2014 ACH Executive Council Elections

As we write this, there are just a few days left in the 2014 ACH Executive Council elections: if you haven’t voted, please do so before the deadline of December 17!

For present and future reference, and because we’re so very pleased with the great response of our ACH community, we’re reproducing below the biographies and candidate statements of the nine (yes, you read that right: nine!) outstanding candidates on this year’s slate.

There are a couple of points to make about this slate: first, there are only three open spots on the Council this year, which means that 2/3 of these people sadly won’t be elected this time around.  However — and more importantly — we also firmly believe that simply standing for election is one of the most visible and substantial ways of supporting the ACH and serving the Digital Humanities community, regardless of the election’s individual outcomes.

We on the Nominations Committee and the current Exec would like to thank publicly and to celebrate all nine of these fine candidates, none of whom have ever served on the ACH Council before.  These people represent both the flourishing present and the bright future of our Association — so if you know them (or when you meet them), please remember to thank them for taking the risk by putting their names out in front of the community, and for their important contribution in doing so.

And even before that, don’t forget to vote!

2014 Candidates for the ACH Executive Council

Quinn Dombrowski


Quinn Dombrowski is the Digital Humanities Coordinator in Research IT at UC Berkeley, the director of DiRT (Digital Research Tools), and the lead developer and technical editor for the DHCommons project directory and journal. She was formerly part of the program staff for Project Bamboo. She holds a BA/MA in Slavic Linguistics from the University of Chicago, and an MLS from the University of Illinois. Quinn has worked closely with faculty on a diverse range of digital projects for research and pedagogy, including a virtual research environment for Bulgarian linguistics and folklore, a bibliography of secondary literature about German multitalent Ernst Barlach, and a digital textbook for clinical pathophysiology at the University of Chicago. She has taught a course on using Drupal without any custom code as a platform for digital humanities projects at DHSI, and is currently co-authoring a book on the same topic.

Candidate Statement:

As someone who has always done DH from positions within central IT groups, I have come to appreciate the importance of connecting the various resources that ACH and its fellow constituent organizations maintain. At the DH working group at Berkeley, I am continually surprised by the extent to which graduate students and faculty who are new to digital humanities may stumble across one ACH initiative (such as @DHAnswers), without becoming aware of related resources, such as the mentorship program or microgrants. One fruitful way to address this issue, I believe, lies in seeking out the points of intersection between individual efforts, and linking them in meaningful ways. This philosophy has informed my current work with DiRT and DHCommons, where we are seeking to include information about which DHCommons projects use a given tool as part of that tool’s DiRT profile. I believe that exploring a similar approach — in spirit, if not in the implementation details — within the network of resources that ACH supports would increase the organization’s impact overall by making the various initiatives more cohesive.

Alex Gil


I am Digital Scholarship Coordinator for the Humanities and History Division at Columbia University Libraries and Affiliate Faculty of the English & Comparative Literature Department at Columbia University, where I serve as a consultant to faculty, students and the library on the use of technology in humanities research, pedagogy and scholarly communications. In 2010-2012 I was a fellow at the Scholars’ Lab and NINES at the University of Virginia, where I was part of the pilot year of the Praxis Program. Recent endeavors at Columbia include the Open Syllabus Project, an open repository of syllabi for curricular research; the Studio@Butler, a hacker space for the humanities at Butler Library; and the formation of the Group for Experimental Methods in the Humanities, where we take on methodological challenges from colleagues, and advocate for methodological debate in the humanities writ-large.

In addition to my work at Columbia, I am part of the steering committee of the NYC-DH group, and (acting) chair of Global-Outlook::Digital-Humanities (GO::DH). As vice-chair of GO::DH, I led or helped launch several initiatives, including the THATCamp Caribbean series; Around DH in 80 Days, a tour of digital humanities projects worldwide; the minimal computing group; the first GO::DH conference, held in Mexico in 2014 in partnership with the Latin American RedHD; and, the translation best-practices toolkit—all of which helped or are helping in some way to form or grow networks of digital humanists in areas not traditionally represented by the constituent organizations of ADHO. More recently I joined the MLMC committee of ADHO as vice-chair, and DHQ as associate editor of internationalization. My scholarly heart remains betrothed to the study of Caribbean Literature & Culture in the 20th Century. Besides my ongoing research in this area, I serve as associate editor of the SX:Archipelagos initiative, a major push to nurture digital humanities in Caribbean studies; and in the Caribbean Studies Association as co-chair of the digital advisory group.

Candidate Statement:

As the digital humanities begins to be recognized as a global phenomenon, the ACH is presented with the opportunity to help nurture and serve their healthy growth around the world. I would like to bring my experiences working in GO::DH and elsewhere to the ongoing efforts to diversify and open ACH to the world, and, in turn, leverage ACH for the benefit of that world. In particular, I would like to work with the internationalization of our journals, and help expand our conferences to make them more inclusive, building on the efforts of our current leadership.

