Luna’s End of Term Reflection

Cheers to the end of Fall term! It was a strange one for everyone, but DHA work went along smoothly nevertheless. We actually had a fair number of tasks on our hands this term, some (like updates to the Public Memory of Myanmar collection) carrying over from last year, others from fresh projects or classes.

One rather short but nonetheless important project I want to highlight was a bit of work we did for AMST 256 (Walt Whitman’s New York). The assignment students were working on involved analysis of individual sections of Whitman’s Song of Myself. The professor asked if we could provide any resource for them that would allow them to understand usage of language throughout the text, so as to add more nuance to the students’ arguments about their respective sections.

Our solution to this was to partition digitized versions of the text into sections (using a Python script! ah, my CS major is coming in handy), then upload those files to make Voyant corpora. We passed the links from these to the professor, along with some instruction documents from a previous term. This made for text analysis tools that were accessible to the students and required very little input from the professor.

(Looking at Voyant statistics like…)

The reason I wanted to highlight this project is because we want to offer more support to English and related courses, and I think this one provides a very nice model. While much of DHA work is centered around long-term projects that heavily involve professors, this assignment was a good example of how it’s easiest to introduce DH tools to courses—and professors—when they come tailored for the students. Once it’s been introduced, there’s a hope that the professor—or future professors for the course—will better understand how the tools can be used, and know when it might be useful to come to us in the future, or even incorporate it on their own.

Stay tuned for more DHA involvement with English courses! Our goal for next term is to make a “what we can do for you” sheet for English professors, offering ideas for places where DH tools could be useful to their courses, and how we could assist them with the implementation.

See you all next term!

Frank’s End of Term Reflection

Throughout my first term as a DHA, I have learned about different tools and platforms such as Omeka, WordPress, Overleaf, and many others. Although this term was quite different than others, my work as a DHA definitely allowed me to continue acquiring new skills and furthered my interest in Digital Humanities. One particular project I would like to focus on is the ongoing WordPress site for History 116.

Before this project, my experience and knowledge of WordPress was limited. I am grateful that I received the opportunity to work with knowledgeable peers and supervisors who made my introduction to WordPress seamless and as helpful as possible. During our work on this site, I learned about the many plugins and tools of WordPress. One of the main components/plugins I learned about and worked with on this project was Timeline JS. I was a little confused and lost in my initial attempt at using the plugin but, after playing around with it a little bit I was able to get the hang of it and begin using it to its full potential. Embedding the code for the timeline was also a bit tricky towards the beginning but, after many attempts, I was able not only to implement the timeline but also refigure it and incorporate links to redirect the user to the project pages.

As I look forward to next term, I hope to continue learning and acquiring more skills as throughout my career as a DHA. Lastly, I want to especially thank my peers/co-workers and supervisors for helping me throughout this term with any questions I had. I also want to thank them for providing me excellent advice as to how to approach different projects, I look forward to next term and can not wait to continue contributing and learning more.

DIGITAL HUMANITIES FUTURE IS RIGHT MEOW - Business Cat | Make a Meme

Karah’s End of Term Reflection

After last Spring Term when I had to figure out how to turn my Dance Comps performance into a digital production, I got used to being outside of my technological comfort zone. I never considered myself particularly tech-y, but because I was put in a position where I had to teach myself new skills, I knew I wanted to find out more. Hence, I applied to be a DHA and wow, have I learned a lot this term.

Much of what I worked on during Fall Term, whether it was a project or general housekeeping items, had to do with WordPress. When I logged onto the DHA Blog WordPress site last week and saw my introduction post from September, it dawned on me that back then I did not understand how to use WordPress at all. Although at the time I was able to create a post with relative ease, I didn’t even realize that I was editing the backend of the site!

I have to credit Miyuki and Luna for all the help I got from them in learning more than just the basics of WordPress. Miyuki and I spent some time finding and fixing broken links on the Carleton DHA site and it was here that I got a hang of going into a certain page to edit it. Then I was able to work with Luna and Marcella on a faculty WordPress project. This was exciting because the bits and pieces I had picked up in the weeks prior really came together. I finally understood the different editing techniques WordPress offers and I feel much more confident in my abilities now.

It was a (surprisingly) good term (given the circumstances) and I’m excited to see what winter brings!

