Funded through the generous support of the Polonsky Foundation
Jonathan Armoza is a PhD student in New York University’s English department. He develops and studies methods of large-scale text analysis, as well as how big data patterning relates to past qualitative, close reading assessments of texts. Jonathan has an academic background in computer science from University of Maryland, College Park and language and literature studies from University of Washington in Seattle and McGill University in Montréal. He also has a past career in programming, having been a software developer, game programmer, and most recently a technical consultant for Google. Jonathan’s digital humanities work has grown from programming word-based games like Scribblenauts for the Nintendo DS, to volunteering on the Ngram Viewer while at Google, to researching and speaking on digital text modeling, analytics, and visualization methods throughout the US and Canada.
The New Fascicles
For over a hundred years, Emily Dickinson’s poems have largely been studied separately and apart from her original ordering. Her poems were discovered in her room after she died. More than 800 poems of her almost 2000 work oeuvre were hand sewn into little books known as “fascicles.” These book orderings were mostly neglected until the 1970’s though due to a historical dispute in manuscript ownership rights. In 1981, R.W. Franklin put forward The Manuscript Books of Emily Dickinson, a comprehensive bibliographic account of her fascicles. However, with such a large number of works, comprehending their relationships has proven challenging. “The New Fascicles” is a website that offers new views of all of Emily Dickinson’s poems found within her forty fascicle books. The site takes a probabilistic model of the words in her poems, known as a “topic” model, and visualizes it in two distinct ways via an interactive, data visualization called “Topic Words in Context” or “TWiC” (github.com/jarmoza/twic). TWiC allows users to see the potential “topics” of these poems, and how the fascicle poems are related by shared topics. It also inserts that mathematically-modeled perspective back into Emily Dickinson’s original, fascicle poem order to see how topics weave their way through the books. In addition, “The New Fascicles” allows visitors to create their own fascicle books from the potential topic narratives they discover via TWiC’s new views of Dickinson’s poetry. Included on the site is a TEI-encoded, digital corpus of the fascicle manuscript books and their poems for visitors to download, as well as a detailed description of the site’s technology and methods.
Irene Soto is a doctoral student at the Institute for the Study of the Ancient World. Her research focuses on assessing the extent of economic integration through trade in Late Antique Egypt, focusing also on Alexandria’s role as Mediterranean emporium, by using archaeological, papyrological, and textual data. She first started researching trade as a ceramicist for the excavations at Amheida, in the Dakhleh Oasis of Egypt, where she has been working since 2009. Her interest in economy and trade expanded into numismatics with my participation in the American Numismatic Society’s Eric P. Newman Graduate Summer Seminar in Numismatics in 2013 where she first conceptualized an in-depth study of post-Diocletianic hoards in Egypt.
Digital Map and Database of Coin Hoards in Ancient Egypt
For her internship project, Irene developed a digital map and database of the mints represented in coin hoards in Egypt. The economic role of the city of Alexandria as a major ancient port of the Mediterranean has not been well researched. Recent archaeological data uncovered along the Red Sea coast and within all of Egypt however, has presented the opportunity for understanding the key role that both Alexandria and Egypt played in the economy of the Roman Empire. Through coin hoards found within the territory, it is possible to map the movement of coins (and therefore) people from different areas of the Empire. Irene learned the tools to develop a script for mapping hoards, mints, and individual coins onto a mapping system (QGIS) that allows for statistical analyses. This will not only create a digital database for the hoard information, but it will also create an unprecedented visualization of economic connections. The project has become of interest to the American Numismatic Society and the Coin Hoards of the Roman Empire Project at Oxford. Irene has been invited to come to Oxford in the fall to see how her data might contribute to a larger coin hoard analysis being undertaken by the Oxford Roman Economy Project.
Regina Harsanyi is a second year MA candidate in Art History at the Institute of Fine Arts-NYU. Her academic writings focus on interwar period artist films, film exhibitions in the museum before 1970, film preservation, and the evolving relationship between archives and museums. She previously worked as an art registrar for Sotheby’s, which sparked her interest in collections management and database technologies.
