My name is Gaby Lazo, and I am a senior Linguistics major. This term, I was lucky enough to serve as a Digital Humanities Assistant between roles as a Student Teaching Assistant, and what a gift it was! While Digital Humanities projects have been my preferred way to engage with humanities education throughout my time at Carleton, stepping into this role meant stepping all the way back into my freshman self’s shoes, as I worked to revitalize my skills in the DH tools first introduced to me in Hacking the Humanities. And as I reimmersed myself in this work, between writing my Senior comps and captaining the Ballroom Dance Team, I rediscovered my love and passion for DH!
This term, I got to work on three primary projects: classroom Omeka support, digital advertising and revision, and video captioning. Working primarily with MELA 230: Jewish Collective Memory, I supported the onboarding of several new “researchers” onto their course Omeka site. I created new instructions both for adding new users to the site as an admin, and for accessing and activating new accounts. In doing this, we learned that many of the other Omeka resources no longer reflected the newest version of the interface; thus, I also got to update these instructional materials. These tasks together really let me dive back into the different ways Omeka can serve well as a digital archive, and the powerful capability it possesses to support humanities visualization through timelines.
My other two projects related to our annual Day of DH event held each June by our department. Firstly, I supported prep for the upcoming 2023 event by creating new teaser posters for this year’s festivities. This allowed me to become familiar with our keynote speaker, Quinn Dombrowski, and their wonderful work both in making DH welcoming to women, via the Data Sitters Club, and incredible textiles! Further, since the event is returning to in-person this year after several virtual occurrences, I updated some of the materials that will be needed to navigate the Weitz on the big day! In addition to these things, I have gotten to apply my captioning skills to a new project (in a new software) as I added captions to each Lightning Round session video from last year’s event. This has helped hone my attention to detail, and has reminded me of the critical role of accessibility in our department and at our school.
As I return to my TA position, I cannot help but reflect on how grateful I am that Digital Humanities not only thrives at Carleton, but that I got to be a part of it. Our work is a constant learning experience, where we are supported to practice trial and error as we come together to support incredible projects. While my academic career at Carleton is slowly coming to an end, my immersion into the world of DH is just beginning!