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data visualization, communication, archival research, social justice


Key Points:

  • Interrogate the construction of public memory

  • Engage in research about social issues

  • Collect and tell stories via texts and data


Detailed Description:

What are the missing pieces of our world: the stories that are lost, or obscured, or forgotten? How do we engage with issues of social justice beyond simply acknowledging systemic inequalities? And when we uncover information about the past (or present), what do we do with it? How does knowledge of the past influence our present - and consequently - our future? 
In this stream, we address questions about social justice and public memory by engaging in research that draws from a variety of sources, from archival research to metadata. As scholars of public memory have noted, to understand our present and our futures, we must first turn to interrogate our pasts. With an eye towards public-facing arguments about social justice and the digital humanities, students will have the opportunity to work on salient issues by designing, researching, and preparing visualizations that help engage in and support public conversations about how we can address previous wrongs and build better futures.


Key Points:

  • Examining the past helps us to navigate the present and imagine new futures

  • Data comes in all shapes and sizes

  • Ability to communicate findings is critical


Detailed Description:

As a society, we must engage with our successes and our failures. An approach to research that privileges a social justice framework suggests that reclaiming, researching,and reconstructing the past provides us new pathways forward in the future.


The type of research in this stream is transformative because it situates traditional, archival research in a broader framework of the “big data” era, prompting us to use the advance in technological tools to contextualize conversations about past wrongs and visualize them for broader audiences. 


Communicating research is a necessary skill – one that is often undervalued and not treated as the primary focus. By engaging issues in both historical and contemporary contexts and by centering the actions of research to reclaim and (re)construct stories that are often glossed over, we take seriously the impact that social issues such as race, gender, and access to resources have on our ability to imagine a different future. 


Key Points:

  • Research methods

  • Data visualization skills

  • Creative problem solving

  • Technical Skills

Detailed Description:

Archival research methods (both digital and hands-on); Gather, organize, and manage data and metadata, including creating databases where none yet exists; Communicate findings to a public-facing audience; Project management; Execute data visualization in Tableau/PowerBI; employ strategies for public-facing communication and press interactions; creative problem solving; podcasting 

New Podcast from VSJ

Check out what VSJ's Summer Research Interns produced from their time working in the Hornbake Library Archives. 

You can read more about their experience in Maryland Today

All 7 episodes of Volume I are available wherever you get your podcasts. 

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