Digital Humanities this Summer!

Faculty and Graduate Students affiliated with the UW Textual Studies Program developed exciting projects in Digital Humanities, as Digital Humanities Summer Fellows, at the Simpson Center for the Humanities!

Digitized newspaper view on the Gallica site

Hannah Frydman (French & Italian Studies) was awarded a Digital Humanities Summer Fellowship to work on her project Between the Digital Sheets: Research and Teaching Methods for Working with Digitized Classified Ads. This project takes Frydman’s digital research methods in her monograph in progress, Between the Sheets: Classified Advertising, Sexuality, and the Moral Threat to Press Freedom in France, as a jumping off point for elaborating a historical methodology for working and teaching with digitized newspapers, whose abundance can be daunting for those new to digital research. In particular, the project (through an article and a pedagogical website) will communicate the potential of digitized classifieds as a source of otherwise inaccessible information useful for historical writing across many topics, and will explain how information can be extracted from them.

Gabrielle Benabdallah (TDS Graduate Certificate, 2017) and Nathanael Elias Mengist (Human Centered Design and Engineering) were awarded a Digital Humanities Summer Fellowship to work on their project Alchemical Operations. Alchemical Operations is a multimodal website that contextualizes, comments, and disseminates work on the historical and cultural relationship between technology and alchemy. Specifically, it gathers resources and offers extended annotations on original translations of the text “The Birth of Technology,” written by French philosopher Gilbert Simondon (1924-1989). The website will make available excerpts of this text to an English reading audience for the first time and be a pedagogical resource on the alchemical legacy of science and technology.

Melanie Walsh

Melanie Walsh (Information School) was awarded a Digital Humanities Summer Fellowship to work on her book, When Postwar American Fiction Went Viral: Protest, Profit, and Popular Readers in the 21st Century. In the book, Walsh traces how postwar literary texts by authors like James Baldwin, Kurt Vonnegut, Sandra Cisneros, and Chris Kraus were recirculated and reimagined by various internet communities and political movements, such as Black Lives Matter and the Librotraficante Movement. By drawing on social media data, interviews, archival materials, and literary analysis, she shows how these internet users collaboratively reinterpreted and redefined postwar American literary history—often exploiting, even while being exploited by, billion-dollar internet corporations.