Digital Frontiers Conference

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Digital Frontiers is a conference and community that explores creativity and collaboration across disciplinary boundaries in the arena of public humanities and cultural memory. Established in 2012 to respond to the need for an affordable, high-quality conference that addressed the emerging field of digital humanities from a variety of perspectives, Digital Frontiers is a truly interdisciplinary experience. The conference brings together scholars and students, librarians and archivists, genealogists and public historians to share their experience of using digital resources in the humanities.


Recent Submissions

Now showing 1 - 20 of 49
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    Digital Libraries and Prison Labor: A Preliminary Inquiry
    (2019-09-26) Logsdon, Alexis
    In 2015, Mother Jones shed light on the Mormon church’s use of prison labor to index genealogical records and digitize government records. A 2016, book published by ALA lauded the affordability of having one’s yearbook collections digitized by prisoners in Oklahoma. A number of state prison industries have microfilm and document digitization services listed on their sites. While not epidemic, libraries and researchers have relied on prison labor to build digital collections and projects for at least two decades, quite often without knowing it. Most reporting on prison labor and library digitization has presented it as a uniformly positive phenomena, even as discussions around exploited and invisible labor in libraries grow in popularity. My research will bring the lens of critical prison studies to the outsourcing of library labor to incarcerated workers. What are the ethical implications for digital scholarship? Can we lay claim to a liberatory praxis while relying on digital objects created by workers making significantly less than the minimum wage? Does using these materials for a greater good cancel out the harm of perpetuating an unjust system? These are some of the questions I hope to pursue in this research and poster presentation.
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    If You had My Love Feat. Californication: Imaginarios de la Internet en Videos Musicales, 1999
    (2019-09-26) Larrondo, Nicole
    En 1999 hubo una explosión en los medios de comunicación de la cultura pop por el inicio en la masificación del acceso doméstico de la internet. Ya no solamente la televisión y las revistas de papel serían parte del tiempo de ocio de los jóvenes. Los programas y salones de chat, la descarga de música PSP, los juegos en línea y el uso de la webcam cambiarían radicalmente las formas de comunicación y la relación entre usuarios. Al mismo tiempo, la internet trajo consigo una estética propia y específica que se caracterizaba en el uso de elementos que remitían a formas futurísticas e interconectadas, las cuales hacían referencia a la existencia de un mundo digital, paralelo al mundo real. Este mundo digital no solamente era parte de un mundo de ciencia ficción ‘espacial’ (tipo Star Wars o Star Trek), sino que se demostraba más accesible a los usuarios y con un semblante optimista sobre el uso de la técnología en el cotidiano. Es el caso contrario a lo expuesto en obras cyberpunk como The Matrix, película también estrenada en 1999, la cual tuvo una gran aceptación por parte de la crítica y los espectadores. En el cyberpunk el futuro es percibido como distópico y el uso intensivo de la tecnología es presentado de manera pesimista y existencialista, haciendo que la distinción entre humano y máquina sea difícil de dintinguir. En vísperas al temido Y2K, los videoclips ampliamente difundidos por MTV “If you had my love” y “Californication” de los artistas norteamericanos Jennifer López y Red Hot Chili Peppers aparecieron en las pantallas de millones de telespectadores-usuarios. Ambos videoclips ayudaron a fijar las estéticas del videochat y de los videojuegos en línea en un imaginario particular de dicha época, no solo en los Estados Unidos, sino que a nivel global. Dichas estéticas e imaginarios también se instalaron entre personas que, sin acceso a computadores e internet --pero que sí tenían acceso a la televisión, empezaron a comprender y a ser parte de este giro a lo digital, desde una perspectiva progresiva, optimista y recreativa, pero que daba la ilusión de ser inclusivo. En definitiva, estos videoclips ayudaron a establecer las ansiedades propias del cambio de milenio y las características visuales de una generación.
