Transforming Digital Humanities

My project can be transformative by digging out the history and reckoning with some of the negative parts of the past of the buildings I am studying and the organizations that have occupied them. For example with 227 Carlisle Street the Alpha Chi Rho organization is a fraternity on campus, but they have gotten into trouble many times and have been kicked off campus twice before, and currently have lost their house with no foreseeable future of getting it back as a result of their bad behavior. Even though this project is about the house, it can still highlight all of its history of what occurred in it not just the good parts. I can also reckon with issues that are brought up today that occurred in the past in their relation to the house. An example of this is the recent surface of the picture of an Alpha Chi Rho member wearing a Nazi uniform for a Halloween party was discovered. The brother was identified to be a big alumni donor to the College and the campus community had to decide what it wanted to do about that. This can be transformative because it is criticizing the fraternities which support a traditional white male view.

I don’t think that much of this program needs to be changed in order to make it more transformative, because it really gives people the ability to choose a project that interests them allowing a large array of projects to exist. But I do think it could make sure to bring in a diverse array of workshop leaders. The projects that we looked at as examples focused on a wide array of issues, from being based in history to being based on current political issues which is good. I think the most important thing that can be done is to make sure that these opportunities to do digital projects are open to everyone on campus and to make sure it is not only white students making these digital projects.

In the original discussion of Digital Humanities and if it is or is not scholarship my opinion has not changed much. I still firmly believe that it should be considered scholarship and that it is a great way for academic institutions to be more inclusive of people who are typically excluded from traditional academic institutions. It has made me want to do more Digital Humanities projects that look at Gettysburg and the way that minorities are represented within the educational system, like how much of the collection in Special Collections features items that are from people of color or deal with issues of race. And how much of that is used in classes? It would help to transform institutions if they knew the diversity of what they are teaching with.


The purpose of my project is essentially to bring attention to visual novels and try to explain away the negative pre-conceived notions that contribute to their reputation as nothing more than weird Japanese pornographic games. Video games themselves now are not generally regarded as something worth academic study or focus but I believe that this is gradually changing with the release of more in-depth and thought-provoking games. I think that video games as a form of media that people can use to share ideas and express themselves creates a unique and diverse environment for digital scholars. It would also be nice if more people recognized that video games are not only for young boys.

When I started this program my definition of DH was very vague and confusing. Now I understand it as an extensive, collaborative network that strives for diversity and inclusivity when it comes to sharing information in all kinds of digital formats. It is a lot more broad and encompassing than I ever would have expected. I still have a hard time defining it, but I think I’m better at recognizing it. The combination of the humanities and technology allows as many people as possible to have access to information that you can structure and present in so many different ways.

When it comes to the program itself, I can’t think of much that I would change. I like the independent nature of our projects and the lack of daily structure, as well as the workshops. I know that in the past the workshops were a lot longer and I’m happy with the amount of time they take now. I guess if anything I would suggest more widely advertising it, since I never would have known about this program if my advisor hadn’t mentioned it to me. Maybe I’d suggest spending a little more time on coding because I think that’s something that myself and a couple of others struggled with a bit when it came to finding where and how to use code to alter our websites. Overall I feel like I have learned a lot and I wish more people knew about this program because I think it does a really good job of introducing and getting more people involved in DH.

Transform College


Hello Everyone,

Today I will be talking about how my project can be transformative. For me the word “transformative” itself has a very broad meaning and I can talk about almost every part of project that relates to “transformative.”

First of all, my main topic of the project is the Gettysburg College Campus Change over Time. I am working on how our school campus has changed in the past and now my current scope are the years 1890s to 1920s. I am mainly focusing on external appearance of the campus and what affected the changes of the campus and how it resulted in after the transformation.

Secondly, the way I am presenting history is not through a traditional paper, but I am using a digital tool to present my results. My project includes a website where I am presenting my data and I will also be talking about my process throughout the 8-week work, during which I have encountered many difficulties and how I tried to resolve those issues. Moreover, I am presenting my data using a mobile application connecting with augmented reality, where I will try to provide more information (facts and images) linking to each specific building using the camera of the mobile that is pointing to some building on campus.

Thirdly, what I am aiming to transform is the general audience. I would like to both transform and increase the audience. Because of the choice of developing an application on the mobile, I try to reach out to a broader audience. Almost everyone on our campus possesses his/ her own mobile phone, so I try include everyone on our campus to be able to access my application. Moreover, people who are also not from our campus, but are visiting our campus can access the mobile app and also use it on campus during the stay and have their own personal campus tour. Furthermore, having developing an application on a mobile, I want to increase the interest of my audience to just to even try the application as the technological novelty, rather than just having on a traditional paper. Next, my project can be transformative concerning the content of my project. As the history of the campus is very unlimited and always increasing, the project is flexible and more data can be given to the project to be more cohesive. For example, the scope of the project can increase in time, more interesting facts can be added, and also the changes of the interior of the buildings can be included.

The DSSF program does not have to transform at all as I do not feel that DSSF is limiting itself in any ways. The only thing that DSSF can improve is to trying increase its reach and have even more people be interested in being part of DSSF and being interested in DSSF project. As I really do not like to differentiate gender or sex, but DSSF this year in a group of 6 fellows, only 1 person is a white male. This program is really open to anyone and welcomes everyone.

Have a good weekend,



Brua Hall Timeline

A timeline that highlights the changes in Brua Hall’s history. Made using TimelineJS.

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.

Reflection #4- Erik Carneal

The digital humanities is a very new form of scholarly practice. Neoliberalism ideas and values often appear on the digital humanities due to it being so new. One of the main ideas in neoliberalism is the idea of a free market. In the digital humanities, the market is open to anyone. All are allowed to and have the equal opportunity to create a digital humanities project and present it for public knowledge. This is made possible because of the digital humanities remaining free to create and access. If money was involved in the digital humanities, then the market would become less of an open market. Neoliberalism is strongly against capitalism and so are the digital humanities. Capitalism revolves around monopolies and big money complains that seize control of the industry. The fact that there is money directly from these digital humanities projects means that no company or individual can try to take control of said project. 

Another idea that is a result of the open market is the idea of scholarly collaboration. As Matthew Kirschenbaum touches in the article Am I a Digital Humanist? Confessions of a Neoliberal Tool, scholars within the field have the opportunity to collaborate and share ideas without harm. The open market not only means open in terms of money, but open in terms of the free sharing of information. One a digital humanities project is published, it enters a mixing bowl of ideas the the digital humanities presents for all. With proper citation, this information can start flowing through the open market still with no cost to the consumer. This creates an explosion of digital humanities projects that evolve around the use of cited work. For example, my project here at Gettysburg is mostly others information just presented in a visual way. I would not have the opportunity to create this project if it wasn’t for the free and open access to the information I need to visualize. In the article In Defense of DH, Grace Alfasi-Mamagani mentions that the digital humanities is very much a form of project-based learning. She again implements the idea that the digital humanities is all about open collerbation. She mentions that the digital humanities have similar values as public humanities, which also reflects neoliberalism values. The public humanities is the work of presented history, culture, and tradition to the public sphere in a way that is relevant to the modern world. 

As the weeks continue here at Gettysburg, I have learned more and more about the values of the digital humanities. Being a Political Science major, neoliberalism has been a topic of study for the past couple years. The digital humanities certainly incompase the neoliberal values. The values allow for the scholarly field to grow and expand because everyone has the equal chance to produce. The neoliberal values are what allow me and my colleagues to have this opportunity this summer to create a digital humanities project and contribute to the melting pot of information that comes as a result.