Abstracts

Abstracts are posted as they are accepted by the planing committee members from each participating institution. Check back often for new additions.

Bored Stupid and Lonely: American Anxieties About Technology from the Telegraph to Twitter
Luke Fernandez, Weber State University; Susan Matt, Weber State University

From Microfilm to Mobile Media: Towards a History of Reading Interfaces
Julia Panko, Weber State University

Slacktivism Versus Hacktivism: Hacking the Classroom for a Better Critical Pedagogy
Mark D. Pepper, Utah Valley University

Oxford, Ida, and UVU
Jans B. Wager, Utah Valley University; Catherine McIntyre, Utah Valley University; Zoe McDonald, Utah Valley University; Timothy Dawson, Utah Valley University

“The Discussion is Interminable:” Continued Conversation through the Kenneth Burke Digital Archive
Dr. Ethan Sproat, Utah Valley University

Fan Fiction as Assemblage
Anne Jamison, University of Utah

My Self, My Scars: Representations of cancer and gender on Instagram
Avery E. Holton, University of Utah; Allison Lazard, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill

Gamification Pedagogy: Motivating students in the online writing classroom
Nina Feng, University of Utah

The Poemage Project: Exploring the true value of computation to poetry scholarship
Nina McCurdy, University of Utah

Your digital humanities are in my library! No, your library is in my digital humanities! How libraries are enabling and engaging in digital humanities projects.
Anna Neatrour, University of Utah; Rebekah Cummings, University of Utah

The Poemage Project: Exploring the true value of computation to poetry scholarship
Nina McCurdy, University of Utah

Beyond OCHRE: Extending a philologically explicit corpus to include historical entities
Edward Stratford, Brigham Young University

A Digital Humanist’s 20-year Retrospective
Gideon Burton, Brigham Young University

Using Large Online Corpora (for Looking at Language and Much More)
Mark Davies, Brigham Young University

BiblioTech: Digital Humanities and Digital Libraries
Elizabeth Smart, Brigham Young University; Greg Reeve, Brigham Young University

Just a Bunch of Homos: Tumblr, Grindr, Scruff, and the New Gay Rights Movement
Emerson L.R. Barrett, Westminster College; Ryan LaRe, Westminster College

Online Multimedia Museum Exhibits: Sharing, Combining and Repurposing Digital Artifacts to Enhance Access and Learning
Matt Nickerson, Southern Utah University

Bored Stupid and Lonely: American Anxieties About Technology from the Telegraph to Twitter

Luke Fernandez, Weber State University
Susan Matt, Weber State University

In May 1894, Dr. Edward Rich, of Ogden, Utah wrote in his diary, “A pleasant day. Dull! dull!! dull!!!” Life was no more exciting a few days later, leading him to write, “A dull day . . . . Nothing special.” Such entries were typical in Rich’s diaries. Dullness seemed a part of life to him, as he noted the next month: “Nothing special Times awfully dull Read some and do some writing Receive letters from Mother Amasa& Mary.” While Rich did not enjoy the monotony of his days, he seemed little motivated to alter them; and there seemed little he could do to change their texture and meaning. He was reconciled to the fact that some days were boring. Such attitudes were common among nineteenth-century Americans. Life was often dull, but there was little one could do to change that.

One hundred and thirty years later, The Onion published a satirical piece titled “Americans demand New Form of Media to Bridge Entertainment Gap While Looking From Laptop to Phone.” As The Onion noted:

According to reports from across the country, citizens are loudly calling for a device or program capable of keeping them captivated as they move their eyes from a computer screen to a smartphone screen, arguing that a new source of video and audio stimulation is vital to alleviating the excruciating boredom that currently accompanies this prolonged transition.

These contrasting anecdotes illustrate changing attitudes and sensibilities towards boredom in American history. Whereas in the nineteenth century, Americans were resigned to a certain degree of tedium and monotony in their lives, contemporary Americans are primed for constant change, novelty and excitement.

Worries about technology and boredom are not particular to the twenty-first century. They have existed at least since the nineteenth century, when the word boredom was first coined. But the meaning and experience of the emotion have changed dramatically during that period so much so that contemporary observers have questioned whether Americans have completely lost their ability to tolerate dullness.

This paper addresses that change by using the frameworks of the humanities to understand how technology—and particularly digital technology—is reshaping human experience and emotional life. It combines technology studies with the history of emotions in order to understand the changing feelings of ordinary Americans. The presentation comes from our book project on how technology has affected emotional life, from the telegraph to Twitter.


From Microfilm to Mobile Media: Towards a History of Reading Interfaces

Julia Panko, Weber State University

This paper offers an approach to the theorization of digital media and technological mediation via media history. I discuss the “Fiske-o-scope,” an early twentieth-century microform reading device whose descriptions prefigure twenty-first century discourse about reading machines and technological interfaces. The Fiske-o-scope, as I will show, anticipated the Kindle and other digital reading platforms in creating the possibility that readers could take their entire libraries with them at all times—and in the fact that to accomplish this was to replace the page with the interface screen. Microform has been largely overlooked in media history, and what an examination of the writing on this medium from the first decades of the twentieth century shows us is that fantasies about disembodied texts and readers—fantasies that have, as Matthew Kirschenbaum puts it, created a “medial ideology” of disembodied digital media—are closely tied to the dynamics of interface reading.

Moreover, what we gain from a comparative approach to the theory of digital culture—an approach that reads contemporary media with and against residual media—is a different emphasis on which categories are most useful to critical analysis. The example of early microform readers like the Fiske-o-scope offers an important corrective to the tendency in the history of information storage to privilege the category of media over format and platform. For, I will argue, it is precisely a lack of emphasis on platform design that prevented devices like the Fiske-o-scope from reaching the wide audiences their creators intended; and it is an emphasis on the design of the platform—as an aesthetic object, and as an object whose users matter—that distinguishes the interface in the age of mobile media.


Slacktivism Versus Hacktivism: Hacking the Classroom for a Better Critical Pedagogy

Mark D. Pepper, Utah Valley University

Of all the neologisms to emerge with computer/digital culture, “hacktivism” is one with a fascinating mix of cultural connotations. While “activist” can easily be seen as a positive, “hacker” has a popular, negative connotation of someone who illegally breaks, steals, and manipulates computer systems and information. Truthfully, both terms can connotatively go either way depending on what someone is advocating for and why someone is hacking. “Hacktivism,” takes the potent possibilities of these polysemous terms to define the act of manipulating systems (usually, but not always, digital) to alter the way they function for politically or socially motivated purposes. A hacktivist, far from a petty criminal, is someone who exploits already present (and often entrenched) flaws in systems and uses workarounds to highlight how they could function differently.

Digital Rhetorics scholars such as Gentry Sayers, Elizabeth Losh, and Jim Brown have recently embraced this term to apply its deconstructive and socially motivated spirit towards “hacking the writing classroom.” In an educational context, a hacktivist pedagogy involves exploiting the weaknesses and flaws of the writing classroom (be these at the levels of the physical space, the assignments, the activities, or the expectations) to highlight both the affordances and limitations present concerning student use of technology. The hacktivist pedagogy ultimately disrupts “business as usual.” It creates frustration in students by revealing the limitations of systemic, educational norms, then encourages students to find a workaround to solve problems differently. It encourages both an embrace of technology and a critical eye towards technology to reflect upon and alter a classroom’s embedded “norms” and daily procedures (lectures, writing assignments, group work, and more).

In this talk, I expand upon the work of the aforementioned scholars to address a competing neologism—“slacktivsm.” “Slacktivism” is viewed as the result of digital spaces’ ability to make people feel like they’ve contributed to a social cause by simply “liking” a Facebook post, changing a social media profile to show solidarity (such as with the recent Paris bombings), or leaving a comment in a sea of conversation. The criticism here is that such low- stakes “slacktivism” prevents people from taking more engaged and sustained action in the real world. I first draw a comparison of such slacktivism to the “critical pedagogy” of writing classes that often operates under the assumption that merely exposing students to social justice issues will lead them to become more engaged with those issues beyond the University walls (as opposed to leading to a one-off paper that nets them a grade and allows them to move on). I then offer hacktivism as a compelling alternative to this brand of critical pedagogy. Though still no guarantee of sustained, engaged action, the spirit of hacktivism has the benefit of focusing students on methodologies and practices of critical thinking and subversive action without turning the class into a lecture on social issues (a situation where students often feel like they’re in a social studies class more than one focused on composition).


