Course: Digital Humanities Lab

Synthesis Reflection (due 10/30)

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    Mary Isbell

    Please select at least three presentations given so far this semester and write about the connections you see between them. These might be connections via tools (specific tools used to capture/present sound, text, image, etc.), concepts, or possibilities for your own project. This could be a response describing what you would like to do for your project with reference to the presentations that inspired you. You might instead use this response as a space to reflect on all of the information you’ve encountered and how you’re processing it (separate from the actual project you want to undertake).


    Lourdes Perez

    While I want to focus my project in a different direction, I can see possible connections between certain presentations and the work I would like to complete. I would like to use this project as an opportunity to create a podcast discussing the history of LGBTQ history and/or representation. I can see the use of Dr. Wranovix’s Omeka and Neatline presentation combined with both Bruce Barber’s presentation and possibly Dr. Beck’s presentation. While I do think it would not be reasonable to accomplish all of the aspects I am proposing, I would like to be able to start on the biggest section, the podcast itself. In the future I may use Omeka and Neatline to plot the location of where each historical moment took place and Dr. Beck’s presentation to find audio audio from each event to place people in the shoes of those who fought. I also think that it could be interesting to use Dr. Hutchinson’s tools to create an audio guide to make a more impactful “presentation” for people to watch. I think that audio is a powerful tool so I enjoy that there are so many ways I have learned that it can be incorporated.

    I think that the presentations I mentioned were my biggest inspirations and that they have helped me shape the form I want my project to take. In the near future, I would like to start conducting research and forming an outline for the podcast I want to create. I’m not sure if I will be able to construct a fully finished project, but I will be attempting to make an educational piece.


    Brian Esposito

    To start off, I am truly surprised how much information I have learned and even processed in these past few weeks. For example, Dr. Isbell’s presentation I learned about Wikipedia. I’ve always kind of known that you could edit wiki but I never really know how and then I learned that it was really simple. I know I want to create a timeline some how or another but I am not sure how to relate this timeline to an academic topic that would be presentable. While it was not Simon Hutchinson’s work I really liked him showing us Brian Foo’s timeline of New York and the different sounds that were presented based on where the train was and the economic status of the area. This recently made me think about a project that would compare the past presidents of the United States. I was thinking does the pitch of a president’s voice affect their overall approval rating? Since audio recording is also only a recent invention I would only be able to use about half of the presidents though. Dr. Warnovix present also provide many ideas for me especially as it was geographical timeline. I though about creating a timeline that showed were every Super Bowl had been played in the last fifty-three years or even showing how far a football team has to travel through all eight of their away games during the regular season. I can also utilize Dr. Petitti’s presentation with that timeline and talk about what people were tweeting on the ride home of a football after a loss verus a win. Besides football, going back to Dr. Warnoivx’s presentation I can use Neatline and Omeka to show the historical trip of the A Tale of Two Cities chapter throughout London and Paris. Overall, the presentations were great and I am glad to have learned so much in these past few weeks.


    Skylar Seabert

    I have thoroughly enjoyed learning all about each of the presentations and have been slightly overwhelmed with how much there is available to learn about and process. I can see many connections between different presentations and I am still thinking about the direction I want to take with my project. However, thus far I would like to research crime statistics at different tourist destinations. For this, I would like to use both Dr. Wranovix’s presentation on Neatline and Dr. Hutchinson’s presentation on sound. Additionally, I have been brainstorming ideas for the use of a third presentation. For instance, I could use Professor Petitti’s presentation on Mozdeh to analyze how social media impacts crime statistics. Another option would be to incorporate Dr. Boasso’s presentation on museum curation with a museum tour as you go from one destination to the next. The last option I considered was to use Dr. Beck’s presentation on audio to highlight the normalcy of sounds in popular places where many crimes may be committed. I have been very intrigued by all of the presentations and look forward to researching for my project.


    Thomas Almeida

    Going into this lab, I always wanted my project at the end to become a sort of extension of my SURF research from this summer. With this in mind, I am very excited at the variety of ways to convey ideas and even tell stories with the technology we’ve explored. In general, the connections I see between each branch of digital humanities have to do with how we can best express our ideas in mediums which allow for easy publication. For instance, with Bruce Barber’s talk on podcasting, it’s easy to see a medium which can be used for journalism and presenting information, but it is just as applicable through storytelling, and sermon-like speech at a more individual level. I plan on using this tech as my main focus for the project, in such a fashion. I have a lot of thoughts on the nature of story structure, and many times over the past six months I have wondered what is really the best way of conveying those ideas. I think that, like a good philosophy professor, an auditory lecture may be a lot more captivating than just reading my musings. That being said, text itself has also transcended to new heights, from my viewpoint. In Dr. Isbell’s presentation, we were given a good look at how the process of publication has skyrocketed to the individual level, going so far as giving a writer/publisher control over how their work is presented. With the implementation of markup languages like XML, we can convey new meanings in addition to, and beyond just the words we encode. This has its own merits, and while I don’t anticipate using it for my project, I am nonetheless intrigued with how I might use this kind of technology in the future. I have also done work in both XML and HTML in the past, so it isn’t entirely unfamiliar terrain. Lastly, when it comes to non-written stories and data, I was enthralled by the potential applications of data sonification presented by Dr. Hutchinson. Unlike the usage of an audience’s hearing found in podcasting, Simon showed how more interpretive data can convey meaning without having a direct language necessarily tied to it. This is super far away from my realm of expertise, but I think some day in the future I would like to put it into said realm. As a “language major”, I’m obviously interested in the widespread definition of language, and data sonification, as well as all of the other new forms of communicating we’ve discussed, seem infinitely important. To bring the philosophical branch of philosophy into our class for a brief moment, I do believe that the closest thing to a universal purpose of life is the quest for knowledge, especially of knowledge pertaining how we can best communicate with the world around us. For me, digital humanities have exemplified this purpose perfectly, curating an inquisitive space to workshop ways we can talk to each other.


    Erin Stevenin

    The first two presentations that I saw connections between were Dr. Beck’s and Dr. Boasso’s. I had already thought a lot about using Dr. Boasso’s idea of making a digital curation for my project but was unsure of how I wanted to display the information. After seeing the methods Dr. Beck used to show photos, videos and other media on top of google street view, I was inspired. I think that using my original idea but combining these two methods will be great. I can display the cold case evidence as a digital curation but present it at the actual location that each crime occurred. This would be especially interesting when following a serial killer such as the Zodiac or Jack the Ripper. These types of cases involve more locations and I feel that would improve the project if using street view. It would become quite interactive and allow a user to actually visit the location of where the killing occurred. I enjoyed how Dr. Beck had included music/audio elements into the pieces she showed during class. Maybe I could add something like that using the methods that Dr. Hutchinson demonstrated. Also, I found there to be many connections between Dr. Beck and Dr. Wranovix’s presentations. This would be focusing on the google street view and mapping elements. Both of them demonstrated different methods that had similar ideas behind them but visually, presented the information quite differently. It’s interesting to me that things can come from a similar thought but turn out so differently based on the execution and formatting of the idea.  These past few weeks have presented so many different tools and perspectives that I would simply have had no way of knowing without this class. These professors are people I might never have gotten to listen to otherwise. I am thankful for the experience. It has shown me so many new things and improved the way I think about presentations/projects. There is so many interesting ways to present your data.


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