Besides the work in internationalization, I would like to join the committee as an advocate for models of knowledge production that emphasize just labor structures and institutional transformation. Considering the difficulty of building digital projects that can withstand the ravages of (not that much) time without considerable human and capital resources; considering the predictable and most welcome swell of demand for our skills and approaches; considering the momentous responsibility we owe to our pasts; considering we have yet to have a general impact on tenure & promotion, and dissertation guidelines; and, considering how the methodological question is probably our best bet for finding intersections with those who are suspicious of our work, I would like to be an advocate in the committee for practices that are minimal, people-centric, playful, purposefully ephemeral, strategic, and explicitly methodological.

Tassie Gniady


Tassie Gniady is Digital Humanities Coordinator for Cyberinfrastructure Research Technologies, University Information Technology Services, at Indiana University.

Candidate Statement

I first ventured into the world of digital humanities in 2003 when my advisor at the University of California—Santa Barbara, Patricia Fumerton, wanted to create an online ballad archive, starting with the Pepys Ballads, which were only available in a print facsimile edition that cost $2000 or at the Pepys Library, Magdalene College, Cambridge (which was only open two hours a day). Today, the English Broadside Ballad Archive has made available 62% of extant ballads and is on its fifth NEH grant, and even though I left the project in 2009, my time as project manager and technical lead informs many of my early DH experiences. I have attended DHSI three times, been to several THATCamps, completed a PhD in Early Modern Literature, finished a Masters in Information Science with a specialization in digital libraries, been a HASTAC Scholar, taken classes on photogrammetry and recreation of historical buildings in 3D, worked with the Advanced Visualization Lab at Indiana, created humanities-based datasets for use on Indiana’s Science on a Sphere, and just moved into a new full-time role as the first digital humanist based in UITS at Indiana. I would welcome the opportunity to serve the community as a member of ADHO Executive Council. Thanks.

Harriett Green


Harriett Green is the English and Digital Humanities Librarian and assistant professor, University Library, at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Her research focuses on the use and users of digital humanities tools and resources, digital pedagogy, and humanities data curation.

Her publications include published and forthcoming articles in LLC: Literary and Linguistic Computing, EDUCAUSE Review, Journal of the Association of Information Science and Technology, Journal of the Chicago Colloquium for Digital Humanities and Computer Science, College & Research Libraries, Library Quarterly, and portal: Libraries and the Academy. Her research has been supported by grants awarded from the Institute for Museum and Library Services and the National Endowment for the Humanities. Her current projects include working on the research teams for the HathiTrust Research Center and Emblematica Online.

She has presented on her work nationally and internationally, including at the conferences of the Alliance of Digital Humanities Organizations (ADHO), and Modern Language Association Annual Convention, American Library Association (ALA), Association for College & Research Libraries (ACRL), and International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA). She is professionally active in the Association for College and Research Libraries, the Association for Computing in the Humanities (ACH), Association for Literary and Linguistic Computing (ALLC), and the Modern Language Association (MLA). She earned her MSLIS from the University of Illinois, and also holds a MA in Humanities from the University of Chicago and a BA in History and Literature from Harvard University.

Candidate Statement:

My involvement in digital humanities began in part with the ACH Mentoring Program and as my work and research in digital humanities has grown, I have found ACH always to be a supportive, collaborative, and inclusive community. I have long admired how the ACH continues to promote the work of digital humanities by effective and innovative means, and I would be honored to serve on the ACH Executive Council to continue developing ways for supporting digital humanities scholars and scholarship, and expanding the communities that are part of this work.  I believe there are exciting avenues of research, pedagogy, and public engagement still to be explored by digital humanists, and I would strive to work with ACH colleagues and fellow associations around the world to help advance digital humanities further in these areas.

Diane Jakacki


I am the Digital Scholarship Coordinator at Bucknell University. In this role I am responsible for developing and instituting a robust and sustainable insitution-wide DH program. My work focuses on curricular integration, interdisciplinary faculty-undergraduate student collaboration, and community-building within Bucknell and between the university and other institutions on regional as well as research and affinity levels. Within the DH community I have been particularly active in community development and digital pedagogy professional training, through DHSI and more recently through the Keystone DH Initiative in Pennsylvania. My professional research focuses primarily on the application of faceted DH methods to early modern drama and performance studies. The projects on which I collaborate are international large-scale, long-term, multi-scholar/institutional programs. I serve as an Assistant Director to DHSI as well as a member of the Digital Advisory and Editorial Boards of the Internet Shakespeare Editions, the Map of Early Modern London project, the Records of Early English Drama, and Iter Gateway to the Middle Ages and the Renaissance. I am a member of the Program Committee for DH2015, serving as the representative for CSDH-SCHN.

