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Simpson Center for the Humanities

2014 Digital Humanities Summer Fellows


Annie Fee

Dissertator, Comparative Literature

Cinephiles and Movie-Fans: A Counter-Cartography of Paris Film Culture, 1918—1928

This project aims to create a ‟deep” map of Parisian cinema culture following the Great War. Beyond creating the first visual representation of cinema locations in interwar Paris, the map will integrate autobiographical accounts of cinemagoers, news stories, and details of political meetings and protests held within the cinemas; thus each map point will be a gateway to the lived cinema experience of a specific historical community. 

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Joshua Griffin

Dissertator, Anthropology

Archiving the Future: Politics and Possibilities for Climate-Induced Relocation in Northwest Alaska

This dissertation is a multi-sited ethnography of climate change that considers experience, affect, and ethics in an age of planetary uncertainty. The Summer Digital Humanities Commons Fellowship will support this project's continued collaboration with ReLocate Kivalina (ReLocate), a multi-disciplinary research collective working with the Native Village of Kivalina and the City of Kivalina to support a  culturally specific climate-induced village relocation.  Through two years of pilot fieldwork and community consultation, several themes have emerged as critical to transforming the relocation process. First, there exists a politics of knowledge and representation that consistently works against the community’s efforts to be heard and understood by governmental agencies. Secondly, the project's partners in Kivalina have identified the need to situate the contemporary relocation process in the context of history, culture, and place. With these objectives in mind, this proposal will support the project's work on an interactive, multimedia, open-data archive of Kivalina's recent relocation history, and a Scalar project rendering visible "A History of Dwelling-Site Selection in the Kivalina Region" over the last 100 years.

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Verena Kick

Dissertator, Germanics

Visible Databases

This project will present the digital aspect of my dissertation that examines the relationship between documentary films and web documentaries (web docs). Web docs present a form of documentary filmmaking that takes advantage of software applications: Filmmakers code and design a multimedia project that is presented within a website. While a website user can navigate through the website and interact with the web doc, the database, which consists of images, text, audio, video, animations, maps and infographics, remains largely hidden. This project, using the publishing platform Scalar, intends to visualize these databases while juxtaposing them with the databases (i.e. the edited footage) of documentary films. Thus, both databases of documentary films and web docs will be rendered visible with the help of Scalar.

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Jeffrey Knight

Assistant Professor, English

Reading Networks

In collaboration with researchers at Stanford University and the University of Toronto, Reading Networks in Renaissance England will use digital interoperable environments to identify and analyze scribal additions to the manuscripts and books collected by Elizabeth I’s Archbishop of Canterbury, Matthew Parker, England's first self-described antiquary and custodian of one of the most important surviving libraries of early literature in English.

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Pamela Pietrucci

Dissertator, Communication

Publicity, Locality, and Democratic Practices

This dissertation, “Publicity, Locality, and Democratic Practices,” explores the relationships among digital rhetorics of activism and embodied protest in the era of netroots movements and digital democracy. This project analyzes a series of case studies concerning post-earthquake protests in L’Aquila (Italy) through a rhetorical theoretical framework, and it identifies the conditions that might favor public-embodied protests being productive. This project intervenes in conversations about digital activism and material rhetoric, and it contributes to deepening the understanding of contemporary social movements and of the ways locality and material conditions shape public strategies of protest. Lastly, the study aims to encourage dialogue among scholars, publics, and activists in order to implement strategies for engaging in productive democratic actions in their geographic locales.

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Sonnet Retman

Associate Professor, American Ethnics Studies

in collaboration with Michelle Habell-Pallan (Associate Professor, Gender, Women, & Sexuality Studies)

Women Who Rock: Making Scenes, Building Community Oral History Archive

The Women Who Rock: Making Scenes, Building Communities Oral History Archive brings together scholars/archivists, musicians, media-makers, performers, artists, and activists to document and archive the role of women and popular music in the creation of cultural scenes and social justice movements in the Americas and beyond.

During summer 2014 the Women Who Rock team will: build out the archive by processing digital assets and materials; theorize the use of keywords as an intervention in knowledge production; create effective meta-data information that allows for more nuanced and responsive archive searches; devise an effective workflow plan, including individual roles and responsibilities; and develop a vision of use and access based on our exploration of CONTENTdm 6.

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Sasha Welland

Associate Professor, Gender, Women, & Sexuality Studies

Experimental Beijing: Gender and Globalization in Chinese Contemporary Art

This ethnography documents Chinese contemporary art as a zone of global cultural encounter, in which revaluations of rural and urban space, public and private boundaries, and masculinity and femininity are tested, while arguing for the importance of a feminist art practice whose historiographical consciousness about the shifting role of art—as ideological, institutional, and imaginative—reveals inherent contradictions in this emerging art world. A digital platform to be published in tandem with the book manuscript visually maps its argument about the spatial, temporal, and gendered dimensions of art worldings, providing readers with expanded access to multimedia research materials, including bilingual (Chinese and English) narrated slide shows for each chapter; a searchable database of images with robust bilingual metadata; curated image galleries with short accompanying essays; and videos of time-based pieces, artist interviews, and ethnographic documentation.

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