Undergraduate Fellows

Digital Humanities as an Agent of Communication

Having conceived of the idea to investigate the impact of the refugee crisis on German identity, my next and most immediate challenge has been to make rigorous abstractions from this research question. Consequently, I devised two approaches:

  1. Understand the refugee crisis
  2. Devise ways to portray important insights digitally in order to attribute meaning to the research question

The former relates to historical, cultural, political, and social considerations, while the latter has led me to contemplate the platform and communication of the research: Digital Humanities. In my readings over the past few weeks, the single, most emerging facet relating to DH has been its profound enrichment of communicating ideas. Observing data or reading words on a page evokes different emotions and levels of understanding than interacting with a concept, be it data, text, or other. Finding creative ways to communicate can enhance understanding and meaning (this is often accomplished by appealing to the five senses).

Contemplating the above, I have since devised a framework upon which I will structure my project via a digital platform. The five interconnected components will each play a role in the overarching theme:

  1. Overview of project (“I am”: Identity)
  2. History of Refugee Crisis (Timeline)
  3. Mapping (Digital Mapping)
  4. Refugees of Germany (Picture: Story)
  5. Field Research (Data Representation)

Finally, I’d like to bridge the distinction between portraying events versus scientific explanation. Ultimately, the intersection between scientific inquiry and digital humanities rings increasingly important: DH is a vehicle with which science can be effectively communicated to and received by all.

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