Digital Humanities Fellows

Digital Humanities Fellows

Thinking and Building Together

The Digital Humanities Fellows are a cohort of faculty members, staff, and students from across the university committed to thinking and working together for an academic year. Joining with the IDRH Digital Storytelling Colloquium, the Fellows cohort is designed to form the foundation of an ongoing, institution-wide conversation about issues in the public and digital humanities. Fellows will workshop projects, attend events, and be granted unique access to networking opportunities and training in DH methods and tools.   

Application Overview

  • Deadline: September 8, 2024, 11:59pm.

  • Eligibility: Faculty, Academic Staff, and graduate students, advanced undergraduate students at KU

  • Award: $3,000 stipend + $2,000 research funds

Call for Applications

2023-2024 Fellows


Jessina Emmert

Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies

Jessina Emmert is a doctoral candidate in the Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies department. Her research merges the fields of Black feminist theory, American Studies, African-AmericanStudies, and Digital Humanities to examine Black women’s spatial movements in nineteenth-century New Orleans. Specifically, she investigates a group of enslaved women known as ‘Fancy Girls’ who were light-skinned Black women sold for the purpose of sexual services and concubinage. Emmert envisions using GIS (Geographic Information System) to curate a digital storytelling project that will map fancy girls’ activities and movements in the locations of the slave market, street windows, the home, and the courtroom in New Orleans. This digital map will identifythe web of spatial movements where fancy girls are linked and bring their lives from the archive into the digital sphere. 


Brigid Enchill

French, Francophone, and Italian Studies

Brigid Enchill is a PhD candidate in the department of French, Francophone, and Italian Studies. Her research work on digital humanities focuses on building a collective digital resource platform which will be available to most beginner and intermediate levels foreign language teachers, documenting and exploring the different types of digital humanities tools which work best in these classrooms. In this research, Brigid will equally examine the challenges and successes faced by both instructors and students when using such tools. This project will again examine and identify the required knowledge that both students and teachers will need to bring onboard, as well as how digital humanities tools could enhance the beginner language learning experience in general, while measuring various levels of students’ engagement and competence. The result will be creating accessible teaching materials and how-to guides for classroom use that incorporates digital humanities tools for beginner and intermediate levels of language instruction and learning. This will not only strengthen the language and critical thinking skills of beginner language students but will equally help them see themselves as members of a larger language community beyond the classroom, as a result of their engagement with digital humanities tools. 


Rebecca Johnston

Cyber Social Fellow, CREES & CSSD

Ever since the invasion of Ukraine on February 24, 2022, the Russian state has attempted to operationalize its own domestic cultural sphere to facilitate military success. With a network of tens of thousands of state-dependent institutions at its disposal, Russia’s leadership has continually banked on its “cultural front” to achieve what weapons have not. This project will analyze and visualize the different ways that the state has attempted to weaponize culture over the course of the war. On one hand, culture has the power to encourage individuals to take concrete action. On the other, it can shape meanings, narratives, and affective experiences. That latter power, in the grandest aspirations of Russia’s leadership, can help Russia to absorb Ukraine into a singular civilization. The digital showcase resulting from this project will help us to reach a more comprehensive understanding of how Russia has conducted this war and to what ends.


Annabelle Lyne


Annabelle Lyne is a second-year PhD student in the Department of History. Annabelle’s project will be a digital resource to aid tribal citizens in navigating tribal and federal laws relating to their everyday lives. Featuring summaries of Federal Indian law cases from the past century, presented with accessible language, videos, and digital mapping, the digital resource will aid the public in translating legal jargon into useful resources with daily application. With accessible and bite-sized synopses of historical and present court cases affecting tribes today, the site will also serve as a learning resource for students interested in Indigenous law. As a part of envisioning an engaging user-friendly format, a series of interviews with Indigenous peoples for each case will be conducted, including thoughts from tribal leaders and lawyers involved in the cases. As well as this, the project will incorporate digital artwork (information design) since artwork can be a great resource for informing the public on legal matters. Annabelle’s research focuses on social justice and rights concerns for Indigenous peoples, so this project is dedicated to promoting Indigenous rights, sharing Indigenous perspectives on Supreme Court rulings, and publicizing issues, such as cross-jurisdiction, on Native American reservations today.  


