There are two different DH projects that we looked at this week that I would be interested in doing, either a 3-D modeling project or a mapping project. The topic of my project would probably be an archaeological site, either related to the classical period or maritime archaeology.
The data I would need for these projects would depend on the type of project I ended up doing, although there is some overlap. In general, for either one of the projects, I would need academic journals and books, photographs, the locations of features in the site, historical texts related to the site, and several maps from different time periods. I could get some of this data through academic journals, other online sources, and the library.
Given what we have discussed in class so far, I am interested in looking at different ways to organize folklore for a particular culture or religious group. Since this is such a broad area of study, I think it would be most fruitful (and least overwhelming) to focus on a specific group to maximize the amount of relevant material sourced. I would like it to be a multimedia analysis that could include visuals, audio, and images …sort of like the DH project we looked at with the sounds and images. Due to my interests and comfortability with topics I will most likely look at Celtic folklore and try and organize it in a way that the plethora of material is more easily accessible. The data required for this project would be pretty much any and everything that I can find. I think that the more included in this project the more beneficial it will be to whoever is using it. Folklore covers a lot of different mediums so anything that is accurate and relative to Celtic folklore I intend to include in the project. My initial thoughts on where to find the data would be the National Folklore Collection or accessible images…as long as they don’t cost $400 to use.
I am being completely honest when I admit that I was a little overwhelmed by the thought of writing my digital humanities essay. However, after reading the required resource from our class textbook (Drucker Chapter 1, Part B) this week, I felt a little more confident when the steps were outlined very clearly about how to approach a digital humanities project. There were also many different options for analyzing and presenting data in Miriam Posner’s online reference article “How Did They Make That?” Based upon all the references and resources, I think I would be most likely interested in creating a map or analyzing text for my essay. I enjoy working with maps and finding patterns in texts (searching for common words and phrases) seems straightforward.
I am a double major in Geography and Religious Studies, so subjects relating to these fields would be within my comfort zone. For example, I might be interested in mapping visitation patterns in the most popular national parks (Yellowstone, Grand Teton, Glacier, or Yosemite). Should I choose to analyze text for my essay, I would likely focus on the Bible as a reference. For example, maybe research texts related to biblical covenants or the influence of women in the Bible. I have worked with both of these subjects before and think it would be great to research these topics from a digital humanities perspective.
I am familiar with data relating to the national park system and would be able access websites for park visitation easily. I would be interested in seeing if there are any other resources for national park visitation outside of the government databases. I have used a few different Bible reference sites, but I now know, after collecting information in this course, that there is data in many different forms that I have not even thought about that would be helpful for this essay should I choose to go in the text analysis direction. I will be thinking about choosing a specific direction and clearly defining my topic.
I would use digital pictures for data and do digital essay about how Scots Irish emigrated to America. I had Scottish ancestors and Irish ancestors. Scottish left to Ireland. I have many pictures of my ancestors. Digital pictures are of my ancestors and how they were emigrating to United States. I will get information of my ancestors by my dad. Data is in his research he did.
After learning about the various styles of DH projects, I am interested in the visual or audial based ones. I should avoid working with extensive writing or walls of text. I plan to work on a project where visual representation is key. I am drawing inspiration from a website called playphrase. I feel most comfortable dealing with media representation of religion, or any topics combining subjects in religion with news, film, tv, or music. It will take some brainstorming, but there is data out there worth collecting. The biggest challenge will be finding enough data. I will use the internet to collect the data required for a successful DH project.
From the several models of data that we reviewed, I really found an interest in text analysis, network visualization, and digital archives. Briefly, I have an interest in text analysis because I think the idea of mapping common phrases/ words would be a really interesting, yet also insightful endeavor. I liked the network visualization because I simply thought it looked really interesting, but then as it was explained to me how it worked, it just made it even more worth while to look into. Finally, the digital archive was my least favorite of the three, but I still found it interesting to archive all of a person’s work, so it is a viable option.
I am really interested in working within the field of philosophy or theology. This is where my entire interest in higher education lies, so I have a decent amount of background knowledge. I am not sure what angle I would like to take; however, I would think it would involve using a person who has a large amount of work, like Thomas Aquinas, or maybe using the Bible itself and archiving/ visualizing it somehow. I also cannot leave the possibility of doing something with data in relation to the Catholic, Orthodox, or Protestant denominations.
I would probably have to do some digging in regards to large pieces of philosophical or theological works. Also, I am not a super creative person when it comes to things like this, so I will have to do some brain storming and perhaps inquire help to narrow down exactly what I want to do. For example, if I landed on doing something within the Bible, then it would probably be analyzing text or creating an archive of stories, words, characters, etc.
Three exercises I chose are my travels, my time alone, and what I eat. I have had many fun vacations. My favorite trips were going in Ireland and London with my dad and sister and going to Disney World and Universal Studios and going to zoo and beaches with my old youth pastor in San Diego. Parks at Disney World I liked most are magic kingdom and Epcot. I’m not alone a lot and when I be alone I read books watch tv and play video games. I read sports books sci fi books Christian books and joke books. My favorite type of foods are Italian foods and Mexican foods. I be with others more than being by myself. It was unexpected to go to London in England and Ireland in 2 other countries I was interested to go to. Subways were used more than cars. British had more pubs than United States. Irish and British loved Americans. I did not expect British hotel rooms are smaller than American hotel rooms.
The three exercises I chose to do were #06 My books, #17 my inbox, and #22 What I eat. I have completed the data gathering for all three exercises. What was unexpected as I tracked this data was how many books I have that are not very well organized. I try and organize my bookshelves by author and series or for example, all of my textbooks are on one shelf. This exercise showed me that I have sometimes the entire series all in a row, from first book to last book, but as I was doing it, I realized that for other series I would have book 2 and book 3 were right next to each other but book 1 was on a different bookshelf. One of the other unexpected things I realized was for some digital books that I had not read in a long time, I had to go and check what the completion percentage was because I could not remember if I had finished them or not.
One thing I am curious about is the possible use of photos. I have thoughts even now about the Digital Essay project. If I decide to stick with the Civil War, I am afraid of copyright infringement. A combination of earlier black-and-white pictures might be presented with others in color. My second Lab Project (Against All Odds) is convincing me more and more it was the right choice. I am still amazed about what I saw concerning the black legislators in Mississippi during Reconstruction. So much so: I have similar ideas to create actual and professional websites.
Pictures are worth more than a thousand words! Consider DeeDee Baldwin’s website. “Against All Odds (AAO)” is the project I chose. DeeDeee Baldwin’s website has pictures painstaking collected and presented on the Home page; they are verifiable primary sources. We learn above 150 African Americans served in the Mississippi State Legislature to say the least. Details are important. As the project director, Dr. Baldwin started the project in 2018 as a digital archive for the sake of reparations. The 1863 years of Reconstruction are covered to the 1890s. There are nicely located links: Home, The Legislators, Sources, Miscellaneous, Contact/Info. Although initially at the bottom of the page, click one link; then all appear neatly above near the task bar.
Against All Odds: The First Black Legislators in Mississippi brings to mind another momentous work. But in that case a book. I speak of Dr. W.E.B. Du Bois’ well documented The Suppression of the African Slave-Trade. This is what Dr. Baldwin said about the African Americans he wrote about. “They were farmers, teachers, ministers, and blacksmiths. Some were born free in the North, while others were born enslaved in Mississippi. Some were highly educated, and others had been forbidden by law to be taught to read.” Viewers can see some of everything. Portraits (many retrieved). Newspaper clippings. Biographical information. Census records. Maps. Citizenship verification. DeeDee Baldwin portrays elegance.