Segregation in so called diversity

When I was assigned this blog post: “How do we resist, in the sense of resisting the narratives you are working with, the tools you have been presented with, the challenges and biases you have faced as a student researcher/digital scholar, and even your own research?” Memories of everyone telling me I couldn’t do something because I was a girl or an undergraduate researcher flooded into my head all at once. I hoped to take the weekend to clear my head and find an answer because I didn’t think that just researching military subjects as a woman was an acceptable answer. Just existing can be a form of resistance in some cases, especially more extreme ones, but I don’t consider that my case. I thought about it over the weekend, especially as I went to two events with very different audiences: The Civil War Institute Conference, with a demographic of mainly older, white, straight, men; and D.C. Pride, a celebration of the LGBTQA+ community, with more diversity of races, ages, sexualities, etc. than I think I’ve ever seen. While I went to Pride and talked to people about what I was doing with research, I felt guilty. Why was I not covering these people? My people.

It’s been a constant debate in my mind: should I be doing something else? My project is literally following the cream of the crop of America, young white men with the privilege that got them into West Point in the first place. Many are from prestigious or rich families, others had fathers who had political or upper-echelon military connections. Am I resisting by merely being a woman doing this research? There are no women, no people of color, very little diversity in nationality or religion, and per many historians, LGBTQA+ did not exist until the sexual revolution in the 20th century. Am I continuing the Great White Man tradition of history?

Especially among higher up academics that I have talked with, there seems to be a discouragement from women doing any other history besides gender history, or more specifically women’s history. Especially in war. Because of the “new cultural history” there has been a focus on diverse scholars covering diverse topics, but only the topics that fit them. Women should focus on women’s history, black people should work on black history, and so on. Like the Civil War for example, women focus on Southern women, Clara Barton, mourning dresses, etc. That’s not diversity, that is segregation.

“Only a small number of female historians – notably Barbara Tuchman – have specialised in military subjects, while feminist academics have highlighted specific contributions made by women.” -Katie Adie (

Feminism is equality. Feminism in academia does not mean shoving women into a separate space in which they can just do women’s history. Feminism in academia means letting women go into whatever subfield of history they desire and integrating them with the existing community. Resistance in history can mean studying rights movements and telling untold narratives but it can also mean changing the community of history. Existence is not enough; normalization is the goal. When a fifteen-year-old girl isn’t mocked for going into military history, or a sophomore college student isn’t told that she should go into gender studies simply because it’s what women in history do, that’s when we’ll know.

“The gender of the scholar is beside the point and limiting our reading of a particular approach to one set of voices can only serve to diminish debate and, ultimately understanding. So dividing facets of the history of the war into men’s and women’s history is a pointless exercise.” – Jessica Meyer (

Progress comes from the inside, the narrative will change when the community changes, and we have a long way to go.


Why Resistance Matters

In their chapter, “Pedagogies of Race: Digital Humanities in the Age of Ferguson,” Amy Earheart and Toniesha Taylor discuss their project, White Violence, Black Resistance, which blends activism and digital scholarship into a cohesive entity. As I was reading the chapter, I recognized a number of similarities between Earheart and Taylor’s work and my own. One of the goals for my project has been to highlight the narratives of people who have been left out of mainstream campus histories–this is also a goal of What We Did Here–simultaneously, White Violence, Black Resistance is an attempt to “disrupt erasure.” Both projects, then, are projects of resistance. In their text, Earheart and Taylor write, “A focus on points of resistance is central to student learning. Just as we as faculty collaborators interrogate moments of resistance in our partnership, we encourage students to understand how points of resistance in their own work, in the historical narrative, or the technical interface reveal crucial moments of engagement and insight. Instead of following a lockstep approach to a text, we ask the students to creatively interrogate the text within a broader context.” In my opinion and experience, resistance is marked by three qualifiers: it is driven by need, strengthened by collaboration, and requires active participation. As Earheart and Taylor imply, this resistance extends past projects, and it opens possibilities–a phenomenon we have come into contact with a number of our responsibilities as senior fellows.

As alluded to earlier, I thought there were a number of similarities between White Violence, Black Resistance and the two projects I have been working on–This is Why We Fight, and What We Did Here. The projects are driven by a need to recover narratives that have historically been excluded, they are strengthened and made possible by a number of partnerships, (my project and What We Did Here would not have been possible without the support of Musselman Library and the Digital Scholarship Working group, and rely on group contribution, while White Violence, Black Resistance relies on Earheart and Taylor’s teamwork and the incorporation of their students), and they come to fruition because people put forth the action and effort they need to be completed.

