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!
My name is Thien M. Bui and I am a Junior CS / Mathematics major at the school. Due to some pronunciation complications, I often go by Kevin which is what most of you *probably* would’ve known me by. I worked as a DHA last year, doing basic Python scripts and WP template maintenance for various departments, and I hope to continually be of use as one of the few resident CS major in the program!
Outside of DHA, I hope to spend more time with the seniors in the townhouse area this year (ALL THE HOUSES HAVE THEIR OWN CULTURE). Because of Covid, I took a gap after freshman year so this will be the last chance I’ll get to kick it with the folks I came into Carleton with. Here’s a cool pic of the area!
Lastly, since I couldn’t make it to the accessibility training, I’ll instead be talking about Sofia Noble and Algorithm of Oppression instead. Last year, we got lucky and somehow managed to invite her over for our Day of DH where she kind of went ham on how search engine algorithms are marginalizing certain groups (e.g. searching for “black girl” on Google used to return a lot of pornographic materials). She goes into a lot of details in her book on how the problems in a wide range of use cases, and also possible solutions to remedy them. That was a fascinating talk, and I would wholeheartedly recommend everybody interested in AI to give the book a read!
This year (2021/22), my third and last year as a DHA, I have worked as a senior DHA to assist other student co-workers. Having more flexibility, I was also able to get myself exposed to various new tools—including FTP server, CVS import, pivot tables in Google Sheets, 3D model viewer, Storymap, Podcast editing, and Canva—and to take advantage of my skills and experiences in projects even beyond the DHA.
I was fortunate enough to get involved in several history projects using digital tools throughout this year. As I mentioned in my introduction post, I’ve always been interested in historical narrative-telling with ArcGIS StoryMap and ArcGIS Mapping. Using my skills and experience in digital humanities, I was able to take an initiative in brainstorming and creating digital presentations for two history projects respectively in HIST316 Presenting America’s Founding and HIST200 Historians for Hire. In the former class, my group built a story map Mapping the Congregants of Color at Old South Church telling a life story of one of the congregants of color at Old South Church in revolutionary era Boston. With GIS mapping tools, we attempted to interpret and visually present the understudied individual’s emotional experience of the time.
In the latter project, my group also created a story map Learning from Place: Honest Stories of the Land and People aiming to raise the spatial, historical awareness of the land and the Indigenous people on the land where Carleton College now occupies. It was a great experience to build digital story maps from scratch and to push myself to think about the effective ways of storytelling while trying to make them thought-provoking and facilitative in the audience’s learning and reflection experience.
I feel grateful for my supervisors who gave me this wonderful opportunity and for my co-student workers who always inspired me throughout the year!
I am Abdullah Ansar from Lahore, Pakistan. I am a Freshman who is interested in nearly everything that has to do with Humanities and Social Sciences, ranging from Economics to Philosophy and everything in between. I love nature, reading, listening to Sufi Music, watching random philosophy videos on Youtube, and late-night walks (Say Hi if you ever find me walking around at 12).
My favorite DH project is Religions in Minnesota. This is the first DHA Project I read about. Being Interested in Religion, I see how this can be a great resource for communities to share their beliefs, ideas, and heritage. It can be hard for some communities to create presentable pages for external observers, due to various challenges they face with technology or language. This is why it becomes even more important to help them.
For Data Feminism, I really liked the observation of the writer about the relation of Data and Power. While it is thought that Data is objective, it can still be affected by the subject who is collecting, analyzing, and talking about it. Knowledge or Data is not completely objective under all conditions. This is a very interesting idea, one I agree with as well.
Apart from this, I also like to take pictures of Carleton Campus sometimes (because it is so beautiful). I am adding a picture I took yesterday in its raw form without any filter. I hope to become a better photographer. Thank you for reading this.
My name is Miyuki Mihira and I am a senior History major and Philosophy minor from Tokyo, Japan. This will be my 3rd year(!) to work as a Digital Humanities Associate. As a History major with a strong interest in Public History, I have learned and been involved in several historical digital projects. As the DH is still a growing and developing sector, I’m passionate about thinking about how digital tools can enrich humanities and achieve more inclusivity.
