Browse Category: Elizabeth Cornell

Spring Programs: Workshops on Gephi, Twitter, and Online Identities | Lectures by Miriam Posner, Shinsuke Shimojo, and Tom Scheinfeldt | THATCamp and Faculty Technology Day

Spring—a long awaited spring this year—brings a whole array of Digital Humanities programs and events at Fordham. Workshops on network mapping using Gephi, on Twitter for conference participation, and on developing an effective online presence for undergraduate and graduate students will be complimented by campus visits and public lectures by Miriam Posner (UCLA) on scholarly publishing in a digital age, Shinsuke Shimojo (Caltech) on computational science and neuroplasticity, and Tom Scheinfeldt (University of Connecticut) on best practices in digital history. The season will conclude with two conferences: a May 2nd-3rd THATCamp Digital Writing, and Fordham’s May 16th Faculty Technology Day.

Wednesday, March 5: Using Gephi for Mapping Networks in the Humanities and Social Sciences, a network visualization workshop with Chris Alen Sula, PhD and Will Dean (Pratt Institute) 
11:30am-2pm | Rose Hill Campus, Dealy 304

Learn how to use Gephi for network mapping for the humanities and social sciences at a workshop led by Dr. Chris Alen Sula (Pratt Institute). Gephi is an interactive visualization and exploration platform for all kinds of networks and complex systems, dynamic and hierarchical graphs. This free, open source tool runs on Windows, Linux and Mac OS X.

Chris Alen Sula is an Assistant Professor at the School of Information & Library Science at Pratt Institute and Coordinator of Digital Humanities. He earned his PhD in Philosophy from the City University of New York with a doctoral certificate in Interactive Technology and Pedagogy. His research focuses on data/information visualization, critical theory, networks, and the field of philosophy. He also writes about digital humanities and cultural heritage institutions (libraries, archives, and museums) and participates in public-academic work. Will Dean is a Master’s candidate at the School of Information & Library Science at Pratt Institute.

Space is limited. Registration is required. Download and install Gephi on your computer in advance of the workshop so you can follow along.

This workshop is sponsored by the Digital American Studies Initiative of the American Studies Program with support from the Dean of Fordham College at Rose Hill through the Innovative Pedagogy Initiative and by the Fordham Digital Humanities Working Group.

March 26, 12:30: Learn Twitter, a workshop led by Kirsten Mapes (Fordham/Medieval Studies)
12-2pm | Rose Hill Campus, Faculty Memorial Hall 416

Why tweet? What’s a #hashtag? Why would you want to type .@FordhamDH instead of @FordhamDH? Learn the answers to these questions and other questions at workshop led by Kirsten Mapes (Fordham/Medieval Studies). Twitter is an evolving social network tool that can help you develop your online profile and engage in public conversations in your field. Scheduled in advance of the Fordham Medieval Studies Program’s French of Outremer Conference, this workshop will introduce newcomers to the technology of tweeting as an aspect of conference participation. This workshop is sponsored by the Medieval Studies Program.

Wednesday, March 26: Thinking Through and With the Interface: Designing Humanities Scholarship for the Screen, a dinner talk and discussion with Miriam Posner, PhD (UCLA) 
6-8pm | Lincoln Center Campus, 12th Floor, President’s Dining Room

Miriam Posner,
UCLA Digital Humanities Center

Join the Interdisciplinary Faculty Seminar on Digital Technology and Scholarly Communications for a talk with Dr. Miriam Posner, “Thinking Through and With the Interface: Designing Humanities Scholarship for the Screen,” which will explore multi-modal scholarship and new forms of scholarly communication. Posner serves as the Program Coordinator for UCLA’s Digital Humanities Program, teaches in their graduate and undergraduate digital humanities programs, and is at work on a multi-modal book on medical filmmaking; that is, the way doctors have used film to make sense of the human body. Dr. Posner earned her doctoral degree at Yale University in Film Studies and American Studies. For more about Dr. Posner’s work, visit her website at:

This program is free and open to the public, but space is limited and an RSVP is required.

Sponsored by the Fordham Interdisciplinary Faculty Seminar on Digital Technology and Scholarly Communication with the generous support of the Dean of Fordham College at Rose Hill through the Mellon Interdisciplinary Fund and the Innovative Pedagogy Initiative. In addition, Dr. Posner’s visit to New York City is co-sponsored through NYC-DH by the CUNY Digital Humanities Initiative.

