2018-19 Annual Report

Front Page


In 2017-18, the DH@MSU community began the process of formalizing a set of relationships among the many long-standing digital humanities programs, centers, labs, and projects at Michigan State University. This process included bringing together a group of core and affiliated faculty and writing a new set of bylaws to structure our work together. That work is grounded in a shared commitment to a digital humanities that is globally oriented, community engaged, collaborative, and above all rooted in the possibility of social transformation through critical attention to and use of technology.

In 2018-19, we put the principles represented in our bylaws to work. In order to ensure the greatest possible transparency and to support a growing sense of DH@MSU as a community, we are happy to present the following report on our goals and accomplishments during this academic year.

We look forward to working with all of the members of the DH@MSU community, and all of the communities that have a stake in our collective work, in establishing new goals and creating new possibilities for transformative work in the year ahead.

– Kathleen Fitzpatrick, Director of Digital Humanities

Table of Contents

Strategic Planning


New Faculty


Awards and Grants

Events and Outreach



Seed Grant Funding

Conference Funding

Summer Training Programs

Strategic Planning

During 2018-19, the DH@MSU Advisory  Committee began a strategic planning document.

Read the Strategic Planning Document

The key goal established within the strategic plan involves community building, and in particular creating a culture of participation within DH@MSU. We hope to build an ethos that encourages regular attendance at community events, participation in and support of community members’ projects, and a general spirit of collaboration and care. The Advisory committee is continuing to work on some specific initiatives to support this goal, including developing a draft document exploring the community’s values and norms, drawn from documents such as the Collaborators’ Bill of Rights, which we’ll share for comment in the fall.


In Spring 2018, DH@MSU formed a Core Faculty, and in Spring 2019, we began the process of regularly adding members to the Core Faculty as well as to the Affiliated Faculty. Welcome new members!

Find the full list of Core Faculty

Find the full list of Affiliated Faculty

Kate Birdsall


Christina Boyles


Julian Chambliss


Eric Hood


Andy Petersen


Scott Schopieray

College of Arts & Letters

Burt Bargerstock

University Outreach & Engagment

Jeff Kuure


Marilyn Wulfekhuler

Computer Science


In Spring 2018, the DH@MSU Core Faculty voted for the first time in elections for three committees, and elections were held again in Spring 2019. Many thanks to all the committee members who helped shape the working practices of the community for those to come. Listed below are committee members. “Learn more” to discover the charges for each committee.


2018-19 Committee

Zach Kaiser (2019)

Alice Lynn McMichael (2019)

Dean Rehberger (2019)
Michael Rodriguez (2019)
Matt Handelman (2020)

Sharon Leon (2020)
Terence O’Neill (2020)
Liza Potts (2020)
Justin Wigard (Graduate Student Representative)

Joining in 2019-20

Amy DeRogatis (2021)

Alice Lynn McMichael (2021)
Zach Kaiser (2021)
Scout Calvert (2021)

learn more


2018-19 Committee

Lyn Goeringer (2019)
Devin Higgins (2019)
Liza Potts (2020)
Dean Rehberger (2020)
Erica Holt (Graduate Student Representative)

Joining in 2019-20

Amanda Tickner (2021)

Sean Pue (2021)

learn more


2018-19 Committee

Ethan Watrall (2019)
Brandon Locke (2019)
Ellen Moll (2019)
Matt Handelman (2020)
Megan Kudzia (2020)
Dawn Opel (2020)
Daniel Fandino (Graduate Student Representative)

Joining in 2019-20

Ellen Moll (2021)

Christina Boyles (2021)

Julian Chambliss (2021)

learn more

Events and Outreach

2018-19 Committee

Max Evjen (2019)
Jon Frey (2019)
Brandon Locke (2019)
Megan Kudzia (2019)
Cody Mejeur (Graduate Student Representative)


Participation in the Events & Outreach Committee is by appointment on an annual basis. If you are interested in getting involved, email kmapes@msu.edu.

learn more

Faculty Awards and Grants

The faculty, specialists, librarians, staff, and students from the DH@MSU community accomplished many things during the 2018-19 year. By no means a comprehensive list, here are a few awards and grants received to serve as examples of the work going on in the community.

American Religious Sounds Project Awarded $750,000 Luce Foundation Grant & Launches Website

Enslaved Project Hosted Conference

Tone Perfect Project Received Award

Sherlockian Project Moves to WIDE

Generous Thinking Book Published & Fitzpatrick Profiled on Podcast

Chambliss and Collaborators Won Awards for 2 Podcasts

Events and Outreach Activities

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Colloquium Series

Launched a new colloquium series to share faculty and students’ current research and projects with the community.

