Blog Post

Hello from Seattle!

Hello everyone,

Longtime lurker, first time poster. My profile page informs me that I have been a member for 34 weeks… I guess it is about time to get more involved in this great community of HASTACers!

Bolded for the TL;DR crowd: 

I am a Ph.D. student at the University of Washington, Seattle, in the Department of Germanics. As an organized German, I love to make lists, even about myself.

My dissertation has the working title “The Documentary Tradition in the Digital Age.” I am looking at documentary films that are specifically made for the web. Most commonly, they are called “web documentaries.” Examples are Bear 71, Prison Valley, and Highrise. They are a fairly new genre and I am particularly interested how they relate to “traditional” documentary filmmaking, i.e. how notions and values of authorship, spectatorship, archive, narrative/storytelling, evidence and truth change or do not change.

Teaching: While getting my MA at the University of Oregon and during my time at UW Seattle, I have been enjoying teaching tremendously. I have been teaching German on both beginner and intermediate level. I use my Ipad for teaching, but I am pretty sure I should be able to get more use out of that. Last year, I tought German in a live videoconferencing format, i.e. I was in Seattle and my students sat in Tacoma. This year, I also have the chance to work with students as a discussion leader for a large lecture class. Also, finally an excuse to use Google Docs in the classroom. This year, I am also part of a graduate interest group at UW on “Teaching with Technology.” I am sure, we will share our insights here as well.

DH / DHSI: For the last two years, I had the chance to participate in the DHSI at the University of Victoria. My first year, I took a class on website design “Design for Visual, Auditory, and Interactive Environments”, i.e. how to spruce up your website or “putting the icing on the cupcake” – to quote the class’ wonderful instructor Aimée Morrison. This year, I took “Creating Digital Humanities Projects for the Mobile Environment” where me and my teammate learned how to create an app for the Ipad. We came up with “Tapgrade” that facilitates and streamlines grading papers on an Ipad. Nifty stuff. Hopefully, I am making it to DHSI next year again!

Conferences: MLA and SCMS: While online communities are a great way to stay connected, I also enjoy connecting at conferences. In January, I will be presenting at MLA in Chicago (in a panel series that is centered on Digital Practice, more here
I am also looking forward to SCMS here in Seattle next year, for which I will try to report back here (using my twitter @VerenaKick). Meeting other film and (new) media scholars has been fun at SCMS in the last two years, and not having to travel for next year’s conference is a nice perk.

Last but not least, after finishing exams earlier this year, to get a real life back. I love biking (yes, even with Seattle’s hills) and managed to bike over 1000 miles in 8 weeks this summer. (Seattle, for a change, had a fantastic summer.)

So, in super short: I’d like to make connections with people also interested in:
(web) documentaries, teaching and/with technology, DH and DHSI and with attendees of SCMS next year!


1 comment

Hello from Seattle as well!  And yeah, we had an absolutely magnificent summer.  Glad to have a geography with a name! :)