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.

My DH

When I first applied for the Digital Scholarship Summer Fellowship in the Spring, my perception of the Digital Humanities was fairly narrow. When friends and family asked about my summer plans, my explanation of the Digital Humanities went something like: “Oh, it’s humanities research, like history, but put on a website instead of just in paper form.” While this explanation wasn’t wrong, per se, it was certainly a surface level definition that failed to explain some of the key components of DH. Following our discussions of the Digital Humanities as well as Amanda Visconti’s article “A Digital Humanities What, Why, & How,”there has been a marked shift in my perception of DH.

In her article, Visconti stresses the importance of community and values in DH. These values include accessibility, public participation and collaboration, and critical thinking. I was personally struck by DH’s relationship with social justice. In better understanding these values shift, my view of DH has broadened. This was clear this past weekend, when I was celebrating my younger brother’s graduation with my extended family. Naturally, my family wanted to know more about my summer plans. In my explanations, I found that I had a new sense of confidence in explaining my own project as well as how it fit into the larger scheme of DH. With this in mind, I know that my understanding of DH will only continue to grow and evolve across the next 7 weeks, as the other fellows and I progress through our future projects and workshops.

To explain my own project briefly, I plan to create a timeline exploring the partnership of service between Gettysburg College and the greater Adams County community over time. While the specific details of the project will develop as I learn more tools and begin more extensive research, defining and thinking more deeply about DH has also had a great influence on the components I want to prioritize in my project. For one thing, there should be an opportunity for community collaboration in my site. This may be giving viewers the opportunity to submit their stories of how specific programs impacted them or something else entirely. Nevertheless, I think that the opportunity for wider participation and knowledge is important for such a project. Additionally, our discussions have led me to think more deeply about accessibility. Yes, by nature of being on the internet my site will be more accessible than any research paper I’ve written to date, however, this isn’t thinking far enough. Layout colors, language, and accessibility to mobiles and tablets can also influence who can view your project and are important to consider when designing my project. For example, there is a large Spanish speaking population in the Adams County community I would not want to exclude. Will google translate be enough to accurately convey my research findings?

Overall, I’m very excited to learn more about and become a part of a community with so much potential for information sharing and collaboration.

Exploring Digital Humanities

In our first workshop we discussed the meaning of Digital Humanities, and there is a lot of them. Amanda Visconti, who we read and discussed, explains it as doing research, teaching, or learning about literature, history, or the arts using digital tools. At the end of her piece she also poses the question, can Digital Humanities be considered scholarship? This made me think a lot about accessibility in scholarship and the elitism and barriers to publishing within the institution. I think that Digital Humanities should be considered scholarship because it furthers understanding and scholarship should not be limited to only papers that can be published.

To me Digital Humanities is the use of digital tools, like websites or recordings or videos, to explore a topic in a deep way. They all still have a main statement, like a thesis statement, that is what the project is about or will work towards proving. Some Digital Humanities projects come to a definite conclusion and some do not come to a definite conclusion. This can either be an understanding goal or an argument that the creator is making. The goal/argument can be broad, like to organize the information and guide the viewer through the information, but ultimately like with papers published in an academic journal it is up to the reader/viewer to come to conclusions about a topic. This falls into how Digital Humanities should be considered academic scholarship, since it is providing information to a viewer/reader with an argument or goal in mind. Digital Humanities allows the information to be organized in many different ways.

My project, exploring the history and architecture features of three old buildings on campus falls into both of these categories of making an argument and having a goal. The goal is to recognize the importance of these buildings, as well as the argument is about why these buildings are important. By recording the history of the building and the features I am also showing why they are important and deserve to be remembered. I am using digital tools like a timeline or a map to record the history of the house and allow it to be explored in a non-linear way. If it was a paper it could only be explored in a linear way. This also makes it more accessible to people, since there are many different types of learners some who don’t comprehend papers the same way that other people do.

My expectations for Digital Humanities are to make information more accessible and to present new ideas through the way that the information is organized and selected. I have chosen these three buildings because of their long history and many different uses. These histories are very reflective of the Gettysburg community and college, the different needs of the community/college were placed on the buildings and reflected in different ways, like how Brua Hall was converted from the chapel to a music building. These different uses are important because they are not just a reflection of the building they are a reflection of the community.

What is DH?

For me, DH is the combination of digital technology and the humanities, using online tools to make literature and other branches of the humanities more accessible. It also offers new mediums with which to present information that formerly only existed in physical form. It allows for widespread collaboration and distribution of information, and gives people the opportunity to work together to create interactive projects that anyone can view. It involves everyone learning from different perspectives while contributing their own. The internet provides a platform for people to experiment with tools that continue to develop and advance every day.

Amanda Visconti’s article discusses how broad and difficult to define the area of DH is. She emphasizes the overlap of different fields of study and the importance of gathering a variety of opinions and experiences to improve research and project development. She also acknowledges how DH embodies open mindedness during the process of continued participation in making additions to on-going projects.