Thursday, March 27:  Sensory Substitution, Multisensory Plasticity, and the Third Kind of “Qualia,” a lecture by Dr. Shinsuke Shimojo (Caltech)
The Clavius Distinguished Lecture for 2014
1:00-2:00pm | Flom Auditorium, Walsh Library
Reception will follow on the fourth floor, O’Hare Special Collections Room.

Shinsuke Shimojo (Caltech)
(photo by Gina Vergel)

“Qualia” is a term used in philosophy to refer to individual instances of conscious experience. Examples of qualia include such sensory experiences as the pain of a headache, the bouquet of a wine, or the fragrance of gardenias on a summer evening.

In the past science has struggled with phenomena such as “qualia,” suggesting that such subjective experiences may be impossible to study. But new research in sensory substitution, such as the use of devices translating visual into auditory inputs for blind people, may suggest ways of apprehending the usually subjective experience of “qualia.” Some users of technologies that translate visual into auditory inputs for blind people now claim “visual” experiences. Moreover, at least one of these individuals shows neural activity in the visual cortical areas in fMRI when engaged in a variety of tasks relying on this type of device. This multisensory plasticity—the capacity of neural networks to remap themselves to accommodate new forms of sensory input—suggests that we are on the verge of a new era, where technologies are facilitating the development of new forms of qualia, or experience.

Join Professor Shinsuke Shimojo, from the Division of Biology/Computation & Neural Systems at the California Institute for the Technology, Fordam’s 2014 Clavius Distinguished Lecturer, to learn about his groundbreaking research bridging neurophysiology and information science to engage in the some of the oldest questions for philosophy of mind.

Shinsuke Shimojo received his PhD from MIT (1985), and is currently Gertrude Baltimore Professor in Experimental Psychology in the Division of Biology/Computation & Neural Systems at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech). The Shimojo Laboratory has been devoted to tackling the issue of how the human brain enables us to perceive objects and respond to them adaptively. Using visual illusions, adaptation and after effects, he and his colleagues have developed new psycho-physical and cognitive neuro-scientific techniques for enhancing our understanding of higher-order visual perception, spatial attention, integration across different sensory modalities, and sensory-motor functions.

Shimojo has authored or co-authored more than one hundred fifty publications in prestigious journals including Nature, Science, Nature Neuroscience, Neuron, and Proceedings of National Academy of Science. The latest findings from his laboratory indicate the importance of implicit cognitive and emotional processes in vision, multi-modal perception, and decision making. Among his many awards, he received the Japanese Neuroscience Society Tokizane Memorial Award in 2004 for his discovery of new perceptual phenomena related to visual contours and surfaces and his investigation of the underlying neural mechanisms. He also received the Most Innovating Research Award from the Japanese Society of Cognitive Science in 2008 for his work on counter-intuitiveness of Bayesian inference. For his series of books for non-expert general readers, he received the Santory Prize for Publications in Humanity and Social Sciences. He is also well known for his work as public intellectual, collaborating with artists in science museum exhibitions and writing regularly as a science columnist at the Asahi Shimbun’s WEBRONZA.

This lecture is made possible by the Clavius Distinguished Lecture Series and The Department of Computer and Information Science.

Friday, April 4: The Distinctive Lineage of Digital History,  a lecture by Tom Scheinfeldt, PhD (University of Connecticut)
4:30-6pm | Lincoln Center Campus, Room TBA.

Tom Scheinfeldt, Director of Digital Humanities,
University of Connecticut
(photo: courtesy of UConn Today)

Tom Scheinfeldt, nationally known for his leadership role at the Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media (CHNM) at George Mason University, now serves as an Associate Professor of Digital Media and Design and Director of Digital Humanities at the University of Connecticut. Dr. Scheinfeldt has been behind such pathbreaking initiatives as the September 11 Digital Archive, Omeka, and THATCamp. He is co-editor (with Dan Cohen) of Hacking the Academy: New Approaches to Scholarship and Teaching from Digital Humanities (University of Michigan Press, 2013) and a contributor to Debates in the Digital Humanities (University of Minnesota Press, 2012). He blogs at Found History and co-hosts the Digital Campus podcast.

Professor Scheinfeldt will lecture on “Best Practices in Digital History” at Lincoln Center and will lead a series of working sessions during the day with a small group of faculty and graduate students in the History Department. Discussions will focus on a plan of action for the department to incorporate digital history into its practices and culture.  Participants in the working sessions will consider how they can model digital history practices in pilot programs, become educators of others in the department, and lead new departmental initiatives in coming years.

This program is organized by Professor Roger Panetta (History) and hosted by the History Department with support from the Dean of Fordham College-Rose Hill through the Innovative Pedagogy Initiative.

Wednesday, April 16: Your Online Presence: Google, Facebook, and Life Ahead, a workshop for undergraduates by Alisa K. Beer (Fordham/History Department)
12-2pm | Rose Hill Campus, Dealy 304.

As part of the Digital American Studies Program, this workshop for undergraduate students will focus on online presentations of self and how to maximize your digital presence for life and work ahead. The workshop will be led by Alisa K. Beer, who holds a Masters of Library Science from the School of Library and Information Science of Indiana University at Bloomington, currently serves as a HASTAC scholar and is at work on a doctoral degree in Medieval Studies at Fordham. Beer is concerned with helping students understand their digital footprint so that their pathways beyond undergraduate education will be smooth and fulfilling.

This workshop is sponsored by the Digital American Studies Initiative of the Fordham American Studies Program with support from the Dean of Fordham College-Rose Hill through the Innovative Pedagogy Initiative and by the Fordham Digital Humanities Working Group.

Friday & Saturday, May 2-3: THATCamp Digital Writing
Friday at John Jay College and Saturday at Fordham Lincoln Center—for more detailed scheduling information, visit ThatCamp Digital Writing.
Registration will open March 3rd, 2014.

From tweeting to multimodal research papers to Prezi, writing these days means more than just black text on a white background. Through workshops and discussions, THATCamp Digital Writing aims to deepen and advance our notions of all facets of writing. Participants in THATCamp Digital Writing will explore how to effectively write using different digital tools and platforms. THATCamp Digital Writing begins with a special lecture on Friday afternoon, May 2, 2014, at John Jay College, and continues all day Saturday, May 3, 2014 at Fordham University’s Lincoln Center campus with workshops, discussions, and a Maker Challenge.

At THATCamp Digital Writing, join a dynamic cast of participants to:

• Learn more about innovative ways to digitize your work and publish it online
• Share pedagogical methods that use digital media for writing and research assignments
• Explore how to evaluate online writing and give feedback
• Question how tools, technology, and methods for publishing work shape the way we write
• Educate yourself about fair use and copyright
• Make connections with others
• Establish new collaborations.

TCDW is being organized by Amanda Licastro, a PhD candidate at the CUNY Graduate Center, and Elizabeth Cornell, Information Technology Communications Specialist, Fordham University.

Monday, May 12th: Faculty Technology Day
Fordham Lincoln Center Campus, 12th Floor Lounge.

Hold the date — additional information will follow!

[Updates: On March 5th the listing for our Gephi workshop was updated to include the contributions of Will Dean.  And on March 14th, the title of Tom Scheinfeldt’s talk was updated from Best Practices in Digital History to The Distinctive Lineage of Digital History on March 14th.]

Patrick Burns and Jon Stanfill named as Fordham’s 2012-13 HASTAC Scholars

The Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, in collaboration with the Digital Humanities Working Group, is pleased to announce the second year of Fordham’s GSAS-sponsored HASTAC Scholars with awards to Patrick J. Burns, a Senior Teaching Fellow in the Department of Classics, and Jon Stanfill, a doctoral candidate in the Department of Theology.

Patrick Burns (Classics)
2012-13 HASTAC Scholar

Burns’ digital research focuses on the application of corpus-linguistics methodologies, such as tree banking, annotation, and the use of the Python Natural Language Toolkit in the study of Latin literature.  Burns participated in the NEH-sponsored Summer Institute on the Perseus Project held at Tufts University last summer that explored many of these topics. He has also been at work on a digital teaching resource, the Tin Latin Reader, which he uses in the Latin courses he teaches.

