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CHI Fellowship Program

alex.galarza

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January 2, 2012

HASTAC V Talks

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 footballscholars.org 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

alex.galarza

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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

Charlotte Marie Cable

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December 14, 2011

Composing in glass houses: Technology, social media, and the practice of writing

December 14, 2011 | By | 2 Comments

 

If you’re anything like me, scholarly writing is not the easiest or most exciting of activities. As useful as it is, I still rate it at about the level of fun as when I was 5 and accidentally smashed my own hand in the family minivan door.

It is for that very reason that the writing group was invented: for encouragement, commiseration, accountability, perspective, and yes, honing written communication. The writing group teaches us to write transparently: to demystify the writing process and make every step, from idea to final product, as clear to the reader as it is to the writer. This transparency can be frightening. There’s a lingering fear that showing people my work-in-progress will be like showing everyone my glass house: it’s fine if I have time to clean it up for planned visits, but if passers-by peeked in they would see it in complete disarray. And how Read More

Rachael Hodder

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October 25, 2011

Rachael Hodder: aspiring maker of cool things

October 25, 2011 | By | No Comments

My name is Rachael, but online I go by @zenparty. The name that I use in digital spaces is as important to me as the one that’s on my driver’s license. Check out my blog post at rachaelhodder.com for more information about my online identity.

Here’s a quick and dirty introduction:

A picture of Rachael Hodder's face

Greetings, Earthlings.

In my MA studies as a rhetoric student thus far, I’ve focused on building technical skills in web development and a theoretical foundation for how to do ethical, user-centered work. I place a high value on the ability to produce work that is accessible and useful to its intended users and stakeholders. At the core of my philosophy for composition and design is user advocacy, open access, and beauty in simplicity. Previously, I earned my BA from MSU in American Studies where I focused on postcolonial histories and cultural studies. Although I am now a rhetoric student, Read More

fayana.richards

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October 25, 2011

Musings of a Novice Digital Scholar: Fayana Richards

October 25, 2011 | By | No Comments

Labeled the inquisitive one out of the bunch, I have always been attracted to the art of communication and storytelling. Whether this came in the form of a good book or eavesdropping in on my grandmother’s conversations, it didn’t matter. My name is Fayana Richards and I am a second year PhD/MPH graduate student in the Department of Anthropology and Program in Public Health at Michigan State University. My research interests include U.S. health care systems, chronic illness, intersections of gender, race and class, and immigration.

Outside of my anthropological studies, I also have an undergraduate background in journalism where I initially devoted my energies towards print journalism. Other than developing sound writing skills, I was trained to believe that essentials for a journalist simply included a pen, writing pad, and a recorder. Fast forward to 2007 when the world of journalism had to rapidly respond to a changing economic climate and Read More

Emily Niespodziewanski

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October 16, 2011

Sense of Humerus: Emily Niespodziewanski, digital scholar

October 16, 2011 | By | No Comments

I am writing to you from the trenches of my second year of the graduate program in Physical Anthropology at Michigan State University (@msuforensicanth). And although this particular semester’s coursework is melting key bits of my brain, I’m in it for the long haul: I intend earn my Ph.D. in Anthropology with the goal of working as a professional forensic anthropologist. In an academic capacity, this will hopefully entail teaching, casework with local law enforcement, and bioarchaeological field research.

My advisor has already allowed me the opportunity to work on some very exciting extracurricular projects: cleaning, curating, and collecting data on 450 medieval skeletons in the MSU Nubian Bioarchaeology Laboratory; analyzing medieval human remains at the University of Salento in southern Italy; and collaborating with the military’s Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command Central Identification Laboratory (@JPACTeams) on a validation study. These are all opportunities to participate in research, although only the last project Read More

Charlotte Marie Cable

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October 14, 2011

Adventures in Archaeology: Charlotte Marie Cable enters the digital world

October 14, 2011 | By | No Comments

Community archaeology, Mid-East anthropology, Alaska, Adventure, Cycling, and Logophilia

Archaeology is the search for culture through material: intangible ideas about the world are made tangible through the ways we arrange and rearrange our physical worlds to reflect those ideas. These physical remains are what we archaeologists study: and usually, we study these remains by their destruction. We learn by taking things apart – and in such a way that we can’t put them back together again (imagine rebuilding a ziggurat!). This poses a major problem: as our knowledge grows, what we have, physically, to show for it decreases. The challenge in archaeology is trying to make what we’ve learned as easy to see, to touch, and to understand as the earth from which it comes.

I was born and raised in Alaska, where it takes 12 hours to drive to the center of the state. Visiting the “Lower 48” usually involved a Read More

Jennifer Sano-Franchini

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September 9, 2011

Digital Humanities, Drupal, and the End of Phase I

September 9, 2011 | By | No Comments

In many ways, I think of my time in the Cultural Heritage Informatics Initiative as an introduction to the digital humanities. Through the CHI fellowship I read a handful of texts about the digital humanities, explored digital archives, participated in Great Lakes THATCamp and THATCamp CHNM, and, of course, worked hands-on using technologies, and developing a digital project. I began learning the language of digital humanists and gained a sense of what people meant when they were talking about metadata, the semantic web, and linked data. I became acquainted with Digital Humanities Questions & Answers, and participated in a couple of conversations on the forum. (By the way, I definitely encourage incoming fellows to use this resource! It’s great not just for getting help on your own projects, but also for gaining a sense of what kinds of things people concerned with DH are thinking about and working on.) I also Read More

Jennifer Bengtson

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April 15, 2011

Project Update: Digital Repository for Mississippian Archaeological Site Materials

April 15, 2011 | By | No Comments

I have been working to create a basic organizational framework for my repository (http://chi.anthropology.msu.edu/2011/02/28/a-digital-repository-for-mississippian-archaeologists/), and the process is actually coming along much better than I expected it would. A couple of weeks ago, I met with Dr. Goldstein to discuss my plans and to briefly browse through the materials she has available for the Aztalan site. To maximize inter-site comparability, we decided that it would be best to decide on a basic set of material types that I would expect to encounter as the project progresses. My initial decisions are, of course, based largely on what I have available for Aztalan, but these types of materials will likely be available for other sites as they are added to the repository. The preliminary categories are basic site information, maps, images, full text documents, bibliographies, and raw data. Of course, I plan to design the repository in a way that unique or Read More

Jennifer Bengtson

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February 28, 2011

A Digital Repository for Mississippian Archaeologists

February 28, 2011 | By | 8 Comments

For my CHI fellowship project, I will create a digital repository for materials relating to major Mississippian archaeological sites. The Mississippians were the most socially-complex peoples to ever inhabit prehistoric North America, and their sites generally date to between AD 1050 and AD 1500 (several groups in the Southeast United States continued to practice a Mississippian lifestyle at the time of European contact). Their lifeway was characterized by a ranked social structure with ascribed status differentiation, hierarchical inter-site political organization, ubiquitous cleared-field maize agriculture, and a set of common religious institutions and iconography. They dramatically modified their physical environments by clearing plazas and building earthen mounds of variable size and for various purposes, many of which are still evident on the landscape today. Mississippian groups inhabited an area spanning from northern Florida to Illinois and from the Atlantic plain to Eastern Oklahoma (though evidence of their influence is even more widespread). Read More