Exploring topics from different perspectives: #multifacetedapproach

I enjoyed my training as an DHA and am excited for the upcoming year. The interdisciplinary nature makes the field extremely broad, requiring us to take a #multifacetedapproach. I really enjoy this dynamic aspect about digital humanities. As a result, I made the following meme.

I am excited to learn more and expand my horizons further in my work as a DHA!

The End of the Beginning and #PreparingforInsightfulChallenges

I finished my first week of Digital Humanities training and it was really fascinating – the word that comes to mind is “insightful.” It was definitely not what I was expecting so far as I was expecting the focus to more be on concrete skills than discussion and mental exercises but this had no impact on my enjoyment of the training. From what I heard of how DH works, I decided upon this meme:

I am really excited and intrigued for what’s to come next and I am sure I will need to take on new skills and difficulties. These difficulties are bound to be fascinating and something I  learn from which is why my hashtag is #preparingforinsightfulchallenges.

Ready for #RoundTwo!

Training week has ended which means it’s time to really get started! I decided to summarize digital scholarship in the following meme, showcasing what I have learned this week:

After being abroad last term, I’m excited to see how our digital projects have evolved and what new projects may be coming our way!

First Dive into Digital Humanities #packingforanewadventure

I finished a week of Digital Humanities training and here is what I think of Digital Humanities now……

Digital Humanities Fry - NOT SURE IF DIGTAL OR HUMANITIES Futurama Fry

Digital Humanities is interdisciplinary and involves a variety of information and tools. Through the training, I found Digital Humanities more interesting and harder to grasp the whole concept of itself, and it keeps me thinking of its unlimited possibilities.

Finally, my hashtag for the training is……#packingforanewadventure. I’m excited about exploring the world of Digital Humanities!

Ready for another year of Digital Humanities! #backtoit

We have a new cast and crew, but we’re ready to get #backtoit. With five new DHAs joining us this year, you can expect we’ll be involved with quite a few projects this year; please look forward to it! And since we’re ready, a Spongebob meme seems appropriate:

Meme from a Spongebob Squarepants scene. Bouncer: Welcome to the Salty Spitoon how tough are ya? Bodybuilder: How tough am I? I once uploaded a hundred items' worth of media files to an Omeka site. Bouncer: Yeah so? Bodybuilder: One of the files was named "Pride&Prejudice #1.mp4 (2).png" Bouncer: Right this way
“Oh?… So you don’t need to hear about the… unstandardized name entry fields?”

(After all, in the end, a good portion digital humanities is figuring out how to present data in a way that hides just how messy it actually is—or was.)

Senior Reflections on Carleton DH

Two areas have been absolutely integral to my time at Carleton: history and digital humanities. I was lucky to discover both relatively early in my Carleton career – in fact, I practically discovered the two simultaneously. For three years, I worked as a Digital Humanities Associate, and have been a dedicated history major for about as long.

My participation in Carleton’s Digital Humanities program throughout my time at Carleton shaped my college experience in a multitude of ways. The most obvious was my work as a DHA, which gave structure to my time outside of class. My work allowed me to explore a variety of subjects, projects, softwares, and methodologies. There are few other places where I could have been exposed to eighteenth-century English workhouses, the religious diversity of Minnesota, the medieval sites of Rome, the work of the eighth-century monk Bede, Greek archaeological objects, undergraduate scholarship, and the debates surrounding the Boston Massacre (among others). The accompanying projects were just as diverse as the content, involving the online exhibits, 3D models of objects and buildings, historical video games, digital maps, and more.

My time as a DHA exposed me to more than just these areas of content. The work challenged me to further my digital skills and problem solving abilities, and think about our work in new ways. I learned about issues of accessibility and open access through our work, and the ways in which digital humanities practitioners consciously strive to make their work accessible, ethical, and socially responsible, all considerations I carried into my own academic work.

I also had the opportunity to practice important skills that aren’t strictly digital, but crucial to working in a team, such as reporting on my own work, communicating with team members, and identifying and contacting specialists on campus when the issue went beyond our own skills. My work as a DHA facilitated my learning these crucial skills.

As my time at Carleton comes to end, I become more cognizant of what has made my experience what it was, and my work as a DHA is one critical aspect of my time at Carleton. I am grateful to have had the opportunity to do meaningful work with the wonderful students, staff, and faculty involved with Carleton’s DH program. And a very special thank you to Sarah Calhoun and Austin Mason for all their help and support for the past couple of years!

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…

#preparingforanything

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!