It’s been a lot of fun redesigning our website over the past few months, but we’re finally ready to put ourselves back out there! We’re excited to be able to use this space to showcase all the great work that the DH@CC team has helped facilitate over the years, as well as highlight some of our ongoing projects and upcoming events. We’ll also be using the blog as a platform for reflections from faculty and students, as well as members of the DH@CC Team, so keep an eye on this space for frequent updates.
The following faculty members are the recipients for the final round of $6000 Digital Humanities Course Development Grants:
Paul Faulstich, Pitzer College: NatureWorks: Aesthetics and Praxis in the Anthropocene
This course explores the ecology of expressive culture and how art mediates between humans and the more-than-human environment. We combine the social sciences and humanities with ecology to break down normative barriers between the scientific and the poetic. We explore how science, art, and philosophy can be effectively integrated for activist and educational effect. This course engages students in intellectual inquiry and creative practice, without acquiescing to a division between the two. It integrates studio work with scholarly analysis. Since the humanities employ skills that can uniquely address strategies of reform and conservation, they play a powerful role, serving as the conscience of culture and offering creative solutions.
Phyllis Jackson, Pomona College: Black Aesthetics and the Politics of (Re)Presentation
Using a constructionist approach to representation, the course encourages students to historically situate and question the theoretical, ideological, spiritual, and aesthetic assumptions of artists, collectors, art critics, and art historians. We explore the ways in which the interlocking constructs of race/class/gender/sexuality/religion/citizenship influence representational practices, the training and education of artists, public and private patronage, cultural criticism, and the histories of art. This course provides a social-historical frame for the interpretation of art form and content, resulting in students’ production of original theoretically sound, socially aware cultural criticism. We examine changes in modes of expression, formal techniques, pictorial themes, visual codes as well as the impact of movements such Modernism, Black Aesthetics, African Aesthetics, Afrocentrism, Critical Race Theory, Black Feminism, and Postmodernism.
Tanja Srebotnjak, Harvey Mudd College: Forthcoming New Course
The course aims to bridge several humanities and STEM disciplines by linking statistical analysis, petroleum engineering, political science, history and community, and social justice questions. In this studio course, students will examine the role of environmental (in)justice in the joint evolution of Los Angeles’ demographics and its century-old oil and gas exploration and production. The course will map and statistically analyze the timeline of the socio-demographic and socio-economic evolution of communities in proximity to oil and gas production from 1900 to present to answer these questions: So is oil and gas production an environmental justice problem in Los Angeles? How did people settle and move in parallel to Los Angeles’ oil boom of the 1920s and until today?
Erich Steinman, Pitzer College: “Unsettling Settlers and Making Space: Pitzer College and Indian Nations of Southern California”
The course seeks to operate on a variety of levels, from intellectual to personal; it is designed to link theory and history to contemporary social relations; and it aims to connect analyses of injustice with praxis that works to undermine colonial dynamics. This is a writing-intensive course that will include a personal essay reflecting on students’ community engagement, an analytical (argument) essay regarding inclusion of Indigenous perspectives in higher education, and a research project focusing on linking students to entwined histories of Indigenous presence and colonial settlement. Engagement will draw on existing Pitzer projects or collaborations promoting Indigenous access to higher education and supporting land-based cultural practices. The creation of a holistic learning community among students in the class will support the learning, processing, and integrating of course information and experiences.
Tamara Venit-Shelton, Claremont McKenna College: Human Health and Disease in American History
This course is designed to give students hands-on experience with historical practices, reading and analyzing primary sources against theoretical works and secondary scholarship as we explore the intersecting histories of medicine, public health, and environmental health in the United States from the colonial period to the present. We pay particular attention to the way that social difference (race, gender, and class) has contributed to health inequities and access to care. Topics include: Indian dispossession and epidemic disease, the professionalization of American medicine, immigration and public health, eugenics, abortion, and birth control, disease eradication and diplomacy, race and medical testing, and the AIDS crisis.
