Center for Digital Humanities Announces Spring 2019 Project Awards

March 20, 2019

The Center for Digital Humanities has selected six faculty research projects for development awards.

The projects will  combine research in a humanities discipline with cutting-edge technology, like data visualization, digital storytelling, motion capture, 360-degree immersive video, digital mapping and augmented reality.

Director Bryan Carter describes the Center for Digital Humanities as a “dedicated research and innovation incubator,” purposefully structured with a unique collaborative framework to support research projects by faculty members.

The development awards are for pilot projects that can then be documented as working prototypes in larger external grant application. The projects involve a collaboration between the faculty members and student developers in the Tech.Global program.

The Spring 2019 development awards go to the following projects:

Robert Groves, Assistant Professor of Classics, to create a digital, online visualization using GIS-based mapping of the journeys described in ancient Greek novels. Using the interactive map, students can explore embedded visual and textual resources to learn more about the complicated histories and geographies of these novels and characters who voyaged across the ancient Mediterranean to Syria, Asia Minor, Persia, Egypt, and Ethiopia.

Barbara Kosta, German Studies Department Head, to showcase immigration stories of German artists, filmmakers, authors, composers who fled Hitler’s Germany and who sought refuge in the Los Angeles area. The project will create a digital, multilingual platform combining interactive mapping and digital storytelling.

Tani Sanchez, Associate Professor of Africana Studies, to use motion capture, virtual reality and augmented reality to help students identify, compare and analyze how characters are textually structured as “black” in traditionally stereotypical ways in cinema and film.

Robert Stephan, Lecturer in Classics, to construct a database that models the linkages between ancient financial data and a graphical interface that allows users to visualize return on investment results. The project will help make Roman economic history – a field laden with quantification and statistics – intelligible, approachable and engaging for humanities scholars and students.

Sumayya Granger, Assistant Professor of Second Language Acquisition and Teaching, to explore augmented and immersive technologies to enhance interactivity in language learning for the technology-mediated instruction of pragmatics. The research will focus on ways to offer international students English language experiences virtually to prepare them for coming to study in U.S. universities.

Jiang Wu, Professor of East Asian Studies and Director of the UA Center for Buddhist Studies, to update an online database of religious sites in China with current technology and use the revamped site to store, link, and demonstrate GIS data on important Buddhist sites collected from the Hangzhou region in China.