Remix: New Researcher

On September 25, 2016 by Laura Braunstein

Author: Divya Kalidindi

Upon my arrival at Dartmouth, I must admit that I had no prior experience with Digital Humanities, nor was I truly aware of what the field entailed. Therefore, working with Professor Warren and her team not only provided me with a greater understanding of DH, but also, through Remix the Manuscript: A Chronicle of Digital Experiments, alerted me to the significance of historical tools and methodologies, the nature of experimentation, as well as more specifically, the possibilities for the unanswered questions generated from a single text corpus, the Dartmouth Brut.

Some background about me: I am third year student double majoring in History and Computer Science. So, upon first glance, DH seemed like a seamless blend of both of my interests. Yet, after wading through a multitude of digital tools and software for historical analysis, I soon realized that, unlike other fields of academia that I have been exposed to, DH is by far the most concerned with process rather than product. The idea that methodology, software, tools, and even researchers themselves could alter, hide, or bring forth new sets of data by changing the question we ask was initially quite novel, and different to the more rigid curricula of other academic disciplines to which I had been previously exposed. Never before had I participated in research where the question to ask was not, “What is the answer?” but rather, “What is the question?”

I initially was tasked with reorganizing the Remix website to provide a portfolio display of our blog posts, which could be filtered by tag, authors, subject, and content; however, this proved to be problematic, given difficulties with WordPress and its associated themes. As of now, I am currently interested in Geographical Information System mapping (GIS), which we plan to use to visualize spatial information about the Brut manuscript corpus. I had the opportunity to talk with experts at the Institute for Liberal Arts Digital Scholarship (IliADS) over Skype, and I was introduced to different forms of software and programming tools that would be beneficial to our GIS project, namely ArcGIS and CartoDB, whose characteristics will be outlined in a future blog post.

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