Announcing our new Affiliated Faculty-UROP Program (AFUP)!

This spring, the MIT Programs in Digital Humanities are excited to launch a new program to support faculty and students working on DH projects across SHASS: the Affiliated Faculty-UROP Program, known affectionately as “AFUP.” Eight distinguished MIT faculty and their UROP students will be joining us to work on projects that range from a collaboration to develop an online archive for a community museum in the industrial Midwest to a tool that will allow researchers to explore a new corpus of popular music.

Take a moment to meet our Affiliated Faculty and their projects in the Digital Humanities!

Kate Brown, Professor of Science, Technology, and Society, will work on Self-Provisioning Cities: A Mapping Project, which seeks to re-create self-provisioning food systems (i.e. chicken coops, gardens, pastures, etc.) of two African American neighborhoods of Washington, DC and Detroit, MI from 1900 to 1950. The project will develop a spatial representation of what people in these neighborhoods grew and ate, how much they produced, and how these neighborhoods changed over time.

Michael Cuthbert, Professor of Music, will continue work on his Text and Music Relations in 13th and 14th Century European Music project, encoding and analyzing medieval French music using computational means. The project has created a digital repository of motets, done significant work in discovering rhythmic structures of the works and their text-musical relations, and created specialized analysis routines able to separate layers of compositional activities by employing state-of-the-art deep learning technologies.

Michael Maune, Lecturer in Comparative Media Studies/Writing, will be developing an Interdisciplinary Writing Repository that addresses the limitations of existing student writing corpora for teachers not trained in corpus methods. The interface aims to make the publicly available corpus of British Academic Written English (BAWE) more accessible and useful for teachers using it in curriculum and instruction development.

Jinny Park, Affiliated Artist in Music and Theater Arts, will work on her Meta Popular Music Corpus Project, which connects existing symbolic datasets of popular music into a searchable, web-based database designed for music analysts without a programming background.

Garo William Saraydarian, Lecturer in Music and Theater Arts, will work on the Oud Corpora Analysis project. This project seeks to create a digital corpus of a collection printed in the late Ottoman Empire (c. 1917) entitled Chants Turcs, thought to represent a stage of printed Ottoman music in which notations for microtones were not yet indicated. Using computational analysis, this project aims to indicate where these non-notated microtones might possibly be located in the context of the maqamat (mode) used in each piece of music.

Christine Walley, Professor of Anthropology, will work on the Southeast Chicago Archive and Storytelling Project to create a website documenting the history of a steel mill community through stories of immigration, labor struggle, industrial job loss, and the rise of community environmental activism in a heavily polluted region.

Mary Erica Zimmer, Lecturer in Concourse, will continue work on her project Books Without Boundaries: Leveraging Datasets for Discovery, which investigates how large-scale datasets can be used to provide insight into individual items in rare books collections and archives—and vice versa. By balancing qualitative with quantitative methods , the project encourages students to pursue object-based claims while demonstrating how "big metadata" can inform bibliographic scholarship.