The Artist Archives Project at Fales Library
Regina project contributed to creating greater public visibility for artist David Wojnarowicz (1954-1992). Wojnarowicz was a key figure in the New York City downtown art scene from the late 1970s until the early 1990s, who has gained a resurgence in popularity during the last decade. Wojnarowicz‘s works are especially challenging to categorize because of his use of variable media. For example, a paper mache mask created by the artist may show up in exhibited photographs taken by collaborators, His Super 8mm films, a live performance, or among other objects in changing configurations for multiple installations. To address these challenges and help curators, conservators, and scholars approach these works without access to the artist himself, Wojnarowicz was chosen as the first focus for the Artist Archive Project. The Artist Archive Project, started by Glenn Wharton, Deena Engel, and Marvin J. Taylor has produced a MediaWiki Knowledge base and WordPress website for Wojnarowicz. Regina joined the team in its second year, helping to structure and implement this alternative to the traditional artist database by focusing on the MediaWiki Knowledge Base. Foregoing the traditional database would give the ability to host deep-linking, more accurately representing the complex relationships between Wojnarowicz’s works of art, locations, and people who affected his life. Tasks this summer consisted of creating research content, helping design how content should be expressed on each platform, producing controlled vocabularies, suggesting new forms of data visualization, and mapping out the best user experience for scholars, curators, and conservators.
Lia Kramer is a student at the Institute of Fine Arts’ Conservation Center at New York University pursuing an MS in the Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works and an MA in the History of Art and Archaeology. She will specialize in the conservation of modern and contemporary art and time-based media. She earned her BFA in Drawing and Painting from Georgia State University with additional studies in art history and chemistry. Lia has interned with objects and paintings conservators in museums and private practice since 2008, including Renee Stein at the Michael C. Carlos Museum, Kate Moomaw (NYU ‘07) at the Denver Art Museum, Stephanie Hornbeck (NYU ‘98), and Rustin Levenson.
Documentation of Computer-based Artworks in the Collection of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum
Computer-based artworks are quite complex and can be challenging to document comprehensively. Often the native environment of the work becomes outdated within a relatively short period of time; as technology advances, old hardware and software become obsolete. Proper documentation contributes to preservation of the artwork by creating a thorough record of how the work is intended to function.Conservator Joanna Phillips at the Guggenheim has collaborated with computer science students at the NYU Courant Institute to examine the source code of the museum’s computer-based artworks. Lia’s work focused on utilizing these findings and expanding upon earlier research, which was then used to revise a thorough documentation report addressing the intricacies of computer-based art. This produced both a general and high-level record for use by museum staff with various levels of technical expertise. Lia’s research resulted not only in a deeper understanding of the artwork that was not discernible from the extracted code alone, but also contributed to the further development of the computer-based art documentation template. Once finalized, the template will be made publicly available on the Guggenheim’s website. More information on time-based media conservation and documentation is available at https://www.guggenheim.org/conservation/time-based-media.
David Sugarman is a doctoral candidate in New York University’s Department of English. His research interests include 19th and 20th century American literature and philosophy; Marxist cartography; urban theory.
40 Maps: Baltimore 40 Maps: Baltimore is a website designed to serve as a digital atlas of Baltimore City. If atlases are typically concerned with mapping roads and highways, 40 Maps: Baltimore maps the social, economic, and historical currents that run through the city. 40 Maps: Baltimore looks at the cracks in sidewalks, the potholes in roads, the grass in parks and the people in the street to discover patterns that might otherwise go unnoticed; are potholes filled faster in some neighborhoods than others? Do certain allergy-inducing weeds grow more freely on one street than another? These patterns are then “mapped” (defined broadly) using digital tools. Ultimately, 40 Maps: Baltimore will provide visitors to the site with a set of engaging, attractive, and provocative digital maps that visualize those habits, tendencies and structures – good and bad – that are all too often overlooked.
Yanoa Pomalima, received her Degree in Archaeology and completed her Master studies in Peruvian and Latin American Art History while she was working in cultural organizations in Peru. After her studies, she started working for the Peruvian Ministry of Culture in different archaeological and museum-curatorial projects. In the Ministry she had the opportunity to travel around Peru to learn about the living heritage and was able to publish a photo book about the festivities linked with the Inka Trail Project. She moved to New York in 2015 on a Fulbright Fellowship to pursue her Master’s degree in Museum Studies at NYU. Combined with her studies she has been interning at the AMNH and the Hispanic Society of America. Her interests include museum education, archaeological and indigenous narrative in museums, and participatory experiences in cultural spaces.
A prototype for public humanities websites about the Inka Road System.