Weiqing Gu, Harvey Mudd College: Forthcoming New Course
This course focuses on developing students’ ability to analyze big data, as well as their data-to-decision skills, which will provide a foundation for future studies and potential career paths. We will explore the key determinants of currency crises to facilitate the application of data analytics to study real world issues. Previous scholars have conducted extensive studies regarding the impact of macroeconomic factors on the occurrence of currency crises; therefore, our course will not only build on the foundation established in the literature, but it will also expand our analysis to non-economic factors, such as politics and culture. We aim to build connections across the disciplines of social science, humanities, and computer science.
Gabriela Bacsan, Scripps College: Trans-Caribbean Formations: Translating Identity, Race, and Gender in Cuba, the Dominican Republic, and Puerto Rico
The course aims to explore questions of identity formations during different historical time periods in the Caribbean. Our main goal will be to explore how the intersections of race, gender, and sexuality are translated into Caribbean identity formation. We will pay close attention to how conceptualizations of blackness are deployed—simultaneously highlighted and erased—during different iterations of nation-building projects in each country. We will also explore the place of indigenous peoples in Caribbean national imaginaries.
Isabel Balseiro, Harvey Mudd College: Forthcoming New Course
This course will introduce students to an interdisciplinary approach to the digital humanities through an examination of the anthropological and literary work of the first African American woman to graduate from Barnard College: Zora Neale Hurston. Born poor in the South, highly educated in the North, a luminary amongst the talents of the Harlem Renaissance, and buried in an unmarked grave in her native Florida, Hurston’s writing and life offer a unique view onto notions of race, gender, and class in the aftermath of Reconstruction that reverberate to this day.
Todd Honma, Pitzer College: Science, Technology, Asian America
This course examines the construction of Modern Western Science through the lens of race, class, gender, colonialism/empire, and globalization, with a particular focus on its effects on Asian diasporic communities in the United States. The course investigates how the construction and institutionalization of Modern Western Science has privileged certain groups while marginalizing others. We examine how marginalized groups have struggled against hegemonic forces of domination to challenge systemic forms of inequality and oppression in the fight to establish a more socially responsible and democratic engagement with science and technology. We also analyze different approaches and strategies in various social justice movements of science that will help to inform our work in the community.
NOTE: These courses will go through the same approval process as any other course at your campus. Please talk with your department chair and dean about your proposed course redesign or new course plan, as well as how it fits into your current and future teaching responsibilities. As specified above, DH clinics may run through Claremont McKenna College as DGHM 150 or through your home campus and department.
Sample Catalog Description: This is a project-based course that focuses on the applied integration of humanistic inquiry, data science, computer science, and project management to build out and present a scholarly digital humanities (DH) project. Students work in teams of 4-6, alongside the instructors, to design and create a project based on the professors’ source material and research. This course also offers opportunities to present both the process and product, as well as the potential to publish this work in DH and disciplinary journals.
Frequency: 1-2 clinics will be offered each semester of the 2017-2018 and 2018-2019 academic years. Apply now and specify which semester works for you.
Eligibility: Faculty from any discipline with a humanities or social science research project will be considered for this opportunity.
Apply today at https://dh.libraries.claremont.edu/applications (2nd application on page)
We recently wrapped up our DH Summer Institute for faculty from across the Claremont Colleges. At the end of the week-long intensive workshop we asked participants if they would be willing to write up their experience as a blog post. The brilliant and enthusiastic Char Miller, W.M. Keck Professor of Environmental Analysis at Pomona College, jumped at the opportunity. So below we hand the website over to hear about the Summer Institute (and much else) in his words….
If you are tall enough, and I’m not, you could peer out of the large, north-facing, four-pane window in the Digital Humanities Studio on the third floor of Honnold Library in Claremont and gaze on a striking tableau. In the deep background are the chaparral-cloaked, rough folds of the San Gabriel foothills that rise up to Mount Baldy, the range’s visual apex. Pull your eyes down to the foreground and a different view comes into focus. Imported stone pines and eucalypts, and a green sweep of lawn, establish the x-and-y axis that is filled with other geometric shapes, concrete sidewalks that radiate out at right angles from the library connecting pedestrians to Dartmouth Avenue to the west, stately Garrison Theater to the immediate north, and to McAllister Center and Scripps and Claremont McKenna Colleges to the east. Nothing is out of place, all grows according to plan: this built landscape tightly structures the spatial dimensions of how we move through it and how we see it.
