So long, for now.

Over the last eight weeks of this fellowship, my view on what can be included among the digital humanities has definitely changed. I thought the digital humanities was mainly websites and digital archives. I didn’t think it was possible to create multiple different sites or digital exhibits out of the digital humanities. I also didn’t know necessarily how papers and reviews could be transformed using digital tools. I believe the values of DH that I learned remain the same. I know of the importance of collaboration and openness of the web but, I don’t think I fully understood its benefits. Creating websites over papers that are locked away in academic institutions really helps the spread of information. The purpose of my own project centered around educating people on a topic they originally knew nothing about. Without the digital tools that I used during this fellowship, the information I was trying to communicate would not have reached the targeted audience I wanted to connect with. In addition to openness, I think that collaboration sets the digital humanities apart from regular papers and academic journals. I am limited in my own knowledge of the subject I have researched but I know with the help of other individuals I can extend the platform I have created to make sure more information can be shared.

I do think the community I centered myself around within the library definitely helped me form my own definition of digital humanities. But, even though my opinions were formed by the opinions of others, I did also read many articles discussing the digital humanities. I still feel that the library’s definition remains true. I don’t think simply submitting a document online can be considered digital humanities but, if you submitted the document in a way that allowed people to collaborate and extend the research then maybe there is some elements of digital humanities used. I still am a bit confused when trying to make decisions on what can be grouped under this term but, for now I’d like to learn about different projects in hopes that I can continue trying to shape my definition. The digital humanities serves as a platform to teach as well as present research to anyone willing to view it online. I am satisfied with what I made and how I feel it can benefit all internet users. I am grateful for the cohort I had the chance to work with and I hope to stay connected to such an amazing and supportive community. Thank you for this opportunity. I will miss seeing everyone for lunch discussions and workshops but, I know that this does not have to be the end.

Signing off for now,

Emma Poff

Collaboration -Emma Poff

From the beginning, our digital humanities committee has made an effort to talk amongst each other every Friday to get a sense of awareness of where we are with our projects. This communication has personally help me when I have tried to decide what I feel would be best for my users on the website. These Friday updates and planning have allowed me to ask questions as well as respond to some of the other committee members’ concerns about my project. In particular, working at one workshop with Macy was extremely helpful when discovering how my website would be navigated by my users. I hope by the end of this week to have more involvement with each member of the committee as they are finishing up their projects. I do wish I engaged a little bit more outside of Friday updates and planning or any other group meetings to talk one on one with different members in hopes to get more feedback. My goal this week is to try to present in front of someone who has yet to see my website in depth and so that I can get differing opinions. In addition to fellow students, working with librarians has helped me learn new digital tools as well as the steps it takes to make a website successful when presenting research. While I have enjoyed my time on Tuesdays and Thursdays working on gathering my research and putting together my website, working alongside my librarian partner, Kevin, has helped me express my concerns and oftentimes rant when I face small issues. Battling with CSS to finding new books for me to search through, Kevin has helped me take my project further than I originally imagined. 

Through multiple lunch discussions, I can see myself in the future working on a larger level with the digital humanities community. I see the importance and keeping the humanities alive through the use of digital tools and I like the benefits that come from making research available digitally. Digital humanities advocates for openness, diversity, collaboration, and experimentation, all of which take research further than mere research papers. At this time I do not know how I will be involved with the community in the future but I hope that I can use the tools I learned throughout the summer to contribute in some way. I think my website still has a lot of work but I believe it does help contribute to the DH community. Through my work as a fellow I am showing the importance in the digital humanities and keeping the people program alive by adding my work to the works of past fellows. By collaborating with others, I have learned how to take criticism. By listening to others critiques I am trying to better my website and make sure my research is accurate and presented in a way accessible to every user. 

Project Rough Draft

Here is a link to my rough draft. I still need to add more content. I reached a setback in research yesterday that caused me to have trouble working on Indonesia and the Philippines more. I plan to work on content for a bit longer.



Transforming DH -Emma Poff

Looking over the three claims made by the authors of this article, I think my project appropriately follows the guidelines to fit the TransformDH hashtag. When I was first thinking of ideas for my Digital Humanities project, my only goal was to share information the general public did not usually see. I wanted to answer the overwhelming question of why does my DH matter. Thinking about populism and how it has affected our country made me question how it has affected other countries. By researching countries rarely discussed or reported about, I thought that I could give a voice to the voiceless, whether that be suspected criminals losing rights of citizenship or ethnic and religious minorities having to flee their homes amidst persecution.

Transform DH focuses on activism and making knowledge available to everyone. This hashtag believes all digital tools should be used to advocate for political or social change.  My project follows these beliefs by offering perspectives from minorities and people who have been disadvantaged. By sharing their stories, I hope to give them a platform. In addition to this, I also have a tab on my main menu that directs my users to a page that focuses in on getting involved. This page will include news resources that report and share reliable information about my topic as well as descriptions of organizations that advocate and aid those suffering from human rights violations. By trying to spread knowledge and offering my users the chance to get involved in activism, I believe I am following the criteria to transform DH into something more focused on change.

From Week 1 to Week 5, I think my views on what is considered DH has definitely changed. Before, I considered very few things DH. Websites and digital tools were DH, but hashtag activism definitely was not. I was super wary to even consider social media platforms as reliable tools for DH. After reading many articles and attending lunch discussions these views I previously had are very different. I think DH is much looser than I originally thought. While I am still trying to decide how to draw the line to what is Dh and what is not, I think as of right now, anything that reports knowledge or information on a platform openly accessible should be considered DH if it also offers chances for collaboration. I know my views may change in the next three weeks but I hope I am coming closer to understanding DH for what it is entire.

Neoliberalism and DH -Emma Poff

Since high school, my goals have been centered around having a job I enjoy and finding a way to obtain it. I worked hard in high school to work hard in college to get me to the goals that I wanted to accomplish. Sadly whether I would like to admit it or not, these goals for a worthwhile job do also depend on money. The things we all enjoy still have to have some benefits financially.

Without having some stipend this summer, I do not know if I would be able to afford going without a job to help me pay for food and necessities. So when we dicuss and read different viewpoints on whether DH exhibits neoliberal characteristics, the simple answer is yes, it kind of has to in some way. If we are trying to make the digital humanities an environment that is free and open to everyone, we must make sure that everyone can participate regardless of money. So if people need money to complete their research digital project, we must give them a stipend of some sort to truly follow the values of DH.  Sometimes to get the money for grants and stipends the DH community has to reach out to foundations and business ventures for support. I do not think this is a negative aspect of digital humanities however, because those who are willing to give money for research see the value in making information more accessible. It’s not a money-making venture in this way.

Digital humanities is not just placing information into archives in databases. Digital humanists must come up with their own questions and problem solving to create and utilize digital tools to help benefit people they are trying to educate. While some people are paid to create certain tools, they are still working to make information available and open to collaboration. I think that avoiding all aspects of neoliberalism is virtually impossible. We have been programmed to think about the benefits outweighing costs. With this mindset, come people think that we cannot also create and research for anything beyond monetary benefits. I think that no matter if a professor is writing a book or making a website, he will have the same output in terms of how he makes money. Saying that DH supports neoliberalism discredits precious institutions that make professors and scholars write books for publishing and monetary bonuses. DH is not anything different that what we have used before to present research. People will always need money and use commercializing and assistance to succeed. Just because technology requires different skill sets with some people being paid for different tools does not lessen the impact and overall mission of collaboration and openness.

Education and Accessibility -Emma Poff

Chapter three of the required read discussing digital humanities focused in on the impact of sharing knowledge beyond academia. The book mentions how before digital humanities, one author researched and created their own paper with the purpose of giving their work to an academic institution where other professors and students could read it. Only small groups have access to the papers uploaded through academic institutions because the majority of people lack the required paid subscription or login information.

When answering the question of what will happen when knowledge credentialing is no longer controlled solely by institutions of higher learning, my response would be openness. If educational resources were no longer locked in the depths of academia for only a few scholars interested, the general public could freely view any work published. This change would impact the amount of knowledge available for any user of the internet to view, hopefully leading to a better more well-informed human population.

This openness of new information could also lead to more collaboration. In general, if papers and sources were available to anyone with internet access, more people could respond to works with their own research. This could be in the form of a new paper publish or a digital humanities project. To me, digital humanities offer the general public a chance to learn new information, taken from papers and scholarly reports that they would have otherwise struggled to read. When a digital humanist creates a website with interactive tools, splitting up complicated information into separate pages with deep analysis, the general public can read and dissect the information quickly without feeling lost. My personal goal in addition to making my website open to the public is ensuring that the way I present information can be understood by virtually any high school student or older.

With the help of digital humanities, the public can offer feedback through comments, interacting directly with other users on the specific site of interest. This open communication gives everyone the chance to engage in a larger discussion. The book states how with a paper or book published in academia, the work is finished in terms of how the one author feels about his or her finished product. With digital humanities, the website and work of research is never finished because a diverse community of users can continue to add to the final product.

Evaluating TimelineJS -Emma Poff

I decided to critically evaluate the digital tool, TimelineJS and relate the tool to the values of the Digital Humanities community. TimelineJS is completely open to anyone with a Google account. Because a Google account is completely free beyond the user having to sacrifice some level of privacy when browsing on the website, this requirement for TimelineJS follows the Digital Humanities’ community value of openness.

Anyone can use the tool without any boundaries beyond having Google. TimelineJS. But, there is an exception to this requirement. If a user is concerned about their privacy and does not wish to have a google account with a google form publish to the public. They can use an iframe embed code with a JSON coding format. If the user knows how to code and can follow instructions on the website with the help of Javascript, creating a timeline should be feasible for them. This option for those concerned about privacy follows the DH tool evaluation from Miriam Posner.

