All News

Current Activities and Announcements:

  • NC Jukebox at HASTAC and DH2016

    cylinder-meLooking forward to sharing the NC Jukebox project at HASTAC in Tempe, AZ and at DH2016 in Krakow!


    Here’s my new favorite photo of myself at work –>

    HASTAC is always a great experience, of course.  I’m also exceptionally excited for the latter, however, both because getting conected to the international, big-tent DH community is great – and b/c Krakow is one of the family’s ancestral homelands. Will there be time to find out about my great-great-great (maybe a couple more greats in there?) grandfather who had some sort of military leadership role in the Tatra Mountains sometime back in the day, according to our late great-Aunt?  How do I even begin to figure that one out? Back to the archives….

    This makes me wonder about how much useful overlap there might be between digital cultural heritage and ideas of personal identity and histories as they relate to variously-hyphenated descendants. There is so much crowd-sourced, navel-gazing energy in the latter arena. Could it be deployed for DCA in academically useful ways?

  • Procedural Art: Game Platforms for Creative Expression at CAA 2016

    More fun at College Art Association! I’m co-chairing a session with my collaborator Joyce Rudinsky on “Procedural Art: Game Platforms for Creative Expression” at CAA in a few weeks. This session is part of the New Media Caucus offerings at the conference:


    Time: 02/05/2016, 3:00 PM—5:00 PM
    Location: Thurgood Marshall Ballroom West, Mezzanine Level

    This panel will focus on the design, aesthetics, and affordances of game platforms for new media art, as well as in critical approaches to this emerging genre. Participants will share projects that demonstrate the creative use of game platforms in fine art contexts, and in highlighting the full range of possibilities this new medium offers.

    Moderators: Victoria Szabo, Duke University; Joyce Rudinsky, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill


    Hye Young Kim, Winston-Salem State University
    Soraya Murray, University of California, Santa Cruz
    Paolo Pedercini, Carnegie Mellon University
    Susana Ruiz, University of California, Santa Cruz
    Myfanwy Ashmore, independent artist

  • Digital Cultural Heritage as Public Humanities Collaboration

    In a couple of weeks I will be leading a session called “Digital Cultural Heritage as Public Humanities Collaboration” at the College Art Association’s annual conference in Washington DC. We have a fantastic panel of presenters who will share their projects in a “project fair” and then we will switch over to a roundtable discussion format. Join us!

    Session Site


    Time: 02/04/2016, 2:30 PM—5:00 PM
    Location: Washington 1, Exhibition Level

    Chair: Victoria E. Szabo, Duke University

    The Regium Lepidi Project 2200
    Maurizio Forte, Duke University; Nevio Danelon, Duke University

    Earthquakes, Volcanoes and Bombs. Restoring the Monumental Landscape of South Italy (The Kingdom of Sicily Image Database)
    Caroline A. Bruzelius, Duke University

    Experimenting with 3D Visualizations of the Lost 17th Century Labyrinth of Versailles
    Copper Frances Giloth, University of Massachusetts

    Mapping Ararat and Beyond: Augmented Reality Walking Tours for Imagined Jewish Homelands
    Louis P. Kaplan, University of Toronto; Melissa Shiff, York University

    MQUADRO: a Platform Model for Cultural Heritage
    Stefania Zardini Lacedelli, Regole of Ampezzo, Cortina; Giacomo Pompanin, ADOMultimedia, Cortina

    Playing the Scales: the Human Scale in Digital Data Visualization
    Radu Leon, Ca’ Foscari University of Venice, Università Iuav di Venezia

    Program in Interactive Cultural Technology (PICT): a Partnership between New Mexico Highlands University and the New Mexico State Department of Cultural Affairs
    Kerry Loewen, New Mexico Highlands University

    The Will to Adorn: African American Diversity, Style, and Identity
    Diana Ndiaye, Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage, Smithsonian

    Discussant: Mark J.V. Olson, Duke University

  • NC Jukebox Renewed with Bass Connections; Open House on 1/27/2016

    The NC Jukebox project was renewed within the Bass Connections Information, Society, and Culture theme. We are also supported by the Franklin Humanities Institute. This means we will be able to develop our exhibitions at the Rubenstein Library and in Western NC further this summer, and to offer another class in Spring 2017. Trudi Abel will also offer a MALS MA course in Summer 2016 with students who will help do background research on the singers and songs.
    We will be advertising for new participants at the January 27, 2016 Bass Connections Open House event. We are especially interested in undergraduates and graduates who can help with the following:

