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2015 November

mcgrat85

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November 30, 2015

Reading Digitally, Archiving by Smartphone

November 30, 2015 | By | No Comments

A friend of mine once joked that so many Victorianists become digital humanists because Victorian novels weigh so much. If the Victorianist is drawn to DH because of the ease—and chiropractic benefits—of digitization, then the Modernist might stay away for similar reasons. Hamstrung by copyright laws, modernist scholars like myself find it quite challenging to undertake a large-scale digital project with the texts we find so interesting. Of course, this is too simple: a number of online repositories, such as the Modernist Journals Project, the Modernist Versions Project, and Editing Modernism in Canada have done so much to increase digitization efforts and make rare texts available to scholars digitally. Yet, I couldn’t help but wonder at the relative lack of digitally-inflected panels, workshops, and seminars at the Modernist Studies Association’s most recent annual conference in Boston last week (2 workshops, 2 roundtables, 1 panel, 1 seminar, and a “digital exhibition,” featuring 8 projects).

I set aside lobster rolls and Sam Adams and oh-so-good East Coast pizza to attend one of the pre-conference workshops that took up this issue. Led by my new #scholarlygirlcrushes Shawna Ross and Claire Battershill, “Digital Modernist Texts in the Classroom,” addressed questions of access and digitization for research and teaching. Shawna and Claire are a part of a group working on Open Modernisms, designed for digitizing, archiving, and anthologizing modernist texts. In many ways, Open Modernisms is a crowdsourcing anthology project: users can upload their own texts to the database and access others, creating their own anthologies for teaching. (Undoubtedly, Open Modernisms will have other uses, but our workshop focused on teaching).

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wargojon

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November 30, 2015

Failing While Folding; Or, Let’s Hope this Project Works!

November 30, 2015 | By | No Comments

In starting the “building” phase of my project, I am reminded of Pearce Durst’s recent blog essay on “Inventing the Digital Humanities through Freirian Praxis.” In it, Durst uses the metaphor of origami and the particulars of folding and unfolding to nuance the rhetorical practices of building and deconstructing in the humanities classroom. For Durst, this recursive practice is a bright spot in the advancement and ongoing invention of what is being called the digital humanities. I would add, however, that it also serves as an apt metaphor for failure. Despite following the 20+ steps to make the paper crane, I am often left asking, “Why doesn’t mine look like the picture?” Similarly, in our latest quick-build challenge, I asked myself a similar question, “Huh? How did we do that?” Using Durst’s metaphor of foldings this month, I will work to meditate on the particulars of theory, application, and reflection and consider failure as a pedagogical necessity for innovation.

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Sara Bijani

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November 18, 2015

Thinking Precarity in the Digital World

November 18, 2015 | By | No Comments

This past weekend I had the privilege of attending and presenting some of my research at the National Women’s Studies Association’s annual conference. I’m still processing all of the wonderful difficult conversations I was witness and participant to in this space, but Sara Ahmed’s keynote speech at the conference resonates through all of it. Ahmed approached the conference theme of precarity through a long meditation on “Feminism and Fragility,” with persistent metaphors of breaking against walls. According to Ahmed: “So much is, so many are, involved in a breakage.” Despite their social nature, these walls are often invisible to those who aren’t pushed into them, leaving the meanings behind stories about breaking against walls often unintelligible to those who don’t share the experience. Believing in these walls is feminist work, as is honoring the expression and knowledge of those who reveal the walls we don’t see. Ahmed presents clumsiness—meaning an awareness and embrace of the “bumpiness” of equality—as the basis of a queer ethics. “Smoothness,” in this formulation, is a form of violent adjustment to a world with walls that are positioned to break one’s self. These walls harden history, and histories then themselves become walls. Ideas of the past become themselves the agents of breakage in the present.

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Nikki Silva

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November 16, 2015

Recap of the Midwest Archaeological Conference

November 16, 2015 | By | No Comments

At the Midwest Archaeological Conference (MAC) from Nov. 5-7 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, I presented a poster titled “A Taste of Archaeology: The Importance of Public Archaeology Programs and Digital Cultural Heritage”, which discussed my experiences as a supervisor for a public archaeology camp offered through the Dickson Mounds Museum (DMM) and a description of my joint CHI project with CHI fellow Autumn Beyer: Mapping Morton Village.

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Autumn Beyer

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November 13, 2015

The New Philadelphia Augmented Reality Tour App

November 13, 2015 | By | One Comment

This past week I attended the Midwest Archaeological Conference in Milwaukee, WI. One of the talks I found very interesting and relevant to our CHI Fellowship was by Christopher Fennel of University of Illinois at Urbana-Champagne, titled: New Philadelphia, Illinois: From Research Project to National Historic Landmark. He spoke about the significance of the site, and the augmented reality (AR) app that was developed to showcase the virtually reconstructed town through historical documents and archaeological evidence.

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Lisa Bright

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November 3, 2015

Don’t fear the database: SQL v. SPARQL

November 3, 2015 | By | 4 Comments

As I previously mentioned in my introduction blog, this year my CHI project is directly related to the project myself and Katy Meyers Emery are working on for the Digital Archaeology Institute. ossuaryKB – The Mortuary Method & Practice Knowledge Base seeks to create a singular location where mortuary archaeologists can see best practices, exemplar case studies, innovative methods and more. We want the site to be functional, allowing people to easily find projects, articles, or forms based on identifiers or keywords. Creating a functional database that will do this is easier said than done. My focus for CHI this year it to create this database.

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