THATCamp (The Humanities and Technology Camp) is an unconference-style gathering of peers, specialists, and interested students, faculty, and staff meeting to learn more about digital humanities from each other. WRAC had a strong showing at MSU’s 3rd Annual Digital Humanities THATCamp.
Charlotte Bachelor, a Professional and Public Writing undergraduate and Digital Humanities minor, presented her research during the DH Project “Lightning Round Showcase!”, which features digital humanities work being done at MSU. Bachelor’s, the Detroit Accessibility Project (DAP), is under the supervision of the Cube (an open-access publishing nexus directed by Professor Kate Birdsall—see more below). The DAP “aims to make Downtown Detroit more accessible by providing web-based and print guides for entertainment venues,” according to Bachelor.
You’re in downtown Detroit, excited about its rich cultural and historic offerings. You’re with close family, one of whom relies on a wheelchair and another is autistic. What resources exist to help make your Detroit experience an inclusive and engaging one? Bachelor is devoting her expertise and her passion to creating such resources and opening up Detroit’s cultural offerings to all.
Bachelor’s goal is to “have a website and fully functioning app by 2023.” In addition, she plans to partner “with venues and the City of Detroit and other governing bodies to make buildings more accessible.” Currently, Bachelor is accelerating DAP through the Burgess Institute for Entrepreneurship and Innovation Discovery Program and Bachelor is in talks with Rock Ventures as a potential community partner.
Other students who presented in the showcase are Key Chimrak, Apichaya Thaneerat (aka Plagrim) and Juhua Huang (aka Hayden). The trio created a video, “Why Won’t International Students Talk in Class?,” which was featured in the MSU Diversity Research Showcase in January 2021 under the approaches to translingual pedagogy playlist. It is also featured on the #iteachMSU page and was featured in WRAC News and Spotlights earlier this year.
Kenlea Pebbles, a PhD Candidate in WRAC, presented the DH work she’s engaging related to her dissertation project on the Flint Water Crisis, sharing data visualizations from her research.
WRAC faculty were also present and showcasing their work. Professor Michael Lockett, whose work spans the Hub along with WRAC and the Department of Art, Art History, and Design, presented on a cross-border digital writing project that paired First Year Writing (FYW) students at MSU with peers at a Montreal college for the Digital Cahier Collective, a “Québec-Michigan co-curricular cultural exchange through multimodal composition practices.” The project’s goal was to create “additional space for diverse pedagogical voices and collaborative writing exercises” wherein “students on both sides of the US-Canadian border were able engage directly with international peers and perspectives,” according to Lockett. The project was funded by Québec’s Ministere des Relations internationals et de la Francophonie.
Professor Kate Birdsall, WRAC faculty and director of the Cube, shared some of the DH work Cube students and faculty are engaging in, including Bachelor’s DAP. The Cube is a publishing nexus that supports, promotes, and produces open-access work created by diverse members of the mid-Michigan community, focusing on messages of social justice, accessibility, diversity, and inclusion through high-impact experiential learning. The Cube provides space for diverse ranges of persons, places, and communities to publish and advocate for their work and to engage with audiences they would otherwise be unable to reach.
The Cube supports a wide range of online, open-access publications. These include:
- JOGLTEP and Constellations (academic journals)
- agnés films (a feminist film collective)
- The Red Cedar Review (a literary journal)
- REO Town Reading Series Anthology (a digital book)
- The Current (a digital and print magazine)
- Superheroes Die in the Summer (a digital book)
Many of the Cube’s projects, as demonstrated by Bachelor and the DAP, are engaged in digital humanities work.
Written by Kenlea Pebbles