For over 5 hundred years, the Inka Road has become a unique living heritage of the south American area. Its construction gave rise to an extraordinary road network that stands as the physical remnant of a very organized empire. Thanks to the Inka Road, the Incas were able to integrate a wide range of people and resources located in one of the world’s extreme geographical terrains. The road network was used for military, commercial, and religious purposes. The Inka Road also connected villages and thanks to it, they were able to share traditions that still alive until current days. Featuring digital images of archaeological finds, maps, images of villagers and its traditions, and information about the different trails and the Inka History, the website will serve as an educational resource for students and museum visitors. In the web site they will learn the importance of this cultural heritage, its features, and the importance of its protection.
Brine Digital Humanities Scholars Summer 2016
Funded through the generous support of the Jessica E. Smith and Kevin R. Brine Charitable Trust.
Kris Minhae Choe
Kris Minhae Choe received her bachelor’s degree in English Literature from California State University, Fullerton. After completing her undergraduate studies, she moved to New York to pursue an M.A degree in English at NYU. Going into her second and final year, she is preparing to write her thesis on post-Korean War literature, with a focus on exploring the ethics of translation and the ways language is used to represent one’s identity.
Digital Aponte: Writing, Painting, and Making Freedom in the African Diaspora
José Antonio Aponte was a free man of color, carpenter, artist, and alleged revolutionary who led an anti-slavery rebellion to free colonial Cuba in 1811-1812. For the project, we developed “Digital Aponte”, a site dedicated to providing a platform to “read” Aponte’s lost “book of paintings”. Its physical copy no longer in existence, the “book of paintings” is a work of art full of historical and mythical figures, including black kings, emperors, priests, and soldiers that Aponte allegedly used to mobilize fellow conspirators against Spanish colonization. “Digital Aponte” provides a comprehensive site for scholars, researchers, and students to “read” Aponte’s “book of paintings” through four parts—an annotated version of the judicial record that details Aponte’s description of the “book of paintings”, a simulation of Aponte’s library of books that inspired the artwork he created, a map of Aponte’s Havana, and an image gallery to investigate the culture of 19th Century Havana. A follow-up project from the first international symposium at New York University in 2015 dedicated to the interdisciplinary scholarship on Aponte, “Digital Aponte” preserves the political and historical legacy of José Antonio Aponte’s vision of a sovereign future for free and enslaved people of color.
Joshua Kruchten is a current graduate student of English and American literature at New York University. As a former researcher in cell and molecular biology, his research interests are far-ranging and interdisciplinary, with a growing interest in intersection points between early modern literature, art, philosophy, and science. Interests include botany, cartography, violence, discovery, controversial scientific discoveries, theories of matter and space, and utopias and dystopias. In addition, he is particularly interested in the book as a material object and a history of books, readers, and reading. Josh has previously studied at Northeastern University and the American University of Paris, and has held research positions at the Harvard NeuroDiscovery Center and Weill-Cornell Medical College. He has also been awarded funding for independent research at both Northeastern University and New York University.
Selling the Interface
Dr. Kimon Keramidas’s recent exhibition at the Bard Graduate Center, “The Interface Experience: Forty Years of Personal Computing,” and its subsequent online exhibition both seek to explore what the historical evolution of the user interface tells us about our relationship to personal computing, and what it reveals about ourselves. How are tools used for computing, entertainment, and work intimately connected to each other and to us? A key part of the story lies not just in the history of the objects and how we used them, but why we bought them–and how they were sold to us. Advertisements for these personal products provide a rich source of information about their historical moment, but they also tell a story about changing relationships of these objects to the gender, class, age, and location of their consumers. This project seeks to uncover more about these changing relationships. The project involved collecting advertisements, organizing them in a database, analyzing them with textual and geospatial analysis tools, and presentation of findings through an interactive webpage.
Cherrie Kwok is a second-year M.A. student in the English Department at New York University. She earned her B.A. in English with Classical Studies and Theology from the University of Exeter, UK.
Encoding the ‘Michael Field’ Diaries
During the late Victorian era, Katherine Bradley and Edith Cooperpublished over 40 works under their joint pseudonym as ‘Michael Field’. But the couple’s most culturally-significant material is arguably in their unpublished diaries. These have, however, been inaccessible to most scholars for two reasons. Firstly, they are tucked away in the British Library archives. Secondly, the handwritten script, scrawled on thousands of pages across 29 volumes, is extremely time-consuming to read. Fortunately, the Victorian Lives and Letters Consortium recently published the diary volumes as freely available digital images, and the director of the archive, Professor Marion Thain, is leading a team of scholars to digitally encode the manuscripts using TEI (Text Encoding Initiative) so that they are easily accessible and searchable. TEI has traditionally been used to record bibliographic metadata but, given the language’s flexibility, it can also assist literary analysis by allowing scholars to mark up texts interpretively. The Brine project represents a crucial part of this on-going process around transcription and text encoding, working with one diary volume as the basis for developing encoding strategies outlined in Thain’s journal article ‘Digitizing the Diary: Experiments in Queer Encoding’ to facilitate analysis of the manifestations of identity formation present in all diary writing. By developing innovative TEI encoding strategies for literary purposes, the project contributes to the Victorian Lives and Letters Consortium archive, to broader research on the digitization of manuscript diaries, and to the ongoing development of the TEI initiative.
