Week One

I was drawn to the Fellowship program because of my interest in finding new ways to approach and present information. The subject of my research — The Campus Theatre — has been one of my favorite places to spend free time in Lewisburg since arriving at Bucknell in August of 2015. Founded in 1941, at the height of World War II, this theatre has proven to be more than just a movie palace. I believe that the theatre at 413 Market Street deserves a comprehensive retelling of it’s very rich and complex history. With this being the case, I saw no better way to do this than with the tools afforded to me through the Digital Scholarship Student Research Fellowship.

In using the resources available through digital scholarship I hope to present a unabridged visual and textual history of the Campus Theatre and thereby providing a more whole context to it’s place in Lewisburg’s history. Though it has only recently been acquired by Bucknell, it has always held the same location on Market Street. In using the technologies available through my research this summer, I imagine that I will be surprised at what I uncover about the Campus Theatre’s past. Data visualization programs are of great interest to me as a way for me to present this data in a unique and user-friendly way. I will not limit myself to data visualization, however and will be looking at the array of tools that will optimize both my research and the presentation of my findings.

Apart from learning about new ways to use technology to learn about and presenting of new information, I was drawn to the idea of working in a small team with other students. Though we will be working on different research, it drives me to know that these individuals will be working towards a similar goal: the sharing of ideas. After a week together, we a re a pretty tight knit group and I am hopeful that this will continue for the remainder of the program even as we go off to conduct research on our own terms.

In digitizing a comprehensive history of the Campus Theatre I hope to include essential components such as a history of screenings, a history of ownership, a history of renovations, along with a myriad of other things. Though this information is useful in it’s own right I will conclude my research by using this data to look at larger trends associated with screenings in small movie theatres in small, rural towns and the implications associated with it. Like most of in the group, this is my first time doing any time of extensive academic research but like them I am hopeful that the things I will discover will be telling.

First Blog Post: An Optimistic Outlook for the Summer of 2018

Summer, a time for beach fun and barbeques—but also research? That’s right, instead of wasting my days away in the sun, I will be back at Bucknell working with the Bertrand Library staff and Professor Stokes-Brown on a project proposed to me back in the fall. Initially, I wanted to do this research apart from a program like the Digital Scholarship Summer Research Fellowship, but once I discovered this program, I realized that it would be better to work in this small group that emphasizes technology.

I look forward to learning data visualization and other technologies that advance perspectives in traditional research. I hope to learn as many tools as possible because I believe they will advance my capability to analyze data. I am a visual learner, and these methods better suit my ability to comprehend data than traditional charts and graphs. I also enjoy the small team aspect of the DSSR program, and I know that I will need the motivation from my cohort. I am the type of person who relies on an amount of outside motivation to actualize my goals. We have already decided to do weekly check-ins which will keep me on track with completing the amount of work that I aspire toward. I also look forward to their criticisms of my project along the way that will mold my project into the best project within my power.

My project will study group solidarity and political participation of the Latinx communities that reside in non-traditional locations. For example, we will look at large Latinx communities in North Carolina and Iowa in comparison to those within California or New York. My hypothesis is not fully developed, but it may resemble: members of the populations of the Latinx community have more/less group solidarity in non-traditional locations than traditional locations. The idea is that higher political participation is a result of higher group solidarity, and we plan to look at different types of political participation to gage a communities group consciousness. Professor Stokes-Brown mentioned using the 2002 Latino Immigrant National Election Study, but it could be possible to use other election data sets that are more current. There are many types of political participation, so I will need to focus on one or two to be realistic about my time over the summer. I hope to create interactive maps for each data set that will be used, and if I can create maps that are detailed and thorough, further research on this topic could be made easier.

This is my first attempt at academic research, and I know that I will have many questions and complications along the way. Luckily, I am optimistic about my ability to complete this work, and I hope that my project will create useful resources to study group consciousness. I will also have my cohort, a full team at the Bertrand Library, and my mentor for support along the way. To everyone reading: thanks for following my academic journey, and I hope my project will turn out thought provoking and useful. Until next week!

-Alexis Colon

Abby Dolan week 1

I’m interested in the Digital Scholarship Student Research Fellowship because digital scholarship has the potential to become the mainstream way we carry out and present research. Many types of scholarship are developing in ways that rely heavily on digital tools, so knowing how to use these tools effectively would put me on the forefront in my chosen area of study, which combines music, media, and production. As I think about my future, I recognize that effectively combining traditional research methods with digital methods is key to staying on the cutting edge of innovative scholarly work.

The project area I’m interested in exploring is how music practice techniques are changing, and how technology might enhance these practice techniques further. The project I am creating is a website for the Bucknell gamelan ensemble that functions as an educational tool for members of the ensemble, and those interested in the ensemble. The Bucknell gamelan is a group of traditional Balinese instruments that are typically taught without the aid of notation, so having visual and auditory guides would support the traditional pedagogy, and an introduction to the instruments, music, and culture of Bali and Indonesia in general would allow new members to intergrate into the group more easily. Because the Bucknell gamelan has a minimum of 14 distinct parts, this is a large undertaking. Therefore, I aspire to have the website fully functioning for each instrument, but for one piece only in order to have a full completed project that is achievable in the time frame. 

DSSRF: Interest in the Fellowship!

I became interested in the Digital Scholarship Summer Research Fund because I can explore the humanities through digital platforms. Humanities research have always been recorded mostly through analog and print mediums, so this program juxtaposes that idea that those are the only forms of recording and conducting research. It became an assimilation to digital technology because it still prevails within this modern generation. I also became interested in the idea that there could be an archive of our digital projects; I liked the idea that this can be a way of looking back on previous projects and getting inspiration and permission to improve and change projects from past cohorts. I advocate for constructive criticism and to have comments and feedback on this will only make the project more sufficient.

The project I’m referring to is one I’m doing research on about media representation. Specifically, the research will highlight the rarity of non-white characters that deal with mental illness and how this directly correlates to the amount of assistance that these individuals receive for mental health diagnoses. Something I noticed with films, television and even commercials is that there seems to be a lack of diversity regarding people who suffer from mental illness, but the opposite is true in reality. My goal and my research will center around that idea that there is a lack of diversity, but that’s because there happens to be less attention on the the communities that are predominantly non-white that have mental illnesses. The attention on these communities and the representation they have on film are both minute.

With this, something I’m hoping to gain is more constructive knowledge. Right now, I’m basing my research on personal observation, but also from a small collection journals and articles. I hope to be able to find more sources from books, articles, and journals, and be able to make this topic plausible. I’m hoping to be able to find more about the mental illnesses that I plan to include in the research and also to find more on the correlation between all of these different topics; I’m prepared to take this further if I don’t finish within the 8 weeks that I have. I also want to be able to gain proficiency in some of the tools that we discussed in our groups. I am interested in Tableau because I will need data visualization for the research I’m doing because I will be creating charts and graphs to highlight some data on the forms of media I’m using. I became very interested in Visme, the tool I showed during one of our discussions, because I think it would be cool to have a slideshow that I can add videos and data to.

I became intrigued with the discussions in the group and realized more of how important the study of Digital Humanities can be. I enjoy the print culture and analog mediums and would prefer those forms of technology rather than digital but it’s also nice to see what this discipline can provide. For example, easier accessibility to archival documents, convenience, and portability.