Reflective Post 4

A Reflective Reflection

As we finish with the DSSF 2021 Program, I look back at the Digital Humanities and how my perception of them has changed over the last eight weeks. On our first post, I wrote:

“On the surface, the digital humanities appeared pretty straight forward to me; the combination of humanities based works and technology. This means that the subject matter could be based in subjective works (the arts, culture, history, etc.) but the resources or hosts for this research could be on digital platforms like websites or computer files. As a student who frequently studies subjects in the field of humanities, I was initially nervous to look into the digital humanities since I had a somewhat low knowledge of technology.”

While I have a deeper understanding of both the Digital Humanities and technology as a whole at the end of these eight weeks, I would still go on record to say that I am not a technology wizard (please don’t make me fix your computer issues, it won’t end well), and as mentioned by Quinn Dombrowski this week, there are no experts in the world of DH. Even though I learned and grew, there is still more to understand in this field.

One of the upsides about not being done with the Digital Humanities is that I can still use digital tools in everyday life. Hopefully, in future courses, extra curricular events, or community activities, I can build a story map, timeline, or other visualization that can help the goals of my group.

It is also important to discuss community within the Digital Humanities. This past summer, I’ve had the pleasure to work with five driven students and build a tight community within the cohort. While all our work was set in the virtual realm this year, I cannot wait to see the whole cohort in person.

From left to right, Nicole Parisi (’23), Theary Heang (’24), and Carlee Mayo (’22), the in person members of the cohort, outside Musselman Library.

This experience was also made amazing with the invaluable help of the Digital Scholarship Committee, who guided us through the Digital Humanities. From day one, this team they built had to work on a microproject (the Albert Chance Collection), and all of us who were new to the world of DH certainly had to adapt to these new principles quickly. Ultimately, I feel as though our microproject was the perfect way to set us up for success on our individual projects.

Like I mentioned in my first reflective post, the world of DH allows for humanities and subjective based topics to be explored in a technological setting. Since I am not a digital genius, the context of humanities based technology allowed for me to expand on my skills by using my own interests in theatre and television.

Ultimately, as we draw to a close of this fellowship, I look back at the skills I have developed, and look ahead towards ways to expand these abilities. I am thankful for the community we have built and my guides along the journey. This may be the end of the fellowship, but it marks the beginning of my adventure with the Digital Humanities.

Written by Nicole Parisi, Gettysburg College Class of 2023 and member of the DSSF 2021 Summer Cohort.

Reflective Post 3

Reflective Post #3

The Digital Humanities is going to be constantly developing. The reasons behind this fall among the lines that the subject is still relatively new and will advance as long as technology does. This means we will see uncertainties about the Digital Humanities in everyday life and will encounter new questions and possibilities about them. Since the digital world is far more accessible in the modern era, the knowledge it shares also becomes easier to reach. People can work communally and on different platforms to share this information. This social and academic open access also forms questions about intellectual property.

While reading about the Digital Humanities, Burdick, Drucker, Lunenfeld, Presner, and Schnapp posit questions about open access knowledge through technology. One of these questions (as referenced in the prompt for this week’s reflective post) is:

“What happens when anyone can speak and publish? What happens when knowledge credentialing is no longer controlled solely by institutions of higher learning?”

I tried my best to construct a somewhat decent/ coherent thought about this subject. Obviously, the situation is far more complicated than what I can put into a blog post, but this was my attempt at it.

As previously mentioned in the prompt, the fellows are not being paid to do research, but to create knowledge. While this adds a level of formality to our work, there was nothing stopping me from investigating my topic with a self directed approach had I not been part of this program. I am fortunate that I have the capabilities to work with the library, have a committee supporting me throughout this program, and the ability to do this program full time. While it would have been possible to do this project without all the resources that the library has offered to me, the final project would likely look completely different from what it will be currently. The timeline of my work would probably be different. The entire outcome would not have the same advantages as I currently have.

While I think it is a good thing for people to speak and publish knowledge with the current technological tools, I acknowledge that the road to this shared knowledge will likely face different obstacles. Therefore I posit that even if anyone can speak and share knowledge, it would not be received the same way. It would be up to the user to determine what knowledge they want to learn or use. While it is a good thing that this knowledge can have multiple outlets, there is always going to be a question of the quality of this knowledge. A person getting their information from a social media post would have a far different outcome from a person reading an academic webpage. Of course, this becomes more complicated when we look into cases of intellectual property. It’s also important to note that there is a social and academic aspect to consider with this topic. Many of these pieces of knowledge can be created or altered collaboratively.

