RDE Cross-Training Grants
Seth Graebner (Romance Languages & Literatures)
How do we recreate the places we read about? The digital turn in humanities scholarship could transform research into the way people imagine specific historical places in literature and other texts. Graebner’s research on the imagination of certain French and North African cities in this period already deals with a corpus of several hundred texts, processed by hand with traditional methods; the next step is to expand this corpus by an order of magnitude. Digital tools, largely untested in this vein, could not only expand the scope of this work, but also make it visible to graduate students while teaching them transferable technical skills. He hopes to help his students reach better appreciation of what close attention to written detail can reveal. Digital methods will also help them move their work out of the classroom: applications of GIS and eventually of available virtual reality technology will allow students to create the means for the public to see for themselves the results of textual scholarship.
Kristina Kleutghen (Art History & Archaeology)
The RDE Cross Training grant will enable Kleutghen to learn the International Image Interoperability Framework (IIIF) at an intensive workshop at the University of Victoria. IIIF is a set of open-source universal standards for describing and delivering images online. This framework increases accessibility and functionality for image-based research and teaching by using international and freely-available public image repositories. Museums, libraries, universities, archives, and other nonprofit cultural institutions are increasingly using IIIF-compatible image-viewing clients to present their digital collections. Not only does IIIF make these digital collections more accessible, but it also improves user engagement by allowing users to compare, manipulate, and annotate the digital images. In the future, Kleutghen aims to teach IIIF as part of a graduate seminar where humanities students can develop this transferable digital skill for promoting the humanities outside the research university.
Joseph Loewenstein (English)
Loewenstein’s grant facilitates new and supplemental training in computational methods for the digital humanities. A literary scholar and cultural historian, Loewenstein already has two major projects — an edition of the collected works of Edmund Spenser and the enhancement of the digital corpus of English books from the first 225 years of English printing and the provision of tools for the investigation of that corpus — that increasingly depend on computational assistance. His enhanced skills in Python programming for text analysis, basic data cleanup and basic text mining will enable him to complete these portions of his own projects and to directly engage with graduate students learning to use them in their own digital humanities projects.
RDE Curricular Innovation Grants
Pannill Camp (Performing Arts)
Embodied Multimedia Communication: This new cross-disciplinary course helps graduate students develop the ability to communicate effectively in professional contexts in and beyond academia. It begins with the observation that the body is a dynamic communication tool. Students will receive group instruction in verbal and non-verbal expression, voice, and physical movement, and one-on-one coaching on a series of practiced communication tasks. Assignments replicate situations familiar to twenty-first century information professions: research presentations, video-conference interviews, and podcast production. Students will learn to convey complex ideas clearly and present themselves confidently as colleagues and collaborators. This new course will be housed in the Performing Arts Department, and will draw on the expertise of its faculty, who have extensive experience teaching public speaking at Washington University and elsewhere.