Taylor and Earheart’s chapter also talks about lowering barriers of entry so that the greatest number of people possible can connect and involve themselves with their project. This is also an act of resistance as it disrupts a normal hierarchy of involvement within university and digital systems. As digital fellows, we are attempting to do the same thing with our OER. There is a need for making digital tools and projects more accessible to a greater number and range of people–this is something we discussed when we defined openness and accessibility as being one of our cohort’s DH values this summer. Our OER is a collaborative effort-we are all creating it together, and it will be reviewed by a number of people. We also have to make an active effort beyond simply making the project in thinking critically about our audience and what we hope that they understand from our lesson. By creating a source that is open to a general audience, we are resisting elitist and exclusive narratives.

In the digital humanities and other learning pursuits, resistance becomes an opportunity for education and enrichment because it requires that the learners define their needs, utilize collaboration, and actively engage with whatever situation they are placed in. Though resistance may be challenging, it is productive and influential, and I am excited to see it being incorporated into dssf17.

Resistance is futile??? or fruitful??

According to Google, the definition of the word resistance means the refusal to accept or comply with something; the attempt to prevent something by action or argument. Applying the definitions that Google has provided to digital scholarship, I believe that digital scholarship only applies to the first part of the definition. From everything I have learned throughout the year, digital scholarship seeks to not accept or comply with the standards of tradition. Rather, we digital humanists seek to break and “resist” the traditional narrative. However, digital scholarship does not completely fit the second half of the definition. Digital Humanities does not prevent arguments or actions but rather, welcome a diverse group of voices and narrative.

The reading “Pedagogies of Race: Digital Humanities in the Face of Ferguson” directly applies the idea of resistance to the field of Digital Humanities. The writers of this article resist a number of things throughout the text. The first part of the article sought to resist the current digital project model that required a very high degree of expertise and knowledge. They acknowledge the fact the DigitaHumanitieses can be very exclusive and even at times a privilege. To break the mold they decided to “select technologies with low entry points to encourage a range of participation”. The article also discusses using digital humanities to break down traditional narratives and topics. White Violence, Black Resistance is a collaborative project that resists the traditional historical narrative and strives to “digitize a broad set of primary documents related to interactions of race and power” and recover long forgotten histories of black towns and spaces in Texas and the University.The project definitely puts the idea of resistance into practice.

The article also challenges the readers to “encourage students to understand how points of resistance in their own work, in the historical narrative, or the technical interface reveal crucial moments of engagement and insight”. This quote does apply to the work we digital humanities do, but in a much larger context, this applies to all academic scholarship. As scholars, we are taught to interrogate and reflect on what we are learning. Being able to resist and challenge our own work, historical narratives, and technical interface makes us better scholars.

Throughout the entirety of the Digital Scholarship program at Gettysburg College, I think we have applied the idea of “resistance” to our own individual and collaborative projects. But I am not sure if the word “resistance”  is the correct word to use to describe what we have done here. Rather, I would like to use the word “challenge”. I think we have challenged our ideas of scholarship and even at times digital humanities, through open discussion and collaboration.  We have also challenged the traditional historic narratives through our individual research and projects.

Through my own work and experience, I have definitely been challenged and challenged others. By collaborating with multiple professors and students, I hope I have been able to challenge their view of digital scholarship and digital tools. My project this summer seeks to challenge and break the traditional historic narrative. I am working with a set of photographs of Native students from Carlisle Indian School. I specifically want to challenge the traditional narrative of the Native American History and the legacy of the Carlisle Indian School. Researching and planning this project has definitely had its challenges. My biggest concern is how to accurately and respectfully present these photographs and people. I definitely have my own set of biases and that I need to address and investigate.  But I hope to continue resisting and challenging my own work and scholarship.

Best Wishes,


I’m not tired of traditionally masculine spaces at all

So I know as a Senior Fellow I don’t have to do a micropost but this needs to be said.

Let me tell you something about my project and what I do: IT’S HARD.

What I do is hard. I’m going into a field that is already greatly skeptical and highly critical of any new members. I make tons of jokes about it: like if I had a dollar for everytime someone says “that’s not lady-like” I could pay my college tuition.  Funny, right? You know what’s not funny? Literally being laughed out of a military history class in high school because you’re a woman. Dreading the response of someone when they ask, “what do you want to do?”. Being told what you’re doing is worthless and won’t get you into grad school. Maybe you should go into women’s history because you’re a woman and you obviously you can’t do any other history outside your gender.

Throughout being laughed at, ignored, interrupted, disregarded, and criticized I have tried to keep an upper hand and keep my chin up. My life has literally become my cadets because if I were any less passionate or driven I would’ve given up. I would’ve given up the first week of my military history class in high school and sometimes I wish I did, it would’ve been so much easier.

