Ideas Workshop

Evan Young/ October 11, 2018/ 2018-19 Fellows, Digital Humanities, Fellows, Sandbox: The 5CollDH Blog/ 0 comments

Working on your ideas for the Digital Humanities Undergraduate Fellowship? Join us at our Ideas Workshop to discuss your vision and questions with other students and the 5collDH team. The Workshop will be in 546 Herter Hall at UMass at 5pm on October 30th.

To get you inspired, here are a few of our past projects:

Uncovering a New England Ghost Town

Fellowship Year: 2017-18
Researcher: Gwendolyn Jones, Smith College Junior
Question: How can one use LiDAR to uncover otherwise invisible information about archaeological features?
Technologies Used: Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR)LAStools (a LiDAR data processing software), and ArcGIS

Gwendolyn researched MacLeish Field Station, a property in Whately, MA owned by Smith College. She used publicly-available data gathered with Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR), which is a remote sensing method that uses a pulsing laser to measure ranges. LiDAR makes it possible to model archaeological features without disturbing or damaging a site that is difficult to reach or heavily damaged to begin with. From this data, she created Digital Elevation Models using LAStools and ArcGIS.
She wrote about her research:

“I have come across what I think may be the remains of a homestead on the portion of MacLeish often referred to as the Todd lot. This homestead is now nearly invisible when walking through MacLeish unless you already know where it is.”

After her fellowship, Gwendolyn planned to extend her research into a senior thesis where she would further explore MacLeish using surface collection methods and Ground-Penetrating Radar.

Generating Myth

Fellowship Year: 2017-18
Researcher: Bailey Fernandez, Hampshire College
Question: How can mythic structures can be interpreted in a “generative” way across various platforms?
Technologies Used: TwineMax/MSP

Bailey used Twine to make his textual thesis project into a digital, interactive experience. He created an “interlocking web of small essays” on the works of William Blake, Snorri Sturluson, and Nick Land, then used Twine to allow the reader to experience the essays in any order or direction they desire. Bailey also created a soundscape accompaniment to accompany the experience of reading through the Twine site. He used Max/MSP, which allows for the creation of music pieces that generate over time.
About his project, Bailey wrote:

The organization of the piece emphasized both the similarities and the contradictions between its respective subjects. Since the four papers can be read in any order, and sections of one can become sections of another, they emphasize and highlight each others’ regularities.

Methods of Ontological Remix

Fellowship Year: 2016-17
Researcher: Kira deCoudres, Hampshire College Division III
Question: How can we use multimedia to discuss glitches?
Technologies Used: Various

Kira worked with us on her thesis project entitled Methods of Ontological Remix. Her goal was to demonstrate non-traditional methods of creative bodily disruption through writings, multimedia work, and an experimental lecture series. Some of the sections included “Becoming Crashed” (which is about car crashes) and “Becoming Ill,” (which looks at disease), both based on her personal experiences.
When asked why she decided to bring her project to us, she responded:

The Five College Digital Humanities are very much the people who are not just using tools and like using technology and digitizing things, but they are addressing the critical component of looking. Looking at why you’re using these technologies and how we’re using these technologies. That’s the humanities part of it. It’s that it’s not blindly or absentmindedly devouring technologies.

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