Collaborative work in a digital setting also makes for a more accessible project. There are multiple points of view when it comes to sharing this knowledge.

Ultimately, I think knowledge was made to be shared, and technology is one of the right ways to share it. It is a good thing that this knowledge can be created and shared publicly and easily, even if it is subject to flaws. While it may have its imperfections, I believe that they can be solved as the technology and social culture surrounding the Digital Humanities advances.

Written by Nicole Parisi, Gettysburg College Class of 2023 and member of the DSSF 2021 Summer Cohort.



While looking into sitcoms throughout the 20th Century, I decided to make a timeline exploring relevant/ notable series throughout the history of comedy in television. There are likely to be some changes to this timeline, as there is room to add more series/ plenty more sitcoms that were historically and culturally relevant, but my goal was to include a series from every decade or so. The link below should take you to the timeline made with TimelineJS.

Created by Nicole Parisi, Gettysburg College Class of 2023 and member of the DSSF 2021 Summer Cohort.

Reflective Post 2

The Values of DH and our Microproject

As we are about to present the Albert Chance Microproject, I reflect back on my experience with the Digital Humanities through a group project and look ahead to how I can use this for my individual project.

Group projects are rough. Even back when it was the standard for meeting in the same place at the same time, there can be issues on communication, collaboration, or just plain human error. When we factor in the fact that the cohort is divided between residential and remote students, it can make things a lot trickier. Obstacles included, I’d say I’m quite impressed with how the Albert Chance Microproject has progressed. In Spiro’s chapter, she describes the five values of the Digital Humanities to be Openness, Collegiality, Collaboration, Diversity, and Experimentation, and I would argue that we practiced each of those values while working on this microproject.

Since this was a group project, I would argue that collaboration was the most significant value that we had to follow while working together. We had to communicate frequently to build this website and delegate where each person was doing their investigation and what part of the webpage they would be building/ writing/ designing/ etc. It was helpful that we had group chats and multiple shared documents to help us navigate through the work we conducted. Since we were located in different time zones from one another, we had to collaborate to schedule meeting times that worked for everyone. Often times that meant meeting right after workshops or during office hours in a Zoom Breakout room.

The value of experimentation had to be practiced to build this website and do this research. For many of us, the primary sources from the Albert Chance Collection were new and we were practicing with new tools. As part of our workshops, we were sent into breakout rooms to experiment with these new tools like WordPress, Scalar, StoryMaps, and TimelineJS. Eventually, we would go on to incorporate many of these tools into our website.

When it came to diversity, I found that that came from the endless variety of potential that the Digital Humanities has to offer. Our resources can vary from photos to videos to interviews from a wide array of places and there is limitless potential on subjects to study within the range of the humanities.

I would say that Openness works in tandem with Collegiality and Connectedness. As a cohort working together on a group project, we definitely had to practice collaboration (as mentioned above), but we also found success in the ideas of openness and collegiality. When looking at the Chance collection, we practiced with frequent communication. As part of this communication, we simply had to be open with one another. Originally, we had planned to split our investigation among the six of us in what we thought was an even distribution. For context, there were three main places where Chance was located while serving in World War II: North America, North Africa, and Italy. Originally, we had it set so that two of us would investigate one of the three locations (three groups of two, adds up perfectly on paper), but then we discovered that the source material was not evenly distributed, especially since we wanted to explore Chance’s life in the context of the war, not just his time as a soldier. This meant that we wanted to focus on his time exploring Italy and taking in the sights, not just fighting in battles. There was a significant amount of photos taken in Italy and journal entries and letters that showcased his exploration of the area. In contrast, the majority of the materials from the United States (barring a photo taken in Miami after Chance returned to the United States), involved his training and had much less applicable materials than Italy. The teams had to be pretty open with one another since the Italy collection was so large and the North American and North African collection was smaller. Eventually, we decided it would be best to redistribute the groups. Now four of us were working on Italy while one person each worked on North Africa and another person worked on his biography. These tasks and decisions were not simple, but they made for a lot less trouble in the long run, because we were open with one another. We also practiced openness by putting helpful links on a shared document for other members of our cohort to see.

