Hello, DH World! As this is my first official post as a DH Grad Fellow in the Scholars’ Lab, I’d like to start it by thanking the folks in the Lab for the opportunity to join the team for this academic year. I feel really fortunate that I have the chance to hang out with bright and fun people for the next several months.
Now on to the topic at hand…
In the introduction to his remarkable work, In the Eye of All Trade: Bermuda, Bermudians, and the Maritime Atlantic World, 1680-1783, the historian Michael J. Jarvis asks, “what did early America look like from the deck of a ship, and how might this perspective change the ways we understand it?”
This provocative question challenges scholars of early America to rethink how historical actors in a variety of contexts interpreted the world around them in spatial and geographical terms. A sailor traversing trade routes connecting London, Bermuda, and mainland colonial ports like Philadelphia or New York had a very different sense of the world in comparison to Thomas Jefferson atop Monticello or the Catawba in colonial South Carolina. What role then can the digital humanities play in our efforts to reconstruct these historical perspectives?