ACLS Digital Innovation Fellows

The ACLS Digital Innovation Fellowship program supports digitally based research projects in all disciplines of the humanities and humanities-related social sciences. It is hoped that projects of successful applicants will help advance digital humanistic scholarship by broadening understanding of its nature and exemplifying the robust infrastructure necessary for creating further such works.

2014-2015 marked the tenth and final year of the ACLS Digital Innovation Fellowship Program, generously funded by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Read more about this fellowship program.

Please note: affiliations shown are as of time of award. Please click on fellows' names for current information.

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Watch "Emerging Themes and Methods of Research: A Discussion with ACLS Fellows," an annual meeting session featuring recent ACLS fellows. 

Jesse Casana
Jesse Casana  |  Abstract
Archaeologists and other researchers increasingly recognize the extraordinary potential of declassified, Cold War-era CORONA satellite imagery to revolutionize how we locate, map and interpret archaeological sites and ancient cultural landscapes in the Middle East. Yet this resource remains the purview of a small group of specialists, largely due to the substantial technical expertise and costly software and hardware that working with the imagery currently requires. This project will apply newly developed image processing techniques to produce a digital CORONA satellite imagery-based atlas of the Middle East. The atlas, available both online and as a set of DVDs, will provide archaeologists and other scholars with easy access to high-resolution, geographically correct CORONA imagery.

Assistant Professor, Anthropology, University of Arkansas, Fayetteville  -  CORONA Archaeological Atlas of the Middle East

Dwight F. Reynolds
Dwight F. Reynolds  |  Abstract
The primary goal of this proposal is to establish a permanent website to house recordings, texts, and translations of the Arabic oral epic poem, "Sirat Bani Hilal", along with secondary documentation such as photographs, maps, and links to relevant electronic publications. The goal of this project goes beyond the simple preservation of these materials, however, and seeks to use the internet's "secondary orality" to create "virtual performances" that will allow scholars, students and the general public to access synchronized displays of original sound recordings and the Arabic and/or English texts so that they can both listen to and comprehend traditional peformances of oral epic poetry. No other sizeable example of epic poetry in the world is available in this manner.

Professor, Religious Studies, University of California, Santa Barbara  -  The Hilali Epic Project

Aaron Glass
Aaron Glass  |  Abstract
This collaborative project uses digital media to document a large, old collection of Kwakwaka’wakw material in the Ethnological Museum Berlin. This significant collection remains undocumented—there are few photographs of the objects, and original records are not computerized. There is also relevant archival material in North America that has never been made public. The project will result in an innovative, interactive, multimedia database, which will unite archival records with contemporary indigenous knowledge. This database—made public through an extensive new web-based museum network—will provide the foundation for research, exhibitions, and catalogues. Most importantly, it will make this historic collection accessible for the first time to global scholars as well as to the Kwakwaka’wak

Postdoctoral Fellow, Anthropology, University of British Columbia  -  Documenting the Jacobsen Collection in Berlin and Beyond: Prospects for Digital Media to Unite Museum Objects with Archival and Indigenous Knowledge

M. Alison Stones
M. Alison Stones  |  Abstract
I aim to work with technical collaborator Ken Sochats (VISC, U of Pittsburgh, non-stipendiary) and a graduate research assistant to implement a new phase of the long-term Lancelot-Grail project which presents digitzed images of manuscripts of Arthurian romance for comparison and analysis using a pioneering, innovative, GIS-based approach in which we treat the manuscript page as a conceptual map. We now plan a comparative component whereby selected manuscripts and their illustrative contents may be cross-compared in order to determine what elements in these popular stories were perceived by the commissioners of the manuscripts as best reflecting their personal interests, be they in legal or spiritual matters or in issues of debate and discussion of cultural values.

Professor, History of Art and Architecture, University of Pittsburgh  -  Comparing Illustrations and Text in Arthurian Romance: The Lancelot-Grail from c. 1220 to c. 1500: A Searchable Web-based Approach

Kenneth M. Price
Kenneth M. Price  |  Abstract
This project involves the the creation of a comprehensive edition of the Civil War writings of Walt Whitman, an incomparable record of a major American author's experience of the War. It entails electronically preparing hundreds of wartime documents, including personal correspondence and letters Whitman wrote on behalf of soldiers. This project will make these documents available and allow them to serve as a model for future electronic scholarly editions.

Professor, English, University of Nebraska-Lincoln  -  The Civil War Writings of Walt Whitman

Cynthia M. Vakareliyska
Cynthia M. Vakareliyska  |  Abstract
The proposed project consists of the collection of unpublished medieval Slavic calendars of saints from archives in Bulgaria and Russia, the identification of obscure saints listed in these calendars, and the text-encoding of the calendar texts for an on-line collation I have developed of medieval Slavic, Byzantine Greek, and other Eastern Orthodox calendars of saints. The search program for the collation will then be run, and the resulting patterns of similarities and differences among the individual calendars in the collation will form the basis of a monograph I will write setting out for the first time a detailed typology of Slavic calendar traditions and manuscript families.

Associate Professor, Linguistics, University of Oregon  -  An Electronic Database and Typology of Medieval Slavic Eastern Orthodox Calendars of Saints