Place:Zoom event: Registration Required
Please save the date for a final presentation by the Scholars’ Lab Graduate Fellows in Digital Humanities. Please register to receive Zoom information.
2021-2022 Graduate Fellows in Digital Humanities
- Alexander Christie; Music, Composition & Computer Technologies
- Michelle Morgenstern, Anthropology
- Michael VanHoose, English
Alex Christie’s dissertation focuses on the reconﬁguration of human-technology relationships in electronic music. Both his creative practice as a musician and his research emerge from the idea that technology possesses its own agency and contributes to the ways in which we create knowledge and interact with the world around us. His work emphasizes the agency of technology through the design and construction of new electronic music instruments that intervene with human control, thereby creating complex power structures between performer and instrument. These endeavors are playful and fun, but are also thoughtful and deeply reﬂective. This past academic year, Alex has been constructing an interactive website version of his dissertation that models the behaviors of the intentionally inefficient instruments he designs. The result is a multimodal dissertation that performs the reader and possess a form that matches its content.
This project developed and applied digital tools to chart changes in the stylistic features of popular blog posts alongside changes in research participants’ political-ethical stances. Michelle’s dissertation explores the ethical lives of young people who credit the social media platform, Tumblr, with shaping their beliefs about what it means to be and do good in the world. It integrates ethnography with large-scale text analytics to investigate how these young people come to take up and enact new political and moral commitments through creative linguistic practices. Her research builds on linguistic anthropological theories that form is not merely a container for content; linguistic style can invoke meanings and sentiments that far exceed referential content. Consequently, rather than eliminating the ‘noise’ of capitalization, punctuation, and other non-lexical features, as is common in computational text analytics, this project places variations in orthography and typography at the center of analysis. The results of this project demonstrate that these young people navigate ethical commitments that are neither uniform nor static and that the moral identities and political projects that emerge from digital cultures cannot be assumed to be merely the online reflections of recognizable ethical projects nor to align with known political frameworks. Stylistic variation in digital discourse reveals and propagates online actors’ implicit beliefs and emerging ideologies before they crystallize into explicit, recognizable movements and identities. Ultimately, this work reveals a conflict over how social justice is understood and what it fundamentally means to “be a good person” that is not readily visible if textual data is ‘cleaned’.
Michael VanHoose - Reconstituting the British Library History Database
As part of their doctoral research on British Romantic-period fiction publishing, Michael is studying the growth of commercial circulating libraries in the British Isles during the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. To this end, they are collaborating with both the Scholars’ Lab and the Institute of English Studies at the University of London to restore to public access Robin Alston’s British Library History Database, a born-digital directory of roughly 30,000 libraries active in the British Isles through 1850. The Database reveals a heretofore under-appreciated growth in the number and geographic spread of commercial and associational libraries between 1790–1830, which Michael is working to contextualize using socio-economic data on UK population and income trends.
Contact Scholars' Lab's Head of Public Programs Laura Miller.