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CHI Articles & Discussions

fayana.richards

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March 12, 2012

A Slim Purview into Digital Medical Anthropology

March 12, 2012 | By | No Comments

Twitter has proven to be an extremely useful platform for learning about current medical anthropology research, call for proposals, and related digital projects. As an emerging scholar, it has also been the place where I have been able to interact with senior anthropologists. On Twitter, medical anthropologists such as Lance Gravlee, David Simmons and Hannah Graff. With that being said, medical anthropology graduate students outpaces the number faculty and/or applied medical anthropologists on Twitter.

In terms of blogging platforms featuring a significant amount of medical anthropology related content, Somatosphere and Neuroanthropology post content regularly. A multi-individual driven effort, Somatosphere features content covering areas such as bioethics, medical anthropology, science, and psychiatry. A significant amount of its contributors are either graduate students and/or early career academics. Neuroanthropology, hosted by PLoS, examines the intersections of anthropology and neuroscience and is maintained by anthropologists Daniel Lende and Greg Downey.

Medical anthropology digital project contributions are Read More

Rachael Hodder

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February 23, 2012

Chewing on Digital Rhetoric

February 23, 2012 | By | No Comments

“What does a digital rhetorician do?”
“What is digital rhetoric?”
“What is rhetoric?”

To most people outside my field, it’s not immediately obvious what my field of study means or what I do. As a degree candidate in Digital Rhetoric and Professional Writing, I hear these questions often from my friends, family, even some of my own colleagues! As rhetoricians, my colleagues and I are often concerned with these types of epistemological questions and end up deeply entrenched in these what does it all mean rabbit holes.

Certainly, we can be sure of some things: many of us are humanists and writers; we live in writing programs such as English or literary-type disciplines or communication programs; more often than not, we’re trained in those types of programs. Because we’re located in different places from university to university, there is some ambiguity over the location of rhetoric. Rhetoric is defined by one of those long-dead Greek Read More

Emily Niespodziewanski

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February 16, 2012

(Digital) State of the Field: Physical Anthropology

February 16, 2012 | By | 2 Comments


Image credit Flickr user karen_roe

Social media is largely overlooked by physical anthropologists. This is due in part to the nature of the data that goes into research. Someone studying vitamin A deficiency in infants in relation to the mother in Kenya does not need to use social media to interview or retrieve the blood nutrient levels of her research participants. Likewise, as I mentioned in an earlier post, forensic anthropologists in particular are constrained by ethics and the sensitive nature of the cases they work on.

Leading academic institutions in this field have yet to embrace the public outreach power of tools like Twitter, but this is changing slowly. At the same time, many graduate students (and some more senior academics) use Twitter personally and professionally to network. A good faculty role model would be @JohnHawks: this paleoanthropologist blogs, he’s engaged with the online community via Read More

Rachael Hodder

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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

Katy Meyers

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November 18, 2011

New Face of Scholarly Communication in Archaeology

November 18, 2011 | By | No Comments

Scholarly communication is changing. By reading this blog post you are part of the change. By tweeting about this post, you are part of the change. The internet is drastically altering academia at all stages of research, with dissemination at the forefront of this change. The landscape of scholarly communication is no longer between individuals, or limited to conferences, and resources are not only found in libraries. The rise of Web 2.0 has created new methods for communication and dissemination of information. While some academic disciplines have shifted their practices and evaluation of scholarship with the changes in technology, others cling to their traditional roots. Change in technology does not mean correlating changes in academic practice or evaluation. As Kathleen Fitzpatrick notes in “Planned Obsolesence”, the change is institutional and social, we need to change the way that we perceive scholarship. This is especially relevant to archaeology, a discipline that could Read More

Katy Meyers

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October 27, 2011

Cyberinfrastructure and Archaeology

October 27, 2011 | By | No Comments

Cyberinfrastructure is a digital research environment. Imagine the Matrix, only instead of fighting Smith you are completing a site report with an 11th century ceramics specialist in the United Kingdom and an epigrapher from an Australian Museum, while using primary data from a medieval cemetery in Poland. Cyberinfrastructure includes all of the platforms, standards, hard and soft technology, as well as the human resources that facilitate digital research. When thinking about these digital research environments there is a tendency to focus on the virtual tools and technologies which allow for sharing, using, preserving, and combining of data from disparate collections. However the human component is just as vital since the cyberinfrastructure requires both technical expertise to create these interoperable workspaces, but also content expertise about the materials and data that are being used.

