Congratulations to this year’s Summer Research Award recipients! Each student will receive $1,000 of summer assistance to support their research initiatives.
Kyle’s dissertation will explore the connections and dissonances between “deep” forms of reading, such as literary close reading, and “hyper” modes that privilege the frenetic consumption of bite-size, fragmentary texts (cf. Hayles, “Hyper and Deep Attention”). This summer Kyle will begin this project by carrying out a study of “quote culture” online, tracing the ways that quotations from theorists and philosophers circulate on Twitter and Pinterest. Who participates in this culture and why? What does philosophy look like when it becomes anchored not on deep but on hyper reading? What role do “quote bots” play in these practices? Kyle will try to answer these questions using methods of digital ethnography.
Naomi’s project “Black Power of Hip Hop Dance” researches dances innovated in California between 1965-1979, which are foundational to global hip hop/street dance culture today. She shows how early street dances were technological mediums that supported black people’s protest strategies. By remixing and recirculating mass media as subjugated knowledges, dances like Roboting and Popping have functioned as alternative literacies for black youth. This summer Naomi will launch a blog called WhoWeBe, with written accounts and video of interviews she has been conducting with street dancers since 2009. WhoWeBe is meant to be an accessible forum for communicating her research and circulating ideas in relationship with the street dance community. www.naomibragin.com
Laura is a 3rd year PhD student in the School of Information. Her work explores new possibilities for creative practice with technologies for digital fabrication. This summer she will be exploring ways in which physically enacting machine processes (i.e. performing the actions a machine would take by hand) can produce new constructions unlike those typically made with digital fabricators and provoke questioning about the relations between body, machine, computation, and materials.
Andrea’s New Media Summer 2014 Research Award will support archival research for her dissertation at the Fred Patten Collection at the University of California, Riverside, an archive containing the papers, collection, and ephemera of one of the key early figures in anime and manga fandom in the United States beginning in the late 1970s. This research will provide some of the materials necessary for the last two chapters of her dissertation, which focus on fan reception and production of manga in the postmodern era, first in Japan beginning in the 1970s and then abroad from the 1980s into the 2000s. Fan production quickly became a key component of the manga industry, and international linkages and collaboration have always been vital to the practice of manga and anime fandom—and eventually licensed production—abroad. By doing archival research in the United States prior to her departure to Japan for dissertation research in the next academic year, she will have a better idea of what to look for in Japanese fan archives of the same era.
Adam will build a digital humanities tool that examines texts at the level of syntax, asking questions about the deployment of figures of speech in and among works. Adam and his team have developed a prototype of the text reader that compares lexicons among texts found in Project Gutenberg’s archive. Over the summer, he will be adding functionality to the tool, so that it is not only able to analyze diction by comparisons of frequency and uniqueness, but also recognize rhetorical devices in sentences.