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fayana.richards

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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

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

Emily Niespodziewanski

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December 12, 2011

Institutional Tweeting: Bridging the gap

December 12, 2011 | By | One Comment

A few months ago, I initiated a push to create social media accounts for the lab in which I am graduate student (read: free) labor. The Lab Director was curious whether such accounts would be appropriate for the Michigan State University Forensic Anthropology Laboratory (@MSUForensicAnth). After all, the lab consults with law enforcement across the state on sensitive cases. There are very real legal reasons in addition to the obvious ethical ones not to tweet: “We’re off to CityName to recovery a body from ClandestineLocation!” Nearly all lab activity is confidential. Although the reasons in our case are unique, hesitant bosses/leaders usually question whether their group has anything worth sharing when approached by someone eager to branch into social media.

The anthem of the resistant “I don’t care when someone’s eating a sandwich” appeared in my own conversations with other lab employees. It was difficult for me to articulate what is tweeted 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

alex.galarza

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October 18, 2011

Fútbol and Scholarly Collaboration – Alex Galarza

October 18, 2011 | By | No Comments

“A football club is the accumulated cultural capital and the historical memories of the group of people who have chosen to invest their time, their energy, and their love in it.” – David Goldblatt

I study football(soccer) clubs in Buenos Aires, Argentina. My dissertation examines political and economic change in Buenos Aires, using football clubs as a lens to view politics, associative life, and consumption. While excellent soccer scholarship has been produced for decades, there is a need for more dialogue and collaboration amongst academics who study the sport. In the spring of 2010, I co-founded the Football Scholars Forum with a historian of South Africa, Peter Alegi. The scholarly community has met over Skype to discuss recent works in soccer scholarship over the past three semesters. As a Cultural Heritage Informatics Fellow, I plan to dedicate my time towards continuing to grow the community, turn the website into a platform for Read More

Katy Meyers

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October 6, 2011

Defining Digital Archaeology

October 6, 2011 | By | 3 Comments

Within the last ten years there has been a myriad of ‘digital’ disciplines cropping up. What sets each apart from the analog version is their use of digital technology in their respective field of study. As noted by Cohen and Rosenzweig (2005) “new media and new technologies have challenged historians [and other academics] to rethink the ways that they research, write, present and tech about the past. These digital scholars engage with their research through technology at any level, from data collection, interpretation and dissemination. The most active of these is the Digital Humanities, which has been actively attempting to define and delineate the discipline, while at the same time is engaging in a wide range of computing technologies in their research. While this interdisciplinary group attempts to determine who belongs in their “big tent” of the Digital Humanities, archaeologists have yet to engage not only with the Digital Humanities, but Read More

Jennifer Bengtson

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September 9, 2011

Digital is for Everyone

September 9, 2011 | By | No Comments

During my tenure as a 2011 Cultural Heritage Informatics Fellow, I created a digital repository for materials relating to Mississippian archaeological sites. This project involves the collection, digitization, and organization of materials such as maps, photographs, field notes, publications, gray literature, bibliographies, websites, and raw data within a single digital repository. The repository functions to preserve materials in a digital format while improving scholarly accessibility and providing an integrated, searchable network of relationships between diverse types and sets of information. The repository was built using the KORA digital repository and publishing platform (http://kora.matrix.msu.edu/).

The repository currently contains images (artifact photographs, site photographs, excavation photographs, historic photographs, maps, etc) and web resources, but documents and data (as well as more images and web resources) will be added as they become available. Immediate plans for publicizing the existence of the repository and soliciting contributions from other Mississippian researchers include both formal and informal interactions Read More

Micalee Sullivan

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September 9, 2011

The Trials and Errors of a Digital Humanities Project

September 9, 2011 | By | No Comments

Last week marked an end to my Cultural Heritage and Informatics Initiative Fellowship. Although this also marks the technical end to my project, Sixteen Tons, I really view it as the start of what I hope will be a continually expanding project. In hindsight, many of the aims of the project, including a collaborative component and lessons plans, were a bit ambitious. I have to agree with Katy’s advice to new fellows – struggle with this project, because you will. In my head, I imagined a much longer time line of project design and creation, but unfortunately, I hit several technical snags along the way that really hindered my process. I suppose now I can recall Ethan telling us that this was just the start of our projects and we shouldn’t try to expect too much out of initial launch, but I also suppose we all Read More

Katy Meyers

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September 9, 2011

Final Words of a CHI Fellow

September 9, 2011 | By | No Comments

Over the past year I have been involved in the Cultural Heritage Informatics Initiative Fellowship as one of the first fellows in the program. I started off the year with the goal of creating a community for bioarchaeologists around the world to share theories and methods known as the Bone Collective. I prepared a Wiki site for my creation, began building the back end of the site, and went off to the annual bioarchaeology meeting ready to share my idea with the discipline. The goal was to create a site that was completely community sourced, where bioarchaeologists freely gave their time for the greater good of the discipline.

Sadly, I quickly found when talking to my peers that while a resource like this would be great, they would not want to be the ones donating their time. Further, I found that students were discrediting the idea that a community sourced site could Read More

Micalee Sullivan

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August 5, 2011

Project Breakdown: Creating exhibits with Omeka

August 5, 2011 | By | No Comments

I’ve uploaded most of my content for Sixteen Tons and can start the process of organizing my content. I was fortunate enough to have photographed a large potion of my material. I have also transcribed most of the primary documents that I was not able to photograph, or that would have been too difficult to read in digital form (most of my documents are over a century old). Omeka makes the organization a bit easier by providing categories in which you can place your items into. For my own website, I chose to use broad themes that all of my research can fall under. Once I created these broad category titles, it was easy to choose a category from the dropdown menu as I uploaded individual items.

[caption id=”attachment_871″ align=”aligncenter” width=”300″ caption=”Some of the collections I used to organize the many individual items I uploaded to my Read More