Here at FSU, we are starting to create connections between different members of the campus digital humanities community. Now, we hope to build a network within a wider global community.
Day of DH is a yearly event where digital humanists from across the globe share what digital humanities means for them. This year’s theme, “Just what do digital humanists really do?,” is meant to highlight the day-to-day work of a those identifying with the larger DH community.
FSU is picking up steam on the teaching and learning side of DH. Our Program in Interdisciplinary Humanities is launching an M.A. in Digital Humanities and is accepting its first class this fall. Dr.’s Lisa Wakamiya and Allen Romano are at the helm of that program, and working diligently to interweave broad research interests, affiliated faculty from around campus, and the libraries into a rich program of study.
University Libraries plays an active role in the DH community. Our Office of Digital Research and Scholarship and Special Collections and Archives department are center points for content and expertise on developing digital projects. We are excited to partner on the upcoming symposium, Invisible Work in Digital Humanities, set for Nov. 17-18th. We are also developing a model for growing our DH community, pedagogy, and projects simultaneously: we percolate (open office hours), incubate (structured proposal/project development cohort), and then accelerate (project management and completion.)
Finally, we are proud to feature the work of a few faculty members doing digital humanities here in Tallahassee in the featured profiles below. This list is by no means exhaustive, just the 6 folks that emailed us back to be included here. 😉
Our Digital Humanists
Digital humanities work is being conducted across several departments, from the iSchool to the department of English. FSU is even starting to think about how to do work collaboratively across multiple departments:
Paul F. Marty is a Professor in the School of Information at Florida State University. His research and teaching interests include museum informatics, technology and culture, innovation and design, and information and society. His academic work centers on the study of museum informatics, which explores the sociotechnical interactions that take place between people, information, and technology in museums. He has long been interested in how digital technologies can improve understanding of and access to our shared culture, and his research in this area looks at the intersection of technology and culture in our schools, our professions, and our everyday lives.
Tarez Graban and Richard Urban
The Linked Women Pedagogues Project is a multidisciplinary collaboration between myself and Dr. Tarez Graban, Dr. Stephen McElroy (FSU Department of English) and Sarah Stanley (FSU Libraries, Office of Digital Research and Scholarship). The LWP project will extend Dr. Graban’s work to simultaneously trace the intellectual influence of women in the field of rhetoric and writing studies and contribute to critical historiography. Women’s archival representation in rhetoric and writing studies has been flattened by the incremental circulation of their texts, projecting significant gaps in public canons from about the 1870s to 1970. Sometimes these gaps are the result of archival collecting practices, but in other cases they are due to the contingent or untenured positions held by women pedagogues. This combination of archival practice and institutional mobility makes it more difficult to locate them in traditional venues such as conference programs, published textbooks, or faculty course lists, inspiring us to look for other locations or spaces where their influences might be visible. In response, LWP moves feminist historical inquiry towards a model of locatability: a flexible ecology that describes how histories get written as a result of historians’ interventions with them, how those histories get valued or devalued through the circulation of archival resources, and how intellectual capital is assigned or not assigned through various history writing practices.
FSU has several projects that bring together areas of study from across the globe, from Japan to Serbia to Italy. The following is just a sampling of the work being done today.
Understanding the Japanese Tea Ceremony (chanoyu) requires experiencing it in person and through one’s own hands. My course The Tea Culture of Japan (Spring 2016), in addition to traditional text-based learning, offers students access to the actual rare materials that are at the heart of chanoyu: they participate in a hands-on tea ceremony at the Tallahassee Buddhist Community, they make tea bowls with the CeramiNOLES (FSU’s student-led ceramics club), participate in a student-led Kimono workshop, and join a session led by a collector of traditional Japanese objects. As preparation for this fieldwork we use media analysis. Using the Mediathread online platform, I created two assignment that involve the analysis of visual media: in one of them students annotate collaboratively the film Rikyû (1989), which depicts the origins of chanoyu; in the other, students upload an image of a material object and annotate it on the screen. Both assignments ask students to comment on each other’s annotations. Students have consistently reported that these media analysis assignments contribute to their knowledge, capacity of critical evaluation, and interest in the discipline of chanoyu. Mediathread was developed by Columbia University; this summer I will work with a group of Computer Science majors at FSU to develop a similar tool for our specific environment.
The Southeastern Europe Digital Documentation Project (SEEDD) is a collaborative effort with Brown University’s Dr. Anne Chen. SEEDD aims to document and promote the prominence of southeastern Europe in the archaeology of the middle and late Roman empire. Sarah Craft, a Postdoctoral Fellow in Classics, is currently working with the Digital Research and Scholarship (DRS) team to develop a prototype with which to test and demonstrate the flexibility and usefulness of such an endeavor. As such, the SEEDD Project has a strong pedagogical component: undergraduate students in Dr. Craft’s current ARH4154/5161 Archaeology of the Later Roman Empire course are basing their final projects on SEEDD documentation procedures, and in the process, they are gaining important research skills while also contributing to an active research project.
In collaboration with the FSU Libraries Digital Research and Scholarship team, I recently completed a first sample of the digitization of the Italian newspaper Il secolo. As many other fragile primary sources, Il secolo was until now accessible only in situ, at Italian National Libraries, in microfilm or CD form. The digitization that is currently presented by FSU allows access to Il secolo from anywhere. While our hope is that each user will find different applications and ways to interact with Il secolo, the primary uses that we have envisaged in creating this resource are research and teaching oriented. The digitization enables researchers to easily access the periodical as a primary material source for their scholarly work. It also gives teachers the flexibility to use it in a classroom setting, as a resource tool through which students can acquaint themselves with the lexicon, style, and content of such an innovative newspaper. Within both contexts, Il secolo can be used as a linguistic tool, to analyze how the Italian language has changed since then; as a thematic and historical reference, to understand what events were deemed newsworthy by the journalists and the public; and as a literary source, as it allows today’s readers to access the most widely read novels of the time (feuilletons), published in installments in each issue. Finally, Il secolo contains several individual authorial voices that are very important to our understanding of that time period, and in particular to the evolution of the political and social thought of the Democratici (broadly speaking, the representatives of the left and extreme left in and outside of Parliament) in the post-Unification years.
* Post actually written/drafted by Sarah Stanley, our resident/acutal digital humanities guru, who can teach herself any digital tool in less than a week. In preparation for a Wikipedia Edit-a-thon next week, a launch point for a larger project we’re involved in, Sarah mapped stub articles to help us visualize the lack of representation for Caribbean architecture on Wikipedia. In December, she taught herself Drupal, in a week, to spin up the Dr. Valisa’s Il Secolo project website. Sarah also Gephi-ized the network of digital people, places and projects here at FSU. Go Sarah, the ultimate DigiNole!