Some features within this timeline tool include the ability to add media of any form such as videos, audio, links to social media, photography, or other digital tool embedded into the timeline. With the help of code, TimelineJS also allows users to boldface words, edit font, and change the overall appearance of the timeline. TimelineJS gives users the chance to break dates into eras with color coding. Users can also have multiple timelines at once to show differing data for different reasons needed by the user.

I think this digital tool can be used by a general audience with little knowledge of coding. The website offers a template to basically insert any information you have as well as multiple examples of frequently asked questions for anyone confused. The only bias I notice is how it assumes all users are English speaking and that users either know how to code or access google forms. Even with the template, some users may be confused even beyond the help page on the website.

Overall I think this digital tool clears as an effective and reliable tool to present research when being evaluated. Access to the tool is almost completely open to the public and free, even for those who wish to protect their privacy. The tool offers detailed help for the amateur user like myself and gives users options for how to edit appearance and presentation of materials. I plan to use this tool to present my research because it gives me the chance to place media within a timeline of facts and show the progression of the countries I am examining over time.

Project Charter -Emma Poff

Project Name: Populism and Human Rights Violations in Southeast Asia

Project Owner: Emma Poff

Project Summary: I would like to create an interactive website for a general somewhat educated audience to learn about Southeast Asian countries and how their citizens are affected by populist influence. Viewers will be able to read through brief histories of four countries (Indonesia, the Philippines, Myanmar, and Thailand) and their different leaders. I hope to show a correlation between populism within these four countries’ governments and human rights violations against its citizens.

Research Questions:

To what extent has the spread of populism within Southeastern Asian countries caused more frequent and possibly larger-scaled human rights violations against targeted individuals or groups?

What are the different types of populism?

Why is Southeast Asian populism so different from Western world populism?

Deliverables: My project will have multiple pages with attached links as well as navigation controls that allow the viewer to click through different histories and sources. I would like to place an interactive map on my general page with links that take viewers to the four chosen countries, each with their own individual interactive timelines. My hope is to link past events to current problems with human rights scandals.


Week 2:

Learn WordPress, learn mapping tools, learn timeline tools, complete project charter; read books on populism (find a definition), decide on which countries to start research

Week 3:

Learn Scalar, learn text analysis tools, form rough drafts of timelines for each country, wireframes due

Week 4:

Begin creating WordPress page (About and General Homepage), create a map, Go to PCLA

Week 5:

Find firsthand accounts, work on timelines, visualizations due

Week 6:

Add in media, firsthand accounts, pictures, social media page? Draft due

Week 7:

Finishing touches, check links, ensure flow for viewers, polish appearance, Projects due

Week 8:

Work on presentation, PRESENT

End of Life/Future Plans: I hope to leave my website open to collaboration from others with the hopes of getting the chance to occasionally update timelines for incoming events from the news and later world reports.

What is my DH? -Emma Poff

Based off of our group discussion on DH, I think my digital humanities project will use digital tools like interactive timelines and maps on a website to teach and educate my particular audience on both current issues as well as the history of specific countries. Through using different tools within my website, I plan to not just try to educate viewers but, to also create a collaborative space for discussion and additional information. I want to interact with my viewers who may know information beyond my research or who would just like an open conversation using social media or blog posts to talk about current issues. My entire Digital Humanities project has the main goal to bring to light hidden problems within specific countries that the media does not always report. Because my own research will be condensed into seven weeks, I hope people will use my website to expand on ideas. By centering my project around collaboration, I think I am using the characteristics we discussed as a group when defining Digital Humanities.

Another characteristic from our discussion of Digital Humanities that I plan to exemplify in my project would be ensuring my website is viewable for anyone with access to the internet. With more and more websites requiring subscriptions to view certain pages or research engines with viewing only for academics, the average individual not within an institution has trouble deciphering good information from the bad. I want to use the resources Musselman Library offers to broadcast world problems to the people that need to know it the most. This open access supports the characteristic of openness within our understanding of Digital Humanities.

In addition to collaboration and openness, I would like to apply the DH characteristic of diversity in my project in hopes that people who learn differently will find my website helpful. For those who prefer timelines and lists of facts, I believe my interactive timeline will help them grasp a better understanding of human rights violations in the reported countries I examine. My map will be useful for those who prefer learning visually when locating where the issues occur. Some further goals I have for my website would be videos and audio reporting instances where citizens within a country experienced a loss of rights. This addition will help my auditory learners.

Digital Humanities is most important to me because of the way it offers an outlet for both academia and the average internet user to interact and have important conversations. Over the last couple of years, I’ve noticed just how many humans are led by misinformation and a lack of research. When a majority of a particular population makes decisions and forms opinions without some general level of understanding of history and current events, human rights violations centered around discrimination of the minority occur. I hope to show the point of views that tend to be lost and unmentioned to try and attempt to do my own part to protect basic rights.