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Digital Humanities Related Courses

  • ART 350 – Digital Studio
  • ART 405 – Professional Practice
  • DATA 251 – Data Visualization
  • ENGH 346 – Blogs, Tweets, and Social Media: The Art of Digital Communication
  • ENV 302 – Geographic Information Systems
  • FREN 322 – Creative Writing / Translation
  • HUM 204 – Introduction to Digital Humanities
  • MCOM 201 – Documentary Practice
  • WRTG 220 – Writing for Wikipedia

DHSI Project Descriptions

2023

Analyzing the United Nations’ Twitter Diplomacy: A Comparative Study of English and Spanish Tweets"

Carlos Yordan and Marianela Piña de la Hoz

Our study examines the Twitter activity of the United Nations, focusing on their English and Spanish tweets. Through the application of various computational text analysis methods, we delve into the UN’s utilization of Twitter as a tool of diplomacy and a framing mechanism. With the organization’s extensive involvement in diverse matters, such as the regulation of space objects and counter-terrorism efforts, our investigation aims to reveal the UN’s interests, values, and policy priorities. Additionally, we investigate the UN’s communication strategies with its global audience, particularly through its English and Spanish Twitter accounts. By comparing these two text collections, we aim to ascertain whether the UN promotes consistent messages across both platforms. We plan to submit this study for peer review to an academic journal by October 1, 2023. So far, we have finished the literature review and the methodological section. We need to write and analyze the results and complete an introduction and conclusion. Shorter posts about this experience will also be published in the World Politics Data Lab.

Greek Digital Editions project

John Lenz and Demetrios Karambelas

Our project was to publish online digital scholarly editions of modern Greek classics, and especially of Papatrechas by Adamantios Korais.  (Our work on this famous text includes many original scholarly contributions.) We first looked at other editions in order to think about best ways to present a bilingual text in a scholarly edition that included, besides a translation, several levels of annotation (textual apparatus criticus, explanatory notes, commentary, some images).  We made ten webpages for that work, by doing the html coding using Adobe Dreamweaver (we liked it and this worked well, but this was a surprise, as we were forced to change our project in week one and had not done html coding in 25+ years).  This led to us thinking about the content in new interesting ways (such as how various information is linked, and what was essential to highlight).  We still need programming help for two advanced features.  We worked with ways to scan Greek (in an editable form) and were able to create another new digital Greek text; in the future we can add more texts.

Web of Drew - Drew University’s Digital Comic Book Archive

Our website, webofdrew.com serves as an archive and resource for Drew University students to see first hand what comic books Drew University owns and has collected in the Special Collections & University Archives across the Emilio Córdova Collection, the William B Rogers Collection and the Sloane Drayson-Knigge Collection. We log the comics on a timeline tool created using Timeline JS, where students can find the titles, creators (writers, artists, editors, etc.) as well as the cover photo for these comic books all in chronological order of their release date— as well as provide additional timelines for the comic books separated by the decades of their release (1970s, 1980s, 1990s, 2000s, 2010s). We also offer additional tools for Drew students who are either lifelong fans of comic books looking to learn more about the medium: blog posts highlighting comic books in Drew’s collection with scholarly sources attached for Drew students to learn more, “Comics Near Me”- a resource created using GoogleMyMaps where Drew Students can learn where they can find comic books within 20 miles of Drew’s campus, reading orders for students looking to learn more about particular characters and a contact page for students to directly reach out to us about what they would like to see added to the website as well as in the Special Collections & University Archives.

The Unknown History of African-American Cemeteries and Burial Sites

Kameron Raynor

Nestled within the rolling hills of the Madison New Jersey Hillside Cemetery lies the gravestone of Isaac Gordon, a little-known Civil War hero. After he escaped from slavery, he was able to contribute to victories during the Civil War. Up until recently, the story of his life wasn’t known, and herein lies the problem. All around the country, from uncovering mass graves to building memorials, African-American history is being remembered, memorialized, and told in the hopes that we can learn from the past. The original goal of my project was to originally map African-American gravestones in New Jersey. However, due to weather and coordination issues, this was not possible. Therefore, I have pivoted the goal of my project to analyzing and showcasing notable African-American memorials around the country. This project was completed by utilizing ArcGIS Storymaps and resources around the internet.

