I’m currently working on a Digital Humanities (DH) project, building a companion website to my dissertation that aims to capture Walden Pond’s soundscape. The website is a toolbox for educators and students to engage in a natural soundscape alongside works of literature that inspired early activism in the wilderness preservation movement such as Thoreau’s Walden and Emerson’s Nature.
The Walden Soundscape website presents several sonically and visually immersive videos in which a visitor can sit by the pond or walk around it through the Walden Woods. The website offers visitors a self-directed ArcGIS storymap of the pond for individual exploration. To interested readers of Thoreau’s Walden it brings the sounds and music of nature to readings in the 19th Century American Transcendentalist genre. With gratitude for a recent Provost’s Digital Innovation Implementation Grant, the website will soon host a podcast series about Walden Pond and Thoreau’s soundscape.
Teaching is where I started drawing from digital media. You can read more about some of the tools and lessons I’ve tried in the past on my home page.
My digital pedagogy draws from a variety of approaches to make texts accessible and to build community inside and outside the classroom. Beyond scaffolding assignments and encouraging intellectual risk-taking, through class blog and group work assignments I ask students to bring research and current events into their close readings. As students build these bridges, they realize how relevant historical texts are today rather than assuming literature’s importance is self-evident. They also strengthen their writing and acquire the tools they need to write effectively. In ongoing digital humanities projects that utilize media such as BuzzFeed, DropBox, Twitter, and WordPress, students inspire and respond to each other (e.g. using a class hashtag, such as #AmLitEnv) and draw connections between literary studies and the sociopolitical issues that they are most invested in.
2017 English Student Association Conference: “The Vibrating World: Soundscapes and Undersongs.” Click here to go to the conference website.
The Margaret Fuller Society: In 2017, I developed a new website for the Margaret Fuller Society and have been serving as the society’s web editor since. Click here to go to the society website.
The Walden Soundscape: A digital humanities project (see above) that makes original images, videos, and sounds available to the public for free online.