I devote so much time to records because if I say I don’t know something I am automatically brushed off as a silly girl who doesn’t know what she’s doing. Sometimes I talk over people because so many times so often if I don’t talk over people I don’t get heard at all. I take on an enormous workload in short time periods because if I don’t it will be perceived that I’m not dedicated or I don’t have what it takes. And I can’t let anything get to me or else I am perceived as weak and I don’t belong for a reason.

I know I don’t belong already. It’s abundantly clear as I can name less than ten influential women warriors in history and even fewer women military historians. It’s hard to know you’re not accepted in your field and even harder when people don’t realize how hard it will be for me to get into the field much less change it.  My mantra is “You have to work twice as hard to get even half as far as they are”. If you think that’s extreme, I’d love to see you go through half as many records as I have, contact half as many references and have them laugh in your face, or devote half as much time as I do to my site and my cadets. Don’t tell me what I can or can’t do unless you’ve been in my heels for a day.

It is hard. It is overwhelming. It is exhausting. It is what I do every day and I’m expected to suck it up and take it like a man, which is exactly what I’ll do after I vent a bit with this post.


Knight Lab

I have really enjoyed using the different Knight Labs tools— TimelineJS, StorymapJS, JuxtaposeJS and SoundciteJS. I like the fact that they are relatively user friendly, have a good user experience and can handle a lot of content. I also like that they are open source! I think the future should look more like Knight Lab opposed to Microsoft or Apple. I understand that money plays an important role in accessibility, but I think people should be able to have access to web based tools regardless of the economic status. My only frustration with these tools is that you need a Google log-in to access them.

“My” Community of Practice

I really enjoyed seeing and talking about the DH community! I think it is extremely powerful and helps others to create amazing projects and give others support that they might not have. At Gettysburg the 2016 cohort, the 2017 cohort, the working group and other members of the college are all there for me as I am completing my project. These recourses and people are easy to seek out. I think it is a bit more difficult, but my no means impossible to have a bigger community of practice. This can be credited to conferences like PaLA, the Slack Page and Twitter.

Now that I am a digital fellow I feel as though I am part of a larger community that is much bigger than Gettysburg. I think this is evident by that fact that we are able to ask questions on twitter and follow other important people in the digital world. At the conference I did not get the chance to talk with many people. Lauren and I both spoke to Laurie Allen and asked her a few questions. Other than that, I did not speak to many people face to face. I did on the other hand follow several people on twitter. This was made possible because of #dssf17 and #crdpala2017. I am now able to follow people that are active in the community, learn from them on twitter and ask them questions through the web if needed. I think having a hashtag is really helpful when trying to build a community.

I have been very active on twitter since our twitter session. I followed all the people that RC suggested to follow. I have also used #dssf17 and #dh a lot. I also try to tweet to the creators of the digital platforms that we are using. I think maintaining a community of practice takes work, but once that community is established, the people are there to help. I am going to try to be more active on Slack the next few weeks, I think Slack is very helpful if I wanted a quick detailed response.

I think it was very evident at PaLA that people are there to help each other. The conversations we had and the questions that were asked made this very clear. For example, some people wanted to learn how to make a digital fellowship so they listened closely to RC and Sarah speech. I think this community has to be present because people face many difficulties in the DH world. We need to be there to help each other succeed.

Trusting in Tools

In building my digital project, I have to put a lot of faith in the tools I use to get things done. The tools are definitely a benefit- they save me time in building something myself and look far more professional than anything that could be made from scratch in ten weeks. However, they are not without their challenges. Learning a tool takes time, but it is a necessary step to better understand what is being done. Some require more work or time, but users can learn how to implement them with the input. Problems arise when they fail to work. Maybe a tool is getting older, maybe something is running slow, maybe the browser is acting up- there are endless possibilities. I, unfortunately, cannot diagnose all these problems, and some causes are entirely out of my control. Still, these tools were made for a purpose, and they will do their best to fulfill it. I simply need to trust that they will work, bugs and all. No product is perfect, but that does not mean they aren’t worthwhile.

You Darn Americans Need To Stop Making Everything About You

This week, we learned about digital tools to make our projects better. Hooray! Of course, one thing about learning a tool is thinking critically about said tool, and that means you have to see both the negatives and the positives about it. One thing we consistently hit was that most of these tools were very Western-centric, right down to the code itself. We kept asking- how would someone else in a non-English speaking country use this? It requires English, and that means you obviously have to learn some of that to use it. That sucks if you don’t have access to a decent education system, and it basically continues to make access to digital scholarship a lot harder than it should be for poorer countries. Once again, we need to reflect on our privilege as Americans that we can afford to be taught the coding and have it be in our native language, and then walk upstairs and pick up a decent paycheck for learning that.