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    Determining the Need for Library Support of Digital Humanities
    (2019-09-26) Shelley, Anne
    The library is a natural driver for discussions about digital humanities. Work in the digital humanities is inherently interdisciplinary, and a recognized purpose of the library is to serve all disciplines on campus in terms of research support and physical space. The library is a place for collaboration and experimentation. It is the keeper of materials—particularly unique and rare—used by humanities researchers. It has years of experience creating and sustaining digital collections. As modes of scholarship change on campus, the library strives to provide services, technology, collections, spaces, and expertise relevant to the current needs of faculty and students. In spring 2019, the library at Illinois State University convened a task force of teaching faculty and librarians to investigate the campus’s current activities and interest in digital humanities, and from that, determine the types and levels of library support needed. This poster will describe the task force's goals, process, and strategies, including but not including but not limited to environmental scans, results of a faculty survey and focus group interviews, and deliverable (white paper submitted to library administration).
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    Creating a Sexuality and Gender Digital Collection to Digitally Break through to the Physical
    (2019-09-26) Zavala, Melina
    As a queer early career librarian, coming into the digital collections space at Grand Valley State University (GVSU) and not being able to see a very important part of myself reflected within the digital collection spurred me to think about ways in which I could make people like me more visible within it. Thus, for one of my early projects as the new Digital Scholarship Librarian at GVSU, I digitized the event archives from the Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies department, the Milton E. Ford LGBT Resource Center, and the Gayle R. Davis Center for Women and Gender Equity. With this material I planned to create a sexuality and gender digital collection, with multiple objectives: to include a queer perspective within the digital collections, to raise awareness of what these physical places offer students within the digital space, and to allow easier access to the archives with the hopes of attracting people who may not have been looking specifically at what physical archives have to offer. I want the digital to break through to the physical and encourage people to go to the events and classes offered by the centers and the department. I also want to encourage students as well as people outside of academia to develop an interest working with archives in different ways. There is a need for more varied voices within the library profession as a whole, and increasing access to archival material can create interest for more LGBTQ+ people to professionally work in libraries. This project is one way I hope to spark interest in future librarians and archivists. The poster will outline the overall process this project took, and highlight the challenges and the lessons learned. Attendees will walk away with tools to start their own conversations and create digital collections alongside different departments, learn the benefits and drawbacks of working with different departments in an archival project which makes underrepresented communities more visible, and take a closer look at how a digital collection is made at Grand Valley State University.
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    Chants and Hypertexts
    (2019-09-26) Nardini, Luisa
    Chants and Hypertexts is a companion website for a forthcoming book that is a study and edition of a substantial body of liturgical music from medieval southern Italy, that of the prosulas of the Proper of the Mass included in the so-called Beneventan manuscripts. This repertory is significant under many points of view. It allows us to detect the many multicultural influences of an area with a highly diversified population. Romans, Byzantines, Lombards, Normans, Franks, Jews, and Muslim were present in the region at different times and with different political roles. They all left their marks on its cultural production, including the liturgical music used for the rites of the Latin Church and women, and in particular nuns, were active participants in this musical and liturgical production. Although studies in musicology have been increasingly recognizing the role of nuns in the creation and diffusion of music, the role of earlier medieval Benedictine nuns (at least up until the late 13th century) is generally neglected. This poster presentation, thus, intends to highlight the role of the Benedictine nuns of the monasteries of St Peter Inside and St Peter Outside the Walls in the city of Benevento in the eleventh and twelfth centuries. My research shows not only that the nuns were able to compose and transcribe their own chants, but also that they were active participants in the social and cultural life of the city and in constant contact with their male counterparts. This is demonstrated by exclusive borrowings from multiple manuscripts that were used at male establishments within the same city. Based on cultic, archeological, and paleographical evidence these borrowings can only be explained by positing the notion of a ‘diffused’ scriptorium within the city for which books could be borrowed among several institutions. This notion drastically changes the commonly accepted narrative of the scriptorium as a self-contained space in which (mostly) monks worked in isolation copying from a single source. In addition to “tearing down” the wall of the representation of female creativity in the Middle Ages, this website also tackles the questions of “ethical collaboration” by being fully transparent about its contributors. This is why the website has an “About the team” section (still under construction) in which all collaborators and editors are listed. In addition, each entry of the website, whether an image, a transcriptions, or an annotation will also be individually signed. This way the website will show its commitment to give full voice to the artists, regardless of their gender, of the past and to the scholars and technicians of today.
