Hello HASTAC! I am a junior English major at Bryn Mawr College. My entry into the digital humanities started with the working group for Re:Humanities, a national undergraduate symposium for digital media in academia. Coming into contact with other undergraduates who were passionate about new media and its place in the classroom was an exercise in intense collaborative thinking. At one of the many meetings I met Mirella Deocadiz and the both of us shared a similar concern: why hasn’t academic citation leveraged digital tools? Mirella and I worked on a project to create an alternative citation method, one which recognizes the internet as a ready-made archive and takes advantage of hyperlinking. Mirella and I also saw an alternative citation method as an opportunity for rethinking academic collaboration. If citation could somehow represent the flexible and informal practice of scholarly ‘talk’, then maybe citation could begin to embody the non-competitive and generative nature of academic collaboration.
This project has informed the majority of my interests in the digital humanities. I feel drawn to issues of ownership on the internet. Last Summer I interned at a non-profit Brooklyn publisher, Electric Literature, whose latest project puts literary fiction on Tumblr for free every week. This experience was ripe for thinking about property, about how published works have their copyright reinforced by digital and social structures. In addition, I also got to work with short fiction which itself is a form that seems to work particularly well with digital reading.
My focus now is to refine the alternative citation method and to think of viable ways to get people to actually use this new form. This might include building a website or on the most basic level, using the citation method in my own academic papers. I see these undergraduate years as ones where I can accumulate skills. I intend to sharpen my understanding of coding and design but I also want to understand and possibly change the ways scholars think about owning information and sharing knowledge.