The IDAH 2023 Spring Symposium will showcase innovative digital methods research and creations by Indiana University Bloomington faculty and students affiliated with the Institute for Digital Arts and Humanities.
The 2023 Program will feature:
Lightning talks and a poster session featuring the work of Faculty Fellows and HASTAC Scholars:
Justin Bailey (Faculty Fellow, Assistant Professor, Creative Core)
Jonathan Schelsinger (Faculty Fellow, Associate Professor, History)
Steve Wagschal (Faculty Fellow, Professor, Spanish & Portuguese)
Caleb Weintraub (Faculty Fellow, Associate Professor and Area Coordinator, Graphic Design)
Dhakir Abdullah (HASTAC Scholar, African American and African Diaspora Studies)
David Axelrod (HASTAC Scholar, Informatics)
Elijah Beaton (HASTAC Scholar, History)
Andreina Colina-Marin (HASTAC Scholar, Spanish and Portuguese)
Narmeen Ijaz (HASTAC Scholar, Media School)
Mallika Khanna (HASTAC Scholar, Media School)
Rossmary Marquez Lameda (HASTAC Scholar, Public Health)
Oluwanifemi Ologunorisa (HASTAC Scholar, African American and African Diaspora Studies)
Haining Wang (HASTAC Scholar, Information and Library Science)
This talk will chronicle Dr. Jazma Sutton's interests in the Digital Humanities and how she uses it's tools and resources to amplify the voices and experiences of Black women in the rural Midwest. The talk will begin with Dr. Sutton's graduate research at IU and end with a discussion of the work she is currently doing in her Black Midwest and Black Women in America courses at Miami University.
2022-2023 HASTAC Scholars
The Importance of Maintaining Ethics and How Doing So Can Reorient a Project: A Story Map Which Provides a Visual-Biographical Glance of Dr. Herman C. Hudson's Journey to Indiana University in 1968
The following research project comes together in the form of a Story Map that provides a biographical treatment of Dr. Herman C. Hudson and chronicles his ultimate arrival at Indiana University in 1968. The present project emanated out of ethical concerns surrounding consent given during interviews prior to the inception of the HASTAC project; namely the question of does prior consent for a written research paper translate into the digital project realm. This resulted in the author having to take a divergent path during the research procedure from that of the original larger project which will be incorporated into the author’s dissertation. The latter sought to foreground, through a digital exhibition, the history that chronicles Herman Hudson’s role as Vice Chancellor of Afro-American Affair, superficially from the years 1970-1974, where he helped to create a unique and academically sound department through administrative savvy and institution building. In doing so, it planned to preserve this important history through the digital sphere as an open educational resource which will make this history more accessible to those within and beyond the university walls. However, for the Story Map, which is what the present project focuses on, which utilized the digital medium of ArcGIS StoryMaps, the researcher relied on a transcribed interview of which Hudson was the interviewee in order to ascertain his biographical information, images of Hudson from Indiana University archives, and some other free source images from the web in order to provide some visual context of the various localities Hudson would occupy on his route to Indiana University Bloomington in 1968.
Between Ethnicity and Class: Group Representation in Soviet Satire (1922-1953)
In its most general form, this project explores recurring themes in satirical texts and images from the journal Krokodil, a long-running and important satirical publication from the Soviet Union. Previous analysis of how Soviet Jewry was depicted in Krokodil’s satire showed a marked change between the pre- and post-World War II periods. This project aims to expand the focus to and compare the treatment of other notable ethnic and social groups invoked in the publication. The project first converts Krokodil issues into machine-readable text and then uses several methods for identifying themes or topics in Krokodil articles from 1953. These include topic modeling with Latent Dirichlet Allocation and clustering texts at various aggregate levels using HDBSCAN. Both topic modeling at the issue level and clustering at issue and sub-issue levels achieve mixed results for finding substantive patterns. Much of the structure picked up in these approaches relates to the format of the publication rather than commonalities in the narratives. The highly referential nature of the satirical articles poses challenges for future development of this project. Increasing the size of the corpus to cover a greater timespan may help by increasing the likelihood of repeat references. Similarly, it may be more meaningful to compare issues across years rather than within a given year.
