I am a graduate student in the English department at Boston University. I am currently interested in more practical questions about how to best digitize and visualize networks of correspondence. But as I tinker with Google maps, MySQL, Omeka, or other tools, I am also trying to understand some of the theoretical issues that arise when it comes to "translating" a collection of letters into the genres of database, digital repository, web site, or others. At a more basic level, tools and conversations (like THATCamp!) that fall under the rubric of "digital humanities" have helped me as I begin to develop my own teaching, scholarly communication, and research practices. In my limited experience, the boundary between traditional forms of professionalization and new digital tricks/experiments is growing increasingly slim. But, again, as a sort of DH spectator, I enjoy thinking about what happens to some of those traditional components of humanistic/literary study—close reading, interpretive arguments, thematic analysis, figurative language—in the midst of a digital turn or information revolution. What, for better and for worse, can a reconsideration of the data and forms of scholarly argument do to hermeneutics and critical theory?
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Position/Job Title:Graduate Student