic texts, individual narratives, and representations of ability across narratives. These questions led to the second part of my research: theorizing and planning a digital exhibit on the Haitian rebellion leader François Makandal.
From the ad:
The Department of English at James Madison University invites applications for a tenure-track Assistant Professorship in Medieval Studies, to begin in fall 2020. We are especially interested in candidates whose work engages digital humanities and/or the Global Middle Ages. Secondary fields may also include the environmental humanities, manuscript studies, and/or women’s, gender, and sexuality studies, among other fields.
From the ad:
As part of a larger functional team, comprised of personnel from the Center for Digital Scholarship and Curation, the Libraries Systems Office, and Manuscripts, Archives and Special Collections at Washington State University, this position will provide leadership in the development, implementation, promotion, and assessment of digital scholarly initiatives. The Digital Scholarship Librarian will support scholarship and teaching utilizing existing and emerging platforms such as Scalar, Omeka, and Mukurtu. This full-time, 12-month, tenure-track position reports to the Associate Dean of Digital Initiatives and Special Collections at the Washington State University Libraries in Pullman, Washington.
From the CFP:
This special issue of Digital Humanities Quarterly will bring together essays and case studies on the promises and limitations of minimal computing from historical, practical, and theoretical perspectives, as well as within the context of specific research projects and their environments.
Minimal computing can be defined as any form of digital or computational praxis done under some set of significant constraints of hardware, software, education, network capacity, power, agency or other factors. Within the context of digital humanities scholarship, minimal computing refers to such computing practices used for teaching, research, and the construction and maintenance of a hybrid — digital and analog — scholarly and cultural record.
Editors’ Choice: Sorry for all the Drupal – Reflections on the 3rd anniversary of “Drupal for Humanists”
When I finished writing Drupal for Humanists on July 15, 2015, my Magic-the-Gathering-playing, arithmetic-doing kindergartener was a barely-verbal toddler. The night I finished the manuscript was memorable in more ways than one: I was four months pregnant with my second kid, and it was the first time I felt him kick. When I sent in that manuscript, Donald Trump had announced his presidential campaign just a month earlier, but I paid it no mind as anything but a sideshow, because we all knew there was no way he’d win.
I had no way of knowing that the resulting book would be given a release date of November 8, 2016. By that point, my vague source of nausea while writing Drupal for Humanists had turned into a roly-poly nearly-1-year-old, dressed in a Hillary onesie sent by his great-aunt in Texas. (We waited until late in the election for him to wear it; Berkeley never really got over Bernie.) We believed things were going to be all right with the election, but I joke when I’m nervous. For the months leading up to November 4th, the Day When This Would All Be Over, I’d roll my eyes when I told people the release day of my book, and would quip, “At least one good thing will happen that day!”, fully expecting it wouldn’t come to that.
You know the rest of the story: my book coming out was, indeed, the only good thing that happened on November 8, 2016. And no one, myself included, cared.
It was an inauspicious start for “Drupal for Humanists”. All the things I’d imagined doing to promote the book vanished from my to-do list, replaced by an urgent need to try to wrap my head around what it all meant for us, for our friends and neighbors. I took my oldest kid, in his froggy jacket and rain boots, to an Inauguration Day protest in San Francisco. He rocked a fire truck skirt as he carried a “Refuse Fascism” sign as tall as he was to a rally against the Muslim Ban. On every level, from the climate to the direct threats to one of our favorite preschool teachers, a Dreamer, it felt like the world was starting to unravel.
Drupal wasn’t exempt from the zeitgeist. Drupal 8 was released on November 19, 2015 — a year before Drupal for Humanists came out, but after I’d submitted the full manuscript. Chapter 2 includes an extended analogy involving Catalan and Latin, to explain the fracture it caused within the Drupal developer community. I wasn’t concerned; it had taken a year for module support to catch up (for existing, widely-used modules — let alone new developments) when Drupal 7 originally came out, and I expected it would take longer for Drupal 8. That same section included a reference to Backdrop, a fork of Drupal 7 that had been announced in January 2015. At the time, I wasn’t impressed: Drupal modules had to be rewritten to remove the database abstraction layer in order to work in Backdrop, and I couldn’t see the payoff compared to sticking with Drupal 7 and seeing how things played out. By the time everything else in the world felt like it was going to pieces, it was clear to me that — for digital humanities projects — Drupal 8 had taken a wrong turn. Drupal 8 made it harder, not easier, for the kinds of users I’d written the book for. I wanted website-Legos that anyone with an idea for a DH project could assemble into something very functional and reasonably nice-looking, without writing a line of code. Instead, Drupal 8 was built for Enterprise, where IT teams of developers and sysops folks are paid lots of money to deal with technical processes. As an organization, Drupal was courting developers who were familiar with the enterprise PHP web application framework Symfony, not historians who learned a little PHP while hacking WordPress on the side.
