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2017 September

fandinod

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September 29, 2017

Introducing CHI Fellow Daniel Fandino

September 29, 2017 | By | No Comments

Greetings traveler on the great ocean of knowledge that is the internet! My name is Daniel Fandino and I am a first year PhD student in the Department of History at Michigan State University and a 2017 Cultural Heritage Informatics Fellow. My research is centered on the study of modern Japan with a focus on U.S. – Japanese relations and the intersection of popular culture, technology, and nationalism. Before arriving at Michigan State I earned my Master’s degree in History from the University of Central Florida and then spent the next few years living in Shanghai, Taipei, and Tokyo. Although my academic pursuits primarily revolve around Japanese history I have been able to explore other areas of personal interest such as fandom and video games by assisting in editing a collected volume of essays on the Marvel Cinematic Universe, contributing to an encyclopedia of Japanese horror films, and writing about dark tourism in the massively multiplayer game EVE Online.

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Jack Biggs

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September 27, 2017

(Re)Introducing CHI Fellow Jack Biggs

September 27, 2017 | By | No Comments

Greetings everyone!  My name is Jack Biggs and if my name sounds familiar, that is because I was a CHI Fellow during the last academic year and was fortunate enough the be a returning Fellow for this year.  I am now a 4th year graduate student in the Department of Anthropology here at Michigan State University focusing on bioarchaeology of the ancient Maya.  Although my research interests haven’t changed all that much since my first intro post last fall, I’ll go ahead and re-hash what Ispecifically study and some additions and changes since that last initial post.

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ellio252

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September 23, 2017

Introducing CHI Fellow Emily Joan Elliott

September 23, 2017 | By | No Comments

Hi All! My name is Emily Joan Elliott, and I am a doctoral candidate in the Department of History at MSU. I also happen to be a 2017-2018 CHI Fellow. I grew up in the Bronx, New York, and earned my BA in history at the State University of New York at Binghamton in 2012. There, I began my pursuit of studying Russian language and history.

I began my doctoral program of study in the History Department at MSU in fall 2012. I had no clearly defined dissertation topic when I began, but my advisor introduced me to migration in the Soviet Union. Migration is a good fit for me. I grew up in New York City, one of the great migration capitals of the world. I am interested in how migrants relate to their previous homes and forge new ones after moving. My dissertation, “Migrants and Muscovites: The Boundaries of Belonging in Moscow, 1971-2002,” examines temporary labor migration to Moscow from other parts of the Soviet Union. I investigate how migrants’ methods of and desires for relocation overlapped with and diverged from official regulations and goals for migration. I argue that shared Soviet identity, culture, and education made the process of becoming a Muscovite easier in the Soviet period than the post-Soviet one.

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Brian Geyer

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September 22, 2017

Introducing CHI Fellow Brian Geyer

September 22, 2017 | By | No Comments

Hello everyone! My name is Brian Geyer and I am a 6th year anthropology graduate student here at Michigan State University. If my name sounds familiar, it’s because I worked alongside CHI Fellows in 2013, and then was an official Fellow in 2014, which makes me a returning fellow for this year’s Cultural Heritage Informatics Initiative (CHI).

My research has changed significantly since I finished my Master’s in 2015. My current tentative dissertation title is Intersectional Identity Among Kenya’s Technology Industry Professionals; I am currently focusing my efforts upon Kenya’s technology industry professionals and how their many identities – such as ethnicity, gender, religion, and socioeconomic class – intersect in ways that speak to the larger structures of social, political, and economic power in Kenya. This past summer I lived in Nairobi for two months to conduct a pilot project, where I interviewed several professionals about their biographical information and intended career trajectories. I am at the grant application phase of my program, as well as the comprehensive exam stage, so I’m looking forward to a busy semester!

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Julia DeCook

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September 22, 2017

Introduction to Julia DeCook

September 22, 2017 | By | No Comments

Hello, everybody! My name is Julia DeCook and I am a fellow in the Cultural Heritage Informatics fellowship initiative for the 2017-2018 school year. I am a 3rd-year doctoral student in the Infomation and Media Studies Ph.D. program, which is housed in the College of Communication Arts and Sciences. My research focuses on online communities and how identity, ideology, and culture are created in digital spaces. My background is in Mass Communications, and so understanding the role of media in the spread of propaganda and reinforcement of a collective culture has always been an interest of mine.

The projects that I have been working on tend to fall within the realm of critical/cultural studies of media, however, I have long been wanting to apply more computational methods and approaches to gather data to conduct these analyses. Although I have a little bit of background in coding, my skills are incredibly limited, and so I am hoping through this fellowship that I gain the knowledge that I need to be able to do the research that I want to.

