I’m really pleased to be one of this year’s HASTAC (Humanities, Art, Science, and Technology Advanced Collaboratory) Scholars at the University of Iowa, working in conjunction with UI’s Digital Studio for Public Humanities and the Obermann Center for Advanced Studies. HASTAC is a digital initiative, an online community of scholars working together at “the intersection of technology and the arts, humanities and sciences.”
I’ll be the first to admit that most of what I know about computers and technology has been picked up by osmosis—things I’ve read online or that I’ve heard from friends who studied the sciences at university—and so I’m not a proficient coder or deeply knowledgeable in the ways of Linux. What I am, however, is really interested in how people—scholars, students, the general public—can use technology to improve and share their understandings of history (while still sometimes being a devil’s advocate for plain old pencil and paper!). I’m really intrigued, for example, by the possibilities of digital modelling—the Premonstratensian sisters whom I study may not have left any documentation behind them, but we have the chance to get some sense of what the world that they saw looked like through, say, a combination of a careful reading of charters and a program like Google Sketchup
You can check out the bios of the other University of Iowa HASTAC scholars at the Obermann Center website, and see my profile page on the HASTAC site. I will be blogging there throughout the year about my experiences working with the DSPH and learning my way around the field of digital humanities.