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February 3, 2012

Project Introduction: Fayana Richards

February 3, 2012 | By | One Comment

My project will be split up into two components: building a data repository using Kora and writing a corresponding white paper that will discuss my experiences in constructing a model for qualitative data. The first component, the data repository, will house qualitative data, such as one-on-one/focus groups interview transcripts and participant observation field notes. From my experience, it is this type of data that produces much anxiety for qualitatively driven anthropologists. The repository will also host multimedia content such as photos, audio and video. Another important aspect of the repository will be the inclusion of supplementary material, such as project bios, interview guides, consent forms and code books. Despite the wide range of content proposed for the digital repository, a primary concern that cuts across all platforms for anthropologists, who conduct research with human subjects, is confidentiality and human subject protection. This project seeks to address these issues through the Read More

Rachael Hodder


February 2, 2012

Introducing Corridor

February 2, 2012 | By | No Comments

Twitter has been an invaluable tool for me as a new grad student and growing scholar. Communicating and building connections over Twitter has helped form relationships with my colleagues and professors in my program and across the university. Using Twitter has also afforded me access to the growing domain of digital humanities through the tweets of scholarly publications, organizations, thought leaders, and my own colleagues – in fact, it was through a tweet that I learned of the Cultural Heritage Informatics Initiative at MSU.

Though I have been a Twitter user for years, I first experienced its utility in a scholarly context while attending my first major academic conference. I had never been to a major academic conference before and I thought that the conference backchannel might be a good way to get acclimated to the new practices and setting. I was right: using the Twitter hashtag for the conference, I scouted Read More

Emily Niespodziewanski


January 27, 2012

Translating trusted tools to 21st century technology

January 27, 2012 | By | No Comments

You won’t find much if you search Twitter for forensic anthropologists. This is partly due to the sensitive nature of the work they do. For ethical and legal reasons, casework involving active investigations (e.g., homicide or positive identification of a John/Jane Doe) cannot be shared. As a field, we have remained very pad-and-pencil. However, the integration of methods and traditions of human osteology with the user-friendly, readily-accessible technological platforms will be critical to our continued relevance and growth as a field.

Recent methodologies have been developed in forensic anthropology using complex 3-dimensional imagery and statistical methods like Elliptical Fourier Analysis. These methods are sound (and new and exciting!), but there are equally valid methods that have been developed through the 20th century using simpler math.

The problem with our tried-and-true methods is that they are mired in their original journal articles, spread out through many volumes of various journals over many decades. Read More



January 25, 2012

Project Introduction: Alex Galarza

January 25, 2012 | By | No Comments

In my introductory post as a CHI fellow I briefly described my interests in the football clubs of 1950s and 60s Buenos Aires as ways to study politics, civic association, and mass consumption. After a few months of discussion and planning, I have decided to split my project into two components:
The first segment of my project will entail growing into an interdisciplinary web platform for football scholarship. I co-founded the site with Peter Alegi four semesters ago to bring together authors of football scholarship with fellow researchers and academics. Since then we have enjoyed great success in these meetings and have also developed a number of resources on the website. The project now includes a Zotero group library, film database, audio archive, academic directory, and syllabus repository. As the community grows, it is important that the web platform develop alongside our expanded interests. Over the next semester, I will be Read More

Emily Niespodziewanski


January 13, 2012

Institutional Tweeting 2.0

January 13, 2012 | By | No Comments

Say you’ve set up a Twitter account for your [insert institution here: lab, office, international space station]. With personal accounts, you follow whoever you want, find your friends through your connected accounts, and proceed on your merry way. However, I found myself directionless and hesitant to make mistakes as I created and began administrating my lab’s Twitter account.

In my last post, I talked about justifying an institutional account to The Boss and covered the information for which Twitter is a platform. Once the barrier of creation has been crossed, though, and The Boss recognizes Twitter’s value, you suddenly represent the office.

The Boss almost always has a strong idea of how they want to handle public relations. I recommend a short conversation on the topics below to get an idea of their preferences. Be prepared to explain the alternative answers for each topic – like the benefits of following 25 vs 400 Read More

Rachael Hodder


January 5, 2012

Reflecting on HASTAC V: Forking Scholarship

January 5, 2012 | By | 2 Comments

Like Alex, HASTAC V was the first digital humanities-centric conference I have attended. However, I have not had the pleasure of attending any THATcamps yet, so it was the first time I’d shared the same physical space with so many other scholars who are as excited as me about DH. It was invigorating and I left the conference feeling inspired and motivated.