Photogrammetry and 3D Printing

Nick Kilgore and Cat Maida

Originally proposed as a way to utilize Drew’s makerspace as a tool for archivation, this project was aimed at showcasing the versatility of 3D printing in education. To achieve this, Cat Maida, and myself, Nick Kilgore, worked in collaboration with the methodist archives special collections to digitally archive a handful of artifacts. Some of those objects were also 3D printed for better tactile interaction. What we found through this process was more than just a tool. This method of digitizing 3D Objects into downloadable files not only preserves the essence of the artifact being scanned, but also allows for deeper study of form, and a more intimate understanding of how the object exists. This in addition to being able to manipulate, iterate and remix the scanned pieces into new work makes for endless possibilities. Upon printing some of the files, one gains a rarely accessed perception of the artifact: touch. Purely, being able to do that with things that a normal observer at an exhibition wouldn’t be able to do, makes this type of archiving very exciting. The most difficult parts of the process were dealing with unexpected hiccups in the myriad softwares used to assemble these files, as well as navigating the intricacies of resin based 3D printing; which we learned (the hard way) is more of an art than a science. However, with the results we did get, we can both agree that the project was a success, and is just the beginning of this type of work at Drew.

2022

The Pope Joan Project

Candace Reilly and Brynn Goldberg

In Drew University’s copy of the Liber Chronicarum (Latin, 1493) the image and accompanying text of Pope Joan is altered. This type of user interaction is cited as a common occurrence in surviving copies of this text. We propose to study and record the different types of user engagement of Pope Joan from extant 1493 Latin copies to understand the iconoclastic treatment that this subject has suffered. We hope to provide a comprehensive and accessible census of the imagery of Pope Joan, which scholars around the world can utilize.

https://popejoanproject.com

The Playboy Project: His Electronic Materials

Andrew Salvati, Maura Kelly, Avianna Miller

Owing to Editor in Chief Hugh Hefner’s Methodist upbringing, Drew University Library contains a large, ever-expanding collection of Playboy magazine issues, spanning from 1955 to 2018 (bulk 1955-1979). His Electronic Materials is part of an ongoing research initiative designed to study this collection, and to examine the way in which Playboy magazine constructed a culturally aware, technologically capable, pleasure-seeking brand of masculinity.

https://theplayboyproject.com

World Politics Data Lab

Carlos Yordan, Júlia Oliveira Souza, Jeehae Park

This year the team has been building a new website, where we will showcase some of the work conducted last year as well as newer analyses using text-as-data techniques and other data science methodologies. Rather than establish a website with a narrow focus (i.e. the analysis of the UN General Debate), our website will house multiple projects that explore political issues or events using different types of data analytics and data visualizations. The first set of projects is connected to Professor Yordan’s Semester on the United Nations. These projects will include posts, analyses, tutorials, and other resources that will enhance the teaching experience and help students further develop their research and data analytic skills. The website will also showcase students’ best work. Other professors in the Political Science and International Relations Department will add new projects in the near future, while Professor Yordan will integrate other courses into the website as well. The World Politics Data Lab is also tied to a GitHub repository, where visitors will have access to the datasets and codes used to produce the posts, lecture notes, longer analyzes, and data visualizations that will be made available on the website.

https://worldpoliticsdatalab.org/

Ghost Stories by British and American Women Writers: A Database and Text Analysis Project

Wendy Kolmar, Sylvia Ferreira, Zack Wolin

This project worked with Wendy Kolmar’s & Lynette Carpenter’s book-length bibliography, published in 1998,  Ghost Stories by British and American Women Writers; the project had two major goals: first, creating a searchable database of the material in the bibliography with a corresponding corpus of digitized  texts and, second, using text analysis tools to explore and experiment on that corpus. The first stage of the project involved digitizing the bibliography and turning it into a 778-entry spreadsheet, which we then organized, cleaned, and updated to provide the data to be imported into the database and collecting about 100 stories and novels which became our test corpus. Each of the students working on the project, Zack Wolin and Sylvia Ferreira, also created a subcorpus on which to do their own work. During the second stage of the project, we are exploring the copora we have created using three text analysis tools, Voyant, AntConc, and Mallet, which allow us to look at word frequencies, collocations, clusters, and topic models, among other forms of distant reading, to try to understand the usefulness of such tools for exploring large bodies of texts.

