UH Libraries News

Announcing 2022 Sponsored Projects

University of Houston Libraries Digital Research Services (DRS) and Digital Research Commons (DRC) are pleased to announce the 2022 sponsored digital research projects. DRS collaborates with UH faculty, graduate students, and postdoctoral fellows on projects involving digital techniques across the humanities, social sciences, and experimental sciences, offering grants at three levels designed to address projects in various stages of development.

2022 sponsored projects are:

An Empirical Survey of the Analytic/Continental Divide
Graham Lee, Walter Barta, and Steve Chan
What is the difference, if any, between analytic philosophy and continental philosophy? Contemporary philosophers tend to identify themselves roughly along these lines, and so the field of contemporary philosophy is divided roughly along these lines. This project will produce a tool for users to model selected sets of continental and analytic philosophy to try to establish a firm semantic, discursive or syntactic basis for the distinction.

Building the Past: Reimagining the University of Houston Campus
David Guzman, Caitlyn Jones, and Shine Trabucco
How does memorialization/commemoration on the University of Houston campus reflect the university’s commitment to a diverse campus culture, and how have these spaces been contested in the past? Building the Past is an exercise at the crossroads of social advocacy and public history. Using the namesakes occupying the physical structures of the University of Houston, our project seeks to explore the silences and evasions inherent within the campus landscape. Additionally, it aims to highlight how the campus has served as a site of contestation for those who have been excluded both literally and figuratively from its landscape.

Opening Up Anti-Asian Racism Dialogues Through Storymap
Sunhong Hwang and Melody Lee
Our public-engaging project examines historical struggles of Asian immigrants and Asian Americans. We will create three storymaps to mark the past, the present and the future: 1) the historical timeline of anti-Asian and Asian American events and incidents; 2) an interactive ArcGis Storymap of the present stories and data documenting anti-Asian racism during the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States, which include a video series and an interactive storymap; 3) a map suggesting the resources Asian immigrants and Asian Americans can turn to in face of racist attacks.

The interactive maps enable viewers to contribute to the current dialogues of anti-Asian racism. Our project looks through the specific incidents from 2020-2021, and identify whether they are microaggression, physical violence, harassment or other problems, how and where they take place, and how they contribute to the stigmatization and “othering” of people of Asian descent. Our project can help increase public awareness of the social problem of anti-Asian racism.

The Digital Carceral Body: the Making of Recidivist Women in Texas
Ariel Ludwig
Mass incarceration is often framed as a social and political issue, but is less often acknowledged to be a data or epistemological/ knowledge problem. This project sets out to understand the history of risk projections that determine both the time and conditions of release from jails or prisons in Texas. This history will form part of the digital archive that will also include works of art, writing, and interviews responding to this history from women living at Angela House, a non-profit that assists formerly incarcerated women with substance use disorders.

David Mazella
This project will extend its research questions regarding eighteenth-century genres to investigate further how both literary and non-literary genres were shaped by their producers, audiences, and local print infrastructures in the target year. This investigation will eventually entail

  • constructing a full-text corpus for the dataset preparatory for topic modeling and text mining; text mining would help pinpoint the differences within and among the genres, and help refine existing genre-proximity classifications;
  • preparing strategies for analyzing the problematic genre category of “collection,” to understand some of the principles of inclusion and exclusion governing both simple and compounded forms like “periodicals,” “garlands,” “miscellanies,” “fugitive texts,” etc. found in the existing dataset;
  • preparing strategies for analyzing the problematic gender category of “NKA” (not known or anonymous authors or printers) found within our existing dataset, and
  • as part of the investigation of the dataset’s anonymous or collective authors, conducting biographical research on named authors/printers’ backgrounds and careers, including authors’ status as living or dead or texts’ status as new or reprinted in the target year.

Why DH Needs UX
Peggy Lindner, Elizabeth Roswell, Kristina Neumann
This project will examine the interplay between DH and user experience (UX) research: the process of creating products or tools that are efficient, enjoyable, and effective in their use. From its foundations at Bell Labs in the 1950s to its development as a discipline by Apple in the 1990s, UX research has now become industry standard in the production of technology. The field of DH, however, has yet to fully realize the significance of UX for a successful digital project or even include it at all as part of project development.

Our overall objective is to contribute to the theory and practice of DH, specifically in the accessibility and sustainability of DH projects. We intend to reach already active and future DH practitioners by providing a bridge to the technology field and industry. Through our own experience with SYRIOS, we seek to demonstrate the efficacy of collaboration between these worlds at all stages of a DH project.

Sharing Stories: the 1977 National Women’s Conference
Nancy Beck Young and Leandra Zarnow
Our project is a multi-year, multi-state, multi-institutional effort led by the University of Houston to document and analyze the experience and impact of thousands of delegates and observers of the 1977 National Women’s Conference (NWC). The next phase of this project is three-fold. First, we will clean and launch the demographic data for the Western states and the Pacific territories in summer 2022 to augment our Mapping NWC site feature and begin data visualization work. Second, we will be preparing our data for the next regional roll out in fall 2022 to introduce New England and Midwest states to the Mapping NWC data set. Third, we will develop how-to videos for the project, improve site interactivity, and construct our mobile design to make our launch site more user friendly on multiple platforms. Ultimately, our aim is to create an open source digital archive that spurs quantitative and qualitative scholarship and public engagement and is fully complete by 2027, the fiftieth anniversary of the NWC.

Written by Esmeralda Fisher on February 14th, 2022 and filed under Announcements, Digital Research, Featured