A Week of DHA Training

A meme for the first few days of training…

Meme of Patrick Star: "No Patrick...Digital Humanities is not an instrument."
Happily, if you’re on this site, you probably know this already.

A meme for digital humanities as a whole…

Meme of the Terrible Trivium (from the Phantom Tollbooth): "Digital Humanities: Converting data to an accessible digital format one grain of sand at a time."
Alternatively: Bringing obscure literary references to the wider internet.

And a hashtag for the training experience…


Long story short, it’s been a good week of training and I’m looking forward to getting into the work. One of the takeaways from this week has been that what we do is entirely dependent on what people (you people reading this blog!) need done, and I enjoy the challenge of the unknown like that. So, with that said, here we go!

Zobeida’s Introduction

Hello! My name is Zobeida Chaffee, and I am a senior History Major taking minors in Archaeology and Medieval and Renaissance Studies. This will be my second year as a DHA, and I am eager to continue to develop my skills in this field, so that I can one day apply them to my life after Carleton, as well as to my coursework. I find that Digital Humanities can be invaluable in the field of historical preservation, as well as in education. By digitizing and 3D modeling artifacts and historical records, we can make history more accessible to the public, while simultaneously preserving it for generations to come. These websites can also offer creative learning tools, and resources for teachers. In this digital age, it’s important to be able to reach the public on all platforms.

When I’m not working on my coursework or attempting to make progress on my comps, I enjoy exploring the outdoors, creative writing, and reading murder mysteries.

Luna’s Introduction

Hello! My name is Luna Yee and I’m currently a sophomore at Carleton College, hoping to double major in Computer Science and Cognitive Science. If I had to put my academic pursuits into a single question, it would be this: how can we better understand computers, and how can computers better understand us? A true form of artificial intelligence might still be a pipe dream due to practical limitations (the human brain holds an astounding amount of data), but we have the tools and methodologies to at least have intelligent user interfaces and even user-tailored experiences. Computational linguistics, for example, is a field I have hopes of working in: the intricacies of teaching a computer to understand the nuances of human speech fascinates me.

Digital humanities is the exact linguistic match to this: combining computer platforms with the literal study of humans. I have a fondness for working on elegant user interfaces, and on designing with effective user input in mind. The way I see it, the more ease of access and effective response available in our computers, the better we can preserve and pass on the wisdoms we’ve learned as a society. And that might seem like a bit of a weighty description to give to the humanities, but if you ask me, that’s exactly what we’re working on here: efficiently preserving and accurately representing histories (of places, objects, people, societies, and so on) to make them more accessible to the world at large, and generations to come.

Alief’s Introduction

Hi, my name is Alief, and I am a senior biology and math double major. As someone who has been involved with computational biology research, I am pretty familiar with big data and how to collect, process, analyze, and present them. Only after I took the Hacking the Humanities class, I realized that the same process could be applied to the humanities fields as well. Throughout the class, I learned different techniques of data processing and presentation to best address a humanities problem. For my final project, for example, my partner and I created an interactive timeline about the history of LGBTQ+ community at Carleton. As a result, now I am about to start the adventure of being a Digital Humanities Associate. Outside of class, my scientific research, and being a DHA, I am a choreographer and dancer for Experimental Dance Board, a board member at the badminton club, and an “active” participant at various other clubs. Although I don’t know yet what specific project(s) I will be assigned to during my time as a DHA, I am pretty excited to excited to learning new DH techniques and applying them for research purposes!



Elizabeth’s Introduction

DHA Elizabeth admires a large wall map
DHA Elizabeth Budd

Hello! I’m Elizabeth, a senior history major at Carleton College and this will be my third year working as a Digital Humanities Associate. As a DHA, my work has frequently included mapping and the maintenance of Omeka sites. I find working at the intersection of the humanities and digital tools exciting because of the possibilities it offers for new kinds of questions and new types of research. Within digital humanities, I am particularly interested in spatial analysis, especially when placed in a historical context. My own research focuses primarily on poverty in late nineteenth-century London, and I hope to incorporate digital humanities (specifically mapping) into that research. Besides classes and DHA work, I am a board editor for Carleton’s Undergraduate Journal of Humanistic Studies and enjoy reading, traveling, and doing Sudoku. One of my favorite digital projects is Charles Booth’s London, by the London School of Economics Library. I love the straightforward access to the digitized research notebooks and the geo-referenced poverty map that Booth is famous for. Go check it out!