As for my individual project, I believe I can practice these values while working on my webpage. I have the support of the cohort and the team working on the Digital Scholarship Committee (including my advisor) with whom we practice collegiality as a group. I am able to be open with this same group as I progress on my research. When looking at different sources, I am looking at a variety of areas to do research, including performances, books, and an interview all from different creators. In terms of collaboration, I have reached out to communicate with multiple people in terms of research. I had also been experimenting with new tools that this program has introduced to me, and even found success in this experimenting as I decided to change the content manager on my webpage from WordPress to Scalar. It also feels like working with others on the micro project was a great way for me to get accustomed to the standards of the Digital Humanities in a group setting. I now feel more confident about my individual project because it won’t be my first experience with the Digital Humanities.

Ultimately, I am looking forward to see how my practice with these values will help me in my future with DSSF and to see how I can continue to use them when the program is done.

Written by Nicole Parisi, Gettysburg College Class of 2023 and member of the DSSF 2021 Summer Cohort.



For my Wireframes I got to put my ideas onto a chalkboard to visualize and organize them.

The whole chalkboard, detailed images to follow. Organized chalk design at the top and disorganized chalk arrangement at the bottom.

Originally, I was leaning towards the blog option that I could’ve had with WordPress. However, I decided that the evolution of comedy could either be observed chronologically (the order in which everything is happening), or technologically (stage, radio, television), so I thought it would make sense to use Scalar’s “Choose your own adventure” style of navigation.

There is still room for changes after these wireframes, but it was great to look at what I need to do.

Home page.
After the homepage, users can travel right to the about page.

This will take users right to documentations and then the timeline.

From the timeline, users will have the opportunity to look at different areas of comedy. These areas will be split into 3 main sections (Stage, Radio, Television). The starting point will be Vaudeville (Stage).

Wireframes for Vaudeville and Stand up parts.

It will take some more time (and room on the chalkboard) to figure out exactly which directions the navigation will take the users, so that they can still see every page, but the Vaudeville launching point should be able to direct users to the next step in the Stage category (Stand up) or the next historical and technical focus (Radio).

Wireframes for Improv and Radio

If users want to complete the Stage section before moving on, they can explore up until the Improv page, and then be directed right to Radio.

Wireframes of the overview of the television section, Sitcoms, and the beginning of the Late Night wireframes.
Wireframes for Late Night and Variety in the Television section.
Wireframes for Modern Day.

There is still some fine tuning to be done with this layout. Orange post its represent either a tool that I will need to use (in this case navigational components of Scalar and Timeline JS) or additional resources (e.g.: if I want to show two video examples on a page instead of one). While they are not seen in this pictures, I will still need to include my attributions and properly credit my images, videos, and audio recordings used for this project. While I can still re-evaluate the pacing of my “Choose your own adventure” technique, these will be the main pages I am using.

Created by Nicole Parisi, Gettysburg College Class of 2023 and member of the DSSF 2021 Summer Cohort.

Project Charter

Project Charter- Nicole Parisi


Comedic Timing: The Evolution of 20th Century American Comedy

Project Owner:

Nicole Parisi


This project will be an exploration of how comedy has evolved in the United States in the 20th Century, spanning from early Vaudeville acts, to radio, to modern day sitcoms. This project will explore how technological advances and social norms made it a requirement for the fast moving industry to progress. Through observing and analysing old comedic acts, scripts, recordings, performance notes, etc., this project should act as a timeline to the ever changing style of entertainment.

Questions to consider:

  • How has the advancement of technology allowed for comedians to expand their platforms over the last century?
  • What national and global events had an impact on the comedic style and humor of its respective generation?
  • How has comedy had an impact on our pop culture and society and vice versa?