Jon Stanfill (Theology)
2012-13 HASTAC Scholar

Stanfill will be investigating both the pedagogical possibilities of experiencing the world of Byzantium in the virtual realm, and the promise of cladistic analysis, which uses evolutionary biological algorithms for the editing of medieval manuscripts. Stanfill traces his interest in cladistic analysis to a seminar taught by Center for Teaching Excellence Director and medieval studies scholar Erick Keleman.

HASTAC (an acronym for Humanities, Arts, Science, and Technology Advanced Collaboratory, pronounced “haystack”) is an international network of undergraduate and graduate students, faculty, librarians, archivists, museum curators, publishers, and IT specialists. Members of the HASTAC community blog, host forums, organize events, and discuss new ideas, projects, and technologies that reconceive teaching, learning, research, writing and structuring knowledge.

The HASTAC Scholars program fosters an innovative community of graduate students nominated and sponsored by their institutions to participate in an online community focused on digital scholarship, pedagogy, and publishing. The award comes with a modest honorarium and access to campus digital humanities mentorship, as well as the opportunity to participate in the dynamic online community that includes HASTAC Scholars from more than 75 universities from around the world.

The 2011-2012 Fordham HASTAC scholarship, which marked the university’s inaugural year participating in the program, went to Elizabeth Cornell, a pre-doctoral fellow in the Department of English, for her work on the Keywords Collaboratory, an interactive project directed by Fordham English professor Glenn Hendler and University of Washington professor Bruce Burgett.

The Digital Humanities Working Group and the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences plan to make the HASTAC Scholars program an annual award, with application deadlines in early September 2013. Stay tuned for more information.

Cathy Davidson Speaks About Teaching for the 21st Century at Fordham’s Faculty Technology Day 2012

Glenn Hendler, Cathy Davidson, and Micki McGee at Walsh Library

Post written by Elizabeth Cornell

The average person in school today will change careers 4 to 6 times over the course of his or her lifetime.

Sixty-five percent of fifteen year olds alive today will work in careers that have not yet been invented.
These predictions, offered by Duke University professor Cathy Davidson, probably surprised many people in the audience at Walsh Library on Faculty Technology Day. Over a hundred of Fordham’s faculty, graduate students, and staff gathered to hear Davidson’s talk on May 22, 2012. She used the predictions to introduce what she sees as a major problem in education today: Most institutions and teaching methods still place their attention on training students to become proficient twentieth-century workers. As she writes in her book, Now You See It: How the Brain Science of Attention Will Transform the Way We Live, Work, and Learn (2011), “We have schooled a particular form of attention based on a particular set of values for the last one hundred years, with an emphasis on specialization, hierarchy, individual achievement, the ‘two cultures,’ linear thinking, focused attention to task, and management from top down.” These are what Davidson calls “keywords for an industrial age.”

William James and Frederick W. Taylor contributed to twentieth-century ideas about attention and work.

Most institutions still teach and train students as though they will have one career, one specialty, and a small network of contacts. Bleak job climate aside, few American students plan to graduate from college and go looking for factory jobs or expect to manage a collection of workers focused on specific, repetitive  tasks.

Our current social and work environments, as well as aspects of our learning environments, are much different. They require us to multitask. They are filled with distractions. We communicate with people all over the world, instantly and in full color with sound. We gather and exchange information in ways that were, in some cases, unknown even five years ago. Though some people claim multitasking and distractions are what’s “wrong” with our culture, Davidson sees them as opportunities for new ways of thinking, expression, building things, and creating knowledge. She warns that schools are not preparing their students for such a climate. Schools should be training students to participate in projects that require collaboration among individuals with different strengths and talents, not teaching students how to ace a multiple choice test or to work silently and alone, at a single, timed task.

In the digital age, students need to be proficient at following a workflow that is not task specific. Students should become efficient multitaskers, which can be achieved through remixes and mashups. They need to fully engage in process, such as publishing a good draft on a blog or wiki, and revising later based on feedback from the crowd. Learning to data mine is necessary, as well, and that includes “big data,” the visualization of data, and storytelling. Students need to develop blended skills, including  an interdisciplinary familiarity with the front end and the back end (such as code) of things. Our differences are valuable. We should collaborate by difference and crowdsource our skills and ideas. These, Davidson says, are the keywords for the digital age.