Polonsky Digital Humanities Scholars Summer 2015
Funded through the generous support of the Polonsky Foundation
Andrea Myers Achi
Andrea Myers Achi is a Ph.D. candidate in the History of Art at the Institute of Fine Arts specializing in late antique and Byzantine art, manuscript studies, and late Roman ceramics. She received her bachelor’s degree in ancient studies from Barnard College, and she holds two masters’ degrees from New York University: one in Ancient Near Eastern and Egyptian studies and a second in the History of Art from the Institute of Fine Arts. Her dissertation investigates monastic books and book production from the medieval Monastery of St. Michael in Egypt. This project investigates Coptic manuscripts at the Pierpont Morgan Library and examines how manuscripts can help us understand monastic economy, including the production of books, and the pervasive monastic book culture of Christian Egypt.
Illuminating the Scriptorium: Using TEI and Social Network Analysis to Understand Monastic Books and Book Production from the Medieval Monastery of St. Michael in Egypt
Andrea Myers Achi explored modeling strategies and methodologies for organizing and analyzing the core work of her dissertation. Specifically, she became proficient writing XML documents with TEI, and versed in social analysis packages in R Studio. In tandem with mastering these digital methods and tools, she translated the Coptic colophons in the manuscript corpus. The colophons of the manuscripts confirm that the collection forms a single group of manuscripts dedicated to the Monastery of St. Michael, and they provide rare detailed information about the scribes, artists, donors and production location of the manuscripts. As these texts were translated, with the help of the social network analysis tools, she assessed the relationships between the various people who were involved in the monastic book production in the Faiyum Oasis, Egypt during the ninth and tenth centuries. All of the manuscripts preserve their illuminations. Through a stylistic analysis of the decoration, she intends to find a connection between the information gleaned from the colophons and the decorative choices used in the manuscripts. She hopes to use social network analysis programs as a means to assess these data. Overall, this project allows her to visualize, merge, and manipulate both the textual and art historical data from her dissertation research.
Francisco J. R. Chaparro
Francisco J.R. Chaparro is a fifth year PhD candidate in Art History at the Institute of Fine Arts, NYU, where he arrived in 2011 as a Fulbright student scholar. He studied art history in the universities of Granada, Spain, and Siena, Italy. During all these years he has combined his academic career with his activity as an art journalist. His interests include the history of Modernism, Spanish art, and the history and theory of photography and reproducible media.
The David Wojnarowicz Project at Fales Library
This project addressed the creation of a database for the use of scholars who are researching the work of David Wojnarowicz, an artist who was active in downtown New York from the 1970s until the early 1990s. The artist’s archive in the Fales Downtown Collection is the major source of information for the database. A challenge in the database design was to depart from the limitations of conventional databases for art collections, which privileges a highly structured and hierarchical arrangement of information that is antithetical to Wojnarowicz’s multifaceted and post-media approach to art. In this way, modern Computer Science resources are regarded not just as visual tools to compartmentalize information but as models from which a more dynamic interpretation of artistic categories as relationships and events can be successfully represented in a database environment.
Hui Fang is now a third-year PhD student at the Institute of Fine Arts (IFA), NYU. She received her B.A. degree in philosophy from Peking University, China, and her M.A. degree in art history from the University of Oregon. Her research interests include the history of Chinese professional painting in South-Eastern China from the late fourteenth to the mid-fifteenth century, and artistic exchanges between China and Japan from the thirteenth century to the sixteenth century.
IFA Chinese Pictorial Art Portal
In this project, Hui Fang worked as both a researcher and a website editor on a Glossary entitled Epistemologies of Ink Painting including 270 terms on a WordPress-based IFA research portal. Each glossary entry includes a discussion of the term varying in length from one to several paragraphs, followed by a relevant bibliography. During the internship, she extensively researched scholarship in Chinese both from Mainland China and Taiwan—over 400 dissertations, books, and journal articles—and provided a large number of Chinese language references to the existing bibliography. She also created a separate WordPress-based teaching website for an upcoming survey course on Chinese art, which she will teach at Parsons (The New School) in spring 2016.
