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Erin Pevan

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October 21, 2016

Språklivet: Using Digital Humanities to explore connections between language, identity, and the problem of boundaries

October 21, 2016 | By | No Comments

Since my last blog post, the foundations of digital project planning have been arranged, and the next steps have been taken towards creating the framework for my CHI project. From learning the fundamentals of project management to work plan preparation to geospatial web mapping, the tools have been placed in our hands to begin the process of building a solid digital space that houses a compelling theoretical argument and visualized representations of our evidence.

I’ll be quite candid in saying that ruminations of my project have been lurking in my mind for several weeks now, further established and solidified as I continue through my readings course, a course designed to ignite those sparks of thought and theory in hopes of contributing to the development of a project. My ideas and their solidity were put to the challenge when an opportunity to apply for a conference in Göteborg, Sweden (Digital Humanities in the Nordic) presented itself and suddenly all of those ideas needed organization. And this is where I saw the efforts of the last several weeks of learning and challenges and collaboration exude through my project proposal.

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In preparing this proposal, I considered all the ideas (however general they may be at this point) I wished to considered for my project, as well as honoring my interests and greater research goals. In addition, I also took the valuable advice and direction from my graduate committee when considering the ultimate goal of this project, as well as the greater theoretical question I am aiming to answer, or at least attempt to answer. In this, several questions came to mine to start the framing of my project. They include:

  • How is literature used to address issues of language identity in Norway? How can a digital platform negotiate boundaries and barriers of language use and identity in ways another medium is perhaps limiting?
  • How can we use a digital map to show flexibility in language use boundaries in ways that acknowledge the problems of creating boundaries of language use and identity?
  • How can a digital platform be used to acknowledge perspectives and boundaries, such as those in a cultural, political, or colonial context, while still providing an answer to the question of how literature, through time, has contributed to a Norwegian national identity through language?

I envision this project wholly within a digital space such as a web map, or more simply a web site, in the most simplistic sense. The project itself will be housed within a digital space, utilizing a digital mapping environment provided through open-source platforms Github, Leaflet, and Mapbox, and enhanced through JavaScript and Python programming to maximize functionality and ease of the user experience. Digital mapping and the possibilities entailed within this structure allow for conveying the natural fluidity and negotiation occurring across language boundaries.

While the project has a long way to go in terms of planning, organizing, and really tackling that theoretical question, this is a start. Next week I will be attending a workshop in LEADR which will introduce 3D Modeling with photogrammetry. I’m not new the world of 3D modeling (I’m looking at you 3dsMax) but I am new to creating 3D models in conjunction with photography. I’m hoping this new tool provide an extra dimensions to a future iteration of my CHI project!

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