Fast backward 115 years, a difficult act of imagination that historic photographs can stimulate. Consider this black-and-white shot from the Claremont Colleges Digital Library, shot at the corner of what was then Warren (now College) Avenue and 7th Street, roughly a block south of Honnold Library. The mountains are vastly more prominent in this more unstructured terrain: the dirt road barely intrudes as you eye is caught first by the snow-capped high country. Filling the fore- and middle-ground is the alluvial fan that over the millennia has built up as floods roared out the canyons, carrying tons of debris into the valley below. This rough ground—which the Tongva called Torojoatngna, the Place Below Snowy Mountain—is carpeted with an apparently untrammeled sage shrub and chaparral—boulder-littered, largely treeless, open. However rumpled, the terrain is probably less pristine that it might seem. The Tongvan and other First Nation people of Southern California used fire to manage for the resources that wished to extract—materials they invested in their rituals and ceremonies and that provided food and shelter. What we are looking at, in short, is what archaeologists have dubbed an “indigenous landscape.”
Its indigeneity has been buried beneath hardened roadbeds, gridded streetscapes, and the manifold structures that constitute the Claremont Colleges; an environment that signals its distance—historically, intellectually, even by the choice of which species to plant and where—from that earlier time and place. This was a distancing freely chosen: Pomona College’s first landscape architect, Ralph Cornell, a member of the class of 1913, knew a great deal about endemic habitats and how they functioned, but promoted the concept of a “College in the Garden,” a conceit around which the larger community, this “oasis,” replicates still. An origin story that my students in EA 199 Native American and Environmental Histories happily troubled in zine and commentary.
What would it take to reimagine the traces of that earlier biome? How might we peel back what the bulldozer flattened? How might the digital humanities enable us to re-see what we have rendered invisible? To make the past, present?
Those questions, among others, led me to join with some wonderfully sharp 5C colleagues as part of the 2016 DH Summer Institute. For a week we sat indoors getting schooled in the various tools and techniques we might employ to reconceptualize our teaching and scholarship; to disrupt what we thought we knew.
It worked. One sure sign is that I have absolutely no sense yet how I might incorporate what I have learned about.
- Thick networks: how build to build them, who has access to them, and for what purposes
- Tyranny of the tool: Miriam Posner’s apt caution not to let the technology dominate the content
- Multimodal thinking (which I interpreted as akin to multimodal transit; that is, the layering of different forms of transportation to enable fluid interconnections, transfers, movement)
- Visualization: Erik Loyer challenged us to use “grids and gestures”—not words!—to identify our research. Mine shakily sketches out the northerly perspective from the DH Studio window (I didn’t peek, promise)
The full array of insights and puzzles is deeper and longer, and some of its depth and length is captured in the stream of tweets my peers and I generated while trying to absorb what we were hearing. Woven together, these digital expressions have created an ecosystem of ideas and insights, a habitat at once virtual and vital.
They comprise as well an electronic space that is as material as the lost landscape I’d like to reconstruct.
Char Miller is the W.M. Keck Professor of Environmental Analysis at Pomona College, and author most recently of America’s Great National Forests, Wildernesses, and Grasslands and the forthcoming Not So Golden State: Sustainability vs. the California Dream.
The Summer Institute will run daily from 10am-4pm the week of May 23-27. All Claremont faculty and staff are welcome to attend any sessions that are of interest. All morning sessions will run from 10am-12pm and all afternoon sessions will run from 1pm-4pm. There will be a lunch break each day from 12-1pm.
The Institute will be held in the Claremont Colleges Library. All talks/lectures will be in the new Digital Humanities Studio (DHS) on the third floor of Honnold. All workshops will be held in the Keck Learning Room (KLR).
Please note that the second floor of the Library will be undergoing construction the week of the Institute. You will be able to access the building either from the Honnold South Entrance (outside the cafe), or the Bridgeway (underneath the bridge that connects the two floors).
Please watch the talks given by last year’s Summer Institute speakers prior to the Institute. They can be found here.