Oxford, Ida, and UVU

Jans B. Wager, Utah Valley University
Catherine McIntyre, Utah Valley University
Zoe McDonald, Utah Valley University
Timothy Dawson, Utah Valley University

In Fall 2014, Oxford University Press asked me to contribute to the Oxford Bibliographies in Cinema and Media Studies on movie star and filmmaker Ida Lupino. Oxford University Press is the largest and, next to Cambridge, the oldest university press in the world. For me, this presented an opportunity to do serious intellectual work in collaboration with students on a woman working successfully in the male-dominated film industry, Ida Lupino.

Lupino was a sought-after actor in Hollywood, starring in numerous films noirs including High Sierra (Raoul Walsh, 1941), The Man I Love (Raoul Walsh, 1947), and On Dangerous Ground (Nicholas Ray, 1952) among many others, where she usually played strong, resourceful and talented female characters. She capitalized on her acting success, and directed, scripted and produced films during the 1940s and 1950s. Her production company, influenced by the civically-aware Italian Neo-realist filmmakers, resolved to make semi-documentaries about important cultural issues without the sensationalism of mainstream Hollywood. As director, her unusual projects include a film about a woman pregnant out of wedlock (Not Wanted, 1950), a rape victim (Outrage, 1950), about a tennis star with a scheming mother (Hard, Fast, and Beautiful, 1951), and about a man married to two women, one of them played by Lupino (The Bigamist, 1953). Lupino was the second woman ever admitted to the Director’s Guild of America. Since I had recently completed a chapter focused on Lupino’s films noirs for a noir collection, the bibliographic project intrigued me.

Oxford Bibliographies in Cinema and Media Studies is an important intervention into current modes of scholarly research. The plethora of information available on the internet quickly overwhelms both students and established academic researchers. An on-line resource, Oxford Bibliographies provides peer-reviewed assessments of that information from internationally recognized scholars and thereby represents a new and crucial wave of research tools in the information age.

This presentation will introduce the audience to Lupino. Thanks to the Presidential Scholarship, I have two paid student researchers, Zoe and Tim. We will discuss how we are creating the digital resource for the Oxford bibliography, and with Catherine McIntyre explore the potential of a Lupino archive, with a digital component, here at UVU.


“The Discussion is Interminable:” Continued Conversation through the Kenneth Burke Digital Archive

Dr. Ethan Sproat, Utah Valley University

The title of this presentation is derived from Kenneth Burke’s famous “parlor metaphor” that serves as a representative model for how most knowledge acquisition happens in the context of unending conversations. Digitally archiving and transcribing audiovisual recordings of Kenneth Burke provides a way for Kenneth Burke himself to continue contributing to conversations about his work even though he’s been dead for over two decades.

Kenneth Burke developed his entire symbol-use project throughout the 20th century when our theories of communication were out-paced only by our means of communication. There are many existing audio and visual recordings of Kenneth Burke lecturing, performing readings, or participating in discussions or interviews. However, most Kenneth Burke scholars have not seen or heard much of this footage for two basic reasons: first, the existing footage is not centrally accessible or cataloged in any one place (i.e. it’s all located in separate institution and private collections across the country); and second, such footage is often in a medium that prohibits broad distribution (as with various analog recording technologies).

Accordingly, a small group of Kenneth Burke scholars led by Dr. Ethan Sproat convened during a three- day seminar at the 2014 KBS conference in St. Louis, “Attitudes Toward Technology/Technology’s Attitudes.” During that conference, these seminar participants effectively established the beginnings of the Kenneth Burke Digital Archive, which has the following goals:

  1. Coordinate efforts among Kenneth Burke scholars to identify the current repositories of all existing audio and video recordings of Kenneth Burke.
  2. Assemble historical notes and contexts of theory surrounding each recording.
  3. Catalog all these in one resource through the Kenneth Burke Society.
  4. Work with individual repositories to digitally transfer and transcribe all existing Kenneth Burke footage that is not already digitized.
  5. In cooperation with the Kenneth Burke Literary Trust, arrange to secure permissions to digitally archive as many of these digital materials and transcriptions as possible.
  6. In coordination with KBJ: The Journal of the Kenneth Burke Society, arrange to have as many of these digital materials, transcripts, historical notes, and associated contextual/theoretical commentaries peer reviewed for inclusion in future issues of KBJ.

The notion of having lectures, readings, and discussions involving Kenneth Burke undergo peer review for possible inclusion in the peer-reviewed journal named after him may seem odd or counter-intuitive. However this exercise in digital archive and peer-review invites us as scholars to reflect on the question of continued relevancy of a great thinker’s possible continued contributions to a sub-field based on those very contributions. In other words, has Kenneth Burke studies out-Burked itself, or are there still contributions Burke can still make to conversations today that extend from his work?

Dr. Ethan Sproat, the lead archivist of the Kenneth Burke Digital Archive, will discuss implications of combining such a digital archival effort with peer-review practices.

Dr. Glen Southergill, Associate Editor of KBJ: The Journal of the Kenneth Burke Society, will respond with his perspectives on the delights and dilemmas facing such an archival/peer-reviewed project.


Fan Fiction as Assemblage

Anne Jamison, University of Utah

Although it obviously belongs in such company, studying fanfiction in the fields of inquiry known collectively as “fan studies” conveys the assumption—which is true of many scholars and their scholarship—that we study fanfiction primarily to learn about fans. This assumption about how we approach texts is hardly peculiar to fan studies; I have many colleagues whose interest in literature is heavily weighted towards how literature reflects or affects social facts “on the ground.” But what of fanfiction from a textual perspective—its distinctive recombinatory, iterative, and unstable textual pleasures? Fanfiction with its networks of sources, allusions, tags, and communities challenges the ideology of the autonomous work of art, staking a claim instead for the derivative and interdependent text, or network of texts, as complex, critical, and self-reflexive even while foregrounding affect. In fanfiction, a character name indicates not a single representation of an autonomous self, but a cluster or even a quorum of a given set of attributes and relationships. Online, fanfiction tropes multiply and spread virally far faster and more traceably than such shared patterns ever did in print. These tropes shape plotlines and their affective and ethical implications in ways that far exceed the intentionality of any individual author. But if internet fanfiction sometimes seems to operate as a disembodied network of texts, closer in nature to the virus than the human, it is also true that in a digital context, the writer remains connected to text—however decentered and diffuse their writerly influence may be—in a more direct way than in print: review comment sections, likes, reblogs, and read counts are all live and available in the same space as the fictional text. If fanfiction, its sources, platforms, readers, and writers together resemble a Deleuzian assemblage, how are we to separate out some parts of this assemblage for study? Should research into these constituents be governed by the same ethical protocols that would regulate research on the human subjects that also inhabit these assemblages, as some would argue, by virtue of their close association with humans? Do amateur fanfic writers, however large the impact of their texts, always have the option to opt out of critical or historical investigation? These questions, while pressing for the study of fanfiction, are in no way limited to it. Just as questions about source, originality, autonomy, and authorship raised by networked fanfiction reflect back on the print networks of the past, so too do they anticipate and even exert influence on the increasingly hybrid print/social media realities of professional publishing, whether commercial or small-press literary. Fanfiction’s influence on fiction and literature more broadly is far greater than the small circle of friends many individual fan writers imagine for their texts: scholars and teachers of contemporary literature and culture need to understand and teach it, but we are still in the early days of figuring out just what that means we are studying and how to go about it.


My Self, My Scars: Representations of cancer and gender on Instagram

Avery E. Holton, University of Utah
Allison Lazard, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill

A growing body of health communication has focused on the role of social media in health communication, most frequently examining the textual content and network dynamics of social network sites (SNS) such as Facebook and Twitter. While many SNSs have plateaued in terms of growth, those with visual components such as Pinterest and Instagram continue to undergo rapid audience growth. Notably, Instagram, an almost exclusively visual-based platform, is the fastest growing SNS as of October 2015, with a user-base that has doubled since 2013 to more than 300 million. More than half of those users are from outside of the United States, making the platform ripe for international analyses. Given the popularity of the platform and its function as a visual porthole for individuals, as well as its communal function wherein hashtags allow users to follow one another and to follow other users, its importance in health communication deserves attention, as images shared and consumed implicitly contribute to social constructions and meaning associated with health. As of October 2015, more than 90 million cancer-related posts had appeared on Instagram over a one-year period, providing evidence of a growing visually based dialogue surrounding cancer. In order to understand how cancer is being represented on Instagram, this study used multiple cancer-related searches combined with multiple constructed weeks to analyze approximately 500 Instagram posts. Information collected at the descriptive level provides an early insight into who is posting cancer-related information and visuals to Instagram, what hashtags they are using, and what visual techniques they are employing when creating their posts to represent their social identity and relationship to cancer. This data is further being analyzed to examine how various cancers may be represented differently and how gender may impact the implicit visual narratives created and shared.