The Perfect Pigment

Peggy Kuntz, Rachel Li,Veronica Madrigal


This project is a continuation of last summer’s project Cochineal: The Perfect Pigment and the exploration of natural red dyes. Indigo: The Perfect Pigment looks into the history of indigo in addition to its global trade routes, crop production, harvesting practices, and dye processes. Our research also delves deeper into the material’s medicinal and artistic uses and highlights the importance of natural dyes and pigments, specifically focusing on the monetary, symbolic, and historical value of indigo. In addition, we explored the modern uses and controversies, both past and present, associated with indigo.

https://indigo.theperfectpigment.com/ 

Exploring Roman Epigraphic Databases

John Muccigrosso, Rayne Mostkiewicz, Sierra Walker

Stemming from projects begun in the Spring 2022 Classical Archaeology class taught by Professor Muccigrosso, Sierra Walker and Rayne Mostkiewicz have compiled data on Latin inscriptions from various databases and are analyzing them. Each student has a different focus: Sierra has been working on reported dates of death or interment in epitaphs to explore the seasonality of death in the later Roman world via, while Rayne has explored the variety of objects listed in building and dedicatory inscriptions. The goal of this project is to explore the inscription data that has been collected and looking for patterns or finds of intrigue, as well as creating open curated datasets of value to other scholars.

2021

The Pope Joan Project

Candace Reilly, Sam Zatorski, Zoe Bowser

In Drew University’s copy of the Liber Chronicarum (Latin, 1493) the image and accompanying text of Pope Joan is altered. This type of user interaction is cited as a common occurrence in surviving copies of this text. We propose to study and record the different types of user engagement of Pope Joan from extant 1493 Latin copies to understand the iconoclastic treatment that this subject has suffered. We hope to provide a comprehensive and accessible census of the imagery of Pope Joan, which scholars around the world can utilize.

https://popejoanproject.com

The Drew Shahnama

Rita Keane, Maura Kelly, Avianna Miller

In our DHSI summer project, we sought to identify the date and place of production of a manuscript of the Persian Book of Kings, or Shahnama, held in Drew’s Special Collections, as well as analyze the degree to which the book is a composite manuscript. We also wanted to situate the Drew manuscript in the context of Shahnama manuscripts held in other libraries worldwide: what was its date? Where was it created? Who were its artists? How did they collaborate? Our analysis was visual, utilizing comparison with Shahnama manuscripts that are accessible online, as well as based on in-person close physical study of the manuscript itself. Our research showed that several artists collaborated in the creation of images for the manuscript, and these artists were working in the Turkman Commercial Style popular in the fifteenth century in Iran. We concluded that the Drew manuscript was assembled from at least two, and perhaps more, Shahnama manuscripts; this combination occurred after the manuscripts had been created and used by owners in the fifteenth century, and perhaps as late as the nineteenth or twentieth century. These conclusions were based on analysis of artists’ hands and the color used for different images, study of the composition of the paper used in different parts of the manuscript, and analysis of patterns of damage to the paper.

https://arcg.is/0S0jqe

The Playboy Project: His Electronic Materials

Andrew Salvati, Candace Reilly, Tessa Bagby, Julia Pietro

Owing to Editor in Chief Hugh Hefner’s Methodist upbringing, Drew University Library contains a large, ever-expanding collection of Playboy magazine issues, spanning from 1955 to 2018 (bulk 1955-1979). His Electronic Materials is part of an ongoing research initiative designed to study this collection, and to examine the way in which Playboy magazine constructed a culturally aware, technologically capable, pleasure-seeking brand of masculinity.

https://theplayboyproject.com

Generation Screwed: Student Engagement with a Digital Multimodal Text

Kristen Turner, Emily Rosales

Generation Screwed is one slice of a larger project on teaching digital annotation. This project looked at how high school students responded to and engaged with a digital, multimodal text.  The website (in continued development) allows viewers to hear and see student annotations and responses in the context of the text.  As the project continues, other aspects of this study, as well as the larger study, will allow teachers and researchers to consider how to best teach digital annotation.https://teachingdigitalannotation.teachkht.org/generation-screwed/

Experimenting with Various Text Mining Methods to Understand States’ Interests: An Exploration of the United Nations Debate’s Speeches (1970-2020)

Carlos Yordan, Sara Curley, Casey Raleigh

The Perfect Pigment

Peggy Kuntz, Rachel Li, Lizzie Shack
This project explores the use of cochineal in manuscripts located in the Drew Special Collections through the use of visible spectroscopy and infrared reflectography, and expands upon the use of cochineal as a pigment in dyes, paint, and food and beverages.
https://theperfectpigment.com/

Mapping Ancient Rome

John Muccigrosso, Emma Bryer, Katie Higgins

This project used several mapping tools to create open-source geographical resources for the study of ancient Rome.

