My research and teaching incorporates contemporary technologies as important adjuncts to traditional methods in the humanities. Digital tools, collaborative scholarship, and algorithmic analyses are not sufficient replacements for more established lines of art-historical inquiry; they do, however, allow researchers to ask different sets of questions and bring to light facets of artistic production that analog methods are unable to address. Such methods can facilitate knowledge production in meaningful ways, providing scholars with tools to re-assess even well-known works of art and visual culture.
My research on representations of North America between the two World Wars led me to attend the Digital Humanities Summer Institute at the University of Guelph in 2017. Scholars were offered a series of hands-on workshops, demonstrating how researchers might integrate GIS and other technologies into their research.
In collaboration with the University of Rochester's Digital Scholarship Lab, I will be using these technologies to undertake a comparative analysis of a small group of works depicting New York City during the 1920s that are the subjects of my dissertation, "Sensational Atlases of New York City: Mapping Modern Perception between the Wars." This aim of this project is to bring sonic and spatial differences to light that would not be possible through traditional methods, thereby adding nuance to art historical observations and archival findings associated with these artworks.
Attending Drone Journalism School, sponsored by the Poynter Institute at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, sparked timely conversations about the ethics and aesthetics of drone-enabled visual representation. Offered in partnership with Google News Lab, the Drone Journalism Lab at the University of Nebraska, and the National Press Photographers Association, our sessions were divided between classroom lectures and stick time with DJI drones. While the concerns of art historians differ from those of journalists, Drone Journalism School prompted me to conclude that the potential research, public scholarship, and pedagogical applications of these technologies remains largely untapped by humanities scholars. Going forward, I aim to explore how drones might be mobilized to further investigations in the humanities and social sciences.
Much as information can be represented graphically, as with diagrams and scatter plots, data auralization represents information through sounds. With student participation from the University of Rochester's Computer and Electrical Engineering department, I tested the viability of using data auralization for analyzing minute architectural differences between blueprint models and built structures. Using point cloud data collected during field work for Architectural Biometrics (see below), our first results suggest that auralizing the architectural models can yield exceedingly fine-grained points of differentiation that may supplement heat mapping in data visualization.
Architectural Biometrics is a platform designed to compare "identical" or serial architecture through data visualization using 3D laser scanning technologies. I began as a research assistant on the University of Rochester-based project in 2015, and it has informed much of my thinking on architecture and the stakes of spatial representation.
Building a simple graphic adventure game with Twine enabled me to visualize historical connections and events the alongside the artistic production of twentieth-century Italian-American painter Joseph Stella. "Stella and the City" encouraged players to choose the exploits of the painter following his immigration to the United States in 1896.
More work as an Andrew W. Mellon Digital Humanities Fellow:
Research Assistant, Spring 2017
Teaching assistant, Digital Media Studies Senior Capstone, Fall 2016
Teaching assistant, Intro to Digital Media Studies, Fall 2015
m a k e _ c o n t a c t