2020-2021 Webinar Series

Webinar Schedule


Using an Interactive Timeline to Contextualize Art History

Friday, October 23rd, at 2 p.m.

Jesslyn Parrish, University of Central Florida, Ph.D. student

Art museum patrons have varied reactions upon their first visit to the museum: those with an established art education and love of art can spend hours examining each piece and reading the information plaque beneath each piece. However, an average visitor spends less than ten seconds looking at each piece, and these visitors rarely leave the museum with a deeper understanding of the history living within the galleries. In this talk, I propose using an interactive 3D timeline as a way to create a new medium for visitors to interact with curated pieces as well as learn about the history of the pieces. 

In this presentation I will be discussing the interactive timeline of Orlando Museum of Art’s (OMA) American Journey gallery I created using an open source software developed by knight lab. My goal in this timeline is to provide each work of art with a historical context, and curator insights in order to help visitors to have a more engaged experience in the museum. The timeline will be displayed on a webpage that visitors can access through a browser on a tablet, or a mobile device. This Digital Humanities project will provide museums with a new mode of engagement, increase visitor engagement, and provide a new means of informal learning in the OMA gallery. 

View the Powerpoint here.


Don of a New Age: A Digital Exploration of Don Quixote

Friday, October 30, 2 p.m.

Melissa Garr, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Spanish & Marina Morgan, MISt., Metadata Librarian, Florida Southern College.

Applying new technologies to pedagogy in the humanities is becoming increasingly necessary to connect with learners in the digital age. Digital exhibits are one such tool; in addition to the digitization and dissemination of museum collections for learners and researchers to explore, researchers and teachers have been creating their own collections and exhibits to disseminate innovative research openly and to provide new learning environments for students to explore creatively. Most of the research on the use of digital exhibits in the classroom, however, has focused on their use as a learning tool for acquiring information by accessing exhibits made by others, rather than the creation of digital exhibits by students as an experiential, engaged learning pedagogy. 

In this presentation, we will examine a case study of a student-created digital exhibit from an upper-level Spanish literature class. We will discuss our decision to use Omeka as the primary tool for creating and hosting the exhibit, and the training necessary to facilitate its use in this project. We will also discuss the learning objectives, pedagogical framework and practices we used to engage with students and guide them toward successful creation of the exhibit, as well as the challenges we and the students encountered during the project. Finally, we will discuss larger research questions and practices for future projects. It is clear that digital exhibits have many pedagogical applications; our project seeks to establish a clear framework for best practices in using digital exhibits as a creative learning tool for students. 

Register for this webinar here.


Documenting Africa: Digitally Storytelling African Cultures Through Space and Time.

Friday, November 6, 2 p.m.

Mary Anne Lewis Cusato, Ph.D., Associate Professor and Director of French & Francophone Studies, Co-Director, Global Studies Institute, Ohio Wesleyan University; & Nancy Demerdash-Fatemi, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Art History, Albion College.

During the fall of 2018, Drs. Mary Anne Lewis Cusato and Demerdash-Fatemi received funding from the Great Lakes College Association (GLCA) to begin a project called “Documenting Africa.” Through two courses—Dr. Cusato’s “Fourteen Kilometers: Mediterranean (Im)Migrations in Contemporary Francophone Literature and Film” course at Ohio Wesleyan University and Dr. Demerdash-Fatemi’s “Introduction to African Arts” course at Albion College—the instructors endeavored to challenge students to reconsider the stakes of representing African peoples, literary traditions and visual cultures via digitally curated, interactive maps. The conceptual and theoretical overlap across these courses was rooted in some key learning outcomes: firstly, we expected our students to have more nuanced notions of how African peoples’ worldviews and self-understandings are shaped by their oral histories, literary traditions and cultural practices, cross-cultural encounters and exchanges, and visual/material cultural patrimonies; secondly, in encouraging our students to confront and ask difficult questions about the biases and mythologies that permeate our popular culture about Africa, African peoples and cultures, our students became more attentive to the problems of history, and that for alternative future histories to emerge, we underscored the need for historiographic revisions; and thirdly, these questions of the historiographies of African arts and cultures, in the end, pointed our students to the high stakes and direct impact posed in how these diverse peoples are not only represented, but remembered. Student groups within both Dr. Cusato and Dr. Demerdash-Fatemi’s classes created their own StorymapJS maps along differing thematic lines. In their own curation of these digitally interactive maps, students were asked to draw out their own questions and re-situate African oral traditions, literary works, and art objects of visual culture within a virtual gallery that was georeferenced on a map. This paper and interactive presentation delivers the outcomes of this joint effort and offers insights on digital pedagogies that ignite students’ comparative thinking across cultures, spaces, and times. 

Register for this webinar here.


Primary Source Literacy: Teaching a Diverse Florida through Online Public History Collections

Thursday, November 12, 2 p.m.

Molly Castro, Digital Humanities Librarian, Florida International University, Rachel Walton, Digital Archivist, Rollins College, & Christopher Davis, Professor, Florida International University.

When students engage with local primary source materials in the classroom, they have the ability to look at their community and its role within the context of larger historical movements and moments of national significance. This experience has the potential to provide value-added learning to a classroom environment; it offers not just a multiplicity of historical perspectives but also fosters personal connection with what might be an otherwise detached historical topic. Pedagogically, analyzing and interpreting primary sources at any grade level hones critical thinking skills, as students can ask their own questions, draw conclusions based on evidence, and construct meaning, in a way that facilitates independent learning. This panel will bring together three presenters in a discussion about pairing archival collections and research with digital tools to teach: (1) primary source literacy skills, (2) critical digital competencies, (3) and the local histories of a diverse Florida. Panelists will discuss working with different groups of students, both as content creators and content consumers, when assembling collections of primary source materials online, as well as how digital humanities tools, methods, and teaching contribute to these aims. In addition, panelists will address the opportunities and challenges of leading grants, working with students at various levels/abilities, and collaborating with faculty and community partners to develop and execute DH projects.

Register for this webinar here.


Beyond “Compare”: Exploring Drafts, Translations, and Variants in a University Repository Service.

Wednesday, December 2, 2 p.m.

Sarah Stanley, Florida State University, Digital Humanities Librarian

In 2018, the Florida State University Libraries created a digital interface for comparing versions of texts described according to the recommendations laid out by the Text Encoding Initiative (TEI). This interface was created as a tool for displaying genetic editions, which provide a dossier of multiple drafts and explore the revision process. However, the module, which was developed in Islandora for the Burroughs Archive, has the potential to be used in other contexts, such as variorum editions, critical apparatuses, (which are both used to show variant versions of texts) and even to compare translations. This presentation will provide an overview of the current Islandora module and how the data is created and formatted. We will discuss some of the tools that the University Library has created to convert TEI files into the format needed to create a full genetic edition. We will also introduce the next-steps the libraries are taking to create tools for other types of textual comparison. The presentation will also provide an overview of some of the best practices for creating these types of comparative editions using the TEI. We will also explore the reasons you—as a textual scholar, librarian, or other researcher—may want to create a comparative edition of one of your texts.

Register for this webinar here.