Digital Humanities

I’m a dabbler at heart, and working in a digital humanities center provides ample space to explore tools, technologies, methods, and disciplines. In any given week, I might be working on data visualization, digital pedagogy, or web development. And although I’m a medieval Irish historian by training, I often find myself visiting other fields like African American poetry, 19th century women’s literature, or linguistics. That breadth is a necessity for working in a center like IRIS, which supports digital research and pedagogy across the humanities and social sciences. But I also find that it informs my own work in exciting ways, giving me access to intellectual discourses and models that would otherwise seem peripheral.

Some projects I’ve developed (or am developing):

In my own research, I do a lot of visualization of spatial and social networks in medieval Ireland. You can find some of my mapping work on Sites of Negotiation, a landing page for my projects that touch on spatial history. In particular, I’ve been working extensively this summer on Submission Strategies: The Irish Submissions to Richard II, 1395, a project that visualizes transnational social networks in fourteenth-century Ireland.

There’s always a lot going on in IRIS, and I’m actively working on many projects. Here are a few that I’m especially excited about:



Press releases and articles:

I am fortunate to have great collaborators who like to write about what we do! These posts from Professor Howard Rambsy II talk about some of the projects I’ve worked on with him and what it’s like to collaborate with a digital humanities center.

Some resources I’ve developed:

I spend a lot of time thinking about digital humanities peer review, both in my role at the Recovery Hub for American Women Writers and as a practicing digital humanist. We talk a lot about peer review as a means of making DH legible as scholarship to administrators and hiring committees. But I also think it’s a crucial mechanism for helping our projects participate in scholarly discourses in our fields. To that end, I’ve put together some working documents on peer review with an eye toward my own field of medieval Irish history, and I’ve also developed a peer review model for the Recovery Hub that builds on the Reviews in DH model.

NB: The Google Docs are intended as collaborative documents, so please do feel free to add thoughts and resources and credit yourself!

Along similar lines, I put together a quick and dirty guide to DIY sustainability for digital humanities projects. Feel free to contribute to this one too!

In the last year or so, I’ve begun using Observable for a lot of my own visualizations, and I love how interactive it is – not just interactive visualizations, but interactive workbooks, where I can teach the process of creating the visualization. Here’s a quick tutorial I put together for visualizing the network data from the AvantRelationships plugin for Omeka Classic.

As part of my work co-directing “Expanding Access to the Digital Humanities in St. Louis,” an NEH-funded project through the St. Louis Area Digital Humanities Network, I’ve been creating some resources for teaching with DH tools. My goal in general is to reduce barriers to entry into DH pedagogy by reducing jargon, curating existing classroom materials, and providing beginner-friendly guides to free and easy to use tools.

Some workshops I’ve given: