The DHRX is a cross-campus faculty research network designed to highlight innovative, digitally-focused academic work at the University of Pittsburgh. Bringing together researchers from a broad range of disciplinary backgrounds, the network is dedicated to exploring the creative use of digital technologies in humanities and social science research.
Currently, a major goal of the DHRX is to help build community. The members of the network are frequently in contact with one another and the group meets as a whole once per semester to discuss issues and challenges specific to digital making.
We are enthusiastic about the ways that digital technology can expand, reconfigure, and enrich our understanding of the relationship between academic inquiry and the social world.
For further information or to find out more about joining the network, please feel free to contact Alison Langmead, Principal Contact for the DHRX at email@example.com.
Upcoming PGH|DH (Pittsburgh Digital Humanities) Events (Click here for full calendar)
Weds, Dec 6
501 Cathedral of Learning
Please join us for a lively, transhistorical symposium focused on different materialities of writing: manuscripts, video, and print.
Associated with Annette Vee’s Materialities of Writing graduate course (EngLit 2570), and the English Literature Media and Material Practices Focal Area.
Snacks will be served!
Ryan McDermott, “Interactive Reading by Professional Scribes”
Marginalia can give us a sense of how readers respond to books. In manuscript culture, scribes are readers at the same time that they are producers of text. One scribe of a medieval playtext in a fifteenth-century household manuscript was a particularly involved and creative participant in the work he or she copied. This is a speculative explanation of what this eccentric scribe was up to.
Katie Bird, “Writing with Video: Videographic Play as Embodied Research”
Working through my dissertation on the histories of craft workers in Hollywood, I found myself again and again faced with problems of description. As a filmmaker and film scholar, how do I explain what makes a Steadicam shot look a certain way? How do editors utilize intuition to feel where to cut? The only way I found to research, investigate, and think through these questions was to "write with video" utilizing digital non-linear video editing and a range of primary source films. Initially I imagined and intended these video experiments or playful compositions to work merely as adjacent thought experiments or background research. Now I explicitly incorporate my video experiments and the written description of process and practices by which they were constructed into my scholarly writing. This kind of dual writing with my own filmmaking practice about the filmmaking practices of Hollywood technicians has given me new tools to think through and about historical embodied labor practices and more fully illustrate to readers the political, aesthetic stakes of my project. In this demonstration, I will show two brief selections from this video work, walk through my videographic research process, and discuss how these kinds of alternative writing tools can be thoughtfully integrated as scholarly writing.
Matthew Lavin, “Textures of Taste: Uncovering the Material and Linguistic Codes of Historical Book Reviews”
In a cultural moment where one can effortlessly locate a review of Spiderman: Homecoming, Plato’s Republic, a Snuggie, and the Grand Canyon, it is perhaps easier than ever before to lose track of the review as a complex genre with material underpinnings. Reviews are so familiar as to seem self-evident, pure expressions of recommendation, condemnation, or something between the two. Book history has sought to put pressure on this kind of assumption by appreciating the book review as a highly rehearsed and performative genre with deep rhetorical and material codes of information transfer. Yet book history to date has charted the book review mainly through close analysis of highly visible case studies, or through laborious cataloguing of relatively small sets of books reviews.
Digital humanities methods present an opportunity to revisit histories of reading practices, reader response, and literary taste-making. Using a proof-of-concept dataset of approximately 1,000 New York Times book reviews from 1905, Lavin’s presentation focuses on how the perceived gender of the reviewed book’s author shaped trends for evaluating and characterizing literary work. Corpus-based analysis of historical book reviews can deepen existing scholarship on the role that book reviews played in mediating capitalist functions of an increasingly international and corporate marketplace of print and publishing, as well as their role in constructing a gendered notion of middlebrow reading. Lavin’s talk will also touch upon the implications of moving from a relatively small corpus of New York Times book reviews to a corpus of potentially hundreds of thousands of reviews covering a fifty-year time frame and hundreds of periodicals.
January 25th Dave Kaufer
February 1st Susan Tanner
February 8th Richard Jean So
February 15th George Taylor
February 22nd TBA
March 1st TBA
March 8th TBA
March 22nd Avery Wiscomb and Dan Evans
March 29th George Taylor
April 5th Lara Putnam
April 12th TBA
April 26th TBA
May 3rd Matt Lavin
May 10th TBA