“Education either functions as an instrument which is used to facilitate integration of the younger generation into the logic of the present system and bring about conformity or it becomes the practice of freedom, the means by which men and women deal critically and creatively with reality and discover how to participate in the transformation of their world.”
– Paulo Freire, Pedagogy of the Oppressed
Education has begun to embrace the digital environment, but institutions and instructors are faced with the decision to accept (or not) the possibilities that this new space offers to “practice freedom”. On its surface, one may wonder why a university or instructor would not choose freedom, but this question requires the deconstruction of everything we thought we knew about instruction from the definition of a “course,” to the roles of teachers and students, as well as the location of authority. Digital pedagogy forces us …
Composing In/With/Through Archives:
An Open Access, Born Digital Edited Collection
In 2008, Kate Eichorn wrote: “To write in a digital age is to write in the archive” (1). She reflects on how the ubiquitous nature of “the archive” may be “inflected in our writing, especially in emerging genres of writing ” (1). In other words, archives have changed the way we compose – our writing and ourselves – in a digital age. We are composing and being composed by archives. Additionally, while the pervasive nature of archives is generally acknowledged among humanities scholars working in the digital realm, there does not seem to be a general consensus about what digital archives are or how they differ from digital libraries, collections or repositories.
For this edited collection, we invite articles that theorize archives within the digital humanities. We envision that this collection will contribute to discussions about the archival turn in …
On January 4th, I attended an MLA panel titled “Representing Race: Silence in the Digital Humanities.” Adeline Koh – a speaker on this panel – talked at length about her current project “Digitizing Chinese Englishmen: Representations of Race and Empire in the Nineteenth Century. (This panel provoked a great deal of discussion. For now, here’s a storify version of the panel: xhttp://storify.com/crunkfeminists/representing-race-silence-in-the-digital-humanitie?utm_campaign=website&utm_source=email&utm_medium=email. Koh has also discussed her project on the CHI Blog: http://chi.anthropology.msu.edu/2012/05/28/race-in-dh-postcolonial-studies-and-digitizing-chinese-englishmen-an-interview-with-adeline-koh/#respond). Koh introduced “Digitizing Chinese Englishmen” as a postcolonial archive intended to digitize and annotate “the Straits Chinese Magazine, a journal produced by the Chinese diaspora in Southeast Asia in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.” She talked persuasively about the need to decolonize archives and to also interrupt the logics of imperial archives that try to consolidate knowledge and power by effectively silencing and co-opting representations of the Other.
Koh’s discussion of this postcolonial archive got …
In June 2012, The Atlantic published an article by Suzanne Fischer titled “Nota Bene: If you ‘Discover’ Something in an Archive, It’s not a Discovery.” [http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2012/06/nota-bene-if-you-discover-something-in-an-archive-its-not-a-discovery/258538/]. Fischer wrote the article in the aftermath of the publication of the Leale Report. Briefly, Charles Leale was the Surgeon-General when President Abraham Lincoln was shot. He was the first doctor to arrive on the scene after the shooting. His report of the shooting was found by Helena Iles Papaioannou, a researcher who has been working on a project titled “The Papers of Abraham Lincoln.” The Leale Report has the potential to change the way historians write about the days following Lincoln’s assassination.
Fischer’s contention is interesting: the Leale report was “discovered” by researchers within the National archives because “(a) 19th-century professional knew about the Leale report and decided that, as a part of the Surgeon General’s correspondence, it was worth keeping in the …
For the past two weeks, the CHI fellows have spent much time thinking about issues of scholarly publishing and issues of access to information. These conversations have revolved primarily around Kathleen Fitzpatrick‘s Planned Obsolescence. It was really a moment that occurred earlier in the book that resonated quite strongly with me. She writes:
And universities, in the broadest sense, will need to rethink the relationship between the library, the university press, the information technology center, and the academic units within the institution, reimagining the funding model under which publishing operates and the institutional purposes that such publishing serves – but also, and crucially, reimagining the relationship between the academic institution and the surrounding culture.
In part, Fitzpatrick is right in that the challenges we face at the current moment are not technological, but rather social as she points to the necessity of restructuring the systems (e.g. who can …
The Joint Annual Meeting of the Archaeological Institute of America (AIA) and the American Philological Association (APA) was held January 3rd – 6th, 2013 in Seattle, Washington. I went to this annual meeting for a variety of reasons: 1) present my preliminary research findings on the Neolithic mortuary practices of southern Greece; 2) network with friends and colleagues, particular those that I have worked with in both Albania and Greece; and 3) infiltrate the annual meeting by locating the sub-stratum of digitally-inclined people and events.
My experiences at this year’s AIA annual meeting were different from those of previous ones. In the past, I would usually attend presentations that were somehow related to topics that interested me as a burgeoning graduate student and, in part, I found myself caught in a whirlwind of names, faces, and seemingly missed connections. This year, however, I decided to approach the …
Introduction: From vitamins to painkillers to psychotropic drugs, consuming pills has become a normalized and even expected part of life for many Americans. In 2010, US pharmaceutical sales topped $300 billion dollars and continue to be one of the most profitable industries in the nation[i]. This unprecedented incorporation of prescription drugs into daily life has been referred to by Anthropologists as “pharmaceuticalization” – a complex process that is reshaping the way we think about our health, our bodies, our relationships, and our own identities[ii]. For my CHI fellowship project, I intend to illustrate this process and the dynamic ways pharmaceuticals are understood and integrated into everyday American Culture.
For the purposes of this project, I have chosen to focus on a particular set of drugs which is the topic of my dissertation work: prescription stimulants used to treat the symptoms of attention deficit and …
My Cultural Heritage and Informatics (CHI) project will be an interactive web based history of soccer (football) in Zambian towns. The project will be centered on my ongoing doctoral dissertation research at Michigan State University. Drawing on archival and oral primary sources I collected in Zambia in 2008 during research for my Masters’ Thesis and 2012 pre-dissertation research, the project will focus on the political and social history of football in Zambia from 1940s to date.
The project will have two main components; the first part will be a map interface that will be built in Mapbox. This will be an interactive map of Zambia that will be the front page of the site and will provide introductory information to the project. It will also show ten towns that are connected by the main rail line in Zambia that have a long history of football. The towns will include: Chililabombwe, …
In the beginning, I indicated that one of my primary interest in research is investigating and understanding the dynamics of space as it is shared by individuals and groups who are connected and disconnected in a variety of ways. Specifically, I’m interested in they ways a digital intervention might organize and display various understandings of space as they compete with each other. At the current moment, the one area of inquiry that has my attention is activism within the Lansing and East Lansing communities. Whether it is organized labor fighting to resist “right-to-work” legislation or Students for a Democratic Society protesting the Vietnam War, the capital area has had a rich history of left-of-center activist movements.
Still, questions arise for me. How do we understand the rich history of activist movements in the capital area as they might relate to each other across time within the same spaces? In …
The project that is emerging as a result of my CHI Fellowship is one related to my dissertation research in northern Albania. The tumuli (burial mounds) of northern Albania appeared suddenly on the Shkodër plain around the start of the Bronze Age (ca. 3000 BC). As a result of the ongoing Projekti Arkeologjikë i Shkodrës (PASH), which is co-directed by Drs. Michael Galaty (Millsaps College) and Lorenc Bejko (University of Tirana), we have been able to locate, identify, and map most tumuli throughout the region. However, time is of the essence, particularly since tumuli are mined for soil and are being damaged and destroyed at a very high rate. My project, Tumulus, in its immediate form, will serve as a digital repository through which information collected for each tumulus will be made available to a wider audience.
Like the plethora of “culture types” commonly used to describe …