-Morning Session (DHS): Introduction to Digital Humanities and resources available
-Afternoon Session (DHS): Speaker Jonathan Alexander discusses DH pedagogy. Please watch Liz Losh’s talk prior to the session.
-Morning Session (DHS): Speaker Miriam Posner provides an introduction to DH and DH scholarship. Please watch Tara McPherson’s talk prior to the session.
-Afternoon Session (KLR): ArcGIS Workshop
-Morning Session (DHS):Speaker Erik Loyer discusses Data Visualization. Please watch David Kim’s datalogical methods and mapping videos prior to the session.
-Afternoon Session (KLR): Omeka and Tableau Workshops
-Morning Session (DHS): Speaker Patty Ahn about DH pedagogy. Please watch Laila Shereen Sakr’s talk prior to the session.
-Afternoon Session (KLR): Scalar Workshop
-Morning Session (DHS): Small group consultations with DH@CC team
-Afternoon Session (KLR): Reflection and Wine & Cheese Reception
Please email Alex Margolin at email@example.com with any questions.
Are you a Claremont Colleges undergrad intrigued by the thought of doing research and production using 21st Century technologies? Perhaps you’re at the Claremont Graduate University and interested in Digital Humanities methods? Whether you’re experienced in these topics or not, we’re excited to offer you two new course offerings for the Fall 2016 semester.
DH 150: Digital Humanities Studio
Design and Publish Humanities Projects with 21st Century Tools
T/Th 11:00am-12:15, Fall 2016 (register via CMC)
HUM 340A: New Worlds for All
Digital Humanities Research Methods in Settler Colonial Studies
Wed 4:00pm-6:50, Fall 2016 (register via CGU)
For more information about DH 150, to acquire a registration code, or two set up a meeting to discuss your interest, contact Dr. Daniel Michon, Faculty Director of the Mellon DH Grant. For more on HUM 340A please contact Dr. Ashley Sanders, Director of the Digital Research Studio.
We are excited to announce the 2016 Faculty Programs Recipients!
The selection committee, comprised of faculty from across the 5C’s and members of the DH@CC staff, received over thirty applications for our 2016 programs and choosing our final group of recipients was a difficult process. Digital Humanities at the Claremont Colleges (DH@CC) takes an expansive and inclusive approach: scholars who use digital methods in their teaching, research or publication and/or are considering the digital, as humanists, in their teaching, research or publication.
The Summer Institute recipients are: Tanja Srebotnjak, Erika Dyson, Nancy Macko, Todd Honma, Paul Faulstich, Tamara Venit-Shelton, Sarah Sarzynski, Char Miller, Virginie Duzer, and Kyla Tompkins.
The Course Development recipients are:
Vivien Hamilton, History, Harvey Mudd College
Professor Hamilton will be redesigning the course Popular Science since the 19th Century. This course will examine the ways in which science has been written and displayed for non-specialist audiences from the early 19th century to today. As the course moves into the late 20th and early 21st century, they will examine popular science online, on websites, blogs and comics, asking how and whether these new modes of communication allow greater engagement and participation from more diverse communities. Additionally, Professor Hamilton hopes to work with the class to write simple python scripts in order to engage with digitized primary sources.
Anne Harley, Music/Humanities, Scripps College
Professor Harley has proposed to redesign the course Mobilizing Art: Creating Activist Performances. THe course exAMINES the following questions: How does political art function differently than activist art? What strategies do effective activist art and political art deploy? What can we learn from late twentieth-century and early twenty-first-century activist and political art performance in the U.S. and Asia, as it played out in visual art, theatre, music, dance and multimedia? The course culminates in the deployment of student-directed and student-performed activist art works coordinated by members of the class and presented publicly, and/or for the students of the Scripps College Academy. With support from this grant, one project will focus on the collection and curation of an activist archive/exhibits focusing on activism, and art activism in particular, at the 5Cs.
