The One Where There Are Two New Post Docs at the CDH

New Spaces, New Faces | Nora Benedict

Greetings from one of the newest members of the Center for Digital Humanities team!

As a Borges scholar, I was tickled to discover that the CDH is housed in the Firestone Library -- right above the Rare Books & Special Collections Department, I might add! My new colleagues also can attest to my excitement through my constant use of (dancing) emojis.

In general terms, my research focuses on twentieth-century Latin American literature, descriptive bibliography, book history, and questions of access and maintenance surrounding both digital and print cultures. As a Ph.D. student at the University of Virginia, I worked closely with their impressive Borges collection for my dissertation, which considered the presence of books (and book production) in Borges’s life by examining the physical features of his works through the lens of analytical bibliography and material studies. While working as a student assistant in Special Collections, I also was fortunate enough to curate my own exhibit on Borges!

As a Postdoctoral Fellow here I’ll be working on a visualization and mapping project related to twentieth-century Latin American publishing houses, “Linked Literary Networks in the Global South,” that seeks to explore the emergence of a transatlantic literary print culture during the twentieth century, primarily through the efforts of Victoria Ocampo. Aside from getting to work with very impressive humans and world-renowned literary collections during the next two years, I am thrilled about what my hire means for Latin American Digital Humanities in a broader sense. During my graduate career at UVA, I was the first Spanish Ph.D. student to receive a DH fellowship in the Scholars’ Lab where I developed a mapping and archive project that emerged from my dissertation research on Borges’s book production in Argentina (norabenedict.github.io/borges/). When I found out about the fellowship, I began to work hard to spread the word about DH initiatives and workshops in the UVA community to fellow graduate students in my department of Spanish, Italian & Portuguese with the hope that more students would apply to work with the Scholars’ Lab and fully consider the benefits of these types of resources for their own research.

With my own experiences in mind, I hope to build bridges between the CDH and the Spanish & Portuguese Department as well as the Program in Latin American Studies, and encourage current undergraduate and graduate students to attend workshops and lectures, take classes, and work toward a deeper understanding of what the DH community might have to offer them.

Come look for me in our beautifully renovated space (Firestone Library, Floor B)!

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Next steps! | Jim Casey

I'm so excited to join the Center for Digital Humanities with so many wonderful new colleagues.

A bit about me:

Before I came to Princeton, I completed my PhD in English at the University of Delaware. There I co-founded the Colored Conventions Project with some brilliant collaborators. We did all sorts of things together. We started a crowdsourcing project called Transcribe Minutes. We threw a 199th birthday party for Frederick Douglass (more coming this year for his 200th). We built a large and still growing digital archive of black organizing in the nineteenth century. A few years ago, we held a Wikipedia Edit-a-thon. Our curriculum guided more than a thousand students at schools across the country conducting research in archives and digital repositories. We even won awards from the MLA and PCA/ACA. As part of that work, I've taught workshops and courses in different venues, including the always-thrilling HILT (coming to Philly next June).

More recently, we’ve crowdsourced a list of Black Digital Humanities Projects & Resources. We’ve gathered over 200 entries. What have we missed? What can we add?

My personal research is on the history of editing. For the dissertation, I charted the emergence of editorship in the nineteenth century as a response to the rapid industrialization of printing press technologies. In the next few years, I'll be working on the book project, an online bibliography of early black periodicals, and a symposium at the American Antiquarian Society on "Editorship as Collaboration: Patterns of Practice in Multi-Ethnic Periodicals." (see our cfp).

At Princeton:

I am looking forward to helping build a campus community around public digital humanities. We'll hold a reading group and starting to brainstorm together about Frederick Douglass' 200th birthday & other public DH avenues.

As a post-doc at the CDH, I'll develop a new project titled “A Committee of the Whole: Social Networks of the Early Black Republic of Letters.” The project will engage folks across the country to gather and explore data on the social networks of early African American communities—including schools, churches, newspapers, anti-slavery societies and the Underground Railroad.

Until then, I'm excited to learn more about all the fabulous work happening already at Princeton, and to meet all the new faces. What cool things can we do together here? What are our next steps?

Keywords: postdocs, CDH, community, Workshop, projects
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