I’M THE TINKERING HUMANIST
Teaching, Research, Infrastructure
My name is Matthew N. Hannah, and I am an Assistant Professor of Digital Humanities, housed in the Purdue University Libraries and School of Information Studies in West Lafayette, Indiana. I teach and research Digital Humanities and media studies with an emphasis on tinkering and experimentation.
I became interested in Digital Humanities halfway through my PhD in English and American modernism at the University of Oregon. I decided to write my dissertation on networks of interaction and exchange, which I argue fueled the explosion of modernist literature and art before World War I, and I wanted to build networks to show the constellation of cultural interactions and intersections. My dissertation, Networks of Modernism, posed a new theory for the rise of modernism, based in mutuality and connection rather than alienation and disenchantment, and I turned to tools from sociology, cultural studies, and the Digital Humanities.
Now, I research and teach DH as an Assistant Professor at Purdue. My research now focuses on questions of inclusivity and neoliberalism in DH, infrastructure for digital scholarship at public universities, and intersections between the Digital and Public Humanities. I am currently collaborating with colleagues across campus to design and launch both graduate and undergraduate certificates in DH, and I am building a new DH Studio to support faculty, staff, and students who want to build digital projects.
Textual analysis methods allow scholars to conduct research on corpora or bodies of text. These corpora might be novels, poems, anthologies, speeches, briefs, reports, and more. I've taught workshops on various methods, including sentiment analysis, topic modeling, network analysis, and stylometric analysis.
DIGITAL ARCHIVES AND PUBLISHING
These workshops emphasize the public facing humanities, and I ask participants to think about the ways in which their research can be translated for broader audiences through various digital arcives and platforms. I've taught workshops on Omeka and Scalar, and I've organized public events such as History Harvests and transcribe-a-thons that make use of such tools.
We are all connected. Network analysis allows scholars to study those connections, to trace the flows of information and exchange that animate culture, whether that be lines of dialogue in a play, character co-appearance in novels, historical formations, or social media posts. Workshops on Gephi, Cytoscape, Onodo, Kumu, and Node XL teach humanists how to think about connections and systems in their work.
Considerations of space and place through visualization in digital maps are powerful supplements for humanistic scholarship. Workshops on Carto, Google Earth Pro, Story Maps, and ArcGIS provide a suite of tools for scholars to build interactive maps showcasing their research.
MAKERS AND MAKING
We are building a makerspace in our Digital Humanities Studio, and we plan to start hosting workshops on Arduino, Lil Bits, and 3-D printing.
TEXT MARKUP AND SCHOLARLY EDITIONS
One of the most fruitful areas of development in Digital Humanities is in building digital scholarly editions, using XML markup, versioning software, and annotation tools. These workshops focus on leveraging the affordances of digital tools for scholarly editions and markup projects.
TEACHING DIGITAL HUMANITIES
I've taught several graduate seminars in data visualization and DH, which cover the range of tools and methods with an emphasis on cultural and critical theory. I also teach courses in digital methods within humanities and social science courses across the College of Liberal Arts.
I managed several digital projects during my time at University of Iowa, and I'm currently collaborating with faculty at Purdue on multiple projects. I also write grants to build infrastructure to support DH projects.
PROGRAM DEVELOPMENT AND ADMINISTRATION
I've been involved with three developing programs at public universities and have unique administrative experiences. Because of these experiences, I am interested in building infrastructure for digital scholarship.
"Well done is better than well said"