One project I especially liked among the Carleton DH projects is Mapping Masquerades from 2012. This is a historical project, and the way in which it presents history was so eye-opening for me when I first came across it that it completely changed my definition of historical writing. Although it has a number of paragraphs, using a story map and a GIS mapping, the project makes historical writing (or historical presentation I would say) more interactive and easier for users with little background knowledge to better understand.
On the Glass Animals website, I recognized that some of the file types such as “jpg” used in the dozens of file titles. This made me think that learning the history of digital scholarship helps us understand the continuities/discontinuities in the rapidly changing digital world. With this in mind, for example, I got an impression that the file types that appear on the website remain until today because they are important to sort files and for other reasons.
I found the reading, “Introduction to Why Data Science Needs Feminism,” very empowering. The reading highlights the importance of intersectionality when it comes to thinking about people’s diverse experiences in the world. Revealing the hidden inequalities by using data, we are able to reframe the reality and destabilize the world which have been made to work and look in a certain way by those with power–as if turning over an iceburg.
Thank you for reading up to here, and I’m excited to be working as a DHA for one last year!
Hi! My name is Isabel Rameker and I’m a sophomore. This is my first year working as a DHA, and I’m excited to get started. I found this position really interesting because it integrates technology and the humanities in a variety of creative ways, and I’m looking forward to learning new skills and approaches to the humanities.
One DHA project that I found interesting was the interactive Boston Massacre game. The project approached a historical event in a way that I wouldn’t have considered, and I really liked the way it made the point of the project so accessible and interactive.
Like any history, I think that the history of digital scholarship is important because it teaches us about the present. By exploring the history of anything, you widen your perspective on how it became what it currently is and you expand your knowledge and ability to work with the current systems. I don’t currently know much about the history of digital scholarship, especially when it comes to technical details, but I did find the Glass Animals website helpful in understanding some of the basics.
I really appreciate the take put forward by Data Feminism on how data can be subjective and not only reflect but also contribute to inequalities. Looking through the exhibit on the history of technology, I noticed that the articles focused almost exclusively on White men and their contributions to technological advances. Although the website does focus on European history, they mentioned several (White, male) American inventors and innovators while leaving out women and people of color almost entirely.
Hello. I am a senior majoring in Psychology and Political Science. I worked as a Disability Peer Leader before. And as someone with anxiety, I can personally attest to the importance of care and support. Accessibility of digital content is an integral part of such support for people with disabilities.
I once read an inspiring thought exercise – a mall dismisses the need of ramps at their entrance because no person with wheelchairs ever visits the mall; but in fact, it was exactly the lack of ramps that discouraged anyone on wheelchairs from ever coming.
When I think about accessibility on the web, I want to be the smart mall manager who sees the real underlying problem rather than ignoring altogether the importance of being inclusive and giving support to anyone and everyone who needs it.
Among current Digital Scholarship projects at Carleton, “Witness to the Revolution” interests me the most. Learning more about history always excites me. The project provides a novel approach to experiencing historical events through gaming, which makes learning history more fun and accessible to more students.
The Glass Animals website is running a beta (0780) version of the Glass Animals Open Source operating system. There are a few .txt files with a message from Dave and some lyrics of the band’s songs. There are also a dozen of .png and .jpg screenshots and photographs of historical looking items and events. History is important for us to talk about because we learn from what we accomplished in the past that helps guide us to where we should be working towards in the future.
In the exhibit on A Century of Technology on Europeana, white men have the power. Women who contributed equally to the advancement of technology were missing from the archive. The depiction of technological advancements in history often neglects to mention the importance of minority groups of people. It reminds us again of the importance of being inclusive when designing, narrating, and presenting information.
My name is Kevin and I’m currently a Sophomore debating between doing a BA in Math, CS, or both. I’m from Portland, OR, where I’ve spent most of the childhood that I remembered but technicality wise I was born in Vietnam. This will be my first year as a Digital Humanities Associate, I’m super excited to be on the team, and I look forward to working with all of you. Though I’ve only had the 2 classes I’ve taken with Austin to serve as my DH Resume, I think I’ll be useful…but if not I sometimes make good puns so I promise I’ll at least be entertaining.