The conference’s theme was digital scholarly publishing and many scholars’ talks focused on how they have been doing digital scholarly publishing already or their vision for why or how the current model of scholarly publishing is flawed and in need of change. Highlights for me include a keynote panel featuring Richard Nash, Dan Cohen, and Tara McPherson as well as Doug Eyman and Cheryl Ball’s discussion of managing Kairos, an online scholarly journal founded in 1996. These talks, both reflective and rallying, felt like exciting calls to action by scholars Read More



January 4, 2012

Defining Accessibility in Funding Applications

January 4, 2012 | By | No Comments

We’ve all done it. At the end of those funding proposals, we proclaim making our research more accessible through publications and conferences, which is fine and necessary for most academic disciplines. I myself have been guilty of this practice. A practice that has been drummed into my head after attending several grant writing workshops over the years. In retrospect, I realize that I wasn’t saying much at all. How is this anything different from what funding organizations are already assuming we would/should do if awarded? With that being said, is it really enough? Accessible is a nice word and an exceptional one for funding applications, but what does it really mean?

For medical anthropologists, especially those conducting research in the United States, the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) represent two significant largest funding sources. According to NSF’s Award and Administration Guide, it is expected that grantees Read More



January 2, 2012


January 2, 2012 | By | No Comments

Before December, my experience in DH conferences was limited to three THATCamps. I broke the unconference mold by attending HASTAC V at the University of Michigan. At THATCamps, I spent time talking, typing, and working for large portions of the day. At HASTAC (partially due to my own session selection and time constraints), I was primarily sitting and listening. I also presented a poster on to showcase our contributions to online scholarly collaboration, but the poster session was held at a distant location at the end of the conference and had limited visibility. The highlights of the conference were three of the keynotes talks, in which I learned a great deal about publishing and thinking in the humanities.

Two talks on publishing provided the most provocative material in the conference. Siva Vaidhyanathan discussed the challenges of writing a book about Google. I found the talk to be most useful in simply Read More



December 29, 2011

Lessons from a NITLE Seminar on Digital Humanities Courses

December 29, 2011 | By | No Comments

On December 16th Jeff McClurken, Brian Croxall, and Ryan Cordell shared their courses in a NITLE Digital Scholarship Seminar Series session entitled “Teaching DH 101: Introduction to the Digital Humanities.” Each discussed teaching and designing courses with a digital humanities focus in the disciplines of English and history. Rebecca Davis and Rob Nelson hosted the seminar over WebEx, allowing over sixty participants to interact with the presenters, share links, and ask questions during the session.

Ryan Cordell began by discussing the design and approval process of a course he has yet to conduct, “Technologies of Text”. Ryan described how he decided not to design “Intro to Digital Humanities”, but instead a digital humanities course grounded in his discipline. By focusing the course on interpreting text and working under a disciplinary umbrella, Ryan was able to make the course understandable to his colleagues. Ryan wanted to incorporate an assignment to create a geospatial Read More

Rachael Hodder


December 19, 2011

SOPA and Invention in Cultural Heritage Informatics

December 19, 2011 | By | 3 Comments

A doorway labelled "Internet" with black bars blocking entrance

If passed, legistlation like SOPA will have a detrimental effect on cultural heritage informatics work. (Photo by kyz; CC BY 2.0)

If you’re reading this, you’ve likely heard of a piece of US legislation called SOPA, more formally known as the Stop Internet Piracy Act. It is less formally – but perhaps more popularly! – known as The Internet Killer. Though SOPA is intended to give the government greater power in halting Internet piracy – the illegal downloading and streaming of copyrighted material – it is a highly dangerous bill that, if passed, will change the web as we know it and, as such, have a drastic effect on the field of cultural heritage informatics.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation describes the bill most succinctly in their one-pager on the topic [pdf]:

The Stop Online Privacy Act (SOPA, H.R. 3261) is a dangerous new “anti-piracy” bill being debated in the House Read More