Kathleen Yep, Asian American Studies, Pitzer College
Professor Yep has proposed to redesign the course ASAM94: Community Health which examines the following aspects of human existence: wellness and injustice. As an interdisciplinary course from the discipline of Asian American Studies, ASAM94: Community Health explores how social factors (poverty, war, migration, citizenship status, language barriers, age, and racial ideologies) negatively impact wellness in Asian, Asian American, and Pacific Islander communities. Inspired by C.Wright Millsʻs “sociological imagination” or the intersection of history and biography, this class will combine digital humanities and community engagement to document life stories of immigrant and refugee elders. The project draws from a six-year partnership with Literacy for All of Monterey Park (LAMP). LAMP is an adult and family literacy program that furnishes language classes, computer classes, citizenship classes, and individual tutoring. College students will facilitate English-as-a-Second-Language conversation classes with and for Asian and Pacific Islander immigrant and refugee elders at LAMP. Using Ira Shorʻs and Paulo Freireʻs critical pedagogies, the Claremont College students will digitize photographs and personal artifacts and record immigrant and refugeeʻs stories of chronic stress and wellness.
Harmony O’Rourke, History, Pitzer College and Ruti Talmor, Media Studies, Pitzer College
Professor O’Rourke and Professor Talmor proposed a new course that will examine contemporary Africa from a historical perspective, focusing on African art, culture, and politics since the 1970s. The broad purpose of this course is to expand our understanding of how to generate knowledge about the more recent past outside of traditional sources and in a manner that privileges diverse perspectives within civil society.Through the use of digital tools such as Omeka, WordPress, and video, students—in collaborative projects—the students will be challenged to locate and digitally curate a diverse set of primary sources in order to build complex understandings of African experiences after colonial rule. These projects will be accessible to the general public as well, with the goal of engaging with both local and global—especially African and African diaspora—audiences.
Ethel Jorge, Modern Languages, Literatures and Cultures, Pitzer College
Professor Jorge has proposed to redesign an upper division Spanish course Los Angeles, The City and Its People which explores the lives of Angelinos and the urban spaces they inhabit; the presence of the Latino community and other ethnic groups in the city; racial backgrounds and their contexts; and economic inequalities, frictions, and social struggles, historical and contemporary. The class includes weekly daylong exploratory field trips in Los Angeles, selected readings, classroom discussions, reflection papers, and a capstone project or paper. This project aims to add to the course some of the technological and social media skills that students will need to thrive in the 21st century, and to integrate digital humanities with language learning and critical pedagogy. It will also enhance the community engagement aspects of the course through recorded interviews of community members, GIS studies of neighborhoods, and students’ own explorations of significant areas of the city using mobile technologies on site.
Feng Xiao, Asian Languages & Literatures, Pomona College
Professor Xiao has proposed a new course entitled Chinese Language in Society. Using a systematic data-driven approach, this course introduces the current trends in research on Chinese language learning (e.g., sociolinguistics and second language development). It addresses two broad questions: how a second language is learned? and how social and cultural norms are encoded in the use of Chinese? Students are expected to increase their understanding of the mechanism of second language acquisition and knowledge of Chinese linguistics. They will also develop their academic skills such as using statistical software (e.g., SPSS), searching digital databases (e.g., MLA, LLBA, and PubMed), and doing corpus analysis. In essence, the proposed course attempts to situate the domain-specific learning in the context of domain-general learning theories, which prompts an interdisciplinary perspective on learning Chinese language and culture.
Dru Gladney, Anthropology, Pomona College
Professor Gladney has proposed to redesign the course AN 150: Anthropology of Religion, Myth, and Ritual. There has never been an digital dimension to the course. The central question of the course will be the quest for meaning through religious myth and ritual as evidenced in sacred social space. Students will be asked to digitally interact with and map sacred social spaces through a wide variety of texts and media. This project aims to add to the course some of the technological and social media skills that students will need to thrive in the 21st century, and to integrate digital humanities with language learning and critical pedagogy. It will also enhance the community engagement aspects of the course through recorded interviews of community members, GIS studies of neighborhoods, and students’ own explorations of significant areas of the city using mobile technologies on site.