Tierney is a second year student in the Dual Degree Mentoring Program, a partnership between New York University and the Palmer School of Library and Information Science at Long Island University to train scholar librarians. At NYU, she is earning her M.A. in Irish and Irish American Studies with a focus on history. She received her B.A. in Women’s Studies from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. Her academic interests include Gender Studies, Irish and Irish American Studies, and Ethnic Studies.
Inside New York City’s House of the Good Shepherd
Tierney Gleason’s project focuses on nineteenth-century public records for the House of the Good Shepherd, a Magdalen reformatory for “fallen” women and “delinquent” girls that was located on East 90th Street and the East River from the 1860s to the 1920s. Run by the Sisters of the Good Shepherd, an order of Roman Catholic nuns founded in France, the reformatory in Manhattan was part of a network of reformatories built by this order in the United States in the nineteenth and early-twentieth centuries. Many of these reformatories, including the location in Manhattan, contained industrial laundry facilities where inmates worked without pay. This project charts the timeline of the House of the Good Shepherd in New York City, examines the nineteenth-century demographics of inmates and convent residents through census records, and maps the network of Good Shepherd reformatories for women throughout the United States in the early-twentieth century.
Nate LaFave received his undergraduate degree from the University of Michigan in the fields of Linguistics and Chinese Language and Culture. He is now a Ph.D. candidate in the Linguistics department at NYU. He is interested in the intersection of sociolinguistics with the Digital Humanities, particularly research on computer-mediated communication and technologically-mediated interactions such as collaborative video games. He is currently engaged in fieldwork involving a local community of gamers. Another significant interest is the use of large-scale online corpora, such as Twitter, to examine the expression of identity and attitudes to language use.
Language Attitudes of Twitter Users Toward American English Regional Dialects
Twitter has been recognized as an important resource for social scientists and humanists alike. However, investigations of textual and linguistic phenomena such as geographically delineated lexical variation (i.e., differences in use of synonymous words and phrases, such as pop versus soda versus coke) have focused on differences in production. This student argues that Twitter represents an untapped resource for the investigation of perceptions of language use. This is particularly true for language attitudes toward regional dialects, such as New York City English (NYCE), and differences in their phonetic features (which can be identified by non-standard orthography: New Yawk, cawfee). Mining Twitter solves a primary quandary for language attitude researchers—how to acquire naturally occurring data given the fact that participation in research decreases naturalness. Researchers have long considered NYCE a regional dialect of English highly stigmatized by both New Yorkers and non-New Yorkers. However, results from this study show a number of positive language attitudes toward NYCE being espoused on Twitter—more so, in fact than the number with negative sentiment. This project examines the content of the positive and negative sentiments alike.
Alison MacKenzie received her Bachelor’s degree in 2014 from Binghamton University, where she majored in English Literature with a concentration in Global Culture and a minor in General Anthropology. Her undergraduate honors thesis focused on the ways in which the ideologies and narratives of house museums and the legacies of their owners function in communities, and she continues to be interested in narrative-building and education in museum settings. After interning as a web writer at the Strong National Museum of Play, she moved to New York City to pursue her Master’s degree in Museum Studies at NYU, and has been interning at the Morgan Library & Museum.
Decoding Historic Landscapes: Mapping Residential Migration and Real Estate in 20th-century NYC
This multi-platform mapping project is the first step in a larger effort to track residents of two houses-turned-museums in New York City: The Lower East Side Tenement Museum and the Weeksville Heritage Center. What happened to the residents of these houses after they moved out? Race-based-mortgage-lending policies made home-ownership difficult for African-American Edward DeGrant. Meanwhile, Polish-American Pauline Levine was able to purchase property and accumulate wealth over the course of her life. The two case studies illustrate larger processes that have been thoroughly documented by urban historians. Professor Aimee VonBokel plans to develop the study to visualize an expanded roster of racialized trajectories across the New York City landscape throughout the twentieth century. Such narratives may not fit neatly in either of these museums, but without them, the two historic sites’ may do more to obscure than to explain New York’s immigrant and black history— because the forces that created our twenty-first-century, racially segregated city must be acknowledged in order to understand the city’s current form.