We also discussed how even maps tend to have an agenda. I pointed out that there’s no perfect way to draw a real map since you can’t flatten a globe without distorting it- it’s geometrically impossible. Really, each map has its own purpose, and it depends on what you need to use it for. There’s no such thing as an unbiased source, no matter how hard you try to be one or look for it. However, you can think and admit that the source has drawbacks, and try to compensate for it with a source that builds on those drawbacks to balance it out. It takes time and additional research, but I’m in a cohort of six strong, intelligent women. I think we can do it.


Making a Community of Practice

As with any technology, the internet has its downfalls. It is both good and bad. However, the accessibility and openness it creates, arguably its defining feature, can be used to do a lot of good. Through it, people can connect, collaborate, and create more readily than ever before. Entire communities live and grow online, made possible by the lack of geographic restrictions. For people in Digital Humanities, this is especially important. Through the use of social media platforms, Digital Humanists can connect, share ideas, and grow their community. By fully immersing itself in the digital, DH can reach and inspire more people than ever before.

Part of this fellowship requires the cohort to become part of the DH community. There is no one set platform for DH communication, and parts of this community can be found on social media sites and other platforms. The two we most invested out time in as a cohort for a lab were Slack and Twitter. The community of Digital Humanities was surprisingly welcoming. Considering the fact that becoming part of the Slack channel for DH required an invitation, the community was more open than expected. Once the cohort was logged on, we introduced ourselves in the general chat. Some others in the chat were responsive, replying to us right away. The limitation on joining the channel did not make its way into how we could use the channel. We could make subsets on the channel dedicated to other subjects within DH. We could directly communicate with people to learn more about this community. We found a community of people ready and willing to collaborate and share their knowledge. Twitter functioned much in the same way, although it was far more accessible and open to community input (good or bad) due to its more public nature. A simple search for common DH hashtags or advertised events can introduced anyone t the wide world of DH. Live tweeting can also bring people together in real time. I am not yet a pro at using either of these tools. By becoming more immersed in the community, I can discover more about this community of practice and the tools it uses.

To cultivate a community of practice and engage with DH in my own life, I will first need to become better versed in the methods of communication. I need to be open to talking to others, coming to them with my problems, and trusting that this community will help me. The community may be digital, but it is not impersonal. The people I have met so far have been enthusiastic and willing to discuss DH with me despite the fact that I am a novice in the field. That’s because they want to cultivate newcomers and teach all they can about DH. The community is open, and that defines it. In DH, the community of practice differentiates it from other fields of study. It is more open and accessible, something that DH should be proud of. The community is still changing and growing, but this is a positive. It has the opportunity to grow with its platforms, and look toward the future to build its community.

By Emma Lewis

Project Charter

Project Name: Title to be determined

Project Owner: Emma Lewis

Project Summary: My goal in this project is to create a choose-your-own adventure audio tour of the streets of Gettysburg. The tour will not follow one linear path, nor will it need to be listened to in order. The tour will be comprised of different aspects that users can navigate the streets by. The aspects will frame the history of Gettysburg in different ways in an attempt to connect personally to listeners. There will also be a Children’s section to frame history in a way that will engage children with the stories of Gettysburg. I want to make this accessible for all, from history buffs to passersby. In order to do this, each aspect will have a different level of information to accommodate different levels of background knowledge. My goal is to connect with listeners on their terms.  

For the summer, I will focus on a single street in Gettysburg. This will give me a more manageable goal to work towards in the time frame I have. I have chosen Baltimore Street as the first street I will work on. I have previous research on this street, and plan to use it to augment this tour. At the end of the summer, my goal is to build a website to house an interactive map to navigate this tour by. The map will be able to locate users’ positions if they want to and point them to interesting sites. I will embed audio files in this map to take the tour by. This is the plan, and I will investigate digital tools to figure out how I can make this a reality. 


  • Previous Research
  • FYS Audio Tour Project
  • Research- Special Collections, ACHS
  • Digital Tools- Mapping, Audio embedding
  • Audio equipment


Week 1:

  • Get Situated
  • Start working with digital tools

Week 2:

  • Investigate site formats
  • Contact possible interviewees
  • Research

Week 3:

  • Research
  • Possibility-schedule interviews

Week 4:

  • Research
  • Start mapping site

Week 5:

  • Research

Week 6:

  • Write up current research
  • Done with interviews- if possible

Week 7:

  • Research
  • Workshop stories

Week 8:

  • Work on site
  • Done with writing
  • Record Audio

Week 9:

  • Revise Research
  • Work on site

Week 10:

  • Final Tweaking

Future Plans: I hope to continue to expand on this in the future. I do not want it to be a closed, private platform that only I have access to. Digital Humanities flourish on collaboration. I hope to take it as far as I can, researching and using public outreach to compile more stories.