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    Buildings of Texas: Exploring Linked Data by Mapping Places, Events and People Over Time
    (2019-09-26) Conrad, Josh; Pierce Meyer, Kathryn; Shensky, Michael; Trelogan, Jessica
    This poster will describe an ongoing project at the University of Texas Libraries (UTL) that is transforming the way we think about place, people, and events in managing archival collections. This project was developed around a dataset donated by architectural historians, Gerald Moorhead and Mario Sánchez to the Alexander Architectural Archives. This dataset was collected by a team of researchers studying architecturally significant buildings for the two-volume publication, Buildings of Texas. Our team at UT Libraries has used it as a test-bed for geolocating built works in Texas and mapping our Architectural collections. This dataset presented a clear opportunity to develop map-based digital exhibitions and finding aids for archival material, but also posed several challenges due to naming ambiguities, vague building location descriptions, and repeated references to people and architectural firms that were difficult to disambiguate and interconnect. In an attempt to overcome these challenges and develop a set of methods for dealing with similar and related collections, our cross-disciplinary team is evaluating ways to develop a flat spreadsheet into a collection of inter-related datasets. Our goal was a system that could be managed more flexibly, be easily represented through spatial and non-spatial visualizations, and—crucially—contain references to concepts and typologies defined in widely-used ontologies. We have also sought ways to contribute our data as a local authority to both the Getty vocabularies and Wikidata, as a means to broaden representation and allow for multivocality and multiplicity. We have found unique advantages to a team-approach to the cleaning and data normalization process that transformed a single spreadsheet into a graph database. Our experimentation in this process has facilitated our own visualization of the connections between places, people, and events and, in turn, has informed the way we will present this material in our online exhibitions. In addition to the graph database, we explored traditional relational database technologies, which turned out to be much easier to use for mapping the data and managing it with GIS software. Throughout the project, we have been mindful of breaking down traditional modes of archival description, of contributing to but also looking beyond perceived authorities, and about the value of the work we do for architectural artifacts and landscapes, but also any cultural heritage community of practice seeking to meaningfully describe artifacts, events, people, and places over time.
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    No More Smashed Crabs: An Audio Journey
    (2019-09-26) Niu, Stephanie
    Christmas Island is a tiny island in the Indian Ocean, a few hundred miles off the coast of Java. It is the site of one of the most spectacular animal migrations in the world: the Christmas Island red crab migration. Every October or November, 40 million crabs begin a long journey from the jungles down to the coast to breed, continuing an annual life cycle. The crab migration intersects with the island’s main roads and has resulted in a series of inventive tunnels, bridges, and fences to protect the crabs from traffic. Another important group of people cross Christmas Island on their migration journey. In 2007, construction was completed on an Immigration Reception and Processing Centre to temporarily detain asylum seekers from neighboring islands. In response to the 2001 Pacific Solution in which “4000 islands were excised from Australia’s migration zone,” Christmas Island became a temporary holding center for boat-bound asylum seekers from Indonesia, eventually transitioning to becoming an isolated site for long-term detention. The center on Christmas Island is the largest in Australia’s onshore detention center network, which continues to operate today. For both animal and human populations, Christmas Island is the site of incredible movement. However, these two migrating populations are treated very differently. My research examines the ways in which red crab migration and asylum seeker migration are treated differently despite their close physical proximity on the island, and what this difference in their treatment reflects about what the Australian government considers worthy of protection. While focused on Christmas Island, my work aims to suggest a more general hierarchy that applies to U.S. immigration policy as well. My project, No More Smashed Crabs, is a podcast about human and animal migration on Christmas Island. The podcast is a result of both anthropological and journalistic methods. To create my audio story, I spent seven weeks living on Christmas Island and two weeks in Melbourne, conducting 20 key informant interviews with detainees, park rangers, and islanders young and old. In addition to interviews and participant observation, I also recorded ambient sounds that formed crucial parts of the story: the prayer call that sounds over the island five times a day, the sound of boots on dried leaves in the island jungle, the sound of million of crabs crawling over a metal bridge on their journey to the sea. The project is currently in a final draft stage and can be found at by the end of April. A blog documenting the journey of traveling to Christmas Island and completing the project can be found at The project was generously funded through the Stanford University Beagle II Award and will be presented at ASURPS, the April Symposium of Undergraduate Research and Public Service at Stanford University. In addition, an audio preview of the project is debuting at The Gallery, a student-run art exhibition at the end of April.
