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Simpson Center for the Humanities

2018 Digital Humanities Summer Fellows

  • Abraham Avnisan (Interdisciplinary Arts & Sciences, UW Bothell)
  • Kristen Dew (Human Centered Design & Engineering)
  • James Gregory (History)
  • Verena Kick (Germanics)
  • Jin-Kyu Jung (Interdisciplinary Arts & Sciences, UW Bothell) and Ted Heibert (Interdisciplinary Arts & Sciences, UW Bothell)
  • Jocelyn Moon (Ethnomusicology, School of Music)
  • Sarah Ross (Comparative Literature, Cinema & Media)
  • Phillip Thurtle (Comparative History of Ideas)

Specters of Home

Abraham Avnisan (Interdisciplinary Arts & Sciences, UW Bothell)

Specters of Home is an interactive installation about haunting, exile, and colonialism. Made in collaboration with Palestinian dancers and choreographers, the project brings together virtual reality, architecture, and dance to explore the ways in which the political exclusion of Palestinians from the State of Israel haunts contemporary Israeli and Jewish-American culture. As viewers enter the installation space, they will find themselves immersed in a lush and ghostly 3D projection of the architectural ruins of the Palestinian village of Lifta, whose 3,000 residents were expelled from their homes during the Palestinian Exodus of 1948. Initially, Lifta appears empty, quiet, abandoned. But as the viewer begins exploring the space, Lifta’s ruins come to life: snippets of audio interviews conducted with the village’s former inhabitants and their descendants become audible, and spectral 3D imagery of bodies in motion begin to emerge.

Continuing the Mapping American Social Movements Project

James Gregory (History)

This online project is developing data and publishing interactive maps about dozens of social movements that have influenced American life and politics during the 20th century. I am using mapping and visualization tools to reveal the complicated political geography of the left and derive new understandings of the historical role of social movements. The project began in 2015 and now includes maps and data for 18 social movements. The fellowship allows me to expand the scope and explore interactions between social movements.

Imagination Stations: Drawing, Drifting, Mapping

Jin-Kyu Jung (Interdisciplinary Arts & Sciences, UW Bothell) and Ted Heibert (Interdisciplinary Arts & Sciences, UW Bothell)

Imagination Stations explores new ways to imagine and present complex compilations of multi-modal data. The goal is to establish an interdisciplinary discourse at points of convergence between geographic visualization and mapping, art, and the digital humanities. We look at the ways that a dialogic approach to data generation and mapping might provide new possible ways to imagine geovisual conceptualization – visualization that preserves, represents, and generates a strongly nuanced, contextual, and deeply contingent representation of urban space and people. We focus particularly on developing a hybrid framework for integrating a range of digital forms of data, analysis, and representation often considered incompatible.

Interactive Fables of Development: Losing My Wings

Phillip Thurtle (Comparative History of Ideas)

This project uses fellowship funds to finish the “Losing My Wings” web project as a companion piece for my monograph, Life in the Grid: Envisioning a Political Aesthetics of Life in the 21st Century (University of Minnesota Press, in press). The site would offer media rich primary source material as well as provide a model for how a web site can mix the evocative power of fables with the specificity of scientific enquiry. The goal of the project is to encourage a more nuanced discussion of the relationship of all living things.

Beyond Biomimesis: Refiguring Fabrication Naturecultures Through Digital Craft Exercises

Kristen Dew (Human Centered Design & Engineering)

As a scholar of digital craft and fabrication, I aim to bring craft and ethnographic knowledges into conversation with engineering discourses to explore the possibilities for making fabrication practices more collectively survivable. With funding I will set up a series of free online digital craft exercises that can demonstrate salient aspects of my contributions in practice.

Revolutionizing the Public Sphere: The Invasion of the Working Class in the Media of the Weimar Republic

Verena Kick (Germanics)

My dissertation employs a combination of methods that also apply to my digital project. At the core of each chapter and my digital project (a Scalar book) is a close analysis of the primary work. I focus on the interaction of text with visual media and concentrate on the triangulation of the essayists, their reader/viewer and the portrayal of a German public sphere. In my second chapter, that forms the basis for my digital project, I investigate how text-image-combinations can be understood as functional montages that educate the reader to view photographs less as authentic documents for mass consumption, but as powerful means to change the public sphere.

Going Mobile: Reciprocating Field Research with Sharable Media

Jocelyn Moon (Ethnomusicology, School of Music)

In the course of this project, I seek to create several short digital stories based on my ethnographic research about an instrument from the borderlands of Zimbabwe and Mozambique called matepe. The purpose of these videos is to share the ideas of my dissertation project with the people in Northeastern Zimbabwe who participated in the research. I will share them primarily through private social networks on mobile phones as well as through my research blog in order to reach diasporic, community music, and academic audiences.

The Poiesis of Image-Signs in Modernist Cinema: A Poetic Investigation of Things

Sarah Ross (Comparative Literature, Cinema & Media)

This project proposes to utilize videographic criticism to visually connect ‘high modernist” films of the 1960s and 1970s to early 20th century avant-garde “collage” as both an aesthetic and philosophical practice. Through a logic of fragmentation, reduction, re-assemblage, and collage, early avant-garde artists de-contextualized familiar objects, signs, and images, revealing the structural formations of cultural, social, political, and linguistic organizational systems. This project proposes to link these earlier practices to modernist filmmakers’ cinematic sign-creation through their shared phenomenological and poetic investigation of the relationship between “things” and consciousness.