Gamification Pedagogy: Motivating students in the online writing classroom

Nina Feng, University of Utah

The appearance of video games in the field of education has proliferated in the recent decade. The use of game studies in rhetoric and composition has solidified as a relevant and significant tool in the development of writing and reading, particularly with seminal works such as James Gee’s What Video Games Have to Teach Us About Learning and Literacy and Cynthia Selfe and Gail Hawisher’s Gaming Lives in the Twenty-First Century. Many studies address the use of video games or “gamification” (i.e., applying features of games to non-game spaces) in face-to-face instruction, but there is a dearth of research exploring gamification in online settings. The innovative capacity of gamification may be most useful in the online classroom, where problems of isolation and motivation are exacerbated by the lack of a shared physical space (Mehlenbacher, 2010).

This presentation calls for more research on gamification in the online composition classroom; based on aspects of gamification, such as competition and checkpoints, student participation and motivation is hypothesized to increase in the virtual classroom. The presentation will discuss a gamified online course in composition being developed at the University of Utah and the extant literature supporting the course. Gee’s learning principles, drawn from video games, will be discussed as the framework for the course. The need for effective online education is critical in Utah, with the vastness of the state and 34.2% students at Title IV institutions participating in distance learning (Institute of Education Sciences, 2013). In an effort to further digital humanities pedagogy in Utah, the presentation will provide the audience with gamification strategies for online course creation.


The Poemage Project: Exploring the true value of computation to poetry scholarship

Nina McCurdy, University of Utah

While the Digital Humanities have experienced tremendous growth within the last decade, the true value of computation to poetry scholarship is still very much in question. The Poemage project — a collaboration between poets, literary scholars and computer scientists specializing in data visualization — explored this question in the context of developing visualization tools in support of the close reading of poetry. In the process of this work, our team also became deeply interested in the role and impact of technology on the close reading of a poem.

From a data visualization perspective, supporting close reading falls into the category of “wicked problems”[1]. Wicked problems tend to have huge problem spaces, no clear points of entry, and no ground truths – all of which are true for the close reading of poetry. To quote a prominent critic of the digital humanities, Stanley Fish, “You don’t know what you’re looking for and why you’re looking for it, how then do you proceed?”[2]. Unlike Fish, we were intrigued and saw this as a tremendous research opportunity. The nature of our wicked problem motivated us to take a highly collaborative and exploratory approach to conducting our research. A significant amount of time in the beginning of our collaboration was spent investigating the close reading process. This involved answering questions like “what is interesting in a poem?” “what generates meaning in a poem?” and “what can we detect computationally?” We eventually narrowed in on sonic and linguistic devices as a focus for our visualization efforts. From there we developed Poemage, a tool for interactively exploring what we call the sonic topology of a poem — the interaction of sonic and linguistic devices across the space of a poem.

While Poemage is most certainly a contribution of this work, and does appear to support the close reading, and incidentally the generation, of poetry, we feel that the more interesting contributions stem from the research disruption that occurred on both sides of the collaboration. On the poetry side, developing a computational way of thinking and talking about sound, poetry, and close reading had a much broader impact on the poets’ scholarship than any individual insight gained using Poemage. On the visualization side, disruption occurred in the navigation of a number of interesting challenges encountered throughout the design process. First and foremost was the notion that the value of computation to poetry scholarship is still very much in question. Computational tools have developed a reputation for solving things, however it became immediately clear that “solving a poem” was not something that our collaborators and the poetry scholarship community in general was interested in. This motivated us to take a completely different approach, aligning ourselves with the somewhat radical screwmeneutics[3] movement. Screwmeneutics uses computation to tamper with and essentially explode text in order to reveal new interpretations and support continued meaning making. Another underlying challenge throughout this research was determining how to measure our success in a situation where valid interpretations were numerous, insights were abundant, and pleasure and enjoyment were valid units of success. In general, this collaboration pushed us to re-examine our existing frameworks and methodologies, which proved to be inadequate for various aspects of this work, and inspired us to develop a new methodology which draws from social science research, action research, and design science research. We hope that this new methodology will more adequately guide and support the goals and contributions associated with conducting visualization research in the humanities, and in other, similarly exploratory research domains.
References:
[1] R. Buchanan. Wicked problems in design thinking. Design Issues, 8(2):pp. 5–21, 1992.
[2] S. Fish. Mind your ps and bs: the digital humanities and interpretation. New York Times, 23(1), 2012. [3] S. Ramsay. The hermeneutics of screwing around; or what you do with a million books. Stephen Ramsay, 17:103, 2010.