In my case, I’m focusing on how Digital Humanities combines literature and technology through video games (specifically visual novels). Visual novels are an example of taking something that could exist on paper but instead uses digital tools to create a story that exists as an interactive piece of technology. They are an example of how the format of literature has evolved over time. Although many visual novels are released by well-known developers and publishers, there is a steadily increasing amount being made by independent creators who want to share their own ideas and stories with the world, and can do so with relative ease thanks to the wide variety of available technology and information.

I want my project to be a discussion about visual novels and what they offer compared to other forms of story telling. I think that they are an excellent representation of what DH means in my realm of interest, and their existence as a form of interactive media has constructed a vibrant online community and diverse collection of games that are continuously being produced all over the world.

Reflection #1

Reflection #1

 

This first week being a DSSF has been heavily focused on the core values and aspects of the Digital Humanties. The Digital Humanities is a broad term for a genre of scholarly projects that use digital tools as a way of presenting and distributing their research. For my project, I plan to see the digital humanities exemplified through many aspects of my research. By use of interact maps, I can show my findings per area throughout the United States. This mix of scholarly research and information and digital tools is how Digital Humanities is used in my project. Unlike the sciences, digital humanities projects seem to have a more of a wide variety of formats in which the information is presented. For example, my project plans to have text analysis, video analysis, and video presentation to present my research. If this was a science or other STEM related project, then the information is most likely only offered through one platform because the information is often more literal. Digital Humanities is especially interesting to me because it encompasses the same principles of classic research yet it involves modern technologies. In the article by Amanda Visconti, she explains how the digital humanities often take the work and the research of others to a collected source that can be reached on many different platforms such as tablets and laptops. My project definitely does that by taking news articles and collecting them together. The Digital Humanities seem to be a great way to preserve the works of others because once they are uploaded to the web, a second copy of that work becomes preserved. My project will take these news articles and my analysis of them and allow them to be preserved. The digital humanities seems to be like an online library or reserve that holds scholarly sources in a digital database. With my project, I hope that the information I provide about political bias in the news will be in a place that can be easily accessed by all. From what I have read and seen, a core principle of the Digital Humanities is fair access for all. To gain this, my Digital Humanities project will hopefully be compatible with a number of different devices. Similar to a book in a library, this makes my project easily accessible and free. This easy gain of the information is a major part of making a true Digital Humanities project. In the upcoming weeks, I look forward to developing a better understanding of the Digital Humanities and adapting what I learn to my own project. Digital Humanities is still a rather foreign concept to me, and I hope to become more of an expert on the topic. I also look forward to developing a schedule around my project and creating wireframes as well as beginning the actual research. This past week has been a great intoduction to the Digital Humanties, and it has gotten me even more excited about the upcoming work that I have planned.

 

DH DH DH – deliver your heart <3

DH

Hello Everyone,

My name is Hoang and I am very happy to be a part of DSSF this summer. I am starting my first of 8 weekly responses, but before I will start answering our main question, I will introduce just a bit of my project idea. For the Fellowship, I am doing a research on the change of Gettysburg College campus over time and I will try to create a mobile Augmented Reality application, which will contain the results of my research. It still sounds vague and not specific, because I have just started working and my project idea is still in the initial state and with time I will work on specifying it more. I am very excited to work on this project and to learn the history of our college.

During the first week, we have been discussing about what DH (Digital Humanities) is. I did not know the meaning of DH before coming to DSSF. It is so funny, because I did not know what DH was and I could not explain what DH was, I told my friends that this summer I am working for the library and I will be sorting books (and some of them believed me.)

Probably, it would not be difficult to define DH from two words Digital and Humanities and then combine those two definitions together. But now I have learned more about DH and maybe I still do not know the “real” definition, I know that there is more than just definitions. DH is about values (given by R.C.) that are vital for every scholarship: openness, collaboration, collegiality/connectedness, diversity, experimentation, and failure.

From the discussion and the Amanda Visconti piece, I have created my own “definition”/picture of DH. It is quite simple and might sound very cliche, but for me DH, is not really about digital or humanities, itself. DH is about your attitude toward your work, whether you have concentrated on your research and work diligently to get the result. Moreover, while working you are trying to use as many tools as necessary and trying to also involve people to help you improving your project. Furthermore, you are also working with the thought in mind that you are working not only because you want to learn but also you are eager to share what you have learned with some people/community. Digital here is one of the ways that might help you to approach the audience but you are not limited to use only digital tools, though. There are other methods. The part Humanities, I understood as you are trying to do a research as you are interested in it, and also you want to share your research with other humans. You are not limited to do research in Humanities disciplines only.

As I have already mentioned in the title, for me DH is Deliver the work with your Heart (that’s what matters most), in short Deliver your Heart.

I am very excited to do some research on our school campus, and I will try to find as many resources as possible, I will try to ask as many people as possible and to get people involved with my project. I will also work as part of the DSSF team, where I will try to help and also get help of my team. I will try different ways to approach my project, and I will not be afraid of experimentation. Even if I fail, I learn from my mistakes and I will try again. At the end, I will share what I have with the community.

I am very looking forward to working with the DSSF team and I appreciate help of people helping me with the project.

That is the end of my first entry. Thank you for reading it. Please bear with me for the rest of 7 weeks 🙂

Have a good weekend,

JHA