Digitizing Digs: My Summer at the MATRIX Center for Digital Humanities & Social Sciences

By Allison Kemmerle, Doctoral Candidate in Greek & Roman History This past summer, I completed a Mellon Public Humanities Fellowship at the MATRIX Center for Digital Humanities & Social Sciences at Michigan State University. The MATRIX Center partners with community organizations like libraries and museums to digitize collections of cultural resources and make them accessible resources for education and outreach. When I applied for the fellowship at MATRIX, I was eager to learn about managing digital archives. As part of my training as an ancient historian working with the University of […]

What I Did This Summer: My Mellon Fellowship Experience at the Wright Museum

Originally written by Marie Stango for the Public Humanities section of the Discover Rackham blog in November 2015 How can scholars located in the academy make their skills and work relevant to the broader community? This question is a big one for many scholars in the humanities, particularly in my field, history. It is also a particularly relevant question for historians in my major fields of interest, African American history and women’s/gender history. Historians and other scholars have been at the forefront of contemporary political issues this summer, in particular – consider […]

“May the shadow of the moon fall on a world at peace”: Working at the Arab American National Museum

By Mika Kennedy, Doctoral Candidate in English Language and Literature At time of writing [August 2017], I’m in rural Nebraska. I left the Interstate many miles ago, and the towns here follow the rail line. They are punctuated clusters of buildings and gas marts, and billboards celebrating Sinclair Oil. There’s going to be a total solar eclipse in a few days, and there are signs announcing that, too. The Orientals already know that, though. Or at least, that’s what this Nebraskan shopkeep said. The Orientals all know, because birthing babies during […]


By Peggy Lee, Doctoral Candidate in American Culture RESIST My last day at the NEH in August 2017 was the same day the President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities (PCAH) collectively walked out of their jobs. I myself was counting down the hours until I could leave the NEH, feeling only accountable at that point to the project directors, many of whom had invested a lot of time travelling to D.C. for a one-day convening, my last day. Project directors are the point people in NEH-funded projects; they are […]

Speaking – and not only – in Code

By Marisol Fila, PhD Student, Department of Romance Languages and Literatures I became interested in Digital Humanities during my first year of graduate school. I have always been curious about new technologies and getting to know some of the digital tools that could offer alternative approaches to the Humanities sparked my attention from the very beginning. I started familiarizing myself with general ideas of text mining and topic modeling through some workshops offered by the U of M Library, and I had the chance to apply them in a research partnership […]

Learning to Integrate: Exploring Environmental Humanities During My Mellon Fellowship

By Catherine Fairfield, Doctoral Student in English and Women’s Studies For the last eight weeks, I’ve been taking part in the Rackham Mellon fellowship entitled was “Connecting with Environmental Humanities”. This involved working with the University of Michigan Library to develop strategies for the library to support the community of environmental humanities at our institution. The primary goal was to lay the groundwork for making a space in which scholars from different corners of UM who share an investment in environmental humanities but might not necessarily connect themselves to that full network […]

Collecting Records, and Archival Experience Too: Mellon Fellowship at the Bentley Historical Library

By Matt Villeneuve, Doctoral Student in the Department of History The inestimable historian Barbara Tuchman once remarked that “To a historian, libraries are food, shelter, and even muse.” For those of us at the University of Michigan, we should add one more attribute to Tuchman’s list: laboratory. The historical library as laboratory – a place for experimentation, creativity, and discovery – succinctly captures what happens at the Bentley Historical Library at the University of Michigan every day. Founded in 1935, the Bentley is one of the oldest and most active archives […]

Learning About Digital Publishing and Collaboration at Michigan Publishing

By Elina Salminen,  Ph.D. Candidate in the Interdepartmental Program in Classical Art and Archaeology This spring and summer, I have spent two months at Michigan Publishing, a part of the UM library system and home to the University of Michigan Press and Michigan Publishing Services, working on a project combining digital publishing, product development, and market analysis. Before my fellowship, I admittedly had a fairly hazy idea about what any of these things meant, but they all seemed interesting, useful on the job market, and the specific projects seemed to […]

Reimagining the Possibilities: Mellon Mini-Course on Health and Humanities

By Jallicia Jolly, PhD Candidate in American Culture Purposeful intellectual work meets publicly engaged humanities in “Health and Humanities” taught by Professor Alexandra Stern. The week-long intensive workshop in critical methods and social engagement invited graduate students to explore how we can use tools from the humanities and qualitative social science to mobilize our work. Importantly, the workshop asked: how does health humanities fit into your life? As I expected, health humanities fits in everywhere! I walked away out of “Health and Humanities” workshop feeling wildly inspired. Before the workshop, […]

Mellon Mini-Course: Editorial and Translation Work Within and Beyond Academia

By Elizabeth Nabney, PhD Candidate in Classical Studies I decided to attend the 2016 Mellon mini-course, “Editorial and Translation Work Within and Beyond Academia” because I wanted to learn more about alternative career options beyond academia where I could still make use of the skills I developed during my degree and potentially stay in an academic environment.  The course exceeded my expectations by taking a very broad definition of ‘editing’ and by informing me about a wide variety of careers across several industries in which editing and translation skills are used, many […]