Near the end of her talk, Davidson asked: “How are we training students for a Wikipedia world where people share knowledge for free, will change their jobs at least once but probably more times than that, and may work in a job that hasn’t been invented yet?” At that point, the audience knew the answer: We’re not. “What can we do to change our institutions?” Davidson knows this almost is a silly question to ask, but she nonetheless makes educators responsible: “It’s our job, not our administrations’, to make these changes.”

How do we begin? For Davidson, the most important thing we can do is change the focus of our attention: we’re not seeing what she calls “the gorilla in the room” because we have been told to look for something else. That is, we still value the old keywords, but they no longer apply to anyone’s needs today or in the future. Change can take place, as she writes in her book, if we see things differently, in a way “that’s based on multitasking our attention—not by seeing it all alone but by distributing various parts of a task among others dedicated to the same end.” Davidson closed her speech by urging us to “think, learn, and share” with each other so we can discover digital and non-digital solutions for learning and working together in a digital age.

Cathy Davidson’s visit on Faculty Technology Day was made possible by the Information Technologies Academic Computing Group, the Faculty Technologies Centers, the Arts and Sciences Deans and the Digital Humanities Working Group. Special thanks go to Associate Vice President for Academic Computing Fleur Eshghi for her work on this program.

Guest post by Elizabeth Cornell, Pre-Doctoral Fellow at Fordham University’s English Department.

Scalar: An Option for Digital Humanities Publishing

Malibu Beach Surfer, 2011. Photo by R. Goldwitz

This post is by Elizabeth Cornell, a doctoral candidate in the Department of English at Fordham University. She’s been reporting on her recent summer residency at the NEH-Vectors-CTS Summer Institute at the University of Southern California. She is also the Project Coordinator for the Keywords Collaboratory, a wiki-based space where students and researchers can collaborate on keywords projects inspired by the book, Keywords for American Cultural Studies, edited by Bruce Burgett and Glenn Hendler. This is her last installment.

Oliver Wang has written a book exploring the social history of Filipino American mobile DJ crews in the Bay Area, forthcoming from Duke UP. His visual archive contains video footage of that scene and hundreds of different DJ crew business cards. These days, the web is great place to make a book’s visual archive available to readers. But dumping all that multimedia onto YouTube can defeat the critical purpose of offering it in the first place. And building a web site is time consuming and expensive. One solution, as I mentioned in an earlier post, is the publishing platform Scalar, under development at the University of Southern California, which allows for a clean integration of text and multimedia.

On the first day of the Vectors-CTS Summer Institute on Digital Approaches to American Studies, held at USC, Oliver and other participants presented the material they planned to develop with Scalar.

Another project was Carrie Rentschler’s “38 Witnesses: A Media Archive of the Kitty Genovese Murder.” The 1964 murder is well-known, in part because no witness came to the young woman’s aid. In her Scalar project, Carrie’s textual commentary complements archival resources and recent cinematographic attempts from student to professional film makers to show how the life and death of Genovese has been mediated in her life after death. Scalar allows Oliver and Carrie to interface text with image in dynamic, often nonlinear ways, greatly expanding the depth of their arguments.

After seeing these and other presentations with their rich visual, audio, and textual resources, I was elated. But I felt a little glum about my own project, a largely text-only endeavor. I was attending the Institute to explore how Scalar might at some point be used as a companion to Glenn Hendler and Bruce Burgett’s book, Keywords for American Cultural Studies. Another goal was to investigate how the Keywords Collaboratory—a MediaWiki where students around the country produce largely text-based essays on keywords they’re tracing in their coursework—might be transformed by a platform such as Scalar.

Fortunately, my glumness quickly evaporated. At the Institute I had a design team made up of deeply creative individuals: Tara McPherson, leader of the Institute; John Carlos Rowe, American Studies scholar; and Craig Dietrich, one of Scalar’s two main creators. The keywords project interests them because it does not have extensive multimedia material associated with it. They want to see how Scalar might be used in a largely text-based way and, at the same time, leave the portals open for people who wish to add multimedia. They also are interested in how Scalar might serve as pedagogical tool for collaborative work, an essential component of the keywords project.

