SSA 5 DH Panel

This year’s celebration of Science, Society, and the Arts at Washington and Lee University (March 8, 2013) will feature a student panel on digital humanities projects in the classroom.  The discussion will be held in Huntley Hall room 321 at 10:00 AM.  Please come enjoy the first ever panel dealing with DH.

Generally Digital: Digital Humanities at W&L


Huntley Hall-321


Sara Sprenkle, Paul Youngman

Digital Goethe



Matt Bittner
Curtis Correll
Blake Grady
Katie  Jarrell

In a traditional humanities class, a term paper often serves as one of the means by which we demonstrate mastery of course material. The term paper is generally part of a one-on-one conversation between the professor and the student that is sometimes expanded to the classroom if the professor requires an oral presentation on the topic. Our digital humanities project, Digital Goethe, is an attempt to extend the conversation beyond professor and classroom. We, Katie Jarrell, Blake Grady, Curtis Correll, and Matt Bittner, propose using a wordpress site in combination with data mining tools like TAPOR and BAMBOO DiRT to show how the World Wide Web is an effective platform both for broadening the undergraduate research conversation beyond the professor-student dynamic and for demonstrating new tools in humanities research. Using Johann Wolfgang von Goethe’s seminal poems “Prometheus” (1785) (Correll and Bittner) and “Grenzen Der Menschheit” (Limits of Humanity) (1789) (Jarrell and Grady), we intend to demonstrate a different approach to research in the humanities. Because such approaches are relatively new in the humanities, it is one area where undergraduates can conduct truly new research into texts that are more than 200 years old.

Digital Humanities in the Classroom


Elizabeth Bucklee

My project for SSA will look at how the digital humanities will help to facilitate my research as an undergrad student. Instead of relying solely on books and written reviews on scholarly databases, the ability to access manuscripts and poems, otherwise not accessible to my level of research, will add great depth to my knowledge of the topic and to the success of my paper. I will research the scandal surrounding the 2nd Earl of Castlehaven and his trial in 1631. I plan on using media-based research from the “Early Stuart Libels” database online to look at the libels pertaining to the scandal that were produced during the years surrounding the trial. In combination with other research, I plan on having a more complete and cohesive understanding of the role of media (libels) in early modern England.

Inscriptions Online: Increasing Accessibility and Readibility of Roman Epigraphy




Vergil Parson
Caroline Sutherland

Washington & Lee University students have been contributing to an electronic database of Latin epigraphy. Until now, Latin inscriptions were recorded in very expensive books with indices of varying quality. We are working to create a searchable, readable collection of Latin inscriptions under the auspices of EAGLE, the Electronic Archive of Greek and Latin Epigraphy. Washington & Lee is the only American partner university of EAGLE. While surviving Latin literature tends to carry an elite male viewpoint, inscriptions run the gamut from the epitaphs to the graffiti of all sorts of people. We will present how our work with EAGLE can help researchers collate and analyze previously under-represented voices. We will discuss our methods and how our work can be used to bring every-day Roman society to life in the classroom.

Religious Minorities in Early Modern England


Brendan Hartsell

Research in traditional undergraduate history classes is limited to the resources that an undergraduate student can reasonably access, which is usually restricted to published works within the university library system; many primary sources remain unpublished, but extant in archives across the globe. New technologies and databases, however, allow undergraduate students to access many unpublished documents. I propose demonstrating the effectiveness of these new tools in historical research by using an online resource called the English Broadside Ballad Archive, which is maintained by the University of California at Santa Barbara, for the primary sources for my term paper in Media and Politics in Early Modern England. This paper will investigate the attitudes towards religious minorities in the Civil War and post-Civil War period through the examination of treatment of them in broadside ballads, which are prints of popular songs.

Symbolic Logic Tutorial



Richard Marmorstein

At the juncture of the humanities and the digital world is symbolic logic. This summer, I worked under Dr. Sprenkle in the computer science department, and with Dr. Gregory in the philosophy department. My task was to extend the functionality of Dr. Gregory’s “Symbolic Logic Tutorial” application, currently used by students in his PHIL 170 Introduction to Logic classes to do translation exercises and take logic quizzes. Specifically, I extended the application’s capacity to handle simple propositional logic statements into an ability to process a more complicated predicate logic language. and enhanced the web interface, so professors could more effectively evaluate and provide feedback to the students, . In this presentation, I will talk about my experiences coming from a “digital” major having to integrate my body of knowledge in that domain with the less familiar humanities domain, and then I will demonstrate the project in action.

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