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    Digital Frontiers 2019 Welcome: Tear Down the Walls
    (2019-09-26) Keralis, Spencer D. C.
    No abstract prepared.
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    Just-In-Time Curricula: Credit Hours, Competencies, and/or Care?
    (2019-09-26) Boyle, Casey
    In 2013, The U.S. Department of Education stipulated that federal student financial aid can be spent not only on “credit hours”, the standard measurement of achievement in higher education, but on “competencies.” These moves away from “seat-time” (as well as traditional instructors) intensify concerns about education in a digital age, many of which Bernard Stiegler identified in Taking Care of Youth and the Generations (2010). For Stiegler, digital networks/entertainment industries circumvent long-established material networks of education. The changes demonstrate that higher education is adopting more corporation logic for a “just-in-time” production model that leverages digital networks to solve assumed “brick-and-mortar” problems. Rather than uphold the boundaries and resist these changes, in what ways might higher education institutions leverage the tensions enacted by competing physical networks alongside emerging practices of instant digital education? In response, my presentation attempts to affirmatively engage our “problem” by examining the contours of an emerging “just-in-time curricula” whose goal would not be to smash boundaries but to work with/against them through a new approach to digital education.
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    Resisting the Permanent Record: Blockchain Technology in Education
    (2019-09-26) Welsh, Sarah
    The blockchain-- famous for its use as the underlying database for bitcoin--has been posed as a solution for everything from secure banking to supply chain management to, now, online education. Game designer Jane McGonigal’s education project--Learning is Earning 2026--proposes a concept where education is accumulated on a ledger. Enabled by the blockchain, this educational model would host a complete record of everything you’ve ever learned, everyone you’ve learned from, and everyone who’s learned from you. But while the blockchain is increasingly heralded as a catch-all solution for security via decentralization, it does not garner enough scrutiny as it should. When it comes to education, what are some of the benefits and limitations of remembering “everything”? Could the forward-thinking problems that proponents suggest blockchain would solve only begin to create larger issues? One such issue might be a complete overhaul of FERPA legislation, which already neglects to address systems of technology that store records. Conceptual arguments about the use of blockchain technology in education should address these larger questions concerning privacy, authority, expertise, and ethics.
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    Deep Collaboration and the Labor of Digital Pedagogy in a Liberal Arts Context
    (2019-09-26) Walden, Katherine; Purcell, Sarah; Sharpe, Celeste; Shrout, Anelise
    Small liberal arts colleges (SLACs) present a unique environment for experimenting and exploring various aspects of digital pedagogy. Motivated by the need to empower students with 21st century skills and digital literacy, many SLACs have invested in academic technology units, expanded the library’s scope, or designed interdisciplinary academic programs with faculty equipped to teach at the nexus of qualitative inquiry and digital technologies. These initiatives create opportunities for new types of knowledge production and curricular innovation; they also present distinct challenges for ethical collaboration, as the rubber of interdisciplinary digital work hits the road of academic labor hierarchies in the context of undergraduate-focused institutions. Many SLAC projects also include undergraduate collaborators. As scholarship from Amanda Visconti, Bethany Nowviskie, Paige Morgan, and others has noted, the emotional labor and significant collaboration digital work requires can present challenges for those who do not have faculty status as well as faculty in interdisciplinary units whose tenure case hinges on making their scholarly work legible to variety of disciplinary audiences. The individuals on this panel represent a variety of perspectives and positions within SLACs, including pre-tenure faculty, post-tenure faculty, and “alt-ac” staff who work in academic technology units. In this panel, representatives from each institution will present brief (10 minute) presentations on their institutional context and local efforts (30 minutes total), leaving 30 minutes for discussion and conversation amongst the panelists and with audience members. This conversation and dialogue will be organized around the following framing questions, specifically in relation to SLAC environments and interdisciplinary digital work: What structures exist to support digital work? Who are the collaborators involved in digital work? How does digital work relate to the curriculum and curricular structures? What unique opportunities do we have to foster meaningful, ethical collaboration? What challenges do we face in relation to fostering meaningful, ethical collaboration? What steps have we taken/are we taking to move toward ethical collaboration in digital work? What steps have our institutions taking/are our institutions taking to move toward ethical collaboration in digital work? A goal of this conversation is to unpack some of the local and global structures that impact collaborative efforts. In framing and facilitating a conversation around ethical collaboration in digital liberal arts pedagogy, this panel seeks to outline strategies for engaging in collaborations that reflect an intersectional feminist approach to acknowledging labor and making labor visible.
