This year’s class of Digital Humanities Summer Scholars has been selected, and although the program will switch to a remote environment, the students are eager to start exploring both their research topics and DH tools and methods. The applicant pool was highly competitive, with 37 students completing initial interviews, and 8 Summer Scholars chosen out of 31 applicants.

The program will be held from May 19 – June 26, with the Scholars presenting their final research projects during the week of June 22. Research & Instruction Librarian Angela Perkins will again lead the program.

The Summer Scholars will receive stipends generously funded by a gift from Bruce Marshman ’62.

DH Summer Scholars 2020:

Songmouy An, Class of 2022, International Affairs and Economics major, will research Khmer (Cambodian) classical dances and how the dynamics of major historical events such as 17th century French colonization, the Khmer Rouge, and the 21st century globalization of technology have contributed to the evolution of these classical dances in terms of gender, using available sources such as literature, photos, and videos, such as documentaries.

Rachel Cox, Class of 2021, Government & Law and Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies major, will examine the honor and shame social structure existing in Greece, whereby men must maintain honor while women represent shame; questions that emerge from this research include “How do contemporary ideas of honor and shame reflect ancient perceptions of honor and shame?” and “How has the introduction of other gender identities impacted the honor and shame system, since its existence relies on a gender binary?”

Megan Deacon, Class of 2021, History major, intends on researching how incarceration is presented in media/TV/film in comparison to the harsh reality of mass incarceration in the U.S., and she would like to use film and photography to inform her research and create a digital multimedia exhibit.

Oyuntugs Gantumur, Class of 2023, major undeclared, is interested in analyzing the relationship between the food and media, especially how social media platforms like Instagram influence the food industry in different ways, and/or how certain foods or cuisine have evolved through time and around the world.

Dawit Gebeta, Class of 2021, Computer Science major, plans to learn how immigration policies or politics are related to media (e.g. songs, movies, etc.) from 1990 to the present through analyzing data such as song lyrics and film scripts found on the web, and use a programming language such as Python, to create a script to look for a certain set of keywords, revealing how they relate to the general view towards immigration at the time.

Imane Halal, Class of 2023, Anthropology & Sociology and Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies major, will expand on her involvement with the Lafayette College Association of Black Collegians (ABC) archival project at Special Collections & College Archives in spring 2020 and focus on researching the development of the ABC, and how it has been an important space for Black students and other students of color on campus, culminating in a timeline of Black spaces at Lafayette College and how that has changed throughout time.

Shirley Liu, Class of 2023, major undeclared, is interested in mapping Chinatowns across America as a way to track how Chinese-American identity has changed over the decades, particularly by Chinese dialects, and tracking the prevalence of different dialects across different parts of the country, and how this prevalence has changed as Chinese-American demographics shift and gentrification changes ethnic enclaves like Chinatowns.

Saide Singh, Class of 2023, English major, wants to further her studies on the Indian Diaspora following the abolition of chattel slavery in the Caribbean by using digital platforms such as the HathiTrust Digital Library to compile works of art and literature that existed during the time of indentured servitude that highlight the practice of Indian art and writing that continued to exist on these plantations despite displacement from India.

Milena Berestko, Class of 2022,Psychology and Theatre major, will be the Digital Humanities Summer Scholars Program’s second DH Teaching Fellow, drawing on her experience as a 2019 DH Summer Scholar to help guide and support the current DHSS cohort in their pursuit of their research interests and completion of their final digital research projects. For her 2019 final digital research project, “The Mosaic of Romani World,” she provided information that she hopes will serve as an overview of issues and critical topics to ponder if one wants to go into the field of Romani Studies and expand upon the limited knowledge we have about this ethnic minority.