Haoran Ni


Haoran (Julia) Ni is a PhD candidate in Chinese history. Her digital humanities project will be developed from her dissertation chapters, a study on food that focuses on the localization of U.S. Coca-Cola and Hazelwood ice cream in Shanghai in the twentieth century. She wants to digitize the Chinese advertisements for these American refreshments and design an online exhibition entitled “Advertising American Cold Refreshments in Twentieth-century China.” These ads all depict modern Chinese women consuming Coca-Cola and ice cream in their everyday lives, and we can see that American merchants used these images to present an American way of life to its Chinese customers. During Haoran’s research trip in Shanghai in the summer of 2023, she collected nearly 50 images (advertisements and photos) for this project. This is also a public-history-related project because all these images will be housed in one spot so that researchers and the public who have an interest in food studies, the history of Shanghai, and gender and women’s studies, can have access to them.


Ninel Valderrama

Spanish and Portuguese Studies

Ninel Valderrama Negrón is an assistant professor in the Spanish and Portuguese department. My project investigates the connection between the cholera pandemic, health regulations, and the urban transformation of Havana during the early nineteenth century. Before the onset of the epidemic, there was a subtle connection between racial, gender, and class disparities and the occurrence of sickness and disease. However, the discourse around this relationship became more overt and clear after the year 1833. The proposed project aims to use archival documents as primary sources to extract pertinent information, afterwards transforming this material into a format that can be processed by computers. The use of Tableau and ArcGIS facilitates the comprehension of the prevailing patterns of structural racialization in Havana. For instance, the use of Tableau enables the computation of census data in conjunction with cholera mortality rates, while ArcGIS facilitates the geospatial analysis of the population distribution in connection to prophylactic facilities. This case study can help us better explain how colonial infrastructure reinforces today’s racial inequality, as it understands these strategies as critical to the ongoing history of policing and systematic racial injustices that still traumatize communities of color globally. 


Aimee Wilson

Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies

Aimee Wilson, PhD, is an associate professor in the Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Department. In this fellowship year, Wilson will develop a digital archive of the Birth Control Review (BCR), an American magazine that ran for 23 years in the early twentieth century and eventually became the official publication of Planned Parenthood. The BCR combined art with activism, publishing stories, plays, and poems alongside news articles. Wilson’s archive project will be a public-facing website that makes all issues of the BCR freely available, houses a comprehensive index of the publication (which Wilson is creating), and publishes introductory essays on topics that were frequently discussed in the BCR, topics such as censorship, poverty, and World War I. Storytelling is at the heart of Wilson’s scholarship, which focuses on the relationship between literature and politics. The BCR used storytelling to bring about tangible changes. At the time, it was illegal to discuss specific birth control methods. Instead, the writers who published in the BCR narrate the human impact of restrictive laws. Thanks in part to the BCR, these laws were loosened or overturned. The Digital Archive of the Birth Control Review will illuminate this important chapter in the history of reproductive justice movements. 


2022-2023 Fellows

Ben Allen (Psychology)

Aylar Atadurdyyeva (Global and International Studies, Microbiology, Political Science, and Slavic Studies)

Samantha Bishop Simmons (Libraries) 

Allison Charba (Museum Studies) 

Jana Hunter (ATLAS) 

Sheyda Jahanbani (History) 

Ayako Mizumura (East Asian Studies) 

Shawna Shipley Gates (Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies) 

Yidong Wang (Hall Center for the Humanities) 

Giselle Liza Anatol & Madeleine Bonnallie (Gunn Center for the Study of Science Fiction) 

2021-2022 Fellows

Rebekah Aycock (American Studies)

Haley Bajorek (Museum Studies & African and African American Studies)

Jade Harrison (African American Literature)

Terry Koenig, PhD, LSCSW (School of Social Welfare)

Sandra Leon (Department of Spanish & Portuguese)

Brent Metz, PhD (Anthropology)

Lena Mose (American Studies; Women, Gender & Sexuality Studies)

Cameron Piercy, PhD (Communication Studies)

Silvia Sanchez (Cultural Anthropology)

Fernando Santos (Department of Spanish & Portuguese)

2020-2021 Fellows

L. Marie Avila, MLS (Libraries)

Ignacio Carvajal, PhD (Spanish & Portuguese)

Bobby Cervantes (American Studies)

Germaine Halegoua, PhD (Film & Media Studies)

Ayesha Hardison, PhD (English, Women, Gender & Sexuality Studies)

Shane Lynch (American Studies)

Joey Orr, PhD (Spencer Museum of Art)

Hyunjin Seo, PhD (School of Journalism & Mass Communications)

Erin Wolfe, MLS (Libraries)

James Yeku, PhD (African and African American Studies)

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