Hello HASTAC! I am a PhD candidate in the Graduate Department of Religion at Vanderbilt University, and my subfield is historical studies. My research explores the intersection between religion and politics in early modern England.
When it comes to the digital humanities I am extremely grateful for the rapidly expanding textual and archival resources available online. Pride of place in my appreciation for the digital humanities easily goes to Early English Books Online (EEBO). I utilize EEBO on a daily basis as I work on my dissertation, a contextual study of the intersection between 17th century covenant theology and early modern conceptions of political sovereignty in key figures like Thomas Hobbes and James Harrington. Without EEBO, my project would be impossible, as the resources of time and money necessary to acquire the obscure texts of 17th century authors on which my research depends would be prohibitive.
In addition to EEBO as a resource for print materials, I am also thankful for the steadily increasing stream of manuscript evidence placed online in various library databases. I regularly communicate with various colleagues as we share tips about where to find different sources. One of the reasons that I appreciate programs such as HASTAC is that collaborative ventures of this nature are necessary to the establishment of more universal access to such databases as well as the development of more reliable search interfaces in order that their contents can be found and utilized more readily.
While I am grateful for the availability of such resources, I am also aware that their proliferation changes the way that we process and experience them. In addition to learning about other databases and archives in the digital humanities, as a HASTAC scholar I look forward to future conversations on the topic of media ecology, and in particular discussions of the relationship between the medium, message, and methods of studying digital texts.
As a scholar of religious history I look forward to bringing the theoretical resources of my discipline to bear upon these questions, and I look forward to meeting and hearing from others as well!