Blog Post

Digital Humanities (DH) at KU – Being a HASTAC Scholar

photo of HASTAC digital humanities scholars

Last month, our HASTAC scholars presented our work in the Digital Scholars’ Showcase.  Please check the following link for the presentation I gave:  https://prezi.com/view/BDhH0VHc8OPWfF5bHv24/

In my brief talk, I shared how I came to DH via happenstance when a classmate of mine shared their engagement with DH on campus.  After meeting with the staff at the KU Institute for Digital Research in the Humanities, I became even more interested, and have since learned a lot about what DH is and have worked to incorporate it into my studies and future career.

I will include here how I envision my DH project unfolding, and my “DH journey” over the past 2 years.  My work collects original oral histories of women warriors who contributed to the anti-apartheid struggle.  This past fall, I applied for a National Geographic storytelling fellowship to refine a digital archive featuring the oral history narratives of Namibian women freedom fighters.  The project will provide an enduring testimonial to women’s contributions to the struggle.

My work responds to the need to share narratives that have largely been omitted or overlooked in mainstream anti-apartheid historiography.  Mainstream histories of anti-apartheid movements in Namibia emphasize the contributions of prominent men.  These traditional accounts often exclude women who not only organized military efforts in the women’s wing of the South West African People’s Organization (SWAPO) but who also contributed in other ways, including mass protests, military action, and physical harbor for exiles (Akawa, 2014).  My dissertation project and digital archive will highlight women’s contribution to the Namibian anti-apartheid movement.

In addition to this scholarly project, I participated in a number of conferences and workshops related to DH during my 2017 – 2019 HASTAC tenure.  Some of the most pertinent include the University of Texas and University of Kansas Digital Frontiers conference, where I presented as part of a panel entitled “Feminist Use of Digital Humanities: Graduate Student Approaches and Perspectives.”  I also participated in a Direct Animation Workshop with Dr. Kelly Gallagher of Syracuse University.  Finally, I received funding from the KU Institute for Digital Research in the Humanities to visit DH studies at Yale and Columbia universities.

You can read more about my DH work in my online portfolio:  https://www.mariahcrystal.com/

Many thanks to the KU IDRH, especially to Brian Rosenblum, Dhanashree Thorat and Sarah Bishop.  You all are the best!

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1 comment

Thanks for posting. What a great blog!

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