Thoughts on the past projects:
I’ve got to say, the Workhouse project from HIST 235 was definitely my favorite from the list of past DH projects at Carleton. Though all of the projects seemed interesting, this was the one that caught my eyes because 1) Austin mentioned it in our Hacking the Humanities class 2 winters ago and 2) there’s the word Unity Game engine mentioned somewhere in the synopsis. I played a lot of games growing up and coincidentally have just started looking into game-dev these past couple of weeks, so like…it just seemed really cool. I liked the fact that a past student tried to gamify a historical concept to show folks what life was like in the 1800s, and Escaping the House seemed like it could be a very fun game to play!
First thing first, I’ve got to get this off my chest by prefacing that I’m 1 generation too young for this website. The reason being that I have to look up the OS that it’s trying to imitate and even then I couldn’t tell you for sure that it’s Window 96. Kind of a random thought, but it did jog some repressed memories from a couple upperclassmen trying to explain to me what OS’es were. I do recognize most of the file types that I was able to see though, seems like not much have changed since the dinosaur ages because a lot of these extensions are still around (either that or .txt and .wav are actually really new and the people behind the site didn’t want to admit that their dinosaur aged OS didn’t support these). That being said though… it could very well be that I didn’t dig deep enough, and had I done so I could’ve found a bunch of fossilized extensions from the BC eras.
Little Feminist Theory in Practice:
This one, I can answer with a bit more personal experiences because it seems like the people in ‘power’ when it comes to the evolution of technology is well…the rich people. When the exhibit highlighted the emergences of Smart Homes, and even before that the “Computer Revolution”, the silent words being uttered in the back is well… “but only if you can afford it”. The evolution of digital technology has made it so easy for folks to gain access to information, but that’s if and only if these folks can afford the digital technologies that had just evolved. Though the archive highlighted a lot of goods that technology has bring to the world, I wonder if that same advancement is causing a greater economical divide between the able and those that aren’t. Historically speaking…hasn’t it always been the folks with money that benefitted, while the rest of us kind of just fall further and further behind?
My name is Frank Valtierrez and I am a Senior Economics Major from Fridley, MN. This will be my 2nd year as a Digital Humanities Associate. I definitely enjoyed working as a DHA last year and cannot wait to see what kind of projects we create this year! One of the main reasons I enjoy working as a DHA as it allows me to use the digital skills I possess and also learn new ones that will either be beneficial or even useful to have in the future.
One project I particularly liked while browsing the previous ones is Introduction to Indigenous Histories from 2020. I enjoy this project not only because I helped with the creation but also because the content and the overall look of the website is really well done. The different tools used on the website are also very cool and useful to use such as the timeline and maps.
Regarding the Glass Animals website, I believe the importance of digital scholarship and labeling different files is important for various reasons. One main reason I believe is to know what kind of file you are opening. In my digging around, knowing the extension abbreviations made it easier to navigate the screen even if it was all messy.
Looking at the exhibit we were asked to look at, it appears that the power belongs to those in more fortunate circumstances. Upon going through the entire exhibit, it appears to be missing minorities. It leaves me with the impression that technology was not initially invented to share with others. It makes me hope that in the future, although it’s gotten better, minorities are allowed the same opportunities in technology as other people.
Lastly, I just want to say that I can’t wait to continue working as a DHA this year!
I’ve spent a lot of this term cleaning up the Carleton Guide to Medieval Rome from Reason site. While I have worked a decent amount with Omeka before, this project has given me a whole new level of appreciation for how much detailed, meticulous work goes into making these types of websites look their best. And while there have been a few times I got frustrated or confused (such as when a random coverage field box would not disappear), it has been really rewarding to see it slowly start to look better and more uniform and to become truly familiar with a collection. Because it turns out that I like spreadsheets. I like metadata. I enjoy the behind-the-scenes work needed to help make projects presentable to a public audience.
I’m graduating soon, so for me I think what I’ve appreciated the most this term, through all the projects I’ve worked on, is the opportunity to cement for myself that I do truly enjoy this type of work. While graduation is still scary, at least now I feel a lot more comfortable and confident going into my post-graduation plans. (Plus writing the Star-Bellied Sneetches Twine story example with Karah was such a fun break from my endless comps research!)