The work focused upon making the information found in Lily Ross Taylor’s book, The Voting Districts of the Roman Republic, more accessible and easier to understand visually. This project creates various maps based upon her research. Each of these maps are centered around a different variable mentioned in her work regarding the ancient Roman voting tribes.

https://github.com/khiggins2?tab=repositories

OurStory Project: Conversations in the Time of COVID

Kimani Fowlin, Chukwuma Obasi, Erin Gruodis-Gimbel, Tess Needham

OurStory is a research and virtual documentary project created to connect Americans through stories and artwork that reflects on personal experiences lived throughout the early stages and peaks of the “COVID Era” (2020-21). Individuals and families across the country offer their stories on how this period, encompassing many profound health, social, economic, and political challenges, has impacted their lives. This diverse collective also candidly shares enduring concerns, hopes for our future, and messages of support, inspiration, and solidarity for the nation.

Interviews were conducted with residents of all 50 US states, as well as Washington, D.C. and Puerto Rico.

https://ourstoryproject.net/

Firearms Export Project

Lisa Jordan, Marwa Elessawy, Graham Munro-Ludders

2020

Drew University Participatory Archive (DUPA)

Jeremy Blatter, Nick Kilgore

The Drew University Participatory Archive (DUPA) is a digital humanities project with the mission of growing a decentralized, grassroots, open and appropriation-friendly digital collection of both original and archival media (art, photography, video, audio, text, etc) through the direct contributions and participation of students, faculty, staff, archivists, librarians, and the broader Drew community. http://duparchive.org/

2019

Defining Characteristics of Gun Advertising through Social Media: Opportunities for Intervention

Lisa Jordan, James Kalin, Colleen Dabrowski

Our DHSI summer study created the first systematic assessment of firearms advertising through social media.  Our project identified major US firearms producers and importers, collected Twitter and YouTube posts made by industry, and coded the posts for the presence of a variety of themes first characterized in work on print advertising by Saylor, et al., Vernick, et al. and Diaz.  Analysis of this data collection reveals that themes common in print advertising over the last fifty years are prevalent in internet and social media content produced today. Despite a decline in advertising through mainstream media, firearms manufacturers and dealers have effectively turned to the distribution of content through internet influencers.  In evaluating 928 Twitter posts, 425 YouTube videos from manufacturers, and 239 videos from YouTube influencers, we discovered that manufacturers use social media to attract audiences to websites that sell firearms (15% Twitter posts, 54% manufacturers videos, and 90% of influencers). We also found that advertisements included women in efforts to sell handguns and pistols for the purpose of protection.  The use of predatory themes of stranger rape and military assault to sell weapons is scrutinized in two prominent advertising schemes. Our study concludes with recommendations for local and national public health interventions, which may contribute to efforts to curtail the marked increase in the production and distribution of civilian firearms, and the subsequent health consequences of contemporary small arms proliferation.

Urban Anthropology of Newark

Allan Dawson, Andrew Katapodis, Genesis Guedes, Gionna Del Purgatorio, Katelynn Rodriguez

We will be conducting Anthropological field work while also collecting data to be eventually used to create a digital map of the Newark area that also shows key Anthropological factors.