    • Categorizing the NC Jukebox music according to key, chords, genres and other musical categories. This is so the archive is more useful to contemporary musicians who continue to play this music.
    • Documenting conversations (video) with the families and descendants of the original performers. Editing the video for use online and in our exhibition.
    • Engineering a physical “jukebox” for the exhibitions in Rubenstein and in Western NC. We might repurpose an old jukebox, take out the innards of an old radio, or create an entirely new device for music playback.
    • Researching the specific songs in the collection to see how the lyrics have changed over time and space. These will be presented as side-by-side transcriptions, as well as in searchable metadata suitable future future text-analysis and map-based visualization.
    • Helping design the database infrastructure to facilitate “distant reading” and “distant listening” of the tracks in the collection.
    • Researching the singers and their lives using census data, city directories, and other archival tools.
    • Discovering historically-relevant imagery to use in our exhibitions and online in Duke’s archives, Library of Congress, NYPL etc.
    • Working on an experimental NC Ghosts VR installation in the Duke DiVE VR space. This will involve creating 3D models of an rural NC porch, a kitchen, and perhaps other locales where users can rez “ghosts” by focusing their attention via mind entrainment.
  • STEAM Challenge Deadline February 1, 2016

    We are hosting several info sessions for the STEAM Challenge, which is thematized around “Digital Humanities” this year as part of the Duke Digital Humanities Initiative and co-sponsored by the Vice Provost for Academic Affairs. The initial project proposal deadline is February 1, 2016. Members of the STEAM Challenge Advisory Board will be on hand at the info sessions, and are also available for consultation about potential projects.


  • CLIR “Hidden Collections Grant”

    iphone-music-nohandGreat news! CLIR funded the Rubenstein Library’s Hidden Collections grant to digitize the rest of the Frank Clyde Brown collection of wax cylinders and aluminum disks. These recordings of western NC singers and songs from the early 20th c. are a tremendous resource for historians, ethnomusicologists, and folk musicians as well as the current community members descended from the original performers.  This will be a great boon to the project, which we started up this past Fall with a class centered around exploring, researching, and categorizing these materials for public sharing. This summer we’ll mount an exhibit in Rubenstein Library and present on the project to the SE Music Librarians Association conference in October.

    Update: Check out the announcement from Duke Libraries


  • Bass Connections: Information, Society, and Culture

    Just announced that I’m the new co-director, with Robert Calderbank, of the Bass Connections: Information, Society, and Culture theme. This is pretty exciting because it brings together a lot of my interests. Given that the Information Science + Studies Program Certificate is also the Bass ISC Certificate, and that I’m working on increasing visibility and opportunities on campus through the Digital Humanities Initiative at FHI this all comes together nicely. Looking forward to working on this with everyone/


  • Spring 2016 Teaching

    I will not be teaching courses in Spring 2016 as I will be on leave working on augmented reality research projects and reading upon the latest theories and possibilities for augmenting the public presence of the humanities through digital cultural heritage application development. In addition, I will continue to develop the Bass Connections NC Jukebox project with our team of faculty/staff/students/partners, as well as explore alternatives to Metaio, and work on plans for the Visualizing Venice Ghetto and Duke/Durham Ghosts mobile applications. I’ll also continue to develop the Digital Humanities Initiative at FHI and co-direct the PhD Lab in Digital Knowledge.

  • Summer 2016 Visualizing Venice Workshop

    In Summer 2016 I’m very pleased to be co-teaching the Visualizing Venice summer workshops again. This year’s theme will be the 500th Anniversary of the Jewish Ghetto in Venice. I’ll be working on some Venice AR projects in Spring 2016 in anticipation of the workshop, as well as developing the curriculum with our team in the Wired Lab and in Venice. Last year we had a fabulous, international cohort of participants for the highly competitive workshop. Hoping for the same again this year.  Updates at on applications etc.

  • Duke STEAM Challenge 2015-16: Digital Humanities

    Excited to announce the new Duke STEAM Challenge, which is co-sponsored by the Office of Academic Affairs, the Digital Humanities Initiative at FHI, and Information Science + Information Studies, along with support from Innovation and Entrepreneurship, HASTAC at Duke and more. The STEAM Challenge is a competition for students to bring together STEM with Arts and Humanities to make a difference in the world. This year’s theme, Digital Humanities, reflects special attention to humanities data, broadly conceived, and to ways in which humanistic inquiry can enrich our understanding of the ethical and critical stakes of scientific interventions. Hoping to see a lot of great applicants. We are doing a few info sessions this December and then again in January, with a deadline for initial project proposals on February 1, 2016.


    DukeSTEAM Poster

    Duke STEAM Challenge Website

    Duke STEAM Challenge Facebook Group