Fall 2018: Daniel Fandino & Erica Holt and Kate Birdsall (Sept. 19); Jon Keune and Alexandra Hidalgo (Oct. 17)

Spring 2019: Julian Chambliss and Stephanie Mahnke (Feb. 28); Valentina Denzel and Eric Rodriguez (Apr. 17)

 learn more


Launched a regular newsletter to share upcoming events and announcements. The newsletter has 192 subscribers and saw an average open rate of 45%.

Additions to the newsletter are welcome by emailing dh@msu.edu.

Sign Up and See the Archive

Co-Sponsored Events

Co-Sponsored several events on campus, including:

Linguistic Jobs in the Tech Industry – Talk by Patrick Kelley, on November 15

The Hallowed Grounds: Race, Slavery, and Memory – Lecture by Hilary N. Green, University of Alabama, on February 12

Women in Data Science Symposium on April 12

Watch Hilary Green’s Talk

End of Semester Parties

Beginning in Fall 2018 and continuing in Spring 2019, we began end-of-semester celebrations, with food and a chance to mingle, as well as the opportunity to hear about research and presentations given over the course of the semester by colleagues around MSU relating to DH. These events were attended by around 30 people each semester.

Fall 2018 Presentations

Spring 2019 Presentations

Save the Date: THATCamp MSU!

August 22, 9am-5pm, Digital Scholarship Lab

This day-long unconference is an opportunity for members of the DH@MSU community (old and new) to gather, learn from each other, and make connections to carry forward into the academic year.

 learn more


Global DH Symposium

The 4th annual Global DH Symposium was held on March 21-22 and included around 100 people in person with an additional 20 people consistently joining in via the livestream. Keynote speakers included Victor  Temprano and Samantha Martin-Ferris from the Native Land project, and Maira E. Álvarez and Sylvia Fernández from the Separados/Torn Apart and Borderlands Archives Cartography projects. The Symposium included speakers from around the US, Canada, Nigeria, Tanzania, Russia, India (virtually), Pakistan (virtually), and Finland (virtually), with many of the speakers supported by travel bursaries.
Save the Date for the 5th Symposium on March 26-27, 2020!

Learn More

Distinguished Lecture

N. Katherine Hayles

“Do Computers Participate in Meaning-Making?”

In Fall 2018, DH@MSU began an annual Distinguished Lecture series, with Kate Hayles as the inaugural speaker. Nearly 50 people made their way through a snowstorm to attend the talk.

Watch the Lecture (requires MSU login)


Developing the DH Curriculum

This year, the Curriculum Committee began working on assessment

Graduate Certificate

Congratulations to the 5 graduate students projected to graduate with the DH Certificate in 2018-19!

Anne von Petersdorff (German)

Julia DeCook (Media & Information)

Stephanie Mahnke (Writing and Rhetoric)

Cody Mejeur (English)

Shewonda Leger (Writing and Rhetoric)

The graduate portfolio system and a new application form were developed and are now available on the website.

 learn more

Undergraduate Minor

Congratulations to the 7 undergraduate students graduating with the DH Minor in 2018-19!

Carly Nesbitt (Global Studies and RCAH)

Kent Kubani (Advertising)

Erin Campbell (Experience Architecture)

Cassidy Taylor (Graphic Design)

Marlee Guilford (RCAH)

Andrew Duris (RCAH)

Meghan Petipren (James Madison – Comparative Politics)

Beginning in Fall 2018, the Digital Scholarship Lab began an internship program for DH students.

 learn more

New DH Elective Courses & DH Pedagogy Learning Community

In Spring 2019, two new electives were offered as DH491/891:

Digital Culture (Liza Potts)

Data and the Humanities (Sean Pue)

Kristen Mapes & Ellen Moll led a DH Pedagogy Learning Community instructors new to DH. 6 faculty continued through the full year of meetings to develop new assignments and syllabi in DH.

 learn more

Study Abroad

Technology, Humanities, and the Arts in London (and now Scotland) is running for the 4th year in a row, May 24-June 23, 2019.