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    Fandom Without Borders: The Liminal Spaces for Identity Construction Online
    (2019-09-26) Anton Lobato, Miren Edurne
    The digital world is no locus of conviviality. When thinking of the potential of the Internet as a global space, the fallacy of conviviality is often enacted. The last 20 years, particularly after the expansion of social media platforms in the early 2000s, started to cement the perception of hyper-connectivity. Hyper-connectivity, in what could transcend socio-cultural markers, was seen as exemplary of Internet’s capabilities for improvement of 21st century societies. Lisa Nakamura, already argued against this idea of digital utopia and has proven in several of her works that national borders, racial systems and sexual normativity, as identity categories, are very much present online. This utopia, as a fallacy, presented itself in the duality of, on the one hand, the view of the Internet as not only stripped from identity categories but also as an space separated from and unmediated by the offline context; and in the imagination of the incarnation of Haraway’s cyborg in contemporary Internet users. A more functional perspective, however, is to think of the Internet as a liminal space between the offline context and the need for superation. In this liminality social categories and conditions are reinterpreted within the discourses and practices of the communities online. That means that categories as race or sexuality are still present but in forms that serve better Internet users. The purpose of this project touches on several interrelated processes: online borders, liminality and online identity. The aim here is to analyze how online community borders, liminal spaces and identity on the Internet work collaboratively into creating the conditions that perform sexual identity online. I want to start with the idea of diffused borders between analog and virtual realities. I will argue that they do not exist on the side or opposed to one another, but that that they continually communicate and construct each other. Particularly, I will be interested in the formation of the identity of fans through the work of @perseopy in Anti-heroe JK!. In this webcomic the identity of the fan and the identity of the queer commute into the practices of the fan within their community, in this case, that of imposing a non-normative identity upon BTS band members Jeon Jungkook and Park Jimin. I will be drawing from Benedict Anderson’s Imagined Communities as well as Howard Rheingold work on online communities to construct this analysis. Within these communities, moreover, identity categories are re-signified and users agentively construct their personas. They still use the same markers of race, nationality or sexuality to present themselves, but within the nuance of their activity online and what serves best the purpose of their Internet activities. I draw from Judith Butler’s work on performativity as well as post-humanist theory (primarily Hayles, Haraway and Sedgwick) into understanding the connection of the online hidden body and the identity performativity into constructing online identities.
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    Black Women are Superheroes and Wear 'Digital Capes' Too
    (2019-09-26) Gipson, Grace D.