  • Primary sources (Ideally at least one per decade to showcase comedy standards for each respective time period), this could include
    • Recordings (Audio or Video)
    • Scripts
    • Performance notes
    • Reviews
    • Comics

Note: Will probably have to explore other college library collections for certain primary sources. Will need copyright license for certain images (things posted on YouTube from a show/channel/artist’s channel will most likely be okay and everything published before 1926 is in the public domain, which means mid century primary sources will most likely be the most difficult to adapt into webpage)

  • Secondary sources (this could include)
    • Articles
    • Essays
    • Books
    • Documentaries?
  • Timeline JS (to explore the topic on a chronological context)
  • WordPress (most likely)
  • Domain on Gettysburg sites (already done)

Timeline (by weeks):

  1. Research/ Reflective post #1
  2. Project Charter due/ One chapter of The Comedians book per day/ +3 Primary sources
  3. Connect to library about resources in Special Collections/ Explore other college’s collections/ +3 Primary sources/ Wireframes due/ Reflective post #2
  4. Begin WordPress page and timeline/ Expand or narrow research as needed
  5. Continue WordPress and timeline/ Sort out any copyright issues that are not already settled/ Visualization due/ Reflective post #3
  6. Continue wordpress and timeline/ Clean out whatever issues I may have with copyright/ First draft due
  7. Revise and edit/ Finish any last minute issues/ Final draft due
  8. Presentations/ Reflective post #4

End of life plans: As the theme of this project is based in evolution of performance, this website could have the potential to be updated in the future as comedy continues to evolve.

Reflective Post 1

What the Digital Humanities Mean to me (and how I now see them in Everyday Life)

Since committing to this project for the summer, I knew I would be immersing myself in the world of the digital humanities, but I had little clue what that would actually mean. On the surface, the digital humanities appeared pretty straight forward to me; the combination of humanities based works and technology. This means that the subject matter could be based in subjective works (the arts, culture, history, etc.) but the resources or hosts for this research could be on digital platforms like websites or computer files. As a student who frequently studies subjects in the field of humanities, I was initially nervous to look into the digital humanities since I had a somewhat low knowledge of technology.

On the first day, there was a mix of excitement and nervousness because I was eager to learn new things but also anxious to hear about the new resources I would be using. By the time we got to discussing deliverables and timelines, there was a lot to consider in terms of what I would need and by when I would need it. When using the digital humanities, I had to consider what milestones my research would need to reach but also determine the right point to get started on my digital resources (like a timeline or web platform). While the unknown was anxiety inducing (as it often times is), I consistently reminded myself that I will eventually learn to use what I need.

As the week progressed, I found myself being able to identify pieces of the digital humanities in my everyday life. The most obvious examples of this came from our workshop sessions. Working with the school’s special collections meant that we had access to pieces of history. As part of this fellowship, we are looking at the collection from Albert Chance during World War II. While serving overseas, he actively kept a journal, wrote letters, and took pictures. It was fascinating to begin looking at the materials he kept during his time in the war. Since Special Collections has begun to digitize the collection, we learned that the pieces of this collection were considered to be “data” and therefore the information behind the pieces (e.g.: the date the photo was taken or the writer of the letter) was considered “metadata”. While we were logging the metadata of these pieces into an exhibit software, I thought it was interesting that we were adapting this personal account into a technological field. In one way it felt like my first true experience practicing with the digital humanities, and in another way I felt like some futuristic museum worker, like if Indiana Jones was a time traveller.

(I couldn't get the rights to an Indiana Jones picture so just imagine that there is one right here. If you want to take a look at Indiana Jones, check this out here:

Speaking of copyright, I was shocked to learn that there were also legal factors to consider in this work. Copyright is a significant aspect in the world of the digital humanities, but in a way is also a perfect example of it in action. When thinking about the digital humanities, my main impression of the topic means humanities based topics displayed on a digital platform. In the context of copyright, the law as a means of study is considered the humanities, and therefore copyright issues fall under the topic of humanities. When we think about copyright, it has been discussed that the use of the internet has significantly impacted how copyright works as opposed to an analogue setting. Now with the internet, it is much easier to copy and share these works without seeking the owner’s permission. While these shared works could still get taken down, they can be appealed under the fair use argument or licensed to be used. In either of these cases, proper copyright use can be dicey, as there is plenty of subjective judgement on the user’s part. This is a human issue, and therefore a humanities issue, and since it is on a digital platform, it is a perfect example of the digital humanities.

Ultimately, the digital humanities were not something that I have considered in my day to day life, but now I am able to notice it in my everyday actions, like when I look at images on blog posts or Youtube videos. I look forward to seeing how using it will help me on my journey with DSSF.