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. 

Kimberly Christen
Kimberly Christen  |  Abstract
This project is an interactive, educational, web-based environment that allows the rare and unique Plateau Peoples' archival collections held in Washington State University's Special Collections, the Museum of Anthropology, and Tribal museums to be curated by Plateau Tribes and made accessible to scholars, tribal members, students, and the public. The portal will facilitate a process of virtual repatriation based on a model of reciprocal curation between Plateau Tribes and collecting institutions.

Assistant Professor, Comparative Ethnic Studies, Washington State University  -  Plateau Peoples’ Web Portal and Digital Archive: Preserving and Circulating Native Knowledge and Culture

Margaret Rich Greer
Margaret Rich Greer  |  Abstract
This project develops automatic methods for analyzing the treasure-trove of Spanish Golden Age theater manuscripts and related archival documents. Our "cyber-paleography" effort builds a live, layered, virtual world on the web, open to librarians, scholars and students. A first layer connects digitally restored images of manucript pages to descriptions of the pen strokes on paper. Manual and automatic analysis of these descriptions yield profiles of the writers' handwriting styles and enable semi-automatic inferences, based on machine learning methods, about who wrote what and when. A second layer connects sources to individual and collective histories of the theater community. A third layer describes the techniques of cyber-paleography to both humanists and scientists.

Professor, Romance Studies, Duke University  -  Manos Teatrales (Theatrical Hands): Cyber-Paleography and a Virtual World of Spanish Golden Age Theater

Nathan M. Craig
Nathan M. Craig  |  Abstract
This archaeological case study examines the foundations of urbanism through digital mapping and spatial analysis of early large precolumbian monumental complexes. Architectural themes that shape social interactions are systematically explored using spatial analyses that are rooted in human perception and movement. These same methods are employed by urban planners to extract social consequences from modern buildings. Low-cost software is used with a digital camera to craft scaled 3D models in real world coordinates. These are distributed in a free global spatial database. Together, the low-cost means of documentation, analysis, and distribution provide a proof of concept that will facilitate application of the techniques in other regions.

Assistant Professor, Anthropology, Pennsylvania State University  -  3D Digital Photographic Modeling and Spatial Analysis of Architectural Themes of Integration and Segregation at the Early Monumental Complex of Áspero, Supe Valley of Perú

Timothy R. Tangherlini
Timothy R. Tangherlini  |  Abstract
This project focuses on the Evald Tang Kristensen collection, the world’s largest folklore collection produced by an individual. It provides a rich navigational interface that allows users to make use of advanced GIS, statistical learning, and text-corpus visualization tools. This enables a “thick” approach to archival materials through historical mapping, pattern discovery, and information navigation. A proof of concept, using five storytellers and sixteen collection trips as a test corpus, was completed this year. This expands on the pilot in two ways: incorporating more materials into the database, effectively covering the entire collection; and increasing the number of study tools to include more advanced GIS functions, statistical learners, and text-corpus visualization.

Professor, Scandinavian Section and Asian Languages and Cultures, University of California, Los Angeles  -  Sites of (re)Collection: Historical GIS and Statistical Learning for Danish Folklore

David G. Dickason
David G. Dickason  |  Abstract
This project repurposes digitally the prototype for modern large-scale, geodetically-referenced maps in South Asia—Arrowsmith's Atlas of South India. This atlas project references both the scholarly literature produced independently of this rare document and the equivalent sheets of the East India Company's Indian Atlas (1827-1906), also to be digitally repurposed in this venture. Embedded colonial British mindsets notwithstanding, the atlas provides insight into settlement and transportation systems extant before the spatial transformation of India by modernizing state-based colonialism founded on railroad, post, and telegraph. This project assists all place-based scholarly research including history, geography, anthropology, archeology, and planning and development studies.

Professor, Geography, Western Michigan University  -  Reading Aaron Arrowsmith's "Atlas of South India"