Telecom Territories in NYC: 2000s New York, Payphones, and the Creation of Market Spaces
In 2012, before beginning an overhaul of its public communications service that produced LinkNYC, the City of New York relied on 13 telecom companies to provide service to its network of public payphones. Built on the remains of Bell Telephone infrastructure, the telecoms were differentiated only by their branding. From 2000-2014, telecom companies in New York maintained a geographic monopoly, with specific areas of the city designated as certain corporate territories. Using an unique archived GIS dataset from 2012, this project examines how telecom companies approached New York City as a market space, defining the territories between each phones as the domain of a particular telecom company. Analyzing these market territories within the space of the city will show the ways that urban space is understood, segmented, and produced by assemblages of capital. Through multiple maps of New York City telecom territories, this project reveals the complex structure of public utilities that undergirds everyday objects like a payphone.
Topical Analysis and Visualization of Code-Switching in Indiana
This project employs text annotations on recordings of conversations of heritage Spanish speakers (HSSs) of Mexican descent that reside in Indiana to create a data visualization of the topics that promote code-switching between Spanish and English. The methodology includes conducting recorded conversations of bilingual speakers talking to a bilingual friend or a family member about Mexican-American culture. Participants were asked to speak as naturalistically as possible. The tools for the text analysis of the present study include ELAN (Sloetjes & Wittenburg, 2008) to create annotations and Voyant (Sinclair & Rockwell, 2016) to create text visualizations. Text analysis of topics that promote more use of code-switching and the direction of the switch, Spanish to English or English to Spanish, can be useful to design data collection tasks for studies on Hispanic linguistics and bilingual heritage speakers’ culture. Additionally, the present study helps document the current state of code-switching according to cultural topics. To my knowledge, there are no existing analyses that document the topics that promote code-switching, nor the directions of the language switch using digital humanities tools to analyze text annotations of sociolinguistics interviews, so this study offers a viable option to present these types of information.
Participatory mode of documentary has been method used by filmmakers such as McDougal and Jean Rouch as way to minimize the ethnographic gaze and filmmaker-subject power dynamics through a collaborative approach. However, while filmmakers have often experimented with collaboration and participation with the subjects of their documentaries, the third important subjectivity, that of the spectators, has not received much attention. Despite being a significant site of representation and mean-making, spectatorial engagement remains a lesser explored as an integral part of participatory documentary due to limitations of the methods involved in understanding spectatorship in documentary. Through this digital installation, I aim at proposing a possible method – that is interactivity – to understand audience engagement and to make spectators active participants of the documentary process. This digital installation consists of moving-image portraits of three Pakistani women created in collaboration with these women who tell parts of their story in their own ways. As the next step, my goal through this digital installation is to create a platform for audiences to interact with the portraits in their own ways while navigating the space of the virtual installation. The aim of this installation is two-fold. First to using my own practice of creating participatory documentaries to understand how marginalized voices could be represented through a collaborative approach. Secondly, to explore how the digital media can provide the possibilities for active spectatorial engagement for interpretation and interactivity.
Topical Analysis and Visualization of Code-Switching in Indiana
My research project for the HASTAC year focuses on alternative food media’s engagementswith immigrant and indigenous foodways. Through the project, I argued that rather thanrehashing age-old narratives centering loss and nostalgia, alternative media outlets are makingspace for new kinds of conversations about BIPOC foodways with a more radical political bent. Ithus invite viewers to engage with the work these alternative spaces prioritize through a publiclyaccessible digital garden.To illustrate the themes that alternative food media outlets are investing in, I used Voyant, aword visualization software and David Mimno’s topic modeling tool, analyzing 60 articles across5 different alternative food media outlets. Identifying common topics and investments, I arguedthat alternative food media has brought land, sourcing, indigeneity, race and politics back to thefood media table. This disruption is important because it decenters a traditional model that hashistorically tokenized and exoticized non-white foods without offering any space for creators tothink through alternative material practices and investments. Importantly, these articles do notstart from the point of damage, loss or failure. Instead, they show how traditional farming andsourcing practices are both already implicit within BIPOC foodways as well as necessary forimagining a less exploitative and more equitable food system.
