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Simpson Center for the Humanities

2015 Digital Humanities Summer Fellows

  • Tyler Babbie (English)
  • Luke Bergmann (Geography)
  • James Gregory (History) 
  • Tad Hirsch (Division of Design / School of Art) 
  • Koca Mehmet Kentel (Near & Middle Eastern Studies) 
  • Sarah Kremen-Hicks (English) 
  • Phillip Thurtle (History) 
  • Shuxuan Zhou (Gender, Women, & Sexuality Studies) 

Tyler Babbie (English)

Mapping Modernism

This project will use digital tools to visualize the interconnected nature of modernist periodicals from the period between 1912-1914.  It will map infra- and inter-journal conflict and influence in a way that emphasizes the exchanges that make up modernism, rather than approaching it as a collection of static texts.

Luke Bergmann (Geography)

Toward Speculative Cartographies

Toward Speculative Cartographies will examine ways to reconstruct interactive digital mapping as a social and interpretative practice. In conversation with environmental and public humanities projects centered alongside eroding shores in Alaska, this effort will develop a prototype platform allowing the exploration of complex spaces and interrelated 'texts'—whether literary, new media, satellite, bureaucratic, computer-simulated, and/or ethnographic in origin. 

James Gregory (History) 

Mapping American Social Movements Through the Twentieth Century

The Mapping American Social Movements Through the Twentieth Century project will produce a digital archive of visualizations and data sets about dozens of social movements that have flourished since 1900. The strategy of interactive mapping will reveal in new ways the complicated political geography of American radicalism and invite new understandings of how social movements have interacted, reconstituted themselves, and influenced political and cultural life. The digital project will also be the basis for a set of articles and a born-digital short book on the political geography of American radicalism.

Tad Hirsch (Division of Design / School of Art) 

AR-15: Field Stripping America's Rifle

This project critically examines contemporary gun culture in the United States by analyzing representations of the AR-15 semi-automatic rifle on social and popular media. By exploring the meanings and uses of so-called “assault weapons” through the eyes of their enthusiasts, this work challenges assumptions on both sides of the gun control debate, and provides a nuanced, empirically-grounded basis for future policy discussions.

Koca Mehmet Kentel (Near & Middle Eastern Studies) 

Cosmopolitanism on the ‘Fields of Dead’:  Infrastructure, Spatial Change and Expert Knowledge in the Making of Pera, 1857-1880

This dissertation is a microhistory of the making of one of the most famous cosmopolitan enclaves within the Ottoman Empire, the late nineteenth-century Pera, focusing on the links between material infrastructure and urban culture. It aims at mapping (1) the networks of financial and political influence in the shaping of transportation infrastructure; (2) the transformation of the urban spaces tied to the change in infrastructure; (3) the intellectual landscape of expertise behind this process. The digital mapping will integrate the diachronic change of the spaces of Pera between 1857 and 1880, to the working of the synchronic networks of power and economic influence in the making of those spaces.

Sarah Kremen-Hicks (English) 

Digital Poiesis and the Problem of Genre

This project will investigate the underlying assumptions with regards to genre that inform the programming of digital text analysis tools. The goal of this project is not to offer concrete suggestions for improving text analysis tools to make them better-equipped to handle multiple genres, but to offer a critique of the assumptions of universal applicability and accessibility that are implicit in digital humanities as a field, and to do so by offering up a specific counterexample in the form of the inability of text analysis tools to properly handle poetry.

Phillip Thurtle (History) 

Losing My Wings: Interactive Gothic Fables of Development

 “Losing my wings” will be a media rich Scalar document that explores why humans don’t have wings from the perspective of literature, film, graphic novels, and the history of science. In doing so, it will urge the readers to dream the dream of flight as a biological capability, an elegy of change and passing, and a new way of conceiving of the relatedness of beings. In these stories, flight is not a metaphor of transcendence, or a fixed physiological capability; flight is a haunting that marks the simultaneous similarity and difference of organic beings and how they position themselves in the world.

Shuxuan Zhou (Gender, Women, & Sexuality Studies) 

Inter-Mapping China’s Labor Migration and Labor Movement: Gendered Labor, Resistance, and Narrative of Forestry Workers, 1950s-2010s

This project maps labor migration and labor resistance in the history of People’s Republic of China (1949-present), with gender and industry as key factors. I propose to use digital mapping tools to relationally present labor migration, workers’ collective activities, and forestry development over the last 60 plus years. Putting these independently studied fields together via digital tools, I expect to present their interrelations as a critical engagement with current scholarship and digital mapping projects that represent selective data collected without consideration of these factors.