UI Libraries’ Digital Scholarship & Publishing Studio champions DH initiatives
Under the guidance of Senior Scholar Judith Pascoe, the Studio Scholars Program steering committee has selected ten faculty members and five graduate students from a competitive pool of applicants for Digital Humanities (DH) support.
Prior to the selection process, the Scholars steering committee worked with the Digital Scholarship & Publishing Studio to identify digital humanities initiatives.
With an eye toward synergistic use of university resources to support digital humanities projects across the campus, the committee defined collaborative scholarly contexts to attract compelling DH project proposals. The result was five digital humanities initiatives in two categories:
Digital Archives Initiatives
- Embracing Difference in Iowa
- Memory & Knowledge
DH Jumpstart Initiatives
- Get Digital with Your Scholarship
- Get Digital with Your Dissertation
- DH Researcher
Find full descriptions of initiatives here.
Over the coming months, winners of Studio Scholars Initiatives Awards will receive immersive support from the Studio, which will provide resources, expertise, technical assistance, and access to specialized equipment for their DH projects.
DIGITAL ARCHIVES Initiatives
Winners of Digital Archives Initiatives Awards receive $1500 and support for projects that engage with archival material and voices from the past or present. This year, there are two initiatives in this category: Embracing Difference in Iowa and Memory & Knowledge.
Embracing Difference in Iowa connects scholars with existing archives at the University of Iowa and brings to light narratives from across the UI community.
- Michael Hill, associate professor of English, won for his project titled “Black Students in the Iowa Writers’ Workshop (1939-1959). Hill is creating a digital platform to give the public access to the collegiate experiences of Margaret Walker, Herbert Nipson, and Michael Harper, a trio of black students who constitute the earliest black students of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop.
Memory & Knowledge helps develop cross-generational conversations about the changing nature of academic disciplines. It also encourages responsible archiving of existing scholarly material and the development of a digital skillset increasingly in demand for academia.
- Frances Cannon, an MFA student in nonfiction writing, was selected for her project “Mapping the gardens of memory: the Carl Klaus Archive.” Cannon will collaborate with Carl Klaus, emeritus professor of English and founder of the UI’s nonfiction writing program. With their shared interest in writing about botany, agriculture, and horticulture, the project will benefit both. Cannon will create a digital repository of Klaus’ archives, while Klaus, in return, will provide editorial and professional guidance.
- Heidi Lung, lecturer in museum studies and anthropology, will develop a digital exhibit/archive focusing on the 34-year career of George Schrimper, former curator and director of the Natural History Museum as part of her project titled “George Schrimper and UI Museum Studies.” The project will also document the history of museum studies at the University of Iowa.
- Heather Wacha, PhD candidate in history, will be pursuing a project titled “Marilyn Thomas and the Bonaparte Pottery Museum.” Ms. Wacha will create a digital repository documenting the life and work of Marilyn Thomas, who, over a period of 45 years, revived, researched and developed the historic Bonaparte Pottery Museum in Bonaparte Iowa.
DH JUMPSTART Initiatives
The DH Jumpstart Initiative Awards provide faculty members and graduate students to explore digital approaches to their work.
This year, there are three initiatives in this category: Get Digital with Your Scholarship, Get Digital with Your Dissertation, and DH Researcher.
Get Digital with Your Scholarship offers awardees an immersive, three-day consultation and work session with Studio staff members. Awardees will work with staff to develop digital components of their research, including videos, maps, infographics, etc. Scholars could also create a digital manifestation of a monograph or embark on new projects enabled by new research applications (e.g., mapping or network analysis).
- Jenna Supp-Montgomerie, assistant professor in religious studies and communication studies, is text-mining newspaper archives to study the incidence and usage of “connection” at the moment of global telegraphy establishment, as part of her project, “World-Wide Wire: Religion, Technology, and Dreams of Global Unity before the Internet.” She is also designing a map that will chart the convergence or divergence of colonial shipping routes, early telegraph cables, and later fiber-optic cables.
- Kim Marra, professor in theatre arts and American studies, is working with Studio staff to develop a digital component to her project “The Pull of Horses: Embodied Interactions across Urban American Species, 1865-1920.” Marra’s work addresses cross-species interactions and brings together a rich archive of newspaper and magazines illustrations, as well as silent film footage, documenting the central role horses played in American city life.
- Brenda Longfellow, associate professor, art & art history, with Studio staff support, is designing a digital project to supplement her book manuscript as part of her project, “Past Lives, Present Meanings: Recycled Statues in Imperial Rome.” Professor Longfellow is examining the origins and afterlives of statues that were moved to Rome from other parts of the Roman Empire, possibly mapping these movements digitally.
- Anne Stapleton, lecturer in English, is working with Studio staff on her project “Walter Scott’s Swath of Influence: Mapping Towns Named Waverly in the Midwest.” Stapleton is digitally mapping and collecting images and histories associated with American towns named after Scott’s novel. She will, in turn, use these materials in an undergraduate class that explores the long aftermath of Scott’s literary fame.
- With the support of Studio staff, Natalie Fixmer-Oraiz, assistant professor, communication studies, is developing a digital supplement to her book manuscript, which focuses on motherhood in the context of homeland security culture. For her project, “Homeland Maternity: Risk, Security, and the New Reproductive Regime,” she plans to use GIS software to map key locales in contemporary U.S. reproductive politics.
Get Digital with Your Dissertation invites graduate students to explore digital components for their dissertation.
- As part of “Creative Alternatives: Experimental Art Scenes and Cultural Politics in Berlin 1971-1999,” Briana Smith, PhD student in history, is working with Studio staff to develop a mapping element to enhance her dissertation’s exploration of ephemeral art actions and performances in late twentieth-century Berlin.
- Gemma Goodale-Sussen, PhD student in English, is working with Studio staff to explore options for annotating historical images related to prison photography and modernist literature for her “Prison Portraiture and Modernist Literature” project.
- As part of “Mapping National Park Historiography: Iowa Effigy Mounds,” Mary Wise, PhD student in history, is honing her mapping skills and working with Studio staff on ArcGIS Online and ArcGIS approaches to the materials. Wise will construct maps that shed light on Iowa National Park Service historiography, with a particular focus on Effigy Mounds.
DH Researcher, student research support, pairs faculty and students who have an interest in digital scholarly research and addresses a range of research tasks associated with ongoing projects in the Studio.
- Paul Dilley, assistant professor in classics and religious studies, with the help of a student research assistant, is compiling a database of all known Greek authors and titles (including fragmentary and lost works) as part of “Philology Extended: Towards a Distant Reading of Ancient Greek Literature.” The project will facilitate a preliminary distant reading of the entire ancient literary field.
- Loren Glass, professor of English, with the assistance of a student researcher and digital humanities librarian Nikki White, is mapping the professional itineraries and connections of everyone who ever attended or taught at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop from its inception in 1936 to the present date. Their project, “Mapping the Workshop” will help visualize an array of social and historical networks related to the growth of creative writing at the University of Iowa.
- Julia Oliver Rajan lecturer, Spanish and Portuguese, with the help of a student translator, will heighten the accessibility of materials in the “Coffee Zone” project, which documents the regional dialect of the western Puerto Rico coffee zone and preserves the oral histories of the people who work there.
The Studio Scholars Program, administered by the University of Iowa Libraries’ Digital Scholarship & Publishing Studio (DSPS), is a faculty research group dedicated to supporting faculty projects related to the Digital Humanities (DH).
Contact: Tom Keegan, head of the University of Iowa Libraries’ Digital Scholarship & Publishing Studio, firstname.lastname@example.org