A topic modeling and temporal analysis of the media conversation during public health emergency events: A framework for the analyzing of qualitative secondary data
A public health emergency is an event that can cause harm to the health of a community or population. Public health emergency threats can include major weather events, infectious disease outbreaks, and other large-scale or unfamiliar health threats. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is the leading public health agency in the United States and has the capacity to respond to public health emergencies. When an emergency occurs, CDC activates its Emergency Operations Center (EOC). During activations, a research and evaluation team in the CDC Joint Information Center (JIC)–the communication hub for the response–conducts daily collection and analysis of news and social media data to generate a concise, public health-focused summary called the Communication Surveillance Report (CSR). The aim of the CSR is to provide informed analytic insights about how the threat and the government response to it are being characterized in news and social media to inform the agency’s communications strategy. While the CDC’s CSR is a unique source to understand the evolution of the public narrative during a public health emergency event, historically, CDC’s JIC has not conducted analyses on change-over-time of themes observed in the CSR. As part of my dissertation, I aim to (1) Develop an analytical framework that using topic modeling and temporal analysis to analyze these types of data, with close attention to factors that should be considered when analyzing qualitative secondary data. Topic modeling is a machine learning technique that analyzes text data to identify the underlying “topics” behind a collection of documents. The temporal analysis will allow me to divide those topics by time to observe progression over time; and (2) Apply the framework described to the analysis of more than 500 daily and weekly CSRs produced during the COVID-19 response.
Investigating the impact of the digital divide on Nigerian women entrepreneurs through Instagram
Significant studies have shown that about 26% of women in sub-Saharan Africa are involved in entrepreneurial activities. Nigeria, Botswana, South Africa, Ghana, and Uganda have the highest percentage of women entrepreneurs in Africa. Despite these headways, African women on the continent face disproportionate obstacles that stunt their entrepreneurial growth. One of which is the digital divide that translates into social inequalities and unequal access to technology. This project employs a range of digital ethnographic methods that investigate how Instagram has exacerbated the digital divide and digital (financial) exclusion for women entrepreneurs in Nigeria. It also examines the ways that Nigerian women entrepreneurs contend with patterns of technological inequalities, such as the presence and absence of certain region-locked digital features and functionalities, in addition to negotiating their intersecting identities on the social media platform. The project is concerned with the following questions: How does the intersection of race, gender, culture, location, and other systemic inequalities impact the social media presence of Nigerian women entrepreneurs on Instagram? and how do algorithmic biases like content distribution, shadow banning, and other related issues affect Nigerian women entrepreneurs?
The Many Voices of the Detached: Revisiting the Disputed Writings of Lu Xun and Zhou Zuoren
Lu Xun and Zhou Zuoren are prominent literary figures in modern China and have greatly influenced culture of East Asia. We revisit a collection of twenty disputed prose pieces that were written in literal Chinese by the brothers and published pseudonymously at the beginning of their writing careers. Using 33 carefully selected function characters and words, we developed a simple logistic regression model that achieved over 93% accuracy on a separate validation set. Our research provides evidence that the brothers shared two pseudonyms, "Du Ying" (独应) and "Du" (独). Lu Xun used these pseudonyms in The Chinese Patriotism (中国人之爱国) and four other essays, and Zhou Zuoren used them in The Ordinary Folks' Responsibility (庸众之责任) and six other works. We demonstrate, for the first time, that the brothers collaborated closely on two works, The Strings of Melancholy (哀弦篇) and On the Difference Between the Russian Revolution and Nihilism (论俄国革命与虚无主义之别). This study sheds light on the early stages of the authors' thinking trajectory.
Feeling at War: Emotion and Rationality as Narrative Responses in German Antiwar Literary Traditions
Victim Stories are powerful in evoking emotional responses by portraying the process of suffering. I argue that before The First World War, German antiwar literature relied on impassioned emotional pleas whereas thereafter, characters are led by rational compassion, comparing affective character reactions to suffering in Bertha von Suttner's Lay Down Your Arms (1889) and Erich Maria Remarque's All is Quiet on the Western Front (1928). Von Suttner's novel focuawa on Martha, a woman not physically engaged in combative war but affected by widespread domestic harms from war and perceptive to those on the front. Alternatively, many post-Great War narratives suggest a sense of futility. War would-be heroes like Remarque's soldier Paul become victims of the chaotic war machine, surviving or dying entirely by chance and watching others condemned to the same fate. A textual analysis of word frequency in Lay Down Your Arms and All is Quiet on the Western Front demonstrates some key differences between these antiwar texts before and after The Great War in how the words "compassion," "pain," "happiness," and "death" (Mitleid, Schmerz, Glück, and Tod) appear. I also provide narrative arcs to differentiate the emotion-driven response of von Suttner's Martha with Remarque's rationally compassionare character Paul.
