The first meeting of the DH working group was a great success! We met on October 30th for a spooktacular Halloween edition of the working group, shared coffee and cookies, and discussed DH at UO. Our guest speakers, Dr. Lisa Wolverton (History, shown below with Heidi), Dr. Tara Fickle (English), and Dr. Naomi Zack (Philosophy), shared their original projects and sparked conversations about possible future DH collaborations.
Mark your calendars for our next meeting, in which we will hear from Dr. Massimo Lollini and Dr. David Wacks (both from Romance Languages) and continue the discussion: Friday, Nov. 20th, 2-4 p.m., location to be announced. Please invite your colleagues, graduate students, and friends, and, if you have a project you would like to present at future meetings, contact Matt Hannah at firstname.lastname@example.org.
(Dr. Lisa Wolverton and Dr. Heidi Kaufman brainstorming a new DH project)
Reading texts in philosophy, literature, or history, I always notice the relationships. These relationships form the background of the text, often constituting the plot of a novel or the historical conditions under which a philosophical or historical work was written. For many scholars, these relationships are significant in themselves, and we look for ways to distill them from the print material. With network software, we now can.
Because I just offered a workshop on Palladio for the Honors College, I thought I’d review this valuable tool for basic social network analysis. Designed by a team at Stanford University, Palladio offers analysts an easy-to-use option for network visualization, and I have often relied on it to build networks for my dissertation project. Network analysis has become an important aspect of DH, as scholars have begun to think about cultural production and historical contexts in terms of relationality or connections between independent points called nodes. Although other programs such as R, Gephi, or Node XL allow for more robust network analysis, Palladio provides a stable platform on which to visualize basic graphs while also offering other tools for analysis at the same site.
For this week’s DH Monday Edition, we introduce a new feature: our first guest blogger! We plan to continue periodically inviting submissions from members of the UO community for posts regarding DH. If you would like to submit a post, contact Matthew Hannah at email@example.com.
Our first guest blogger is Molly Hover. She is an undergraduate in the School of Journalism and Communication, focusing on advertising. She is currently taking Dr. Helen Southworth’s “Introduction to Digital Humanities” class in the Robert D. Clark Honors College, so we’ve invited her to post about her thoughts on DH at UO.
By Molly Hover
I told myself I knew digital tools via the technology I used, and I understood the humanities so Digital Humanities (DH) would be fairly straightforward. I was right and wrong. When I started my DH class, HC 434: Introduction to Digital Humanities, through the Clark Honors College this fall, I didn’t fully understand how complicated and rewarding the study of this field would be. It is, like I thought, straightforward in the sense that the humanities are housed on digital platforms. I got that part. What I didn’t think about was how technology could expand the varying concentrations in the humanities exponentially by using the web—and all the knowledge and tools available with it—to aid scholars and researchers on their quest to find, visualize, and/or publish new knowledge.
Some of these concentrations include literary analysis, interactions with data (such as the Twitter usage of a favorite celebrity or author) graphing and mapping historically or socially relevant information (Digital Harlem), or a new way to conceptualize schoolwork (Lacuna Stories). What these sites have in common is that they are, as Professor Helen Southworth describes, “scholarly productions.”
As a journalism student with a concentration in advertising, I’m fairly comfortable interacting with digital platforms, but, before my DH class this term, I had not considered the possibilities of working with data—even historical data—to make new connections. As a student, DH is a valuable resource, and, as a future curator of media, it’s an asset and a connection to culture and history. In fact, this DH blog is about curation in much the same way many DH sites are. Common features of DH sites are embedded blogs and comment boxes which enable users to interact with others at the same time they are interacting with and analyzing data. Read MoreThe DH Monday Edition