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Organizational Info

Ethan Watrall


August 27, 2013

Welcome to the New 2013-2014 Cultural Heritage Informatics Grad Fellows

August 27, 2013 | By | No Comments

The Cultural Heritage Informatics Initiative is pleased to welcome seven new CHI Grad Fellows for the 2013-2014 academic year.  The new fellows come from the Departments of Anthropology, the Department of History, and the Department of Writing, Rhetoric, and American Cultures – and represent a wide variety of subdisciplines and areas of research.

In the following weeks, each fellow will introduce themselves in more depth, talking about what drew them to the program as well as some of the preliminary interests for their activities during the duration of the academic year.

In advance of these more detailed introductions, its my pleasure to briefly introduce this year’s cohort of fellows:

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Ethan Watrall


July 12, 2013

Launching Detroit Digital

July 12, 2013 | By | No Comments

I’m very happy to announce the launch of Detroit Digital.  The culminating project of the 2013 Cultural Heritage Informatics Fieldschool (which ran from May 27 to July 3), Detroit Digital was built over the course of 2 weeks by 10 students (one of which came from as far away as New Zealand to participate in the fieldschool).  The project, which was conceived entirely by the fieldschool students, is an attempt to suggest a counterpoint to the popularly held and grossly simplistic picture of Detroit as a dead city whose only redeeming value is a place for cheap real estate and as a setting for urban decay photography. The project revolves around a suite of data driven visualizations and essays, each of which are organized into three themes: Looking, Listening, and Speaking. Each theme is designed to shed light on various aspects of Detroit’s rich and complex cultural heritage.

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Ethan Watrall


May 20, 2011

Call for (Virtual) CHI Fieldschool Presenters

May 20, 2011 | By | No Comments

The start of the Cultural Heritage Informatics Fieldschool ( is rapidly approaching (May 31st), and we are currently seeking interested individuals (scholars, industry, etc.) who would be interested in giving a virtual talk (via Skype) on a topic relating to this fieldschool’s primary focus: mobile and locative media for (and in) cultural heritage. The range of presentations we are interested in is very wide: tech intros, project case studies, best practice discussions, etc, etc, etc. Want to do a talk introducing students to jQuery Mobile? That would be great. Want to discuss a an ongoing cultural heritage mobile or locative project? Awesome. We are also interested in presentations on more general topics relevant to digital humanities and cultural heritage informatics (user centered design, project management, etc.) The idea is to introduce students to as broad a range of topics, platforms, perspectives, practitioners (scholars, grad students, developers, Read More

Ethan Watrall


January 19, 2011

Announcing the 2011 Cultural Heritage Informatics Fellows

January 19, 2011 | By | No Comments

I am extremely happy to announce this year’s Cultural Heritage Informatics Fellows. The CHI Fellowship program offers MSU graduate students (in cultural heritage focused departments) with the theoretical and methodological skills necessary to creatively apply information, computing, and communication technologies to cultural heritage materials. In addition, the fellowship provides graduate students with the opportunity to influence the current state of cultural heritage informatics, and become leaders in the future of cultural heritage informatics. During the course of their fellowship (which lasts an academic year), fellows will develop a significant and innovative cultural heritage informatics project.

This year’s fellows show great promise, and I’m very much looking forward to their projects and their contributions to the field of cultural heritage informatics.

Jennifer Bengtson

Jennifer is a PhD Candidate in the Department of Anthropology. She is primarily interested in the bioarchaeology of Late Prehistoric Midwestern peoples – specifically in issues of gender, health, and Read More

Ethan Watrall


January 12, 2011

Announcing the Cultural Heritage Informatics Fieldschool

January 12, 2011 | By | One Comment

We are extremely happy to officially announce the launch of the Cultural Heritage Informatics Fieldschool. Taking place from May 31st to July 1st (2011) on the campus of Michigan State University, the Cultural Heritage Informatics Fieldschool will introduce students to the tools and techniques required to creatively apply information and computing technologies to cultural heritage materials and questions.

The CHI Fieldschool is a unique experience that employs the model of an archaeological fieldschool (in which students come together for a period of 5 or 6 weeks to work on an archaeological site in order to learn how to do archaeology). Instead of working on an archaeological site, however, students in the CHI Fieldschool will come together to collaboratively work on several cultural heritage informatics projects. In the process they will learn a great deal about what it takes to build applications and digital user experiences that serve the domain Read More

Ethan Watrall


October 1, 2010

Announcing the Cultural Heritage Informatics Initiative

October 1, 2010 | By | No Comments

Hello World

We’re extremely pleased to announce the launch of the Michigan State University Cultural Heritage Informatics Initiative. The CHI Initiative will ultimately serve two main purposes. First, it will be a platform for scholars across a wide variety of cultural heritage disciplines, departments, and programs at Michigan State University (social anthropology, archaeology, history, art history, cultural and historical geography, classics, museum studies, etc) to collaborate and communicate in the domain of cultural heritage informatics. Its extremely important to note that when we say “scholars,” we’re not just referring to professors, but professional staff (librarians, archivists, technologists, etc) and graduate students as well (heck, even undergraduates). Second, the CHI Initiative will serve as a platform for a variety of educational efforts designed to equip students (both undergraduate and graduate) with the practical and analytical skills necessary to creatively apply information and communication technologies to cultural heritage materials, Read More