    Blogs and podcasts are accessible tools that produce cultural and technical capital, which cross communities and generations. Knowing the impact of blogging and podcast is on the rise, it is important that we investigate specific sites that use these tools to promote their messages and narratives. Black women’s use of blogs and podcasts allows the opportunity to center their lived experiences as a form of expertise. By uplifting marginalized voices, engaging in cultural criticism, and leading calls for action, these new media tools create an opportunity for Black women to incorporate a Black feminist and Afrofuturist practice. Additionally, other communities and networks can collaborate and form additional alliances that address their needs in new and innovative ways. For this project I seek to examine four sites, The Blerd Gurl, Nerds of Prey, Black Girl Nerds, and You Had Me at Black each of which cater to the representation of Black women in the nerd community and popular culture as a whole. Many of these women are wearing a “digital cape” so as to elevate their voices which are often left out of traditional print and broadcast journalism. With an emphasis on geek and nerd culture primarily for Black women these Black nerd networks, as described by Black Girl Nerd creator Jamie Broadnax, are places for Black women with “various eccentricities to express themselves freely and embrace who they are.” As safe spaces that showcase, interrogate, and celebrate the many facets of geek and nerd culture for Black women, many of these platforms encourages their followers to embrace their own identities, while also filling the gaps of popular and mainstream culture. The above sites in question also help close the gap that is the “digital divide” with the incorporation of race and gender. Thus, this research project transcends several academic disciplinary and can be defined as an academic/media community project. First, it will be an important contribution to examining the representation and complexities of online Black female nerd networks characters within the study popular culture, which has been understudied. Second, this research project also proposes a futuristic aspect discussing the transformative properties of these new media tools being used by Black women. I propose that these tools not only give voice to Black women issues and achievements but create various communities and networks that aid in understanding being different, promote self-care and pursuing a passion. Finally, this project lends itself in a growing digital humanities/media forum, which incorporates various digital and social media structures, such as Video blogs, Tumblr blog posts, and podcasts. As a multi-format public project that offers several ways of constructing knowledge: it becomes an academic and community archive, an outlet for building future collaborations/networks with the academy and the outside community, and a venue for participatory engagement.
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    The Revolution Will Be Spotified
    (2019-09-26) Carey, Triauna
    This paper analyzes the way musicians and genres of music are used as rhetorically effective modes of resistance during the current political and social climate in the West to break down barriers culturally and break through systems of power. I argue that not only are artists using their music to spread messages of resistance to their audiences, but musicians implement specific rhetorical strategies in the spaces and genres available to them. I will take an interdisciplinary approach that combines cultural rhetorics, popular culture studies, communication studies, and ethnomusicology to investigate the way musicians send messages of resistance to different audiences and listeners. First, I will use Huckin, Andrus, and Clary-Lemon’s concept of critical discourse analysis to analyze the way music lyrics convey meaning and cue the audience to certain resistant messages in different ways. Second, Royster and Kirsch’s concept of social circulation will be utilized to tap into the ways technology and online social spaces are interrogated as complex rhetorical spaces that are multidimensional and add new levels of activism for musicians. Through these approaches I will argue that music is not simply sound or a component of popular culture. Music is John Blacking’s “humanly organized sound” due to its ability to respond to cultures and create and fuel resistance. This paper examines the interplay between song lyrics, rhetorical concepts, like kairos and visual rhetoric, and the way musicians use social media, plus streaming services like Spotify, to create and circulate messages of resistance through popular music. I will focus on four mainstream genres, pop, rap and hip-hop, rock and alternative, and country to reveal how artists in these genres use the rhetorical strategies available in the genre to reach their audience, while also navigating the power systems and structures at play. Music does not simply move from the musician to listeners anymore. Instead, the continuous feedback loop through social media, popular culture, and digital music services like Spotify create a conversation that is continuous and ongoing between musicians and listeners. The way these conversations are carried out in the 21st Century break down barriers constructed in the music industry and allow musicians to be even more resistant than in the past thanks in part to the use of new technologies. The production and circulation of music in online spaces is important because of the way meaning is interpreted, distributed, and shared in these spaces and I aim to reveal how. This paper offers examples of contemporary artists like Muse, Katy Perry, Beyoncé, Childish Gambino, Carrie Underwood, and Hayley Kiyoko as artists using their music to break down barriers and resist the spaces that historically have confined them. Due to technology and the way music can act as a mode of resistance in the 21st Century, especially in politically tense moments, I argue revolutions are not only televised, but Spotified.
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    Post-Custodial Collaboration at LLILAS Benson
    (2019-09-26) Bliss, David A.
