Greetings traveler on the great ocean of knowledge that is the internet! My name is Daniel Fandino and I am a second year PhD student in the Department of History at Michigan State University and a 2018 – 2019 Cultural Heritage Informatics Senior Fellow. My research is centered on the study of U.S. – Japan relations with a particular focus on the intersection of popular culture, technology, and nationalism. Before arriving at Michigan State I earned my Master’s degree in History from the University of Central Florida and then spent the next few years living in Shanghai, Taipei, and Tokyo. Although my academic pursuits primarily revolve around history I have been able to explore other areas of personal interest such as fandom and video games by assisting in editing a collected volume of essays on the Marvel Cinematic Universe, contributing to an encyclopedia of Japanese horror films, and writing about dark tourism in the massively multiplayer game EVE Online.

I am honored to return this year to CHI as a Senior Fellow. One of the factors that led me to study at Michigan State–aside from the fact I was admitted–was the strong support for the digital humanities at the university. The CHI Fellowship gave me the flexibility to explore different digital tools and different facets of digital history, all within a framework of cultural heritage. The experience in CHI and with the History/Anthropology co-venture LEADR led me to take on Digital History as one of my secondary fields for my degree. However, the skills and knowledge that I acquired during my first year as a CHI Fellow were only part of the equation. A major element that motivated my desire to return as a Senior Fellow is the diverse nature of the fellowship. Throughout the 2017 – 2018 Fellowship I encountered new ways of thinking about the digital from my cohort in disciplines very different from my own. This helped to shape the way I considered the digital humanities and allowed me a glimpse into projects that were quite unlike anything I had previously imagined doing. By working together in residence, helping with each others projects and discussing new ideas alongside discussions about our own work and lives, the CHI Fellowship proved to be  one of the best experiences of my graduate career

Follow me on Twitter @danfandino and if you are so inclined read my musings on the intersection of history, popular culture, and technology at my blog, Journey to the (Wired) West.