Under the leadership of Sarah Morris, Research and Instruction Librarian at the Skillman Library, the 2016 Lafayette College Digital Humanities Summer Scholars undertook independent research projects on such topics as Iranian statecraft, Soviet monument culture in Bulgaria, the misunderstood Moog synthesizer, and histories of Indian Ocean trade and migration.
On Wednesday, five Summer Scholars presented their projects to a packed audience in the Gendebien Room. In order to pursue their interdisciplinary research questions, students in the program used a variety of tools, platforms, and methods. In most cases, students combined digital approaches so as to take advantage of unique capabilities. For instance, Tawfiq Alhamedi used Omeka’s Neatline plug-in along with ArcGIS to reproduce the orientation of medieval Indian Ocean cartography in his project’s interactive map. Other projects incorporated Scalar, Cytoscape, and TimelineJS, among other tools and platforms.
Tawfiq reflects, “the Digital Humanities Summer Scholarship was a unique and valuable experience for me to explore new methodologies that truly brought my research to life. Working in a creative and supportive environment helped nourish my project from being an abstract idea to becoming a useful digital resource open to anyone interested in my topic.” DH Summer Scholar Caroline Nawrocki agrees about the distinctive value of the program: “it was an incredibly unique learning experience. It was a constant process of developing knowledge on digital tools, my specific topic, and what it means to be a researcher without being concerned about a grade or with failure.”
Dr. Paul Barclay, who was in attendance at Wednesday’s event, also points out the value of the program in terms of its emphasis on experimentation in undergraduate research: “the program shows the value of letting students explore data, its visualization, and computational methods for humanities research in an independent research setting.”
Check out all of the DH Summer Scholar Projects at the project website! To learn about Lafayette’s brand new Digital Humanities Club, please contact President Tawfiq Alhamedi (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Vice-President John Gossick (email@example.com).