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mcgrat85

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September 22, 2017

Introducing CHI Fellow Laura McGrath

September 22, 2017 | By | No Comments

Hello! My name is Laura McGrath, and I’m delighted to be returning as a CHI Fellow during 2017-18. I’m a PhD Candidate in the department of English, working on computational approaches to post45 American literature.

My dissertation, Middlemen: Making Literature in the Age of Multimedia Conglomerates, studies the major shifts in the field of literary production in the wake of the mergers and acquisitions that roiled the publishing industry in the 1980s and 1990s—a process that resulted in the formation of what we now call The Big Five. Each chapter examines one influential figure in the publishing industry: the agent, the acquisitions editor, the publicist, and the social media manager. Too often dismissed as “middlemen” or mere bureaucratic functionaries, such professionals are powerful nodes between the artist and the corporation, mediating between the domain of aesthetic or literary value and the managerial imperatives of huge media firms. As such, these overlooked figures are not just powerful gatekeepers, but administrators of literary prestige, value, and “corporate taste” in the contemporary, shaping the form and content of contemporary fiction while providing access to mainstream publication, and cultural consecration.

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Nicole Raslich

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September 14, 2017

Introducing CHI Fellow Nicole A. Raslich

September 14, 2017 | By | No Comments

Hello everyone, my name is Nicole A. Raslich and I am excited to be a CHI fellow this year. The department of Anthropology here at MSU is my home, where I am a PhD. candidate. My training is in archaeology, and my research focuses on the expression of identity and landscape through ritual in descendant fisher/hunter/gatherer communities throughout the boreal forest.

During my time as an archaeologist, I have worked with Anishnabek communities throughout the Great Lakes region and the Inari Sámi of Finland on projects revolving around the protection of sacred sites. The ways in which these communities, and others, utilize archaeology to reinvigorate and raise awareness of their own cultural heritage is what piqued my curiosity about digital heritage management avenues. Being able to share methods and case studies among communities globally is one of the ways I have witnessed various communities utilizing digital cultural heritage. Much of my fieldwork has been in cultural heritage policy and law, acting as a NAGPRA representative for tribes and as an archaeological consultant for local governments regarding national heritage protection and protocol.

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carlinek

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September 13, 2017

CHI Fellow Introduction: Katie Carline

September 13, 2017 | By | No Comments

Hello everyone, Katie Carline here. I’m a student of South African history in my second year of PhD studies in the Department of History at Michigan State. I look forward to blogging about my experiences in the CHI Initiative as I learn the tools of digital cultural heritage, apply them to my own research interests (consumer culture in early twentieth century South Africa), and reflect on my position within the wide network of South African digital history scholarship.

And a wide network it is, too! South African history has a diverse representation in the digital sphere. At MSU I’ve learned from digital scholarship produced by my supervisor, Peter Alegi, and colleagues like former CHI fellow Liz Timbs, as well as many digital Africana projects by MATRIX. In South Africa itself, numerous digital projects aim to make history accessible to the public – from the independent volunteer-based encyclopedia South African History Online, to the massive digitization project at the University of Witwatersrand’s Historical Papers. Moreover, the Digital Humanities Association of Southern Africa recently established itself as a member of the Alliance of Digital Humanities Organizations.

However, there’s no simple equivalence between the digital and the public/accessible. For one thing, not everyone has equal access to the internet.[1] As I begin the CHI fellowship, some of the questions I’m reflecting on are: who is the audience for the digital project I create, and how will my work relate and compare to the many established digital presences in the world of South African history?

Ambrosia Tea Advertisement, Umlindi we Nyanga, 15 November 1939

My plan for the CHI fellowship, as it stands now, is to explore advertisements in black newspapers of the 1930s and 1940s. In this period, South African companies stepped up marketing campaigns targeted directly at black consumers. I’m especially interested in testimonial-style advertisements, where “real customers” had their photographs or addresses printed to advertise a product, like Mrs. Ntisana’s endorsement of Ambrosia Tea in the picture here.

I think there are many interesting questions to be asked about this genre of advertisement – what sorts of people and products are advertised in this way? What does this tell us about consumer culture? About advertisers’ perceptions of black South African consumers?

I look forward to exploring these questions, and thinking about digital cultural heritage answers to them, over the next year.

 

 

 

 

 

 

[1] Just one example of how, in South Africa, internet access shapes access to information and education: Toks Dele Oyedemi, “Digital Inequalities and Implications for Social Inequalities: A Study of Internet Penetration amongst University Students in South Africa,” Telematics & Informatics 29, no. 3 (August 2012): 302–13.