The Carolina Digital Humanities Initiative (CDHI) congratulates this year’s recipients of the Graduate Certificate in Digital Humanities, Adam J. Engel (English and Comparative Literature), and Heather Suzanne Woods (Communication). The Graduate Certificate serves students interested in the ways that digital technologies are transforming the production and sharing of knowledge in the humanities. These transformations create new opportunities and connections across disciplines and among institutions.
As a doctoral student, Engel employed technology to push the boundaries of what we traditionally think of as text. He integrated digital tools such as video into pedagogy while writing and teaching at UNC-Chapel Hill. He was part of a team of teachers that organized the People, Ideas, and Things (PIT) Journal and Conference for Undergraduate Research, and worked in the Studio for Instructional Technology in English Studies (SITES), as well as serving as an editorial assistant to the William Blake Archive.
After moving to Boston in December and completing his dissertation remotely, Adam began a full-time job at Emerson College as an Instructional Technologist this past June. His team supports students and faculty alike in weaving technological tools into their learning and teaching practices. Adam’s responsibilities include supporting online instructors, supporting Canvas (Emerson’s Learning Management System), making media in courses accessible by correcting OCR and tagging for screen readers, and implementing new technological tools for Emerson faculty. Currently, Adam is working with Reclaim Hosting to improve Emerson’s version of A Domain of One’s Own, a program that provides a free web domain to all members of the Emerson community.
“This job has been quite rewarding, and I wouldn’t have been able to attain it without the experiences and trainings I received during the DH Certificate program. Knowing how to build a domain, how to work with various Content Management Systems, and how to use video in pedagogy have been major professional advantages. The DH program, the related videography work that Dr. Anderson and I did around it, and my work for the Studio for Instructional Technology (which gave me insight into the DH program’s logistics) were undoubtedly the most valuable aspects of my education at UNC, since they led directly to a satisfying career path I would otherwise have lacked. Part of what made this track so fulfilling was Dr. Anderson’s willingness to explore both my creative and academic interests without forcing them into separate spheres. As a field with many trails yet to be blazed, digital humanities is much more fun and useful when students can determine their own direction.”
Below is a sample of Adam’s video work.
Heather Suzanne Woods is now Assistant Professor of Rhetoric and Technology in the Department of Communication Studies at Kansas State University. She is interested in the ways that people use new media environments to organize and act together politically. Her most recent project investigates the rhetorics surrounding and used by artificially intelligent objects.
Heather’s research interests are at the intersections of Rhetoric and Media and Technology Studies. She researches how people use digital tools to formulate and organize acts of resistance and dissent in the digital sphere. She also considers the affordances and limitations of algorithmic judgment and hashtag usage as they affect online communities of dissent. In addition to both regional and national conference participation, Heather’s research has appeared in Feminist Media Studies, Present Tense: A Journal of Rhetoric in Society, and Teaching Media Quarterly.
While working with the CDHI, Woods coordinated digital media for Feminisms Here and Now: Communicating Alongside | Across | Against, a conference on 21st century feminism and its critical and intervening roles in a range of social, cultural, and political issues. She also collaborated on “Teaching with Technology in Interactive Lecture Spaces: The Case of Greenlaw 101:” a multi-modal multimedia research project which employed a mixed-method approach including classroom observations and interviews with instructors, the project explored the pedagogical and logistical benefits and constraints of teaching in interactive, experimental lecture halls and offers best practices for instructors who find themselves in such environments. A podcast produced from this project can be heard here (via Soundcloud).
Heather is a UNC Carolina Digital Humanities Initiative Fellow, a K. Patricia Cross Future Leaders Scholar, a UNC Center for Faculty Excellence Fellow, and the Outreach and Assessment Coordinator of Project Vox, an effort to represent and promote the contribution of women to the modern Western philosophical canon.