    This panel will discuss the multifaceted collaboration between El Salvador’s Museo de la Palabra y la Imagen (Museum of the Word and the Image) and the University of Texas at Austin since the formalization of the partnership in 2014, thanks to the generous support of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Founded in 1999, the Museum (commonly referred to by its acronym MUPI) collects, preserves, and educates on El Salvador’s historical and cultural heritage. After the Civil War (1980-1992) and with the signing of the Chapultepec Peace Accords in 1992, journalist Carlos Henríquez Consalvi, directed a team initiative to rescue diverse archives and audio files on social movements; this conservation effort has been extended to include diverse themes regarding Salvadoran culture, identity, and history. David Bliss, the Digital Processing Archivist at the Benson Latin American Collection (UT-Austin), will talk about the ongoing digitization work that has led to the development of three collections produced primarily by clandestine groups and solidarity organizations, as well as the military, during the Salvadoran Civil War: an armed conflict propaganda collection, MUPI’s periodical library, and the Radio Venceremos rebel broadcasts recordings. Bliss will reflect on the post-custodial praxis and the barriers bureaucracy and politics have posed in this and concurrent initiatives.
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    Embroiderers of Memories: Tearing Down Walls of Oblivion
    (2019-09-26) Henriquez Consalvi, Carlos
    This panel will discuss the multifaceted collaboration between El Salvador’s Museo de la Palabra y la Imagen (Museum of the Word and the Image) and the University of Texas at Austin since the formalization of the partnership in 2014, thanks to the generous support of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Founded in 1999, the Museum (commonly referred to by its acronym MUPI) collects, preserves, and educates on El Salvador’s historical and cultural heritage. After the Civil War (1980-1992) and with the signing of the Chapultepec Peace Accords in 1992, journalist Carlos Henríquez Consalvi, directed a team initiative to rescue diverse archives and audio files on social movements; this conservation effort has been extended to include diverse themes regarding Salvadoran culture, identity, and history. Carlos Henríquez Consalvi, founder and Director of MUPI, will provide an overview of the institution’s mission, collections, and work with local and international communities. Most recently, in an effort to connect with and educate El Salvadoran-descendant youth in the United States, the Museum has created a collection and designed an accompanying traveling exhibition titled Bordadoras de Memorias (Embroiderers of Memories) of embroidery works created by peasant women as testimonials of the armed conflict during the 1970s, newly digitized and soon-to-be-made available through UT-Austin’s Latin American Digital Initiatives ( portal.
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    Digital Pedagogy and Methodology to Connect Diverse Communities
    (2019-09-26) Ortiz Baco, Joshua G.
    This panel will discuss the multifaceted collaboration between El Salvador’s Museo de la Palabra y la Imagen (Museum of the Word and the Image) and the University of Texas at Austin since the formalization of the partnership in 2014, thanks to the generous support of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Founded in 1999, the Museum (commonly referred to by its acronym MUPI) collects, preserves, and educates on El Salvador’s historical and cultural heritage. After the Civil War (1980-1992) and with the signing of the Chapultepec Peace Accords in 1992, journalist Carlos Henríquez Consalvi, directed a team initiative to rescue diverse archives and audio files on social movements; this conservation effort has been extended to include diverse themes regarding Salvadoran culture, identity, and history. Joshua Ortiz Baco, LLILAS Benson Digital Scholarship graduate research assistant and doctoral student in the Spanish & Portuguese Department (UT-Austin), will discuss digital scholarship efforts that have built on digitized MUPI collections. These include the design of a distant viewing workshop using political posters; the transformation of Bordadoras de Memorias into a digital exhibition; and curated teaching resources for high school World History courses co-designed with the College of Education and Department of History graduate students at UT-Austin. Ortiz Baco will reflect on the ethical and practical challenges that have emerged alongside these opportunities.
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    The Importance of Reflection: A Call for Slow Digital Humanities
    (2019-09-26) Berger, Claudia
    Most of the discourse around slow digital humanities has been focused on the process of building projects, or on the methods of the practitioner. While this attention to deliberate choices and values is an important part of our work as scholars, it does not take into account the readers relationship to a project. Reflection is a key aspect of humanistic thought and learning, so why has it been ignored in digital humanities? In order to reflect, the readers needs time - as well as space - to slow down. Through examining different methods of designing ways for digital humanities projects to be slower, such as uses of time, physical space, and interaction, we will look at how we can encourage reflection from readers. A slower experience allows time to play a role in knowledge production. Readers will have a different relationship with a project they spent 6 hours with than one they only spend 5 minutes with. By slowing down the interaction we allow layers of thought to be built up and for meaning making to happen “at a human pace” (Fullerton, 2019). How we think about and build our projects affects how our readers interact with them. When we are thinking about how to convey ideas to a reader we must consider how we are using time to our advantage to convey our themes. We should know from the start how we are designing our projects to best make use of reflection and immerse our readers in our ideas.
