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Editors’ Choice: CHI Fellows Project Launches

Launching Archaeology 101

Jeff Painter and Autumn Painter

Autumn Painter and I are happy to announce the official launch of Archaeology 101 (, a website designed to introduce elementary and middle school students to archaeology and the study of the past. In the website, we use written content and interactive elements to teach students about archaeology and some of the basic concepts and tools that archaeologists use to study past people. While aimed at students, this website is accessible for other interested parties as well, and can serve as a broader public education and outreach platform.

Launching Volta River Commodities

Ryan Carty

My CHI project, Volta River Commodities, is built around a dataset that I created from West African colonial trade statistics. Officials from the Gold Coast (what is now Ghana) were stationed at preventative stations along the colony’s borders to control the movement of people and goods. The information that they recorded included descriptions of objects carried by traders, the amount carried, and the direction traveled. By translating the information from paper documents into digital tables, I created a dataset with a total of 7,735 records, which illustrate the diversity of objects carried across the Volta River and the changing trends in internal trade.

MSU Digital Archaeology Collections

Zach Francis

This is the launch post for Zach Francis’s 2019-2020 CHI fellowship project. Click to check out the MSU Digital Archaeology Collections website! At the beginning of this year, I knew that I wanted to do something to bring the archaeological collections held by the Michigan State anthropology department into the digital world. The main motivation for this was my previous work developing a metadata scheme to describe archaeological heritage assets being held by the department. Using this metadata scheme, I cataloged the archaeological heritage into a Kora digital repository which could provide an alternative and more accessible content management system than our paper records. The goal for this CHI project was to bring this digital repository into a website accessible to the public.

Launching “Mapping the Young Lords”

Eric Manuel Rodriguez

I’m excited to announce the completion of my CHI project “Mapping the Young Lords”.

This project has seen a few iterations since I first thought about what it would be in December. The goal of the site is to visualize the consequences of public health related direct action on behalf of the Young Lords organization in New York City during the early 1970s. My argument is that because of the visibility brought to the public health disparities experienced by Black and Latinx residents of Harlem and the Bronx, the Young Lords were ultimately successful in bettering health outcomes in their immediate communities. This is measured by the opening of hospital facilities in these neighborhoods. The project visualizes the explosion of out patient and other hospital facilities that occurred after 1976.

Launching “After the Flood: How Nashville Neighborhoods Changed after the Great Flood of 2010”

Kyeesha M. Wilcox

Today, I launch my CHI project titled After the Flood. This website is intended to be a briefing of research that I conducted this semester about the neighborhood effects that were associated with Nashville, Tennessee’s Great Flood of 2010. May 1-2, 2020 marked the 10-year anniversary of the flood experience in Nashville and surrounding areas. To understand how neighborhoods changed since the flood, I used the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey to analyze the socioeconomic conditions of neighborhoods in Nashville five years before (2005-2009) and after the flood (2011-2015). Additionally, the racial composition changes of these neighborhoods were analyzed.

Introducing River Borders!

Ramya Swayamprakash

I am thrilled to launch River Borders– a website/database of river borders across the world, an outcome of my senior CHI fellowship. This website aims to be an accessible pedagogical tool for educators, specifically high school educators, by offering a centralized repository of river borders across the world. Using data from the International River Boundaries Database (IRBD) at Durham University along other databases, this website is an open source database. It is not static, and information will be updated periodically. Furthermore, recognizing that river borders, indeed, all borders are not static, this website recognizes de-facto as well as formal boundaries.

Project Launch: Mapping the Upper Missouri

Jen Andrella

I am so excited to announce the public launch of my project, Mapping the Upper Missouri: Visualizing Negotiation, Diplomacy, and Culture on the Northern Plains, 1801-1853The story map and supplemental materials provide a geospatial history of the fur trade, intercultural exchange, and diplomacy in the upper Missouri River region (present-day Montana). It encompasses four historical themes: the global fur trade, the history of intertribal and colonial relations, the early history of capitalism in North America, and the evolving state of diplomacy from exchange to territoriality. Ultimately, two key arguments arise out of this project. First, that over the course of the first half of the nineteenth century the fur trade transitioned from sites of exchange into sites of administration and surveillance. Secondly, the upper Missouri Indigenous communities affected by these transitions strategically responded in ways that ensured their survival and persistence.

Launching “Fan Culture”

Titi Kou

This project “Fan Culture” is inspired by my previous CHI project “Multiculturalism in the German Football World,” which focuses primarily on the German National Football Team. Last year, I planned to work on the representations of multiculturalism on both national and regional levels. The national perspective went fairly well and I was able to map out the birthplaces of many players. As for the regional aspect, I found the annual reports published by the Central Sports Intelligence Unit and I saw the value of this source. However, I did not have time to intensively work on the data and I also lacked the technical knowledge to visualize them. This year, when I was accepted as a returning fellow, I decided to go back to the data and build a new project around the fan culture on the regional level and really focus on the fans of football clubs in Germany.

Introducing “Mapping Action”

Elise Dixon

I’m proud to introduce “Mapping Action: Lesbian Avengers Actions in New York City.” As a companion to my dissertation entitled “Making as World-Making: What the Lesbian Avengers Can Teach about Communal Composing, Agency, and World-Building.” In my dissertation,  through ethnographically informed qualitative interviews, I detail themes on making from former members of the Lesbian Avengers—an activist group prominent in the 1990s—to illuminate how the communal practice of making is a deliberate and complex rhetorical act of world-building, especially for marginalized communities.

Launching Post for “American Tastes, Russian Eats”

Liao Zhang

I am very happy to launch my CHI fellowship project, American Tastes, Russian Eats, at the end of the 2019-20 academic year. The random idea of creating a website about some U.S. fast food’s footprint in Russia came to my mind when I worked as a graduate teаching assistant for Dr. Helen Veit’s course History of Food and Alcohol in fall 2019. Studying Russian history in the United States and being interested in tinkering with geospatial data, I decided to explore the history and geography of one of the U.S. cultural heritages in Russia- fast food restaurants. I am glad that I have eventually materialized the idea. I am very thankful for all the know-how I have acquired in CHI and all the generous help I have received from CHI fellows along the journey.

Introducing: A Digital Domestic Cookbook

Dani M. Willcutt

I have known since the beginning of the CHI Fellowship that my project would revolve around Malinda Russell, the author of A Domestic Cookbook (1866). The exact shape of the project, however, changed numerous times throughout the year. I was determined to create a digital biography of Russell during the early stages of the project. It seemed only natural since I was in the middle of writing a first draft of her biography. Russell’s life story is particularly interesting and my original goal was to create a digital space where Russell’s story would be told to a wider audience, but the outcome has been quite different. Instead, Russell’s cookbook itself became the focal point of this project. In early March, I ditched the site I was working on and switched to Twine.


This content was selected for Digital Humanities Now by Editor-in-Chief Corinne Wilkinson based on nominations by Editors-at-Large: