Digital Humanities Portfolio

My Approach: Interdisciplinary, Flexibility, and Curiosity.

My commitment to interdisciplinary and collaborative work is best represented through my work with the University of Texas at Austin’s MappaMundi project, a a multi-dimensional cybernetic initiative for the study of a global Middle Ages.

In this portfolio, I highlight the broad range of my digital humanities experience, expertise, and most importantly, my focus on collaborative scholarship. One of the most perplexing aspects of the digital humanities is its interdisciplinary nature, which often works in direct contradiction to the nature of our highly specialized academic fields (literature, history, arts, geography, computer science, social science). As a result, there are natural tensions within digital humanities that can only be surmounted by a deep appreciation and respect for the contributions of each field, as well as a willingness to remain intellectually and methodically flexible so that digital humanities initiatives are possible. It is my hope that my collaborative mindset, as well as my curiosity in the wide field of the humanities, will allow me to be both a leader of my own projects, but also a helpful partner and contributor to other digital humanities efforts.

Tools and Methods

The specific digital humanities tools and methods I employ are:

  • crowd-sourced paleography (custom-built web tools and Omeka-Scripto),web design (HTML, WordPress, Omeka, multiple CMS),
  • research database design and management (MySQL, FileMakerPro, MS Excel, XML (basic skills), SPSS, GEDCOM),
  • geovisualization and digital reconstruction of medieval environments (with some expertise in ArcGIS and Unity software applications),
  • specialized research methods for digital archival collections in Spain and Latin America (for example, expertise with Spain’s PARES archive collection),
  • Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) online education and student mobilization,
  • video, e-book, and image production (Apple Final Cut Pro, Apple iBooks, Adobe Creative Cloud), and
  • web-based collaboration (Google documents, Skype, etc.).

Portfolio Components

The two primary digital humanities initiatives that I would like to highlight are my collaborative research project known as the Revealing Cooperation and Conflict Project and a prosopographic (genealogical) database I developed for the National Library of Israel. These two projects display the range of my expertise as well as ability to master new digital humanities skill sets and knowledge.

The following table briefly describes the goals of each project and their specific outcomes. Items (documents, videos, websites) that appear in bold may be the most interesting to peruse.

After this table you will find more comprehensive project overviews as well as specific examples (documents, databases, videos, Internet-deployed materials).

 

Project Revealing Cooperation and Conflict Project Sephardic Origins And Familial Transformations in the Spanish Extremadura (National Library of Israel)
Goals: Research, Pedagogy, and Dissemination
  • Formulate research questions to understand the nature of Jewish, Catholic, and Muslim co-existence during the later Middle Ages
  • Communicate a vision
  • Excite the public and mobilize citizen scholars to perform valuable research
  • Implement the digital humanities — Visualize and tell the story of interreligious co-existence in medieval Spain
  • Publish peer-reviewed scholarship based on digital humanities research
  • Understand the vitality of Jewish and converso (converts to Christianity) communities during an age of intolerance
  • Identify, track, and record specific families
  • Conduct primary research using manuscripts
  • Develop a genealogical database using standardized data formats (GEDCOM)
  • Publish research in electronic and traditional mediums
Specific Accomplishments