The Center for the Humanities is committed to supporting the growth of the Digital Humanities at UC San Diego. Digital tools allow scholars to bring their archives and work to new audiences, experiment with making arguments in new forms, aggregate data in different ways, visualize their research, and integrate multi-media into their research and practice.
Digital humanities also offers exciting new pedagogical possibilities that introduce students to digitized primary sources, enmesh a professor’s research and teaching, link campuses studying similar topics of study, and unleash students from the limitations of the traditional research paper.
Below is a list of UC San Diego faculty who use digital tools in their research and/or teaching, and a list of digital projects.
Cristina Della Coletta
Cristina Della Coletta, Dean of the Division of Arts & Humanities, created Turin 1911: The World’s Fair in Italy, a multimedia research tool devoted to the only World’s Fair ever held in Italy. The project unveils the ideological foundations of the World’s Fairs phenomenon as a whole.
Curtis Marez of the Department of Ethnic Studies crafted a digital project on Cesar Chavez’s Video Collection. Using Scalar, he created a project that grew out of his book, Speculative Technologies: Migrant Workers and the Hidden History of New Media (forthcoming, University of Minnesota Press), an interdisciplinary study of the material and symbolic significance of technology in conflicts between agribusiness and farm workers.
He participates in Critical Commons, a public media archive and fair use advocacy network that supports the transformative reuse of media in scholarly and creative contexts.
Emily Roxworthy created Drama in the Delta, a 3D role-playing game that puts the player into the experience of two Arkansas internment camps, where the US government interned 15,000 Japanese American during World War II. Players can navigate the camp from the perspective of a number of racially and culturally diverse avatars.
Sarah Schneewind of the Department of History created two useful digital tools for scholars of the Ming dynasty. The Ming History English Translation Project features portions of the Mingshi, or the Official History of the Ming Dynasty in translation from Chinese to English. The Late Imperial Primer Literacy Sieve helps scholars to understand how a partially-literate population read vernacular texts.
Ming History English Translation Project
The Ming History English Translation Project features portions of the Mingshi, or the Official History of the Ming Dynasty in translation from Chinese to English. The Mingshi was presented to the Qing throne in 1736 and published in 1739. Compiled from materials collected over the course of the Ming (1368-1644) and after, it contains valuable information on Ming government, society, and prominent individuals. Sarah Schneewind of the Department of History runs this website.
Late Imperial Primer Literacy Sieve
The Late Imperial Primer Literacy Sieve can assist scholars of the Late Imperial Chinese period to approximate how the partially-literate read public texts. While only 5% of the population in late imperial times was fully classically literate, much of Ming society gained some literacy from widely circulated primers. This tool can help researchers to better understand reception by the primer-literate population of vernacular literature. Scholars can select primers to run alongside specific texts, and the literacy sieve highlights the overlapping vocabulary, allowing the researcher to “read” in a mode similar to the imagined historical population. This tool builds upon the Chinese Text Project, and was created by Sarah Schneewind of the Department of History along with Joshua Day with support from the UC San Diego Academic Senate.
Cesar Chavez's Video Collection
The Cesar Chavez’s Video Collection finds in Chavez’s store of graphics, photos, films, and videos from the 1940s to the 1990s evidence of farm workers’ appropriation of visual technologies to project social alternatives to the patriarchal white capitalism of agribusiness corporations.