Deborah Shapiro is in her second and final year of the master’s program in Archives/Public History at NYU. In class she often finds herself writing about the user experience and archival discovery tools, such as finding aids and search engines. Her undergraduate linguistics degree from Carleton College in Northfield, Minnesota, along with her graduate work in archives, has allowed her to explore the flexibility and limitations of human cognition.
TheDas Labyrinth Project
This project intends to aid the opera community by enhancing access to operatic sheet music. Frequently the resources necessary to present fully-staged operas are inaccessible; orchestral parts are particularly hard to come by. The Das Labyrinth Project website will make freely available clean orchestral parts and scores for Das Labyrinth, the 1798 sequel to Mozart’s The Magic Flute. In addition to hosting the digital objects on the Project’s own WordPress website, the student will upload the parts and scores to the International Music Score Library Project (http://imslp.org/ ).
Francisco J. R. Chaparro
Andrea Myers Achi
Brine Digital Humanities Scholars Summer 2015
Funded through the generous support of the Jessica E. Smith and Kevin R. Brine Charitable Trust.
Timothy Anderson is a doctoral candidate in the English Department at New York University. He earned his B.A. in History and Literature at Harvard College and M.A. in Liberal Studies at the New School for Social Research. His current research examines reiterations of Colonial American narratives in the poetics of William Carlos Williams, Charles Olson, Carl Andre, and Susan Howe, and their relation to contemporaneous developments in minimalist visual art and historiographic practices.
A Website for Time Landscape
Working with the artist Alan Sonfist and art historian Robert Slifkin, Anderson has created a website detailing “Time Landscape,” Sonfist’s site-specific land art installation originally proposed for New York City in 1965. Sonfist envisioned “Time Landscape” in a series of at least 100 settings, each of which would recreate the natural landscape paved over in the construction of the city, but the city constructed only one park, located at the corner of LaGuardia Place and West Houston Street. The website, built on Bootstrap using HTML and CSS and incorporating a GIS mapping interface created using CartoDB, explains the project’s history and enables users to situate the artwork’s various unrealized locations across the island of Manhattan.
David Hobbs is a PhD Candidate in the English Department at New York University. He is interested in the relationship between urban experience and poetic form, as well as the aesthetics of avant-garde literary coteries.
The Downtown Magazine Database
This is a public digital archive providing access to optimized archival scans of historic literary magazines from New York’s creative explosion following the Vietnam era, as represented by the Downtown Collection at the Fales Library. Many of the writers and artists included in the Collection wrestled with the Post-Structuralist and Existentialist theories that are taught today, but their work circulated in word-of-mouth magazines limited to few copies and fewer issues. By digitizing these magazines and making them available to a broader reading public, this student’s database will support both instructors wishing to teach their classes about American avant-garde literature and researchers whose projects focus on the analysis of big data.
Sara Partridge is a Ph.D. student in English at NYU. Her research interests include nineteenth-century American literature, the history of the book, and digital humanities. She received her B.A. in English from Columbia University, where she focused on modern American literature. After graduating, she helped edit and acquire commercial nonfiction as an assistant editor at HarperCollins Publishers.
Women Readers in Federalist-Era New York
Drawing on the early circulation records (1789-1805) of the New York Society Library, New York’s first social library and one of its oldest cultural institutions, the project explores the reading histories of the Library’s female members with an eye toward genre, publication history, and borrowing trends. “Women Readers in Federalist-Era New York” complements the Library’s multi-phase digitization project, which will use data from its charging ledgers and membership lists to offer an unprecedented window into the reading habits of Federalist-era New Yorkers. This project uses metadata from their open access software platform to generate statistics, visualizations, and datasets to analyze the types of books women in New York read in the 1790s.
Nathaniel Preus is a second-year PhD student in English, focusing on spatial approaches to twentieth-century American literature. He is also an educator, and has taught English literature abroad and in the U.S.
The Reformer and the Neighborhood: the Case of Mary Simkhovitch and Greenwich House
This project uses digital tools to make visible forms of geographic thought found in the settlement house movement, focusing in particular on the work of Mary Simkhovitch, founder and director of Greenwich House. It sees Simkhovitch’s understanding of neighborhoods responding to and diverging from mainstream attitudes about community-based planning and reform, suggesting ways in which settlement-based urban planning concepts may have supported or hampered grassroots organizing. The project maps archival material from the Greenwich House archive at Tamiment Library in connection with a close reading of Simkhovitch’s speeches and writings.