Jonathan Petroupoulos, History, Claremont McKenna College
Professor Petropoulos has proposed to redesign the interdisciplinary course History 88: Museums and Leadership. It is a history, art history, politics and leadership studies course, all at once.Museums and Leadership is divided into four units: the first concerns the history of art museums in the West, from the British Museum and Louvre in the 18th century to the Met and vanity museums today (among other topics). This unit engages intellectual history (Kant, Winckelmann, and others had a lot to say about museums), and, of course, art history. The second unit focuses on antiquities in museums. The third quarter explores Nazi art looting and restitution issues, focusing on leadership issues that arise in conjunction with this issue. The final unit is about how museums function (boards, etc.), how museums are evolving (the above-mentioned “vanity museums”), and how the art market relates to museums. The students will be given more freedom in the redesigned course to determine their own questions and direction. The goal is that students undertake a digital project that they can then present to the class. This work can be topical (the expansion of the Met, which now holds over 3 million objects), or issue-oriented (e.g., the problem of forgeries), or even activist (e.g., combatting the looting of antiquities by ISIS in Palmyra and other parts of the Middle East).
The presentresolved legal conflict between the FBI and Apple regarding access to the iPhone of the San Bernardino murderers is only one stage in the larger theater of privacy and government regulations made famous by whistle-blower Edward Snowden. Though even this broad conversation is part of a grander narrative on cultural values in our era of the Internet and social networks. Rather than letting the FBI and other government entities dictate those values, various theorists, activists, and hackers (hactivists, so the speak) have been working on the front-lines to create a balance between our personal lives and the networks we often take for granted. Coming to the Claremont Colleges to illuminate these stakeholders in the field called “tactile media” is a distinguished scholar on the topic, Geert Lovink, sponsored by the the Munroe Center for Social Inquiry at Pitzer College.
Lunch Talk – Geert Lovink
Politics of Mask Design: Critical Internet Culture after Snowden
April 15 | 11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m. | Founders Room
RSVPs are required. Please email Rachel Durkin in the Dean of Faculty Office at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In conjunction with DH@CC, we’re excited to follow-up Lovink’s talk with a salon on media activism featuring activist gamers from Los Angeles and San Francisco in conversation with Lovink. They will be coming to our new Digital Humanities Studio on the 3rd floor of the Claremont Colleges Library in the evening as we showcase activist games that the gamers themselves helped create.
Salon on media activism with LA hactivists/gamers at DH@CC Studio
April 15 | 4 – 6 p.m. | Honnold/Mudd Library
LA-based Activist Gamers:
Adam Sulzdorf-Liszkiewicz (RUST LTD & USC Media Arts + Practice PhD candidate)
Luke Noonan (RUST LTD)
Emilia Yang Rappaccioli (USC Media Arts + Practice PhD student)
Tonia Beglari (Browntourage & USC Interactive Media & Game Design MFA Candidate)
San Francisco-based Activist Gamer:
Cayden Mak (18 Million Rising)
We hope you’ll join us for both events on April 15th!
Aptly named DHarmony merged various Digital Humanities activities at Claremont Colleges Library and Digital Humanities at the Claremont Colleges (DH@CC) into a single-day event on April 8th. In the morning, Digital Scholarship Librarian Ashley Sanders provided an overview of Digital Humanities to faculty, staff, and graduate students in attendance at this new event which replaces last year’s Spring DH Symposium. The morning’s featured speakers were Occidental Center for Digital Liberal Arts Director Daniel Chamberlain and Music Assistant Professor Shanna Lorenz, who provided all in attendance a detailed set of examples from Occidental’s successful digital scholarship program. Wrapping up the morning were project reports from Claremont Colleges faculty, showcasing the ways in which technology is aiding research, writing, and publication at the colleges
The afternoon saw the first official activity in the new DH Studio on the 3rd floor of the Claremont Colleges Library. A Scalar workshop, provided by ANVC/Scalar Program Manager Curtis Fletcher, demonstrated the award winning publishing platform to new users and featured the first use of The Studio’s new 70-inch interactive display. The afternoon finished with a mixer, introducing faculty interested in DH methods to experts and resources at the Library and DH@CC.
With the success of DHarmony the growing Digital Humanities community at the Claremont Colleges looks forward to further activities that make up “DH Month” in April.