Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image

Blog

Donnie Sackey

By

January 29, 2013

Scattered Speculations on Value and OA Publication Venues

January 29, 2013 | By | No Comments

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 serve as a peer, notions Read More

Sylvia Deskaj

By

January 23, 2013

Excavating the Digital Sub-Strata of an Archaeology Conference

January 23, 2013 | By | No Comments

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 AIA annual Read More

Taz Karim

By

January 21, 2013

“Visualizing Adderall” CHI Project Proposal

January 21, 2013 | By | No Comments

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 hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). This includes brands like Read More

chipande

By

January 14, 2013

History of Soccer in Zambian Towns

January 14, 2013 | By | No Comments

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, Chingola, Mufulira, Read More

Donnie Sackey

By

January 14, 2013

Digitizing and Localizing Radical History

January 14, 2013 | By | No Comments

Overview

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 other words, how Read More

Sylvia Deskaj

By

January 14, 2013

The Tumulus Mapping Archive: Tumulus

January 14, 2013 | By | 2 Comments

Introduction

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.

Significance

Like the plethora of “culture types” commonly used to describe the Read More

Ashley Wiersma

By

January 14, 2013

Settler Colonialism Uncovered: Beginnings

January 14, 2013 | By | No Comments

Introduction

The majority of present-day states are former colonies or colonial metropoles, a number of which were or still are settler colonies.[1] Consequently, it is essential to know where and how such colonies formed to understand current geopolitics and to raise awareness of their legacy, especially in present-day settler colonies, such as the United States, Canada, New Zealand, and Australia. As a Cultural Heritage Informatics fellow, I am taking the first step toward making information about two prototypes of settler colonization – the United States and French Algeria – available for high school and undergraduate students and educators, as well as early-stage researchers and the general public through a website, entitled “Settler Colonialism Uncovered.”

This project will focus on where, how, and why settler colonies developed in these locations and will allow users to explore the regions’ geography, how the landscape and demographics changed over time due to the influx of settlers, and Read More

Donnie Sackey

By

December 13, 2012

Mapping Spaces, Enabling Travel

December 13, 2012 | By | No Comments

In my last blog I hinted that I have a deep interest in exploring the ways in which creative applications of information and computing technologies can help map environments and subsequently allow for alternative levels of engagement that are geared toward helping community stakeholders envision and create more livable, sustainable communities. I thought that I would use this blog as both a reflection and review of an assignment in which I asked my students not only to experiment with space but also to envision how a digital intervention might augment a user’s spatial experience.

This semester I taught WRA/FW 341: Nature, Environmental, and Travel Writing. The course is housed in the Professional Writing program but it is also cross-listed as an intensive reading/writing experience for Fisheries and Wildlife students. I was given free reign to completely revamp the syllabus. Since, my dissertation is very conscious of writing space and how we write Read More

Madhu Narayan

By

December 11, 2012

Some reflections on The Lesbian Herstory Archives digital collections

December 11, 2012 | By | No Comments

Over the past couple of years, as part of my dissertation, I have been writing about the Lesbian Herstory Archives (LHA), located in New York. The LHA lives in a beautiful brownstone building in Parkslope, Brooklyn. Its first home was in the Upper Westside of Manhattan, in the apartment of Joan Nestle, who was one of the founders of the archives. The LHA is a community-based archival space: according to its founding principles, the archives is committed to collecting living histories; as such, the LHA houses historical materials from the past and the present. All lesbians are encouraged to donate materials about their lives. As per this model of archives, decisions about what counts as archival depends on community members. The community decides what is important to its history rather than institutions that may be removed from the community entirely. This is a model of radical archiving that depends on Read More

chipande

By

December 11, 2012

Digital History in the MSU History Department

December 11, 2012 | By | 4 Comments

This semester (Fall 2012), I had a very exciting opportunity to take a History 830 graduate level seminar in the MSU History Department, “Race, Biography, and Nation Building in South African History” with Prof. Peter Alegi. We went through recent and cutting-edge readings on South African history, focusing on the 19th and 20th centuries. These readings fostered stimulating discussions and debates every Tuesday evening.

Final Assignment
Our final assignment for the course deviated from the usual end of semester historiographical papers; instead, it was a digital assignment involving analyzing digital resources on the history of South Africa. Each student was asked to select one website from the list below and examine its content, purpose, ownership, and potential as a teaching, learning, research-scholarship and/or popular knowledge resource. We were also asked to explore issues of preservation, accessibility and provide comments on what could be done to enhance the site. The digital assignment ended with Read More