Your digital humanities are in my library! No, your library is in my digital humanities! How libraries are enabling and engaging in digital humanities projects.

Anna Neatrour, University of Utah
Rebekah Cummings, University of Utah

This presentation will provide an overview of ways libraries have engaged in building a foundation for humanities work through a rich history of digitization and metadata creation, with case studies and examples of how libraries continue to evolve to partner and engage in digital humanities work today. Libraries have been pursuing large digitization projects for many years, providing researchers with foundational digital collections for inquiry. The legacy of digitization provides the research corpus for many current digital humanities projects, while it also provides challenges for preservation and metadata revision as digitization processes and best practices have evolved.

Libraries support the digital humanities by partnering on projects, contributing expertise, offering a neutral space, and providing traditional library services such as descriptive metadata creation. Case studies highlighting partnerships between digital humanists and librarians will be explored, along with the authors’ current work creating and managing data. In looking to the future, we will highlight trends shaping how libraries serve and partner with the digital humanities community such as linked data, refining rights statements, reuse of metadata, data curation services, and creating multiple access points to digital objects.


Beyond OCHRE: Extending a philologically explicit corpus to include historical entities

Edward Stratford, Brigham Young University

Many consider the beginning of the digital humanities to have been the mid-20th-century work of Father Roberto Busa whose Index Thomisticus was the first large-scale digital corpus. Although digital corpora have addressed a great number of challenges in the past 70 years, new challenges continue to arise, particularly as new corpora represent text that is increasingly disparate (linguistically and historically) from previous corpora.

The Online Cultural and Historical Research Environment (ochre.uchicago.edu) uses a polyhierarchical XML data structure to meet the challenges posed by texts that are 4,000 years old, written in an ancient language (Assyrian), and encoded in a complex writing system (cuneiform). Still, at the same time, OCHRE’s data structure creates its own obstacles that impede deep analysis of the corpus’ content. Beyond OCHRE’s philologically explicit database, my goal is to index that database into layers of data that represents the historical entities represented in the text: people places, and, in the case of the Old Assyrian trade, transactions and assets.

In this presentation I will share this ongoing project and its associated challenges: preservation of cultural heritage, dissemination of a common corpus, and complex analysis in a single database.


A Digital Humanist’s 20-year Retrospective

Gideon Burton, Brigham Young University

Two decades ago I launched my first academic website on the World Wide Web: Silva Rhetoricae: The Forest of Rhetoric. This started as a modest teaching aid, but ultimately became a major work of born-digital scholarship that would attract millions of users and (to my surprise) establish my academic reputation. As I worked on a separate project with librarians and programmers from BYU, the Mormon Literature and Creative Arts Database, I learned how prototyping, project management, and collaboration are essential components of doing digital academic projects. Being a digital humanist has involved me not only in media and technology, but in advocating for open access scholarship, in rethinking and experimenting broadly with teaching methods, and in challenging promotion and tenure policies so these might encourage, rather than punish, digital pioneers. The library has also become a kind of home and haven for me as a digital humanist, where I have found both the infrastructure and the culture that can nourish born-digital humanities work and a kind of forward-thinking attitude toward digital-age knowledge. Doing things digitally has defined my career, both for better and for worse, and I offer my experiences as both encouragement and cautionary tale for other scholars entering into non-traditional, digitally-based teaching and scholarship.


Using Large Online Corpora (for Looking at Language and Much More)

Mark Davies, Brigham Young University

At BYU we have created several large corpora (http://corpus.byu.edu) that are used by nearly 150,000 distinct users each month, which makes them the most widely-used corpora in the world. These corpora (which have been funded by six large grants from the NEH and the NSF) include corpora of historical American English, contemporary American and British English, World Englishes (20 different countries), LDS General Conference addresses (1850s-2010s), British parliament (1803-2005), and much more. The corpora are used as the basis for hundreds of published studies each year on a wide range of topics, including linguistic analysis and teaching and learning. But in addition, the corpora are used for an ever wider range of purposes — analyzing changes in culture and society; legal, historical, religious, political, and gender studies; and much more. This presentation will be oriented towards “corpus neophytes”, and will be a fast-paced, whirlwind introduction to the ways that the corpora can be used by a wide range of researchers.


