Articles By: CDH Guest Author

How Digital Humanities Set Me Apart in the Silicon Valley

Published: June 21, 2016
Graphic depiction of left- and right-brain

“What is Digital Humanities?” I asked myself this question three years ago as a Communications Studies major at UCLA. The name itself seemed to be a compound of two paradoxical words, considering our general understanding of humanities studies. Many people I encounter to this day continue to ask me this same question. At the time,…

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At-risk Cultural Heritage and the Digital Humanities

Published: May 23, 2016
Photo of multiple screens showing a 3d model of a map of egypt

UCLA is a partner in a UC President’s Catalyst Award, one of only four of such grants awarded in 2016. As one of the four PIs (together with Tom Levy from UC San Diego, Ben Porter from UC Berkeley and Nicola Lercari from UC Merced) I am involved in developing and testing digital means of…

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Digital Separation: Are mobile technologies moving us together or further apart?

Published: May 16, 2016
Hands using a smart phone

To follow up on an article written by my esteemed predecessor, I’d like to explore how developments in mobile technology are affecting us. In the 9 short years since the first smart phone was released, our habits and communication styles have measurably changed.  Working in technical support, I have a unique viewpoint of some on…

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The DNA of Shakespeare’s Works

Published: April 19, 2016

Shakespeare died 400 years ago this week, but we’re still getting to know him. And, thanks to UCLA’s HumTech, I think we can now read the DNA of his plays in a way that reveals something fundamental about how his authorial mind worked. This started with a tiny question: which secondary character speaks a little…

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Unbinding the Archive

Published: April 11, 2016
black and white photo of a cemetary with old grave stones

I am working on a digital humanities project that examines what I term “the archival novel,” a genre that structurally instantiates elements of Victorian methods of information management and archiving within nineteenth-century literature, especially the gothic epistolary. The archival novel, as I define it, necessarily contains metadata – dates, media genres, and the genders, social…

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Hypermaterializing Posthuman Poetics

Published: April 5, 2016
black and white photo of white letter cut-outs strewn on pavement

“Hypermaterializing Posthuman Poetics” is a practice-based investigation into the use of meta-data structures for conducting and presenting literary criticism. In order to conduct this investigation, I am building multi-modal models of selected poems by Susan Howe – a language-oriented American poet who enacts her feminist politics through notoriously difficult poetry. This difficulty stems – in…

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Broadcast History as Metadata

Published: March 14, 2016

Historical research often draws upon our detective curiosities, tracing archival clues and analyzing (meta)data to make sense of culture and context. In my own PhD work, Playing Detective: Reenactment, Procedure, and Crime-Solving Entertainment, I rely on primary artifacts to unearth the historical perceptions of forensic science and police work as mainstays of popular entertainment and tools for civil…

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A New Way of Looking at the Book of the Dead

Published: March 7, 2016

What if you could view an ancient artifact online in 3D, zooming in on and selecting texts on the object to view a translation? You might be able to visualize how the positioning and the reading direction of texts interact with the 3D surface they’re inscribed upon to create an object that the Ancient Egyptians…

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Metadata and Ancient Ceramics

Published: February 23, 2016

On excavation, every archaeologist deals with metadata on a daily basis. From the trench supervisor to the ceramic specialist while collecting data, we collect data about our data. How well an archaeological project manages its metadata is directly connected to the success of the project and the quality of the research it produces. As a…

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Immersive Museum Participation

Published: January 11, 2016

A few months ago I wrote an article on haptic computing and tactile interfacing, and it got me thinking of the ways people interact with objects.  As an archaeologist, I’m confronted with the complications of preserving sometimes fragile, often irreplaceable, historical objects.   “It belongs in a museum!” is the rallying cry of one Dr. Jones,…

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