Facing Down the DST/DH Divide
January 14, 2014
My Visual Research Methods course has ended, and as ever, my grad students in a range of programs at CGU have done inspiring and inventive work to wrap up this class which pushes traditional Humanities grad students to roll up their sleeves, work with their hands, imagine new audiences and formats, and think about academic labor and standards using new rubrics.
This year, our assigned readings—in Nick Mirzoeff’s Visual Culture Reader, the Debates in the Digital Humanities Reader, and two books about the ongoing and ever-widening Center for Digital Storytelling’s project—linked as they were to an ever more frightening and quickly shifting job market for graduate students, seemed to have helped push this batch of students to do some remarkably innovative digital scholarship, for their final work, thinking about the role of digital storytelling as both a subject and method for scholarly output.
I hope you’ll take a peek at these compelling projects:
- A “nod to Lambert, but in a very deliberate style that was anti-Lambert (no voice-over, no clean or clearly announced thesis) … also an attempt to have this video be a moment of reflection, a meditation of sorts on friendship,” AIDS, place, and memory (from a PhD student in religion)
- a digital story, made collaboratively with the maker’s high school students to create an “affective space” much like that previously “carved out through the epistle allowing women, a group previously written out of agency to write/right wrongs through new narratives in much the same way that digital storytelling empowers its creator. Telling my story, working delicately against and with the grain of rhetorical confines and the explosively complex element of my students’ personhoods demanded the kind of suturing of disparate intentions so pleasurable to read in the 18thC epistolary novels” (from a PhD student in English, also a High School English teacher)
- A video focused upon building “community around and for people dealing with mental illness, who are working to cope with their symptoms in the midst of the exceptional stress of grad school life. My hope is to create a digital story telling circle that will do just that.” (from a Master’s student in Cultural Studies)
- An argument for the storytelling power of Instagram (so against the Lambert idea that the Internet produces fragments) (from a Master’s student in Cultural Studies)
- A consideration of #ANA on YouTube and Instragram as digital stories (by a Master’s student in Cultural Studies)
- A consideration of #Carol Corps in light of Digital Storytelling (by a Master’s Student in Cultural Studies)
- A consideration of social media and digital storytelling through three voices of a vegan and animal lover (by a Masters student in Cultural Studies)
- A work on and as digital storytelling about an artist and a friendship (by a PhD student in English)
- A digital story that draws the story of YouTube drawing stories (by a PhD student in History)
- An analysis of how the academy is embracing digital storytelling as research method (by a Master’s student in Cultural Studies)
- A digital story using “a personal narrative of my memories of my aunt’s illness and how I experienced the confusion of coming to terms with her diagnosis as HIV positive. I believe personal narratives such as this are missing from outreach efforts that have aimed to target the Black community in order to bring awareness of the high rates within the community.” (by a Master’s student in Applied Women’s Studies)