I was recently fortunate enough to ask Dr. Lisa L. Tyler a number of questions regarding her digital project (Virtual Hemingway) as well as her experience as a member of Humanities Commons. Tyler is a professor of English at Sinclair Community College, where she teaches literature, composition, and business communication. Her research interests include modernist literature and intertextual connections between Ernest Hemingway’s fiction and novels by female authors. Tyler was also a major participant in the recent Humanities Commons digital summer camp, where she shared her thoughts, discoveries, and challenges. I was especially interested to learn more about Tyler’s Virtual Hemingway, a digital project that houses links to over 500 Hemingway-related online sources.
For our second Humanities Commons member spotlight, I was fortunate enough to speak with Sarah M. Dreller, PhD, an independent art historian and editor in Chicago whose research focuses on the connections between architecture and modernity since the industrial and scientific revolutions of the late-18th century. Dreller is a particularly interesting person to interview because she has created multiple sites on Humanities Commons to support and share her research, as well as to collaborate with other scholars. Not only does she have a lot of experience designing and using Humanities Commons sites, but Dreller has also been an active and welcoming member across the platform. Her project sites include The Vanishing Porch in Perspective, which serves as a digital companion to her peer-reviewed article, “Curtained Walls: Architectural Photography, the Farnsworth House, and the Opaque Discourse of Transparency,” and AfterImages, a collaborative work for which she served as the site’s designer and editor. Dreller is also currently building a CV site as well as a third project site, which she hopes to launch by the end of 2018.
Humanities Commons members are building wonderful and creative sites and blogs on our platform. We want to highlight your work, so over the next few months, I will be writing blog posts and conducting interviews to put a spotlight on individual users. We hope that these posts not only serve to celebrate HC members’ creations, but that they also work to provide members with a better understanding of the various possibilities that Humanities Commons offers. Above all, we hope these posts inspire you!
Before I dive into our first featured HC site, let me introduce myself. My name is Caitlin Duffy and I am a doctoral student in the English department at Stony Brook University. Last summer, I was fortunate enough to work as an intern with the Humanities Commons team (I definitely recommend interning with the MLA if you get the chance). As part of my continued connection with Humanities Commons, doing some freelance community engagement, I am writing some posts for this team blog.
For my first post, it seems only right to feature a site built by one of my professors. This semester I was fortunate enough to work as a TA with Dr. Andrew Newman for his American Literature I survey course for English majors. Rather than assigning an expensive anthology or multiple texts, Newman instead created an open access digital anthology, titled the “American Literature Anthology Project.” According to the description found on its home page, “This site presents a ground-up, dynamic, open-access anthology of American literature before 1900, developed by faculty and students in the English department at Stony Brook University. At present, it comprises most of the primary source texts for three Spring 2018 courses.”
Through this site, Newman has been able to design an entirely open access syllabus and has been able to share his anthology with other professors in his department. Additionally, by requiring the use of a Hypothes.is group, which allows users to annotate any web document privately, publicly, or to an assigned group, students in his class take control of their own learning by helping to create their own annotated edition of the anthology. While most of these are available only to members of the class, you can see some of the student-produced annotations through the “Public” layer of Hypothes.is.
I hope that this blog post and Newman’s work encourages other members to use sites in new and interesting ways, including as a teaching tool. In order to provide a deeper understanding of his project, Andrew Newman answered a few of my questions.