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Simpson Center for the Humanities

2017 Digital Humanities Summer Fellows

  • Dan Berger (Interdisciplinary Arts & Sciences, UW Bothell)
  • Negin Dahya (Information School)
  • José I. Fusté (Interdisciplinary Arts & Sciences, UW Bothell) and Jade Power-Sotomayor (Interdisciplinary Arts & Sciences, UW Bothell)
  • Sasha Welland (Gender, Women & Sexuality Studies)
  • Michael Degerald (Interdisciplinary Near & Middle East Studies)
  • Roneva Keel (History) and Eleanor Mahoney (History)
  • Alma Khasawnih (Gender, Women & Sexuality Studies)
  • Sarah Ross (Comparative Literature, Cinema & Media)

Northwest Prison Archive

Dan Berger (Interdisciplinary Arts & Sciences, UW Bothell)

The Northwest Prison Archive is an emerging digital humanities collection about mass incarceration and prisoner politics in Washington state. The archive includes original oral histories with currently and formerly incarcerated people as well as publications, artwork, white papers, and other materials produced between the 1970s and today. The UW Library is housing physical items and scanning print materials to make them publicly available. The archive provides a public, human history of prisons in Washington.

Feminist Politics of Belonging: Participatory Culture and Youth Digital Video Production

Negin Dahya (Information School)

This project engages girls in a digital video production program deconstructing racial and cultural difference. The project builds on postcolonial feminist theory to explore notions of belonging among girls of color in Seattle. Pedagogy and methodology are informed by studies of visual culture, digital media, and learning, as well as postcolonial and feminist theory. The project seeks to understand how girls of color experience, perceive, and understand the politics of belonging in digital media and how they use digital and visual tools to express their views and experiences of belonging in their own digital media work. The role of mobile phones and their capacity for video production and sharing will be considered.

The Bomba Wiki Project: Oral, Aural, and Corporeal History and Community-Making through Bomba Music and Dance

José I. Fusté (Interdisciplinary Arts & Sciences, UW Bothell) and Jade Power-Sotomayor (Interdisciplinary Arts & Sciences, UW Bothell)

We are developing a web archive of Afro-Puerto Rican bomba music and dance history and practice. We will use a wiki platform to establish a bilingual, digital, open-source repository that mirrors the non-linear, protean, call-and-response nature of how bomba knowledge has been exchanged throughout its long evolution. The project will centralize, document, archive, and index ideas about bomba, facts, and expressions while cataloguing this dynamic content and making it searchable.

Monumental Ephemeral: Gender and Globalization in Chinese Contemporary Art

Sasha Welland (Gender, Women & Sexuality Studies)

This ethnographic, feminist, visual culture project examines the social role of visual art and competing ideas of aesthetic, cultural, and market value in reform-era China. Its focus on gender produces a non-normative history of Chinese contemporary art and cultivates a differential consciousness about the shifting role of art—as ideological, institutional, and imaginative—within various configurations of power. An interactive website serves as a digital companion to a forthcoming book, providing readers with expanded multimedia research materials, including narrated slide shows with Chinese and English audio; high-resolution image galleries; documentary videos; and a searchable database of images with robust bilingual metadata.

Digital Traces of Iraq's Cultural and Political History

Michael Degerald (Interdisciplinary Near & Middle East Studies)

This project works towards creating a digital archive of rare and hard-to-find Iraqi texts from the 1970s and 1980s. These texts were part of national propaganda campaigns to shape Iraqi identity. This project investigates these –often-ignored primary sources and shows their importance to understanding Iraqi history in this period as well as contemporary Iraq. Over the summer my goal is to develop simple Dublin Core metadata for the texts. This builds toward the potential construction of a digital archive online making the texts widely available for a number of different publics.

Mapping Northlake: Seattle’s Hinterlands in Global Perspective

Roneva Keel (History) and Eleanor Mahoney (History)

This digital project traces the movement of people, raw materials, and financial capital into and out of Seattle in the decades before World War II. By drawing on an array of historic and archival materials, the project reveals the dynamic relationship between a growing urban center and its hinterlands during a period of social and economic change. Through the creation of interactive maps, along with accompanying text and visual imagery, the project offers a compelling account of residential and work life, as well as capital flows and state action, in the American Northwest during the Roaring Twenties and the Great Depression.

Digital Archival Map

Alma Khasawnih (Gender, Women & Sexuality Studies)

The digital archival map is an online, bi-lingual (Arabic and English), open source, and searchable database and visual representation of the ephemeral palimpsest of visual culture production on the walls of Cairo since January 25, 2011 until today. The map is a relational representation of street visual cultural production, human affect, phenomenological experiences, and street happenings. The map challenges hegemonic geo-maps by creating subjective and changing visual narratives of the Egyptian revolution. It responds to processes of erasure and demolition of visual production by archiving and representing these images digitally.

The Poiesis of Image-Signs in Modernist Cinema

Sarah Ross (Comparative Literature, Cinema & Media)

This project uses a new scholarly form of film criticism—the video essay—to visually connect the logic of collage, which became prevalent in the early 20th century avant-garde movements, to the “high modernist” filmmakers of 1960s and 1970s. Members across avante-garde movements such as Cubism, Dadaism, Futurism, and Surrealism proposed that their artist objectives were to “liberate men,” and this freedom could be attained primarily through a visual exchange whereby the work of art caused the viewer to see anew. This project examines in what way modernist cinema embodies and learns from this aesthetic legacy beyond its earlier incorporation into the work of directors and theorists of the 1920s and 30s.