BiblioTech: Digital Humanities and Digital Libraries

Elizabeth Smart, Brigham Young University
Greg Reeve, Brigham Young University

Traditional library services and resources supporting digital humanities include extensive digital collections of manuscript, photograph, and rare print materials, plus fully-staffed digitizing labs ready to process more texts. Emerging elements of library support include software for crowdsourcing metadata, programmers to assist with the development of new tools, data management and digital preservation services, geospatial technology, and open access institutional repositories for disseminating scholarly research. Librarians from BYU’s Harold B. Lee Library will highlight the tools and texts available to campus scholars working in the humanities.


Just a Bunch of Homos: Tumblr, Grindr, Scruff, and the New Gay Rights Movement

Emerson L.R. Barrett
Ryan LaRe, Westminster College

The contemporary gay rights movement in the United States has lost its queer edge. The gay rights movement emerged as a response to the oppressive ideology of heteronormative citizenship. Today, with the national adoption of same sex marriage, the gay rights movement has been contaminated by the very family values that had once omitted gay men and women from full citizenship. The movement for same sex marriage, and its eventual fruition, has only benefited binary sexualities and genders. This concept reflects what Scott Morgensen describes as the toxicity of homonationalism, “queers will invoke and repeat the terrorizing histories of settler colonialism if these remain obscured behind normatively white and national desires for Native roots and settler citizenship. A first step for non-Native queers thus can be to examine critically and challenge how settler colonialism conditions their lives, as a step toward imagining new and decolonial sexual subjectivities, cultures, and politics” (24). Morgensen’s argument addresses how the contemporary gay rights movement has lost its way and has assimilated, as we argue, into white supremacist heteronormativity.

This is a far cry from the Stonewall Era when the focus was not on assimilation to heteronormativity, but instead on gaining basic human rights through an intersectional lens for gender nonconforming and sexual minority individuals. The momentum gained in 1969 and throughout the 1970s was cut short by emergence of the AIDS epidemic in the 1980s. The AIDS crisis drastically changed the focus of the gay rights movement in order to advocate for their right to receive medical treatment while working against the global belief that homosexual men were the cause of the epidemic. After the 1996 FDA approval of the antiretroviral drug the gay rights movement emerged with increasingly conservative values that emphasises neoliberal policy changes and in doing so broke with its radical past.

In this paper we contend that same sex marriage is the pinnacle of conformity to heteronormative values that support the underlying structure of white supremacy ingrained in U.S. Citizenship. We explore the counter discourses emerging from social media that question white supremacist heteronormativity. Today, gay dating apps, such Grindr and Scruff, represent the bars and hookup culture that were present in Greenwich Village during the Stonewall era, while Tumblr fosters spaces for queer folk to create communities and queer discourses that are not limited by geographic location. We argue that through social media there is an active call for a realignment of the gay rights movement. This realignment requires a break with white supremacy through a postcolonial lens that challenges settler homonationalism and returns marginalized and silenced voices of the movement to a prominent place in the current fight for equality.


Online Multimedia Museum Exhibits: Sharing, Combining and Repurposing Digital Artifacts to Enhance Access and Learning

Matt Nickerson, Southern Utah University

One major contribution to the rise of Digital Humanities is the digitization craze that followed the rapid advance of digital scanning, recording and imaging technologies in the 1990’s. This in turn, caused one of the biggest and most rapid changes in librarianship since the computerization of the card catalog as libraries figured out how to organize, store, protect, share, migrate and disseminate digital information. Libraries’ are still closely involved with the Digital Humanities and the research possibilities it creates through the employment of powerful digital tools to accumulate, study and analyze topics and ideas related to the traditional humanistic disciplines. Libraries’ missions are not only to support the research but also to disseminate humanities information and knowledge in new and powerful ways using digital tools. Preserving the humanities and reinvigorating Special Collections and archives as liberal arts laboratories is a key contribution that libraries are making to Digital Humanities.

This presentation will discuss an online multimedia museum exhibit that offers examples of how digital artifacts can be shared, assembled and repurposed in a virtual environment. This cooperative effort between eight institutions combined images and audio recordings to create a unique online museum experience. Digital assets made it possible to send, share, and edit material in ways that would be difficult or even impossible using physical artifacts. The digital world is revolutionizing the way in which humanities content can be shared, combined and juxtaposed to increase its educational and societal impact.