Candidate Statement: 

I am honored to be considered as a candidate for the ACH Executive Council. My connections with the Digital Humanities community have spanned my postgraduate, postdoctoral, and professional experiences. I have been grateful for the support and encouragement I have received at every turn from generous digital humanists at all levels of their careers. This mentorship and guidance has been invaluable to me, and I hope I offer that same support and encouragement to other emerging DH scholars.

I recognize that the rapid growth of DH on a global scale offers significant challenges as we try to support the expanding community. I see the ACH’s objective of finding balance between the global and the regional as being central to the realization of those challenges as opportunities that recognize and honor the global nature of DH while supporting the need for region-based activities and initiatives.

If elected to the ACH Executive Council I would focus my energies on supporting and extending the ACH’s efforts to encourage development of institutional models for undergraduate as well as graduate curricular integration; on reinforcing and enhancing programs that offer professionalization support for emerging scholars; on experimenting with new ways to foster dynamic community-building within the larger DH network; and on sustaining our uniquely collaborative, generous, and generative nature as we continue to grow and evolve.

Micki Kaufman


Micki Kaufman (MA CUNY, BA Columbia) is a fourth-year doctoral student in US History at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. Her research, titled “‘Everything on Paper Will Be Used Against Me:’ Quantifying Kissinger,” involves the application of text analysis and visualization techniques to the study of the American statesman’s diplomatic correspondence, most notably the DNSA (Digital National Security Agency)’s Kissinger Collection. A GC Digital Fellow and Teaching Assistant for the GC’s Praxis Program, she speaks and gives workshops frequently on project management, data visualization, text analysis and historical interpretation, including two upcoming panels at the January 2015 American Historians’ Association annual meeting. She is the project manager for the CUNY Academic Commons collaborative platform as well as the “DH Debates” interactive book website, and has managed numerous software and hardware projects since the mid-nineties. In addition, she is an accomplished film composer and recording engineer, having co-composed the score for the Teddy Award-winning film “Concussion (2013)” and engineering the Platinum award-winning “Live From the Fall (1996)” by Blues Traveler.

Candidate Statement:

I am honored to be nominated for a seat as a graduate student representative on the Executive Committee. If elected, I will provide the Committee with a perspective grounded in my recent and long-term experience both as a learner and as a practitioner in the Digital Humanities space. I will seek to help the ACH foster an effective interdisciplinary evaluative and critical culture around digital humanities projects; encourage a willingness to engage in provocative fusion and collisions between highly diverse disciplines in knowledge production (e.g., that of textual analysis with visual design, audio/music and other media forms); and participate actively in and reflect the diverse international community of academic computing humanists we collectively comprise.

Angel Nieves


I am a tenured Associate Professor in Africana Studies at Hamilton College, my appointment there having begun in July, 2008.  I was awarded a Ph.D. in Architectural History and Africana Studies from Cornell University, an MA in Anthropology from Binghamton University (SUNY), and a BA in Architecture from Syracuse University.  I have served as Chair of the Africana Studies Department at Hamilton and am presently Director of the American Studies program there.  Shortly after arriving at Hamilton, I determined that the College was poised to take advantage of the changes in humanities-based teaching and research by making use of new digital technologies.  After several months of continued engagement and discussion with the Dean of Faculty, I was able to help secure grant money from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation that has awarded the college some $1.75 million (2010-2016) to institutionalize digital scholarship, research and teaching in humanities there.  The Digital Humanities Initiative (DHi) (see, http://www.dhinitiative.org) builds on the considerable strengths of Hamilton College by emphasizing the interdisciplinary nature of humanities research and incorporating students as scholarly partners in significant, original research projects.  As such, I have been involved in the evaluation of faculty-led interdisciplinary research projects, assisted in public and private grant-writing, helped develop new digital tools and new forms of digital publication, and coordinated large-scale collaborations with multiple colleges and universities in building sustainable digital humanities infrastructures.  In 2014 I was awarded (w/Alyson Gill) an NEH Office of Digital Humanities Start-Up Grant of $59,510 for “Dangerous Embodiments: Theories, Methods, and Best Practices for Historical Character Modeling in Humanities 3D Environments.”

Candidate Statement:

My commitment to diversity-based scholarship has roots in the interdisciplinary-based Ph.D. (2001) course of study I pursued at Cornell University in the history of architecture and urban development and Africana studies with a minor field in Latina/o Studies.  In my digital and public history projects, I have worked to better serve under-represented and marginalized urban communities through neighborhood preservation and heritage studies as a series of public knowledge transfer practices.  As such, I have helped to create and teach multi-disciplinary planning, preservation, and design, bringing together academic and professional expertise from all three disciplines, with a focus on communities across the African Diaspora.  Coinciding with my work in digital humanities over the past decade (see, for example, http://www.soweto76archive.org) is my research on the history of heritage conservation and urban regeneration efforts in South Africa (in particular, the South African township of Soweto), with the result that I have traveled there annually since 2004.  Now, as Co-Director of Hamilton’s DHi, I am working to create and develop a new humanities environment, one where faculty research projects enrich the undergraduate experience as they investigate together new questions, new methodologies, and new intellectual strategies in cultural heritage.

