Anna Mitchell: Update from Women Who Rock

“Digital” and “humanities” never struck me as complementary forces. The humanities conjured the analogue; the smell of books, the feel of a camera, the sounds of a classroom engrossed in discussion or the thick silence of study. Yet, through reading Jill Walker Rettberg’s scholarship and digging in to concepts such as the archive and collective memory, I now see that the two realms are far from disparate.
Women Who Rock Logo
This understanding is central to the Women Who Rock project (University of Washington archive; Scripps College Omeka and WordPress archives) and, on an individual level, contributing content to an archive of women’s voices, narratives, and knowledge. Though it began as a conference, the Women Who Rock project is rooted in its presence as a digital archive and fundamentally wed to the accessibility the internet engenders. The digital archive, as Tara McPherson explores in her introduction to “Media Studies and the Digital Humanities,” is exceptional because its boundaries are malleable, its chronology is non-linear, and, lastly, it is ever-evolving. Can’t the same be said for artists and their work?
Having watched the documentary “The Internet’s Own Boy,” which recounts the tragic story of Aaron Swartz, not far in the wake of a session exploring Omeka and the digital humanities provided another window into the issue of the digital humanities and questions of access. I found myself perplexed by the elitism perpetuated through capitalistic resource possession and by regulatory laws. Through such a lens, gaining even a non-expert grasp on Omeka and WordPress garners more power. It becomes not only a tool for documentation, but for democratization of information, especially information regarding people, movements, or art forms who are still fighting for shelves on the vast walls of the vast halls of our collective cultural library — our memory.
Anna Mitchell is a a member of the class of 2022 at Scripps College. She’s planning to major in French and Humanities: Interdisciplinary Studies in Culture, with a focus on Gender & Sexuality. She came to Claremont from a small island in Maine.
Women Who Rock (CHST 74) is a course that is regularly offered by Dr. Martha Gonzalez at Scripps College. In this course, which is situated at the intersection of music herstory, gender studies, and digital humanities, Dr. Gonzalez introduces her students to popular music studies through the practice of archive building, oral, history analysis, critical writing, and digital scholarship.

Margaret Hogarth: Thoughts from the Ozone – My Experience in the DH Reading Group

In the 4th grade, Thursdays were hot dog days at school. Volunteer mothers would bring the hotdogs to our classroom and distribute them. This might have been when I was deep into reading sleuthing books, but, in my conveniently sized group, I used to track who had ketchup or mustard on their hotdog and what was their hair color. I was trying to correlate mustard use with blond hair and ketchup use with brown or black hair. I remember being frustrated with those who partook of both and wondering how to classify them. It was hard to keep track of a third category in my head. That might have been shortly after I discovered that illustrations in books were not literal, that, somewhere in the world, there was a place that looked exactly like the illustration, even if it were a pen and ink drawing. That used to be a happy and intriguing thought.

I like data, like working with data, and even enjoy cleaning up data to a certain extent. Library resources and their use involve many, many spreadsheets, and the occasional accompanying interesting observation. When the library had digital humanities training, I worked with a group from several divisions to analyze library print book acquisitions. Looking at titles and later LC subject headings, we were trying to develop a way to analyze library collections in order to spot biases or deficits. The discussions and work we did to download, process, clean and interpret the data were interesting and sometimes maddening, but we felt we were doing good work and helping the profession.

Participating in the DH Reading Group, despite my extremely limited knowledge and practice, has been a great way to learn about DH and also academia, research, information management and interpretation, and even super heroes. It has been so rewarding to bond with others inside and outside of the library, share thoughts and observations, and in my case ask dumb questions. In spite of our busy-ness it is stimulating to stretch a little. Join us! In condiment and other worlds I’m still seeing bizarre correlations…

Margaret Hogarth is the Electronic Resources and Acquisitions Librarian for The Claremont Colleges Library. She has an MLIS from California State University, San Jose and a Masters in Environmental Studies from California State University, Fullerton. She has been a librarian since 1998.

Sarah Osailan & Indu Shrestha: Digital Demos

StoryMapJS - Top 50 Women in Tech 2018

As Digital Research Studio Fellows, we work on various projects, often creating digital demos that showcase different features in the tools supported by the DH@CC team. These presentations are used in classes to give the students and participants an idea of how to use different tools to present their work. This spring, we wanted to create a story map using different tools but for the same dataset. Our goal was to present the same story with different approaches and perspectives.

A story map is a great visual way of telling a story using a location. In order to create demo projects that showcase the narrative potential of particular platforms, we first brainstormed different topics to research such as civil revolutions, biopics of well-known people in history, human rights movements, and women rights. Since we started our project towards the end of February, and March is Women’s History Month, we decided to focus on topics related to women. The Forbes Magazine article “The World’s Top 50 Women In Techdrew our attention and we thought that it is a perfect fit to tell a story in honor of Women’s History Month.

StoryMapJS and ESRI’s StoryMaps were the two tools used in this project and the data of 50 women mentioned in the Forbes’ article was used. Out of 50 women, we focused on 11 women from different parts of the world and from different sectors within the tech industry. StoryMapJS has a basic template which supports audio, video, text data while ESRI’s StoryMaps offers a wide range of templates and also supports audio, video, text and map layers.

Esri StoryMaps - Top 50 Women in Tech 2018

Indu Shrestha is an M.A. candidate at Claremont Graduate University (CGU) in Information Systems and Technology (IS&T) with a concentration in Data Science and Analytics. Sarah Osailan is a Ph.D. candidate at CGU in IS&T focusing on Geographic Information Systems (GIS), Data, and Text Mining.

H/T to Dr. Jenny Kreiger at the University of Oregon for inspiring us to create digital demos.

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Unless otherwise indicated, all materials licensed by the CC 4.0 BY-NC License.

DH@CC has been made possible through a generous grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.