The Drew Acorn Archives

Wendy Kolmar, Andrew Dugan, Kassel Franco Garibay, Elizabeth Schafer

We will digitalize the archives of the Drew Acorn and create special collections and an overarching timeline that the Drew community can access online. http://drewacornarchives.com/

The Growth of Rock Music Culture

James Carter, Erin Feith, Kevin Lagerquist, Adam Sandonato

Students will participate in mapping various elements of rock music of the late sixties, from concert venues and ticket sales, to musical genres and styles.  The scope of the project will encompass the rock music experience at Drew University, as well as the national concert schedule/map for the most prominent artists and bands of the era. http://sixtiesrockgeo.com/

Topic Modeling of Science Textbooks

Minjoon Kouh, Peiyu Guo, Kayla Rockhill

Using computational and statistical techniques like tf-idf, hierarchical clustering, and PCA (Principal Component Analysis), we analyzed topical relationships among sections from 3 volumes of open-access science textbooks (Physics, Chemistry, and Biology introductory textbooks from OpenStax).  We analyzed the term usage from these 3 different disciplines. We also developed a survey to compare sample topical relationships as perceived by humans and by an algorithm. The results have been rendered as an interactive scatter plot.

Hermeneutics of Cybersecurity

Ziyuan Meng, David Nesterov-Rappoport

The goal of this project is to explore the historical and philosophical aspects of the cyber vulnerabilities. As networks and information infrastructures are being exploited at an unprecedented scale, it is important to understand the nature of digital technology and its associated risks in broader social and historical contexts. The project borrows concepts and methods from both the Phenomenology and Hermeneutics traditions to critically investigate the phenomenon of vulnerabilities found in computer systems, hoping to reveal the  metaphysical and ideological assumptions concealed in key concepts of computer science and common practice of modern information technology industry.

Neighbors in Need

Our research, Neighbors in Need is a community based participatory action research (CBPAR) project involving all of the housing agencies in Morris County. Together we are doing research to design an intervention that decreases and eventually ends homelessness for the most vulnerable people in Morris County. Specifically, we are designing interventions and strategies by working with housing agencies, property owners and voucher recipients to develop a more efficient use of federal housing vouchers. This summer we will train students to digitally code and analyze data that we collected during spring 2019.  The findings will then be summarized and disseminated using My Stories. Students will learn how to digitally code and analyze qualitative data and then turn those findings into engaging summaries. Students will also learn how to create digital information pieces (infographics) that communicate quantitative and qualitative data. Finally, students will prepare presentations of their work to academic and non-academic audiences. http://homes4allnj.com/

Re-Animating Experimental Psychology

Jeremy Blatter, Lee Arnold, Kiyah Colson, Henry Giddings, Katlego Mhlongo, Kirstin Waldman

This project involves re-creating several interactive psychological experiments from the early twentieth century that intersect with the history of cinema, mass media and applied psychology. Hugo Münsterberg, arguably the most well-known psychologist in the United States in the decade prior to WWI, developed countless  psychological tests designed to measure vocational aptitudes. In connection with Paramount Pictures, Münsterberg adapted a handful of these tests for the silver screen in a series called “Testing the Mind,” which was seen by over 2 million moviegoers in 1916. Although no extant copies of these films exist today, our group has set out to recreate these truly experimental films using diverse  primary source evidence ranging from the original film scripts to correspondence between Münsterberg and the Paramount production team. In addition to bringing back to life the lost Münsterberg-Paramount psychological tests for the screen, we have also taken inspiration from another Münsterberg aptitude test from 1912 for selecting streetcar motormen for the Boston Elevated Railway. For this test we aimed to create an interactive digital reproduction using html and Javascript that allows users to experience the Motorman Test as an interactive game.. Lastly, we have worked to integrate, contextualize and narrativize these different elements for a general audience using a customized WordPress theme.

2018

Digital Storytelling as Intervention: Shifting the Landlord-Tenant Narrative on Affordable Housing

Dr. Susan Rakosi Rosenbloom, Dr. Kesha Moore, Emma Thomas, Aleko Graham

How can we use social media to help end homelessness?  This community action research project partners with local housing organizations to use social science research and the power of social media to challenge the stigmatization of the poor and negative narratives about landlord-tenant dynamics. Our community partners, a consortium of all of the housing agencies in Morris County, have had a difficult time changing this zero-sum, combatant narrative to build support for promising innovative programs. The purpose of Digital Storytelling as Intervention is to explore how we can use digital storytelling as a public sociology strategy to highlight new collaborative narratives of partnerships between landlords, housing programs, and low-income residents. These products are specifically designed for social media to build public awareness and support for new collaborative efforts. We will create and disseminate original digital stories and messaging through vlogs (video blogs) using interviews with landlords, tenants and housing specialists.  We aim to develop a method to engage undergraduates in public sociology through digital storytelling on social media.

