We are happy to announce the recipients of the CDH's first Public Digital Humanities Seed Grants. These grants will support innovative projects in the Digital Humanities that bring together Princeton researchers with public partners, local communities, and the general public. These awards build on the CDH's successful 2017-2018 series of events, groups, and workshops on the public digital humanities.
While displaying a great diversity of methodologies and approaches - from oral history to ethnography, to codicology and philology - these projects all explore how Digital Humanities can engage with questions of public importance and reach a wide spectrum of audiences. In doing so, and by highlighting the collaborative and interdisciplinary character of research in DH, the members of these project teams will enrich the academic and intellectual culture of our campus.
Richard Anderson (History Department): The UNOW Oral History Project
The project aims to record an oral history of UNOW, Princeton’s affiliated nursery school, which was founded nearly 50 years ago by the local chapter of the National Organization for Women. Trained interviewers will collect audio and possibly video-interviews and historical records to document the interlacing histories of UNOW and Princeton, while also studying the history of second-wave feminism, childhood and early childcare education. The records will be archived at Princeton, and be accessible to a wide public on user-friendly digital platforms. The project will be based on the close collaboration between PhD students from the History Department with members of UNOW, the Department of English, Mudd Manuscript Library, the CDH, as well as several on-campus and off-campus organizations engaged with questions of gender equality, reproductive justice, child-care access and childcare education.
Wendy Laura Belcher (Comparative Literature, African American Studies): The Ethiopian Miracles of Mary Project
The Ethiopian miracles of Mary tales, put into writing from the 1300s throughout the 1900s, are an important component of both Ge‘ez literary culture and the religious experience of Ethiopian Orthodox communities in the world. This project aims to collect all available data and metadata on the tales, starting with the unique collection of Ge‘ez manuscripts hosted in Firestone’s Rare Books and Special Collections, to create a comprehensive digital platform that will facilitate engagement of scholars, students and members of the community. Besides a philological and literary-historical aspect, the project will seek also the participation of the Ethiopian Orthodox partners. Members of the community will be able to contribute to the collection, transcription and translation of the tales, as well as to recording their continuous living history.
Tala Khanmalek (Program in Gender and Sexuality Studies): Remedies across Contexts
Oral history is again at the core of the Remedies Across Contexts project, this time targeting the question of healthcare access by queer and trans health activists of color in three major metropolitan regions of the United States: New York City, Los Angeles, and San Francisco. By training undergraduate students and collaborating with Princeton’s LGBTQ Center, the project will create a digital archive of oral histories documenting the work of community-based activists and organizers. Each source-interview in the archive will become also a “resource” for scholars and community members, as it will be accompanied by meta-data and framed into a hypertext system connecting the users with relevant resources.
Abby Klionsky (Office of the Executive Vice President) and the Princeton History Working Group: Themed Historical Walking Tours and Virtual Markers
The project will contribute to the initiatives of the Princeton History Working Group, an interdepartmental advisory group of the Princeton Iconography Committee, which aims to highlighting lesser-known histories of Princeton University. Based on interdepartmental collaboration, the project will shed light on aspects of Princeton’s past - such as African-American and women’s history - for both campus and local communities. The project will create themed historical walking tours using virtual reality web apps. A series of visual historical markers will encourage the public to reflect on specific events and people from throughout Princeton’s history.