Author Archives: Alicia Peaker

TOMORROW: Using GitHub for Education to Encourage Open Learning and Facilitate Feedback

Join us tomorrow, May 3rd, 12:15-1:30 PM, in Hillcrest 103 for the DLA’s final Behind the Scenes of the year, led by Albert Kim (Math). Albert will be sharing his experiences using GitHub as a feedback tool in his Data Science class this semester. Lunch will be served, so please RSVP at go/DLAscenes. Full description below.

Inspired by a humanist colleague’s approach to grading papers and discussions taking place in statistics pedagogy circles, Albert Kim (Math) presents his use of the GitHub web-based repository hosting service in his Introduction to Data Science course to encourage open and collaborative development of students’ coding skills and to facilitate the delivery of feedback from instructor to student. This short presentation will be followed by discussion of using digital tools for feedback in the classroom, so come with your questions. Lunch will be served, so please RSVP at go/DLAscenes.

Albert Y. Kim is originally from Montreal Quebec. After completing his PhD in statistics at the University of Washington in Seattle, he worked at Google as a Data Scientist for two years, followed by a two-year visiting stint at Reed College. He joined the Middlebury faculty in August 2015.


Digital Surrealism as Research Strategy April 5th

Please join us Tuesday, April 5th at 12:15 PM in the CTLR Lounge for a lunchtime discussion with Kevin Ferguson on some playful and interdisciplinary approaches to digital scholarship that use technologies developed in other fields (like the medical imaging software ImageJ) to answer humanistic questions. Lunch will be served, so please RSVP here. He also has some free time during the day on Wednesday, so if you’d like to learn more about ImageJ or chat with him email Alicia Peaker with your availability.

Most digital humanities approaches pursue traditional forms of scholarship by extracting a single variable from cultural texts that is already legible to scholars. Instead, this talk advocates a mostly-ignored “digital-surrealism” that uses computer-based methods to transform film texts in radical ways not previously possible. The return to a surrealist and avant-garde tradition requires a unique kind of research, which is newly possible now that humanists have made the digital turn. I take a surrealist view of the hidden in order to imagine what aspects of media texts are literally impossible to see without special computer-assisted techniques. What in the archive is in plain sight but still invisible? What in the cinema is so buried that our naked eyes are unable to see it? Here I present one such method, using the z-projection function of the scientific image analysis software ImageJ, to sum film frames in order to create new composite images. I examine four corpora of what would normally be considered rather different types of film: (1) the animated features produced by Walt Disney Animation Studios, (2) a representative selection of the western genre (including American and Italian “spaghetti” westerns), (3) a group of gialli (stylish horror films originating from Italy that influenced American slasher films), and (4) the series of popular Japanese Zatoichi films, following the adventures of the titular blind masseuse and swordsman living in 1830s Japan.

Kevin Ferguson is an Assistant Professor of English and Director of Writing at Queens College (CUNY). He teaches undergraduate and graduate courses on college writing, contemporary literature, and film adaptation.