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Brian Geyer

Brian Geyer

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May 2, 2018

Launching: No Mud Huts

May 2, 2018 | By | No Comments

Today I officially launch No Mud Huts: an open anthropological journal about Kenya’s tech industry! Through this site I intend to contribute to the open science research movement as a part of my broader support for an open access approach to scientific publishing.

Motivations

I am about to complete my comprehensive exams and will soon be moving to Kenya to undergo a year-long data collection period, during which time I will be writing about my research on this site. Because of limitations regarding participant confidentiality, I will not be publishing all of my field notes and collected data, as would normally be expected of a scientist contributing to the open science movement. Instead, I will be working to write preliminary analyses of those notes and data, in order to strike a balance the ethics of conducting anthropological research with the ethics of ensuring one’s scientific production is accessible to as large an audience as possible.

I intend for this site to shine a light on the processes involved in “doing anthropology” for those who are interested. It is my hope that this site is viewed favorably and intently by those professionals with whom I am honored to conduct research in Kenya, but others who may be interested in what exactly it is anthropologists do and how at least one of us thinks.

Site Overview

No Mud HutsThe site’s layout is rather straightforward, with a landing page, About page, and the hosted blog. Adding new posts is as simple as creating a new Markdown file with the proper opening material, which prompts its inclusion in the blog post list. Despite being a static website hosted by GitHub Pages, No Mud Huts integrates several other open-source tools to allow for quick design changes and an automated comments section complete with Gravatar profile image integration. Comments can be easily disabled for individual posts as well. As the blog grows, the theme I’ve used for setting the website’s aesthetic design has an option to quickly implement post categorizations for blog post lists, as well as the ability to generate suggested links at the bottom of each post.

 

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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Brian Geyer

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September 11, 2014

CHI Fellowship Introductions: Brian Geyer

September 11, 2014 | By | One Comment

Hi everyone! If you don’t remember me from last year, my name is (still) Brian Geyer and I’m now a 3rd year anthropology graduate student here at Michigan State University. My research – which I apparently neglected to discuss last year – involves the intersection of land tenure issues and conservation policies near the Maasai Mara National Reserve in Kenya and how local communities respond to these issues and policies in ways that affect their systems of inequality.

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January 21, 2014

Kenya Bird Sounds

January 21, 2014 | By | No Comments

My proposed project, Kenya Bird Sounds, is to develop a mobile-based website that maps posts from Twitter onto a map of Kenya. By using publicly available mapping data (via Google Earth or other publicly available aerial photography), I will draw onto the site’s map the approximate edges of Nairobi and other several large towns through a process known as geofencing. Initially, I had intended to focus the map solely on the region around the Maasai Mara National Reserve, drawing in geofences for the Reserve and several nearby privately-run conservancies. I still plan to mark these, several community centers in the region, and many of the roads that connect all of them. But, because of a lack of Twitter use in the region, I have decided to expand the map out to a large portion of Kenya (if not the entire country); hence the decision to geofence Nairobi and other towns as well.

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October 21, 2013

CHI Fellowship Introduction: Brian Geyer

October 21, 2013 | By | No Comments

Hey everyone my name is Brian Geyer and I am a doctoral student in the Anthropology Department here at Michigan State. Though not formally a Cultural Heritage Informatics Fellow, I have joined the team this year to develop my technological skills and become a more robust candidate for employment once I complete my Ph.D.

Upon completion of my B.A.s in Music and Anthropology at Washington State University, I briefly entered the workforce as a clerk in my area’s court system. My first encounter with digital archives would prove to be eye-opening. The software packages we used to create, access, and update official court documents were cumbersome, awkward, and generally unfriendly to the average user. From that experience I have carried with me the importance of a well-thought-out interface with regards to archival software. As I’ve gone forward through life, other events far more specifically relevant to my career as an anthropologist have further informed my thoughts on web-based archival technology.

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