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CHI Project Info

David Walton


January 12, 2014

Announcing “The Virtual Black Romulus Cultural Heritage Map (VBRCHM)”

January 12, 2014 | By | No Comments

In this brief blog, I will provide a description of my project, discuss the importance of my project, and present the intended functionality of my project.  The hope is that the discussion of this project may inspire others to embark on similar projects as well as utilize the completed project for personal, professional and educational purposes. 


My 2013-2014 Cultural Heritage Informatics (CHI) project is titled the “Virtual Black Romulus Cultural Heritage Map (VBRCHM).”  The VBRCHM is the first step of a larger project, the Virtual Black Romulus Cultural Heritage Center (VBRCHC).  As its name implies, the VBRCHM is an on-line interactive map that will operate as a virtual cultural heritage tour of important historical and contemporary sites that are important to the history, culture and heritage of Romulus, Michigan’s African American community.  The VBRCHM is being designed to serve as a research and educational tool and resource for k-12 and undergraduate students, as well as for the community at-large.  The map will identify and describe sites in Romulus, Michigan, that are important to the culture, history and heritage of the African-American community.  The points of interest sites in Romulus will be aggregated by time, type of events, biographies and various movement(s) significance.

Why is it important?:

Digitizing and preserving African American history and heritage is an important mission in the digital age.  Providing access to K-12 and undergraduate students and educators, as well as the community at large, is the largest challenge.  With the increase in technology and digitization, students are accessing information via the internet in increasing numbers.  Furthermore, educators are also utilizing information via the internet in equally increasing numbers.  Thus, digitizing and preserving African American history and heritage; especially in small localized communities such as Romulus, is extremely important to the educational development of K-12 and undergraduate students.  With that being said, it is important that more and more projects and initiatives dedicated to the digitizing and preserving of African American history and heritage emerge.


I am building the web-site using Twitter Bootstrap; in addition, I am using Leaflet for mapping. For the imaging of points of interest, I will personally take all photographs.  Further, for points of interest, the map will include markers that can be clicked on to display information, pictures and/or video, as well as URL links for each site.  I am designing the VBRCHM to be extremely user friendly and simple since K-12 students will be a significant population of users.


Katy Meyers


December 10, 2013

Returning to the Fellowship: The Epic Search for a Database

December 10, 2013 | By | No Comments

This year, I am returning to the CHI Fellowship. I first participating in the program in 2011 when it was in its first year. My project for the first time around was creating an OMEKA for the MSU Campus Archaeology Project. The goal was to have somewhere to share information in a museum-like format. This time around, my goal is more related to my own research. I want to create a database for cemeteries, specifically as a way to organize my own research but also to share it with others once the dissertation is complete. Currently, the aim will be creating a database that focuses on Anglo-Saxon cemeteries with both cremation and inhumation type burials. Read More

Ashley Wiersma


September 4, 2013

Settler Colonialism Uncovered: Launching Stage 1

September 4, 2013 | By | No Comments

At its most simplistic, settler colonialism was (and is) a process in which emigrants move(d) with the express purposes of territorial occupation and the formation of a new community rather than the extraction of labor or resources (however, these may have been or become secondary objectives).[1] An integral part of this process was and is Indigenous dispossession and elimination through various means.  These practices and their impact have important legacies and implications today but are often glossed over in most secondary history curricula and are practically unknown among the general public. For this reason, the processes of settlement and Indigenous dispossession will be the focus of this project.[2]  Despite the steps many Western societies have made toward recognizing and addressing injustice in present settler colonies – including the United States, Australia, Canada, and New Zealand – and former settler colonial metropoles, such as France, education about this topic is rare, controversial, and often meets with white resistance.[3]

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Sylvia Deskaj


August 21, 2013

Tumulus: A Mapping Archive of Northern Albanian Burial Mounds – Final Words

August 21, 2013 | By | One Comment

My CHI project, Tumulus, which can be found here, is an archive of archaeological data that were collected from previous field seasons in northern Albania.  Rather than keeping data hidden away in FileMaker, our efforts are best served, I think, when they are made available and others can use them – particularly since a dizzying array of archaeological projects and culture types are strewn throughout the Balkan landscape, confusing the public.

Tumulus is meant to serve several purposes: 1) allow local landowners to access information that we, as archaeologists, have been collecting during our survey fieldseasons; 2) call attention to the rapid destruction of burial mounds and other cultural heritage assets; 3) provide the beginnings of a platform of data-sharing amongst other archaeologists working in the Balkan region.

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Madhu Narayan


March 3, 2013

Born Digital Collection: Call for Abstracts

March 3, 2013 | By | No Comments

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 humanities scholarship. Read More

Sylvia Deskaj


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


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

Sylvia Deskaj


January 14, 2013

The Tumulus Mapping Archive: Tumulus

January 14, 2013 | By | 2 Comments


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 the Read More

Ashley Wiersma


January 14, 2013

Settler Colonialism Uncovered: Beginnings

January 14, 2013 | By | No Comments


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

Rachael Hodder


September 15, 2012

Corridor: Redux

September 15, 2012 | By | No Comments

After many months of holding you in suspense, it’s now time to show my CHI fellowship project and bid you all adieu with this final post as a CHI fellow.

To refresh your memory, the project I proposed last spring was called Corridor. It was a web application that would serve as a reference for academic conference hashtags while also helping to resolve the competing hashtags in play for the same academic conference. Proposed in the wake of some recent conversation about Twitter backchannels at conferences – particularly, what the use of it is, why people should join in, and how it could be made better. With the spotlight on the larger issue of scholarly communication, it seemed the time was right to try building a backchannel tool as a means of exploring the issues and questions at hand. Keeping the philosophy of the Cultural Heritage Informatics Initiative in mind, “building as Read More