When I first started this course, I truly didn’t know what to expect. I couldn’t really give a solid definition of digital humanities. I understood that this course would likely use digital tools to explore the field of religious studies. The first class text we worked with, Observe, Collect, Draw!, made me question my original thoughts on the digital part of the course. However, after our first few labs and exercises focusing on collecting data in creative and unique ways, I began to understand the importance of understanding data in any research as well as analyzing data in the traditional sense. It also became clear as we explored digital humanities through various projects, encoding, working with visualizations, and content management systems that data could be easily manipulated and was subjective and open to interpretation. Specifically, I learned that while data is important to studying the humanities and in religious studies, it also has its limitations and needs to be approached objectively and with accessibility and sensitivity of different culture groups in mind. Finally, it was only after I began work on my final essay that it all came together for me in connecting all of the digital skills I learned with research in religious studies.
So now digital humanities for me can be defined as the use of technology to theorize, research, report, and share information on different historical, cultural, religious, and social questions. Digital humanities in religious studies can be used to research how data was historically collected, how data is currently used, and challenge any personal bias of researchers when answering questions related to religious studies research. The technology I learned in this course will be extremely helpful in how I interpret not only academic research, but any digital information and visualizations I encounter on a daily basis.
Digital Humanities in Religious Studies has not been what I expected, and not in a bad way either. I thought we would be looking at religions or the concepts and theories of religion through technology and how technology can help assist one in such an endeavor. Rather, it was a critical approach to the concept of data and data collection in relationship to academic scholarship as a whole (across the humanities and even beyond). I have never thought, and I am most people have not either, that data and categorization could be individualized to such a great degree; Meaning, throughout the course we have studied the concept of data as a whole and have seen the amount of work that goes in to collecting, categorizing, presenting and explaining data. The interesting aspect of the collecting, categorizing, etc. is that all of it is done by people, usually groups of people. This course has reminded me what it means for something to be “objective”, namely objectivity is a category one places something in order to use it in a certain manner within society. Nothing can be truly set apart from bias or perspective. For instance we read Marisa Elena Duarte & Miranda Belarde-Lewis work called Imagining: Creating Spaces for Indigenous Ontologies where we looked at how categorization from a colonial perspective has misrepresented the Indigenous population to one degree or another. It shows that one must not be overly confident in the resources and ideas the read, even in scholarship. There are structures in place which have been there for so long that many people cannot see it anymore. DH is trying to lift the veil of scholars and those who read them by revealing said structures and working to create a better field of scholarship for academia and the future as a whole.
For the exploration of the digital humanities project I looked at the Baltimore Traces project, this project looks at neighborhood changes in different historic Baltimore neighborhoods, and the project looks at how people interact with these changes. One of the initial pieces of data I looked at was an interview with a juror in the trial of the Catonsville 9, this was not a case I was familiar with but with some research, one can find that it was a case regarding the trial of 9 catholic protestors burning draft information. There is a series of interviews and a blog about this event and how people interact with this piece of history.
Since the data is predominantly interview based, I understand that it might be a little more involved than just quantitative data about the movement of people (even if I would have found that very interesting). There is a lot of data here but the map looks very sparse, however, the concession would be that I am not familiar with Baltimore. The real meat is found looking at the list of data that it presents in the project drop-down tab. Lots of interviews/blogs that are relevant to the various neighborhoods. If I was the director of this assignment then I would have a clear and concise mission statement on the about drop-down. Other than there is a wealth of interpersonal knowledge to be found here.
*I am proud of one blue-circle drawing that was timed for five minutes. Because it is where I started catching on—following directions, and creating “art.”
*The most important thing (other than the trip itself) is safety. My entries would take into account Shell gasoline stops being predetermined: during daylight, with Subways or McDonalds, and only in suburbs.
My Data Diaries project will use #6, #10, and the #18 exercises.
Hey guys my name is Andy, I am a senior here at UA majoring in Religious Studies with a minor in Jewish Studies. I took this class because I wanted to be able to in a way get lost in research and build a really cool project in a way that I haven’t before. I’m looking forward to this semester with y’all, it should be a pretty good time.
The following gif is how I feel every time someone reminds me that I’m graduating this spring.
Hi! My name is Katherine. I am a senior majoring in Anthropology and Religious Studies. I chose this course because it sounded interesting and I wanted to improve my computer skills.
I ask this a lot when trying to figure out my computer:
Call me Rick or Rickey. I dream to make me happy. But I do more than dream; it makes me happier (and better) striking things off my list. I’ve done it! Again, I’ve done it! What’s next? Really, most of what I do I’ve desired from the long-ago days of me. “Rickey knows he loves baseball,” the saying identified me. I’d say, “I’m going to be the greatest baseball pitcher ever on the mound.” But I read BLACK BOY in the ninth grade. It vanquished those dreams. Throw the baseball away for all I care. One day I shall achieve best-seller fame. I am at UA because I am interested in the creation-evolution debate–which isn’t the full picture. I wanted to major in Philosophy and minor in Astronomy. I am a little afraid of the course: Digital Humanities in Religious Studies. Can I catch on? I hate, or did, forgoing my minor in Astronomy. Deep down I am glad. I will be able to learn a great deal about the subject on my own. Philosophy as a major and Religion as a minor suits me. I try to be positive in the present-day USA political climate. Or? Forget it!
Hey everyone. My name is Noah and I’m a senior with a double major in Geography and REL Studies. I’m interested in this course because I would like to become more computer proficient and learn more about digital media. This is how I sometimes feel when I deal with computers…
Hi y’all. My name is Cole Radigan and I am a senior at UA studying creative media with a minor in religious studies. I was interested in taking this course because I have never taken anything like it, and I want to diversify my knowledge in different aspects of digital media. All in all, I’m just here for a good time.
Hello! My name is Morgan and I’m a senior with a double major in Anthropology & Religious studies. I am taking this course to see the intersection between Religion and DH…and because I talk to my computer like this every day…