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    Sentiment Analysis Methods in Translation
    (2019-09-26) Isasi, Jennifer
    A method traditionally applied to product review and marketing, namely, sentiment analysis or opinion mining, has recently been adopted to conduct computational analysis of literary texts (Jockers). In principle, this methodology consist of assigning a positive or negative valence derived from a "bag of words" to sentences or words in order to study the progress of sentiments throughout the text. This represents the passage of time and, in novels, the narrative plot. As with most digital analysis methodologies and experiments run in recent years, these sentiment analysis dictionaries, workflows, and corpora to test results have been developed and conducted in English. In a few occasions, the research even includes works translated into English (Underwood 2019). In most cases, the use of these tools in other languages requires adaptation. In this talk, I will show the results of a three-dimention mid-distance reading of literary texts in Spanish using the Syuzhet Package in R. First, I present the analysis of the original text with the available version of the NRC sentiment dictionary. Later, I will run the original, English dictionary in the same work in its published translated version as well as on a (non-reviewed) machine translated version. As a point of contrast, I will run the same test with a text in English with its human and machine translations into Spanish. Preliminary results conducted on *La gaviota* (1849) by Böhl de Faber, *Pepita Jiménez* (1874) by J. Valera, *The Swam of Villamorta* (1885) by E. Pardo Bazán, *Frankenstein* (1832) by M. Shelley and *David Copperfield* (1850) by Dickens shows that results on a micro-level change but do not affect the overall or macro-level narrative plot result. *Marianela* (1878) by B. Pérez Galdós, *The Froth* (1890) by A. Palacio Valdés, *One Hundred Years of Solitud* (1967) by G. García Márquez or *The Handmaid's Tale* (1985) by M. Atwood, however, show distinct results on a micro and distant level in both two languages, bringing up questions such as: Is it sufficient to generate raw translations of datasets in English in order to conduct the same tests in Spanish or should we generate our own datasets and methods? What effect has norms on punctuation have on this type of text analysis? How do informal expressions that call for clearly different vocabulary to express the same emotion affect the results of this method? As a consequence, one can ask, how good is the idea of using translations when testing methods in English? The ultimate goal of this presentation is, thus, twofold. On the one hand, I show the possibilities of sentiment analysis for literary works in Spanish. Most importantly, however, I show the need to break the tools before trusting them: I investigate the implications of relying on translation for text analysis, by studying the difference in results in using a translated version of the sentiment dictionary to original works, as well as using the original dictionary to works translated from other languages.
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    De-walling Union Rhetoric in Video Game Production
    (2019-09-27) Jackson, Joshua
    ‘Surviving’ videogame production is tenuous as is, but when considering workers’ experiences with a number of moderating problems, especially loneliness and isolation, suddenly, ‘surviving’ production isn’t just about getting through the long hours: it’s about finding kindred spirits and likeminded confidants. In this project, I examine how the use of institutional ethnography (Smith, 2005) and feminist ethnography (Visweswaran, 1994) can facilitate new ways of understanding the situated, embodied experiences of workers in the videogame industry. In recounting their stories, I position this project as the beginning of a ‘de-walling’ in videogame production. I interviewed 6 current videogame production workers situated in triple-A production spaces about their experience with unionization: who they see (or don’t see) pushing for unionization, inclusive/exclusive language choices, and their thoughts on the process altogether. Unlike union initiatives in the past, videogame production has yet to thoroughly define itself, and its representative bounds. Until that work is done, it will be impossible to imagine a unionization effort that is not omitting certain sectors of the production process, and the bodies labouring in those sectors. This project borrows work from my dissertation to assist in that definitional process. Once this work is done, the situated, embodied experiences my informants have shared with me can be used as proverbial lights in the dark for workers who share my informants’ experiences with loneliness, isolation, and feeling left out of unionization talks.