homes4allnj.com

AMAT: Authorship in the Modern American Textbook

Emily Hill, Jordan Reed, Leanne Horinko, Daniel (Tianhao) Xu

The AMAT project is a multi-phase digital humanities book history project aimed at identifying and analyzing trends in authorship of American textbooks. The goal of the project is to encompass internal (style, themes, presentation) and external (biographical information, correspondence, publishing information, etc.) evidence to analyze and map the authorship of the modern American textbook, beginning with textual elements indicative of individual author style.

textauthorship.org

Mapping the New York City Media Ecosystem

Lisa Lynch, Catherine Araimo, Heather Dupont, Savannah Hill

This project serves two goals: it is a beginning iteration in an ongoing effort to create historical and present-day maps of the NYC media ecosystem, and it is also an exercise in creating a specific map or maps that will serve the needs of the New York Semester on Media and Communications.  We will work with both archival and self-generated maps, images, and video footage to show how various media industries, from newspapers to advertising to television and beyond, have left a visible footprint on New York City, as well as how media industries continue to reshape the geography of Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens.  Our maps will be in the “Story Map” format, and project members will also research and write place-based narratives about the media industries they document.  As well, we will create a map template that allows for further annotation in further New York Semesters.

lisallynch.com/mapping-new-york-media

Organization of topics in physics textbooks

Minjoon Kouh and Ji Hoon Kim

A field of knowledge, such as physics, is composed of many interconnected concepts and topics. We will employ computational techniques to automatically extract the keywords and the organization of topics. In particular, we will analyze college-level, introductory textbooks in physics, treating them as a collection of documents, whose keywords will be identified by scoring each word according to tf-idf (term frequency inverse document frequency) measure and calculate pairwise distance between documents. This analysis will allow us to examine the clustering and hierarchical relationships among the topics.

link: pca_2d_OS_related

Mapping the First Decade of the New York Semester on Contemporary Art (1967-1977)

Kimberly Rhodes and Shayna Miller

We will create a “Story Map” of the first decade of the New York Semester on Contemporary Art (1967-1977) inclusive of specific locations documented in a 1973 Art Semester journal, sites not mentioned in the journal that are significant to this decade in the art world (Donald Judd’s home/studio at 101 Spring St., for example, which he purchased in 1968), and portions of the Drew University Art Collection produced and acquired by Drew in the same period of time. The “Story Map” created will be a container for three separate projects that will also exist individually: a map of the 1973 Art Semester journal, a map of the NY art world 1967-1977, and a digital catalogue and/or exhibition of the Murry Berger Collection, approximately 30 works of art, mostly abstract screen prints, dating from the late 1960s to the early 1970s donated to Drew by Berger in 1974. Each of these projects will demonstrate the long-standing synergy between Drew University and the New York City art world and be foundational for future endeavors to digitally chart all 50 years of Art Semester and catalogue the entirety of the Drew University Art Collection.

Cheryl Rosenbaum’s Journal of the 1973 Drew University NY Semester on contemporary art

A Virtual Museum of Legal documents and Media Content on Comfort Women

Angella Son,  Huntae Chung, Seung Jin Hong, Jae Won Jang, and EunSil Kim

For the benefit of scholars, students, and the general public as a resource, the project plans to create a virtual museum as a platform to display legal documents and media content on comfort women who served as sexual slaves to the Japanese military during World War II.  The project will pertain to the compilation and digital reproduction of official U. S. documents and media content from both the U. S. and S Korea.

knowcomfortw.com/cms/

Mapping Early Rome

John D. Muccigrosso, Genesis Guedes, Molly Thompson, Rae Brickey, Andrew Katapodis

There are two longer histories of early Rome that survive from antiquity, one in Latin by Livy and another in Greek by Dionysius of Halicarnassus. This summer we will be mapping the places that appear in both of those narratives as a way of looking at how ancients represented the expansion of Rome and its encounters with its early neighbors. On the technical side, we will learn about different mapping techniques and tools available to tell the story of the data. We will also engage in a few smaller projects to create and share digital representations of the ancient (and perhaps medieval/early-modern) walls of the city of Rome.

romeresearchgroup.org/