Scalar does seem promising: Users can easily add text and upload multimedia; no HTML knowledge required. When it comes to collaborating, it’s possible to see who contributed what and when, and to view the project’s version history. The finished project looks clean and is easy to read, whether there’s only text or image on the page, or text and image. Readers and authors can leave comments for each other. Unique tags link to the book’s pages, sources, and images, revealing relationships among seemingly disparate elements and encouraging nonlinear navigation of the article or book.

Scalar still has some kinks that need working out. But for the humanities students who were born wired, Scalar might be the answer to the MediaWiki’s limitations. For the humanities scholar who feels frustrated by current digital publishing platforms, or simply fears the learning curve involved with new technology, Scalar might be the answer, too.

Travel Blog: Finding New Ways to Publish in the Digital Humanities

A visualization of media and their relationships to the pages in a Scalar book.

Post written by Elizabeth Cornell. This month Elizabeth Cornell, a doctoral candidate in the Department of English at Fordham University, will be reporting on her summer residency at the NEH-Vectors-CTS Summer Institute at the University of Southern California. She is also the Project Coordinator for the Keywords Collaboratory, a wiki-based space where students and researchers can collaborate on keywords projects inspired by the book, Keywords for American Cultural Studies, edited by Bruce Burgett and Glenn Hendler. This is the second installment of her report.

•  •  •

For most students and researchers working in the humanities, Microsoft Word is an essential and, when it’s not causing a frustrating formatting problem, transparent tool. But Word’s usefulness is somewhat limited in the digital humanities, where people value collaborating with others; reaching a wide audience inside and outside the academic world; commenting on the work of others; and using multimedia. If Word can do any of these things, it does so in a very limited way.

Of course, there are blogs, wikis, and web sites. They are better at displaying images and pointing readers toward other multimodalities. Readers can comment on blogs and writers can collaborate on a wiki article. Web sites are a more involved product and most researchers would rather be researching and writing than taking the time to plan and design a useful site. The advantage to these forums is that, unlike a book, they are not static; the information they contain can be modified. But what about, for example, a cinema studies paper that needs to draw on a large amount of original source material? What about researchers with access to large, often personal, databases and visual, audio, and digitized print archives? How do you get that multimedia to interface with text and commentary in a seamless, elegant way?

Enter the software platform, Scalar. As I mentioned in my previous post, Scalar is under development at USC and designed specifically for people working in the humanities. It facilitates the kinds of analytical and contextual arguments that have long been central to humanities-based research. Scalar allows for a dynamic exchange between readers and writers. Authors can use multimedia to illustrate their essays or add a visual argument to them. Paths link different pages and sources together in varying configurations, releasing us from the linear, left to right hierarchy of the printed book. Unique metadata such as tags can be added to the pages and media in Scalar, allowing authors to devise their own nuanced systems of categorization and identification. This encourages connections between terms, subjects, and sources that otherwise may not be obvious. In addition, Scalar allows collaboration among multiple authors on a single work. Readers can leave comments and, in some cases, add to the book their own written and visual material.

Scalar makes it easy for users to draw directly from multimedia databases and archives such as Critical Commons and the Internet Archives, two sites with vast holdings of multimedia curated and uploaded by researchers and educators to be used for critical purposes. The material collected on these sites ranges from digitized books in the public domain to video interviews with Holocaust survivors to clips from “The Simpsons.” The use of the material is protected by fair use agreements and a code of best practices for copyrighted material used without permission. (For more information about fair use, see American University’s Center for Social Media website.)

For my next post, I’ll offer more details about my project at the NEH Vectors-CTS Institute in the Digital Humanities, which is to develop into a Scalar book several essays from Glenn Hendler and Bruce Burgett’s book, Keywords for American Cultural Studies.

News: Fordham Graduate Student Chosen for Prestigious Digital Fellowship

Elizabeth Cornell, a doctoral candidate in the English Department and Project Coordinator for the Keywords Collaboratory, has been selected as a fellow of the 2011 NEH–Summer Institute on Digital Approaches to American Studies hosted by Vectors and the University of Southern California’s Center for Transformative Scholarship.  While in residence at USC in July and August she will be working on the re-design of the Keywords Collaboratory website that just moved to Fordham. The revamped site will launch in 2012, coinciding with the publication of the second edition of Glenn Hendler and Bruce Burgett’s Keywords for American Cultural Studies.  Congratulations to Elizabeth, Glenn, and Bruce!

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