Several humanities faculty at Duquesne University from the English, History, Art History, and Classics disciplines, are individually pursuing a wide range of Digital Humanities projects, including 3-D scanning, digital editions, collaborative digital workspaces, digital humanities pedagogy, and network analysis. We are not yet formally organized, but look forward to working with the broader Pittsburgh Digital Humanities community.
Active Faculty DH Projects
Elaine Frantz (Parsons) (History)
I have created a database of all individuals in Union County, South Carolina from 1852-1878 who appear in criminal indictments. Using social network analysis, I have explored the social dynamics of ordinary criminal violence in the county, towards the end of understanding how the Klan violence that exploded in the county in 1870-1871 related to this “regular” violence. The first use of this work appears in Chapter Five of my book, Ku-Klux: The Birth of the Klan in the Reconstruction Era (UNC Press, 2016)
Anna Gibson (English)
Anna Gibson’s Digital Dickens Notes Project (DDNP) aims to bring to life the interactive serial form of Charles Dickens’s novels by digitizing, annotating, and analyzing the working notes he kept while writing his novels over many weeks or months. The DDNP is both a digital resource and an interpretive project. It will provide free access for scholars and students to color digital images and transcriptions of the working note manuscripts that survive, in whole or in part, for ten of his novels. These color manuscripts, which are currently unavailable to the public, show Dickens’s use of different inks to return again and again to the notes as he asked himself questions, came back to answer them, and tested out ideas for each serial installment. Annotations and editorial notes will explore the relationship of working notes to novel installments to offer an analytical engagement with Victorian serial form. The DDNP will facilitate a method of reading these notes, and the novels to which they relate, as forms-in-process that ask us to rethink our understanding of long serial novels in nineteenth century.
The DDNP has a home at www.dickensnotes.com. It is still in its early stages of development. Thanks to funding from the Wimmer Family Foundation and Duquesne’s NEH Endowment I have purchased images of the Our Mutual Friend working notes from the Pierpoint Morgan Library in New York, and I am in the process of transcribing, annotating, and introducing these. I am preparing an application for a larger grant for software development and manuscript purchase.
Patrick Juola (Mathematics and Computer Science)
I have been working for more than a decade on new ways to solve humanities problems of practical interest using computers. Most of my work has focused on determining the authorship of a document via stylometry (the study and measurement of writing style). Using this technology, I have been able to identify J.K. Rowling’s use of a pen name to write The Cuckoo’s Calling, to testify about judicial misconduct in Chevron Corp. via Donziger, and to help a refugee remain in the United States in Federal Immigration Court. Some of the software I have helped to create is available for use under an open-source license from www.jgaap.com.
Linda Kinnahan (English)
I’m involved in a project with colleagues from the University of Georgia and Davidson College, focusing on the poet Mina Loy (modernist). It is a site that is exploring collaborative digital research methods, while also exploring ideas of the avant-garde & gender. Right now, the site is just a prototype, and we are applying for various grants and funding to take it further. The link is http://mina-loy.com/
John Mitcham (History)
My new book project examines how the British Empire dealt with the challenges of anti-colonial nationalism during the First World War. In particular, I am interested in the dizzying array of networks that linked policymakers, administrators, military officers, journalists, and business elites throughout Britain and the self-governing Dominions. My research looks at how these personal connections facilitated an early form of imperial cooperation, laying the foundation for the later Commonwealth of Nations. Though I have little previous background in the digital humanities, I hope to explore new techniques that will enable me to conduct such a transnational project.
James Purdy (English)
Purdy’s current research studies the ways in which digital technologies shape and are shaped by the research and writing practices of scholars at all levels. He is working on projects that investigate the influences of intellectual property concerns on academics’ teaching, writing, and research as well as the writing practices in Wikipedia articles. His research provides a closer look at the digital spaces that are increasingly the primary site of writing and research for academic and civic tasks. For the former project, he is using survey data and interview transcriptions coded for emergent content and discursive trends. The latter project involves rhetorical analysis of article text and coding for observable writing behaviors (e.g., adding content, deleting content, adding hyperlinks, deleting hyperlinks, editing, etc.).
Katherine Rask (Classics)
I am working on project that involves 3D scanning archaeological artifacts from Greece. I spent four weeks scanning 60 artifacts with students this summer, and this fall I have a research assistant helping me design and create a website so the 3D files can be offered open-source.
Other Faculty Interested in DH
Greg Barnhisel (English)
Alima Bucciantini (Public History)
Julia Sienkewicz (Art History)
Drew Simpson (History)