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2021 MA DH Defenses

Please join Loyola University Chicago’s Center for Textual Studies and Digital Humanities for our five upcoming Digital Humanities MA defenses.  All defenses are 2-3:30pm CST.

Eliora Horst, WordPress Theme for Digital Critical Editions
Date: Monday, April 19, 2021 

As of the Spring of 2021, there exists no contemporary template or framework in which humanists can create their digital editions. These editions must be constructed from the ground up, which consumes much of a project’s time and resources. A WordPress theme that specifically addresses all of the current issues with digital editions would allow the average user to create their own digital edition, while alleviating some of the burdens normally associated with creating a fully functional digital critical edition.  This WordPress theme can be used as a base model for a digital edition for all levels.  As development of a digital edition platform is a major budgetary concern for many digital edition projects, this theme is designed to provide a ready to use, out-of-the-box digital edition template that can be used as is or can be further developed into a more unique design to suit the needs of the project.

Regina Hong, Traces of Time: a digital database on the pre-war Japanese community in Singapore
Date: Wednesday, April 21, 2021

Aimed at students, researchers and educators, and anyone with an interest in the pre-war Japanese community of Singapore, Traces of Time pulls together sources on this community in Singapore from different collections, digitally put together for the first time. Apart from this digital archive feature, the database also further enlivens items for research and use through customized metadata, plotting items on a map to show geographic spread, and contextualizing them using research guides with essays on key topics and guiding questions for exploring the objects. As a work of scholarship, Traces of Time aims to fill the gap in locating resources on the relatively understudied pre-war Japanese community in Singapore. It also considers how the creation of metadata and use of digital functions such as tags are vital for revealing information such as temporal and spatial movements, and networks that businesses and individuals were part of. 

Andrew French, The Stoker Serials: A Digital Edition of the Serialized Versions of Bram Stoker's Dracula
Date: Friday, April 23, 2021

Bram Stoker's Dracula, an international hit today, saw little success in the decades following its original publication in 1897. Attempting to broaden the reach and audience of his novel, Stoker desperately sought publishers in the United States that would accept Dracula, and he eventually struck a deal with a U.S. publisher. However, earlier that same year, Dracula circulated among U.S. readers not as a novel, but as a newspaper serial in Chicago. Dracula would go on to be serialized in three more U.S. newspapers over the course of the next two decades, with each serial altering the text in unique ways. From word substitutions to outright bowdlerization of the text, these editorial decisions effectively alter the text and affect a reader's engagement with and understanding of the story. The Stoker Serials Project centers on the differences between these U.S. newspaper serials and how they compare to the novel. This project uses the Versioning Machine 5.0, a tool for comparing different versions of a text, to display the differences in each serial comparing to the novel version of Dracula, all on an interactive digital interface. The aim is to contribute to serialization studies broadly through the close analysis of the unusual circumstances of this serialized novel. But this project also explores the American roots of this culturally significant novel, as the Dracula serials have at this time received little scholarly attention.

Prakruti Maniar, Creating an Indian Literary Database: Theory and Practice
Date: Monday, April 26, 2021

The Digital Humanities body of knowledge produced in the last decade rightfully critiques the manner in which technology dictates our social life, questions the power structures of the digital world, raises concerns about the business logics that govern our most-used software. This paper extends that work to the literary world, to look at the multilingual nature of India, the socio-cultural realities of language and identity-making, its reading culture, the challenges of the literary system, how real-world linguistics unities and divisions play out online, and how existing classification systems are inadequate to capture these complexities. In response, it offers a MySQL database design that allows critical data gathering of local literary cultures for representation at the national and global level. The sample dataset of 200 books reveals the nature of literary traffic in Hindi, Gujarati, Marathi, and English between 1965-1985, the challenges of data gathering, access, and more. Finally, it also designs an interface for readers to interact with books in more than one language at a time, without erasing the others.

Anna Kroon, Dino in the Hill: Designing a Digital Edition for Children
Date: Wednesday, April 28, 2021

This project considers what a digital edition would look like for elementary school aged kids and aims to showcase the process of formal knowledge production in the sciences through Dr. Mignon Talbot’s 1911 article in The American Journal of Science introducing Podokesaurus holyokensis to the scientific community. The Podokesaurus is currently up for consideration as the official state dinosaur of Massachusetts because of state Representative Jack Patrick Lewis’s interest in educating young Massachusetts students about the legislative process. Increasing technology and curriculum changes focusing on primary sources indicates a potential gap for scholarly digital work focused on the needs and abilities of elementary aged students.


DH MA defenses are by invitation.