Entwined Edges: Parametric Digital Fabrication Systems for Design Assembly
In 2021 Eskenazi School Assistant Professor and Justin Bailey began to develop computational design algorithms for drafting techniques in order to incorporate systematic design methods into his process of researching fabrication, form, and material in furniture and lighting as a method to output a variety of formal outcomes as iterations of the same code applied to varying. This method, built primarily on Computer Aided Design techniques, considers the connection points between two sides of a joint within the design fabrication process. Through this proposal, Justin Bailey hopes to use the Institute for Digital Arts and Humanities Fellowship in conjunction with knowledge gained through the 2021 research to explore coding for material joints and connections in greater depth, focusing on code development, sustainable material use, and attachment methods within digitally fabricated forms to develop a resulting code and body of work used to create batch iteration works of functional furniture and lighting design.
Transforming Ivory Carvings into Archives of Global Environmental History
What might ivory carvings tell historians that texts cannot? Museums and private collectors today hold an astonishing variety and volume of historical ivory carvings. Each carving, in turn, has stories to tell: stories of the carvers who made them, of an era’s aesthetic, of consumers, collectors, and suppliers within the global trade, and of elephants, their lost worlds, and their tusks. Texts reveal many aspects of this history; material artefacts reveal others. Still more history lies within the DNA, stable isotopes, and trace elements within ivory itself. The goal of our team’s project is to connect these disparate types of sources and to unlock the information within ivory through the use of X-Ray fluorescence (XRF) spectroscopy: a novel, non-destructive method of analyzing ivory. The team is establishing how XRF results differ in ivory objects from differing parts of Africa and Asia and building an open-access database of known XRF results for ivory, so that anyone with an XRF spectrometer and an internet connection can identify the provenance of any piece of ivory, from ancient artefacts to illegal contraband today. Our long-term goal is to test museum pieces en masse and use the data we gather to reconstruct and visualize the history of the global ivory trade with unprecedented granularity, rigor, and breadth.
Counterfactuals in Early Spanish Literature: Explorations of What Didn't Happen and What Could Have Been
The Artist, Augmented: AI in the Studio is an art and writing project that explores the impact of generative AI on the artistic process from the perspective of an artist practitioner. Through a series of physical paintings and a written reflection, the project delves into the potential benefits and ethical concerns arising from integrating AI in the studio. The Artist, Augmented goes beyond the technical aspects of AI and addresses social and cultural issues, such as bias, inclusivity, and cultural values in generative AI art. The artist seeks to provide insights for creators, designers, scholars, policymakers, and the general public interested in the intersection of AI and art.
The reflection explores the intersection of the novelty cycle concept and generative AI art, highlighting how the use of AI as an iterative studio tool, accelerates the rate of experimentation and knowledge acquisition. The paper acknowledges the phenomenon of hedonic adaptation and emphasizes the importance of social context in the production and consumption of generative AI art.
The written reflection of this interdisciplinary exploration considers the role of glitch in the artistic process, highlighting its potential as a tool for examining the possibilities and limitations of AI in art and creativity. The project stresses the significance of the artist's relationship with material and the distinctive mental state achieved during the creative process. The Artist Augmented explores the potential for deeper collaboration between AI and human artists, with AI serving as a valuable brainstorming tool in the studio.
Through this body of artwork and written reflection, The Artist, Augmented: AI in the Studio seeks to provide a critical and informed perspective on the integration of AI in the studio. The project highlights the democratization of artistic practice, the expansion of human creative output, and ethical concerns such as copyright infringement, environmental impact, and bias in datasets. It offers strategies and perspective on how artists and designers may consider utilizing AI to enhance their studio practice.
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