Archaeologists greatly benefit from the construction of cyberinfrastructures. The nature of our work requires specialist knowledge, large quantities of Read More

Ethan Watrall

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August 19, 2011

Announcing New Book – Archaeology 2.0: New Tools for Communications & Collaboration

August 19, 2011 | By | 2 Comments

I’m very happy to announce the publication of Archaeology 2.0: New Tools for Communication and Collaboration. Co-edited by Eric C. Kansa, Sarah Whitcher Kansa, and myself, the volume explores how the web is transforming archaeology and is the first in the new Cotsen Digital Archaeology series published by UCLA Cotsen Institute of Archaeology Press.

The volume’s description reads:

How is the Web transforming the professional practice of archaeology? And as archaeologists accustomed to dealing with “deep time,” how can we best understand the possibilities and limitations of the Web in meeting the specialized needs of professionals in this field? These are among the many questions posed and addressed in Archaeology 2.0: New Approaches to Communication and Collaboration, edited by Eric Kansa, Sarah Whitcher Kansa, and Ethan Watrall. With contributions from a range of experts in archaeology and technology, this volume is organized around four key topics that illuminate how the revolution in Read More

Katy Meyers

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August 11, 2011

3D Modeling to Recreate and Understand Heritage

August 11, 2011 | By | 2 Comments

Three dimensional recreations of historical buildings, streets and cities are not anything new or exciting. Often the reconstructions are blocky, pixelated, and tend to represent a cleaned up and idealistic version of the past. Was Byzantine in 1200 CE really full of gleaming bricks and clean swept streets framed by the perfect blue sky? Probably not. Are these reconstructions valuable for historical learning, is there any benefit to a digital reconstruction, and are these projects actually worthwhile?

Rome Reborn is a project being undertaken by the Virtual World Heritage Lab at University of Virginia with international collaboration. The project’s reported goal is “the creation of 3D digital models illustrating the urban development of ancient Rome from the first settlement in the late Bronze Age (ca. 1000 B.C.) to the depopulation of the city in the early Middle Ages (ca. A.D. 550)”. The project involves dozens of archaeologists from Italy, USA, UK, France Read More

Jennifer Bengtson

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July 29, 2011

Some Thoughts on Community

July 29, 2011 | By | No Comments

I am an anthropologist. More specifically, I am an archaeologist. And even more specifically than that, I am interested in communities. Sounds simple and boring, but the concept of community is so complex and integral to being human. What is a community? Who decides who is “in” and who is “out”? What does community membership mean to individuals and what role do subcommunities play in relationship to other subcommunites?
When I entered into the Digital Humanities world earlier this year, it did not occur to me that this particular sliver of my anthropological interests would end up being in the forefront of my mind. But in my interactions with other DH scholars at conferences over the last couple of months, the thing I was perhaps most surprised and impressed with was the sense of community that is involved in creating, recreating, and using open-source content management systems and other digital tools. It’s Read More

Jennifer Sano-Franchini

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May 6, 2011

Digital Rhetorics at CCCC 2011

In early April, I took a trip down to Atlanta, Georgia, for this year’s Conference on College Composition and Communication (more commonly known as CCCC, Cs, or 4Cs). CCCC is the largest professional conference for the field of Rhetoric and Composition. For this post, I’d like to give a picture of the current state of digital rhetoric in the field of Rhetoric and Composition by discussing how people were talking and thinking about digital technologies at CCCC 2011.

To begin, this year’s theme, “All Our Relations: Contested Space, Contested Knowledge,” was a clear call for more listening across disciplinary subjectivities, between “digital rhetorician and second-language writing instructor, historian and 2-year college teacher, theorist and workplace studies scholar, methodologist and tech writing teacher, administrator and graduate student.” Program Chair/CCCC Associate Chair Malea Powell’s call for proposals encouraged better inclusivity as it did the work of staking space for those whose work might not Read More