Last week I arrived early on campus to participate in the fall term DHA training. I didn’t get to take part last year because I was abroad in the fall, so it was a new experience for me. There’s one difference between this year and last year that immediately stands out – since I was able attend the training this year, I had an opportunity to work with and get to know the other DHAs and new DH interns before the term officially started. This was my favorite part of training, and I’m hoping it’ll get us off to a great start this year. I find it so much easier – and more fun! – to work with others when we’ve already eaten deep-fried food from Jesse James Days by the Cannon River together.
At the end of spring term last year I attended the digital humanities conference that I had spent all of spring term helping to organize. Although I was one of only a few students who attended and felt initially intimidated by the sea of “real adults,” I became increasingly aware throughout the course of the conference that I knew what I was doing. I understood a lot of the jargon, I was able to intelligently contribute to conversations, and, most importantly, I felt like I deserved my place in those conversations. In short, it was really cool. A year ago, I wouldn’t have been able to do that. This year, I’m excited to build on that confidence as I expand my DH toolbox. Not too long from now I’ll have to leave Carleton to join the leagues of “real adults,” and I think some confidence will come in handy.
After a week of training, I’ve found that a digital humanities project can come in many shapes. Just this week, while making a practice website for Defeat of Jesse James Day, we combined an online map, timeline, and exhibit into a single project. For each different project we take on, there are tons of online resources to help. For example, we’ve looked at websites that build custom timelines and maps that hardly require any coding on our side. Sometimes the process was as simple as inputting our data into a spreadsheet, and pasting an embed code onto the web page! As the term progresses, I’m excited to learn more about the digital humanities tools that already exist and how we might further customize them to fit our needs.
Hello! I’m Tyler, a sophomore prospective math major at Carleton. Among other things, I’m interested in the ways that digital humanities projects process and manipulate data (I also enjoy the more math-y parts of math like proofs, but they make for less interesting blog posts). As a digital humanities associate, I am excited to see how technology helps scholars analyze large amounts of data, while still making the result understandable to the average person.
After a day of training, I’ve realized just how much thought scholars put into the methods used to process and present their findings. In digital humanities, sources that scholars interpret must be made readable by a machine- but the processed sources must then be put back into a form that people would want to read! This year, I’m looking forward to developing a better understanding of the various methods digital humanities scholars use to produce their finished works.