This afternoon several faculty from across UB departments and a digital librarian participated in a “Lightning Round” to kick off Digital Scholarship Week. With only five minutes each (!), the presenters gave an excellent snapshot view of the breadth of digital work taking place on campus. The presenters–Melanie Aceto (Theatre & Dance), Peter Biehl (Anthropology), Neil Coffee (Classics), Jordan Geiger (Architecture), Jeff Good (Linguistics), Walt Hakala (English), Molly Poremski (UB Libraries), and Rohini Srihari (Computer Science & Engineering)–suggested many exciting possibilities for fostering interdisciplinary, collaborative scholarship at UB.
We learned about local or university materials that can be explored and represented digitally in innovative ways, such as the objects in the Cravens Collection at the Anderson Gallery that Peter Biehl and his team have 3D scanned and reproduced as interactive multimedia exhibits, or the Black Student Union periodical collection that Molly Poremski is building into a searchable, annotated web archive. Melanie Aceto’s archiving and analysis of the transmission of influence and traditions in various communities of dance performers opened horizons for digital archiving and the representation of complicated networks. Additionally, connections between methodological questions arose that might foster focal points for continued dialogue across departments and projects. For one example, I noticed multilingualism and translation played central, if very different, roles across the projects of Neil Coffee and the Tesserae Project he co-directs, Jeff Good’s research on the many languages of the Lower Fungom region of Cameroon, Walt Hakala on Urdu, Hindi, and Persian lexicography, and Rohini Srihari on tailoring messages and content for specific communities and users around the globe. Jordan Geiger’s imaginative spatial work was another highlight, and the possibilities for expanded integration of GIS technology into humanities research and teaching also came up in the Q&A.
Special thanks, also, to Erik Seeman, Libby Otto, and the Humanities Institute, as well as the Office of the Vice President for Research and Economic Development for their efforts and support in putting together these events. Looking forward to the rest of the week!
~Nikolaus Wasmoen (firstname.lastname@example.org)