From the ad:
The application period is now open for a two-year postdoctoral fellowship in US Latino Digital Humanities (USLDH), a division of Recovering the US Hispanic Literary Heritage program (Recovery) at the University of Houston. The program is looking for a recent (less than 5 years) Ph.D. graduate with background expertise in US Latino Studies. The postdoctoral fellow will help re-vision new strategies for data hosted at Recovery in support of teaching, research and community engagement and help to develop initiatives that will enhance collections and scholarship in the field. USLDH will provide the selected candidate with the necessary training in digital tools, metadata and digitization standards, project and content management systems and platforms. The fellow will be expected to create and publish a significant DH project using Recovery’s archives, assist with instruction, support projects and scholars, serve as a mentor for Research Fellows, lead workshops and collaborate in the creation and implementation of toolkits and other pedagogical tools. The postdoctoral fellow will give one university-wide presentation per year at the University of Houston and will have opportunities to teach courses or be invited as a lecturer at partner departments.
From the funding opportunity:
Digital Pedagogy Lab 2020 will take place July 27-31 on Auraria Campus in Denver, Colorado…
The Lab has always relied upon the voices of its participants to guide the learning and discovery at the event. Key among those voices are our fellows. Each year, we earmark funds to provide fellowships to as many people as we can. A Digital Pedagogy Lab Fellow attends the event for free and has the opportunity to present a workshop, co-lead a portion of a course with one of our faculty, sit on our closing panel, or find other creative ways to contribute to the DPL community. In addition, each fellow receives a $1,000 USD stipend to help offset the cost of travel.
From the resource:
Over the summer of 2019, inspired by the promising results in articles like Romanov et al. 2017, I set out to use the Kraken OCR software on a variety of texts. Kraken, see their website or their repository, is open-source command line software that is capable of reaching accuracy rates in the high nineties for Arabic and Persian printed text.
Kraken is not equipped to handle every text – I recommend using it only on works for which you have clear PDFs or page images (300 DPI is the usual recommendation) and in which the text is laid out in one column. If you are starting from a PDF, use your tool of choice to separate the pages into individual image files. I use pdftoppm or ImageMagick’s convert tool, and I have been able to use Kraken with PNG, TIFF, and JPG files.
From the ad:
The Department of Romance Languages and Literatures at the University of Chicago, in collaboration with the Project for American and French Research on the Treasury of the French Language (generally known as the ARTFL Project) and the Textual Optics Lab, seeks a Senior Research Associate in Digital Humanities and Romance Languages and Literatures. This position reports to the Chair of the Department of Romance Languages and Literatures.
From the report:
The Association for Computers in the Humanities (ACH) Conference took place at the Marriott City Center in Pittsburgh, PA, July 32-26, 2019. While this conference might seem out of scope for me–an undergraduate studying Psychology and Language, Media, & Communications–I was there to present on work I had done as a teaching assistant for a Language & Advertising course in the fall of 2018 using Mediate: A time-based media annotation tool developed by the Digital Scholarship Lab at River Campus Libraries, and the object of focus in our presentation for the conference.
About the resource:
In April 2019, “What is a Feminist Lab?” Symposium was held at the University of Colorado Boulder and organized by Maya Livio, Lori Emerson, and Thea Lindquist. The event included a range of speakers from interdisciplinary research labs and explored ways in which intersectional feminist approaches can be integrated into labs and the work they do. The organizers have released recordings of the event…
Vox data journalist Alvin Chang, an alum of the Boston Globe and ESPN, has been writing stories about segregation for most of his career. Earlier this year, Chang looked at segregation in both the workplace and the home in his story “American segregation, mapped at day and night.”
Using data provided by researchers at Cornell and Penn State, Chang created an immersive story with interactive and visual features that blended historical footage and three-dimensional visualizations to illuminate just how segregated America still is.
Storybench sat down with Chang to talk about how this story came about and the steps he took to create an immersive piece.How did you come up with the idea for this story?
I’ve written a few pieces on segregation. It’s often about racial segregation in housing and in schools as those are kind of the two biggest examples of American segregation that was engineered by the federal government. So, I’ve done quite a bit of work – especially in the school segregation space and especially in the mapping and the analysis of this data.
[For this story,] I actually got a DM on Twitter from one of the researchers – his name is Matthew Hall – and I think I cite him in the piece. He was like ‘Hey! Me and my colleagues have this really interesting piece of research. I’m curious if you want to look at it?’ and I jumped on a call with him and I said ‘Yeah, definitely! Especially if you’re willing to share some data with me.’ So, he actually reached out with some research he had and a lot of the time these researchers have a lot of data behind their papers but their data is stuck behind, essentially, a PDF or an academic journal and no one really gets to see what their findings are and so when I see examples of this I jump on it. I’m like ‘OK. I definitely think these people did work that is incredibly important and my job is to try to help readers understand the findings and maybe personalize it to their actual geography or their situation.’ As soon as I realize this was one of those projects – I talked with Matt, made sure that everything that needed to be agreed upon was agreed upon, and then he shared his data with me. From there, I just started mapping and a lot of the times the narrative that journalists want to tell isn’t clear. It’s not clear from the research paper, you kind of have to dig through to figure out how to tell the story more clearly and so one of the things that I realized I needed to do is call this ‘segregation in day and night;’ versus what they look at work versus at home. You know, most people are at home during the night and at work during the day so the idea was if we could give this a time element it might help people better understand what they’re looking at.