Digital Humanities and the Monograph “Companion Website”: Adapting and Visualizing Data from Documentary Research by Judah M. Cohen and Adah Hetko
This presentation highlights the considerations and challenges involved in creating a digital humanities project from research originally conducted for a historical monograph. Thanks to an IDAH fellowship, the presenters sought to expand Cohen’s project on 19th century American synagogue music (to be published in book form in early 2019), into a broader, more immersive, and interactive multimedia space. We will discuss how, through consultation with IDAH staff, we settled on the project’s first steps; selected and prepared biographical and geographical data for the mapping part of the project; and gained insight into the complexity of working with 19th century musical sources. A significant part of the presentation will include preliminary data visualizations developed in the Carto mapping system, which allow us to discuss emergent patterns and formulate new questions—including previously unseen geographical groupings of historical figures and the movements of figures over individual lifetimes. We will conclude with a summary of future plans for this project, and a reflection on the role of digital humanities in adapting and expanding the monograph’s conventional historical narratives.
Screen Ecology Project: Media Art, Campus Space, and the Inhabited Digital Archive
This presentation introduces the terms and imperatives of the Screen Ecology Project, as it is being formed in my research, teaching, and with support from IDAH. Sitting at the interface of digital humanities, critical practice, and public and screen art, the Project addresses the increasingly screened media ecologies of the (here IU) university campus, and considers how its public screens might become sites for not simply public address but also public contact, dialogue, and encounter. The Project is constituted in two arenas. First is a critical analysis of the already existing formations of both everyday and event-based screen spaces on campus – the dispositif of campus screens as they are formed in the relations between screens, campus inhabitants, and the spaces that surround them. Second is a collaborative platform for critical, technological, and artistic practitioners on campus to come together to form projects that transform the predominantly information-driven operations of campus screens. The general aim of these projects is to, as Scott McQuire has phrased for the media city, “open up spaces in which new practices of communication and experiences of [campus] inhabitation might emerge.” I here speculate on a first (in formation) project that inquires into how campus screens might become a locus for campus inhabitants to encounter its substantial digital moving image archives collectively, critically, and in public. This project not only asks how IU’s moving image archives might be reinvigorated through processes of digital transfer – displayed in and accessed from an information-driven screen – but also explores how IU’s (site specific) moving image archive might be creatively expressed to newly animate public spaces and experiences on campus.
Archives Speaking for Themselves: Modeling Discourse in Traditional and Community Cultural Archives by Kate Mullen
Archives charged with preserving, curating, and stewarding cultural heritage are often acknowledged for their placement in large traditional institutional settings such as governmental agencies, universities, and museums. In the last decade, with the advent of accessible digital repositories and accompanying notions of archival democratization, archival scholarship has shifted toward the study of a more participatory heritage that invites content originators and localized communities to participate in documentation and preservation processes. However, precise definitions of participatory and community archives are elusive in scholarship due to the diverse nature of archival purposes. To distinguish between community and traditional archival discourses, I examine discursive definition from the point of view of the institution itself. I use public-facing discourses from individual archives, including mission statements and “about” pages from distinct institution and organization websites, to identify differences between larger institutions and community-based cultural heritage archives in the United Kingdom and the United States. Part of an ongoing project, this analysis utilizes text analysis and topic modeling to identify key characteristics in discourse and compare them to oft-used scholarly conceptions of archives and their purposes. This poster summarizes initial results from the project and highlights the potential of digital humanities capabilities in archival studies.
Pixels and Paintstrokes
Artistic value in the discipline of painting may be determined based on the characteristics of originality, touch, preciousness, uniqueness, novelty, relevance, and coherence of vision. This presentation explores a tandem exhibit /survey that seeks to determine the degree to which the perception of artistic value in painting is affected by whether or not a work has been conceived via traditional or technological/mediated means.
The research aims to uncover underlying attitudes and predispositions related to technology, creativity, and views about intangible qualities inherent in works of art. The presentation highlights the collaborative nature of the project and the harnessing of diverse resources made available through the IDAH.