From 2010-2013 I worked with four undergraduate research assistants whose expertise in GIS allowed me to develop a series of visualizations and large-scale digital maps telling Soweto’s complex history in new and important ways.  The Soweto Historical GIS Project (SHGIS) seeks to build a multi-layered historical and qualitative geographic information system database that explores the social, economic and political dimensions of urban development under South African apartheid regimes (1904-1994) in Johannesburg’s all-black township of Soweto.  This project was developed as a unique partnership between Middlebury’s Department of Geography and DHi at Hamilton.  We are currently building the 3D GIS interface and viewer using Unity.  The project examines the micro-geography of resistance and the layering of meaning and action between the apartheid state and township residents across its built form.

Élika Ortega


Dr. Élika Ortega is a member of the Global Outlook::Digital Humanities executive committee and an active member of RedHD in Mexico. During DH2014 she led the DH whisperers initiative which promoted informal ad hoc multilingual translations and exchanges. She has served as a reviewer for the DH conference two consecutive years and worked on scientific committees for RedHD meetings, and Ages of the Book conference, both in Mexico. During her years at the University of Western Ontario (Canada) she co-led a successful DH speakers series that brought a variety of DH practitioners and helped deepen the relationship among DH-inflected graduate students and faculty. In her short career, Élika has managed to strengthen collaborative ties among colleagues from above all Mexico, the US, and Canada, but also the rest of Latin America and Spain. Her research focuses on digital literature, (not necessarily digital) media, reading practices, narrative, and networks.

Candidate statement:

First of all I would like to say that I am honoured to be nominated to the ACH Executive Council.

I have been fortunate enough to move from one geographic and academic context to another a couple of times. I think that has given me a privileged viewpoint on the particularities and distinctions that make each one incredibly valuable and unique, but it has also allowed me to appreciate where they can meet and connect. If elected to the ACH committee I intend to draw from that experience in order to foster further knowledge and communication among different DH geographic and linguistic communities within and without the ACH. The last year or so has proved that individual members of the DH community around the world find resonance where they might have never expected it. I would like to help the ACH become a symbolic space for those resonances to be found.

Padmini Ray Murray


I am currently lecturer in Publishing Studies and Digital Media at the University of Stirling, Scotland, where I have been since 2009, after completing my PhD from the University of Edinburgh (2008). At the end of this year, I will be joining the Srishti School for Art, Design and Technology in Bangalore, India, working in conjunction with the Centre of Public History, where I will be instrumental in setting up a collaborative programme in the Digital Humanities and Public History. I have been a recipient of two Arts and Humanities Research Council funding awards: on the disruption and disintermediation in the publishing industry under the aegis of the Digital Transformations programme; and as one of five Unbox Fellows,  during which my research focused on videogames in India. In the absence of a cohesive digital humanities presence in Scotland, I founded DHNetS earlier this year (Digital Humanities Network Scotland) and am at the helm of the newly established South Asian Digital Humanities Network, which has just launched its website, and has already attracted an interested membership. I am on the Editorial Board of the peer-reviewed journal Technoculture and have served as an elected Trustee for the past year on the board of Wikimedia UK.

Candidate Statement:

It’s an honour to submit my candidacy for an organisation that does so much to foster outreach and build community amongst scholars—and it is my hope that, should I be elected, I could do much to uphold these aims through the following activities:

  • As someone who will be working in, and has trained in the global south, I feel it is important to address how local contexts shape and inform our understanding of the digital humanities as a discipline. I am keen to facilitate conversations between the wider DH community and the newly launched South Asian Digital Humanities Network that addresses questions of access, infrastructure, economic and government policy, the exigencies of working in languages other than English, rate of technological growth and obsolescence, and our different institutional histories to broaden these horizons. In practical terms, I hope my role will enable me to ensure a greater representation from this part of the world by fostering training initiatives, exchanges and network-building activities.
  • This year, at the annual SHARP conference, I hosted a workshop on book history and the digital humanities and I was fortunate enough to attend DHSI on a SHARP scholarship a few years ago. These experiences have been valuable in enlarging and enriching my intellectual vocabularies and methodologies and urges me to suggest that we should extend our advocacy activities to other disciplinary venues to ensure that academics, especially those who are early in their careers, can find a community of belonging. I am aware that ACH is invested in creating a welcoming space for interdisciplinary scholars and I will endeavour to facilitate these relationships as much as I can.

By Glen Worthey

18 comments on “2014 ACH Executive Council Elections