While the program is open to any student, this year we were especially thrilled to award Scholarships fo $2000 and $1000 toward the program fee to two students in the Digital Humanities Minor: Carly Nesbitt and Annie Dubois.

 learn more


Seed Grant Funded Projects – Summer 2018

See the tiles below for the projects and links to the reports reflecting on the project and sharing its status at the end of the funding period.

DH@MSU supports the research mission of the university, including that of faculty, staff, specialists, and students (both undergraduate and graduate). We were pleased to initiatiate at Seed Grant Funding initiative in 2018 and to continue it in 2019.

Seed Grant Funded Projects – Summer 2019

Campus as Laboratory: An Oral History of MSU’s Campus Archaeology Program – Alice Lynn McMichael & Autumn Painter

Collapse and Rebirth – Martha Olcott

Visualizing German-Jewish Intellectual Life in the Twentieth Century – Matthew Handelman

The Weeping Season

Learn More

Level 101: A Video Game About Video Games

Learn More

Theme & word analysis in the contemporary corrido

Learn More

Bhakti Virtual Archive (BHAVA)

Learn More

Digital & Community Publishing Collective

Learn More

The Longhua Civilian Assembly Center: 1943 to 1945

Learn More

Conference Funding

For the 2018-19 academic year, DH@MSU began a new program of providing $250 in conference support through the Conference Funding Program in order to support presentation of work at digital humanities conferences as well as to support presentations of digital humanities work at non-digital humanities conferences. This year, we were able to support 13 faculty, specialists, and students in this way.

Find out more

Joseph Cheatle

“It’s All in the Session Notes: Using Corpus Analysis to Inform Active Centership”, International Writing Centers Association

Max Evjen

“Jazz Hands Out!: How #Musetech Should Be Like Theatre” & “A Bear, A Mammoth, and a Sheep Walk Into a Bar: Museum Twitter Mascots in Small to Mid-Sized Organizations”, Museum Computer Network

Ellen Moll

“Machine Activists and Citizen Bots: Social Media Agencies and the Distribution of Knowledge Work”, Society for Literature Science and the Arts

Erin Campbell

“Human Trafficking Awareness in the Form of an Immersive Experience”, Voices in the Digital Humanities

Taylor Mills

“Digital Professional Development Workshop” & “Alt-DH: Building Counternarratives”, Undergraduate Network for Research in the Humanities

Cody Mejeur

“Visualizing the Bounds of Queerness in Games: Or, What Queer Games (Can) Look Like”, International Communication Association

Christina Boyles

“‘When they pass unremarked into our language’: Roundtable on Metaphor in Digital TechnoCulture”, HASTAC

Alexandra Hidalgo

“In Defense of Grain and Pixelation: The Gift of Low Definition Video”, Conference on College Composition & Communication

Sean Pue

“Urdu Poetry on the Internet”, Electronic Literature Organization

Dawn Opel

“Facilitating Community Care Coordination through an Online Referral System”, Academy Health Research Meeting

Catherine Ryu

“Tone Perfect: Developing a Multimodal Audio Database for Mandarin Chinese as an Open Source”, DHSI Conference

Gregory Rogel

“Migrant Death on Indigenous Land: Settler State Violence in the Sonoran Desert”, American Philosophical Association Pacific Division Meeting

Ryan Carty

“Towards Digital Science and Technology Studies: Challenges and Opportunities” Early Career Summer School

Summer Training Programs

In 2019, DH@MSU is supporting 7 faculty and graduate students to attend summer training programs in digital humanities. This funding program was begun in 2015 and annually supports DH training for MSU faculty, staff, and students.

Find out more about the program

Help! I’m a Humanist! — Humanities Programming with PythonHelp! I’m a Humanist! — Humanities Programming with Python

Soohyun Cho

Digital Humanities + Latinx Studies: Doing Work that Matters Digital Humanities + Latinx Studies: Doing Work that Matters

Mary Ann Lugo
Romance & Classical Studies (Spanish)

The Work that Stories Do in the World: Digital Storytelling for Research, Education, and ChangeThe Work that Stories Do in the World: Digital Storytelling for Research, Education, and Change

Catherine Ryu
linguistigs & Languages (Japanese)

Institute for Liberal Arts Digital Scholarship at the College of Wooster

Taylor Mills

Creative Coding for Absolute Beginners

Kate Birdsall
Writing, Rhetoric, & American Cultures

“Culture & Technology” European Summer University in Digital Humanities

Tianyi Kou
Linguistics & Languages (German)

“Culture & Technology” European Summer University in Digital Humanities

Martha Olcott
James madison college