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Digital Humanities

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Digital Humanities at UCLA

As taught at UCLA, the field of Digital Humanities is a self-conscious discipline, one that engages students in emerging methods of software learning alongside critical examinations of the constraints and epistemological models implicit in these techniques. With DH projects there is, on the one hand, a headiness to the possibilities of electronic formats that print formats make difficult or impossible. But DH methods and tools must be understood as tightly bound with the theoretical assumptions driving them. DH scholars must always ask, how do these new tools affect (infect) interpretation? DH should help humanists become more explicit about their methodological assumptions more generally. [More]

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Police Officer-Involved Homicide Database Project

This project entails collaborative research and events organized by myself and three other students from UCLA’s Information Studies Department: Brittany Paris, Irene Pasquetto, and Jennifer Pierre. We explore un- and under-reported incidents of police officer involved (POI) homicides, both justified and unjustified. To fill gaps found in existing government and local databases pertaining to POI homicides, we deploy participatory action research methods through community involvement. Through these methods, we aim to create a clearer representation of the lived realities of communities experiencing police homicides in the United States. [More]

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Infrastructure, Representation, and Historiography in BBN’s Arpanet Maps

The earliest and most widespread representation of the Arpanet were network graphs or maps that, arguably, remain its most prominent artifact. In three articles authored by myself and Bradley Fidler, we analyzed how the maps were created, what they represented, and how histories of the network parallel their emphases and omissions. We retool the maps to highlight what is missing from them, including communication flows, gateways to other networks, and hierarchies between nodes. [More]

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The Feminist Critique

This project examines and maps instances of controversy in the Wikipedia article “Feminism.” Controversy and discussion are critical for an article’s development in a participatory platform. I apply a definition of controversy from Actor Network Theory to Wikipedia’s own protocols and technologies for consensus editing. This work uses methods developed in collaboration with the Digital Methods Initiative for isolating and visualizing instances of controversy in Wikipedia; it investigates ways to track and graphically display controversy and its resolution using the “Feminism” article and its larger network.  [More]

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screen-shot-2016-12-05-at-5-38-33-pmA Manual for Intimate Publics

A Manual for Intimate Publics was the final project created by myself, Brady Collins, and Stephanie Odenheimer for the Urban Humanities Initiative at UCLA in 2014. The project documents our experiences of the Golden Gai area of Tokyo, captured during a trip to Japan with the UHI team that Spring. Our collective representations of Golden Gai in the Shinjuku district of Tokyo became the foundation for a set of instructions called “A Manual for Intimate Publics.”  [More]

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I wrote a series of tutorials for UCLA Professor Johanna Drucker to use in courses deploying common digital humanities software for mapping, timelines, and data cleaning. [More]
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A Genealogy of Los Angeles Futures

While the last of Pacific Electric’s rail lines were being overtaken by weeds, Los Angeles planners turned to several clever new technologies for solving the problem of LA’s over-reliance on the automobile: monorail, steam buses, subways, underground buses, the people mover. Los Angeles was actually never at a loss for ideas and grand proposals for a future of fluid mobility. But it couldn’t seem to make the ideas stick, despite a growing consciousness of environmental impact. [More]

 

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screen-shot-2016-12-05-at-5-02-38-pmVisualizing Interpretation Using the Newscape Archive

Information visualization projects, which typically have a devotion to representing data about the ʻrealʼ, have paid less attention to a critical treatment of perspective, including factors of temporality and space. Using UCLA’s Newscape archive,we explored how to model perspective in the media. Do news stations express differing perspectives on the causes of an event? Can we conduct an analysis of  preference for certain assertions news media make about causality? [More]

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