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Editors' Note: November 2022

Editors' Note on the November 2022 issue of Reviews in Digital Humanities

Published onNov 23, 2022
Editors' Note: November 2022
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Editors’ Note

Roopika Risam and Jennifer Guiliano

Hello from the Reviews in Digital Humanities team! We’re happy to share our November 2022 issue, which features reviews drawn from our open submissions process. Anyone can submit a project of their own or nominate another project for review, and those projects become the pool we draw from for our open submission issues.

Over the past month, we were thrilled to begin working with Tieanna Graphenreed of Northeastern University, who is serving as our Managing Editor (Open Submissions). Our first order of business was to discuss how we might optimize our review management workflows, and Tieanna hit the ground running with ideas. We’re delighted to be working with her!

We have also recently drafted the final report for the Mellon Foundation grant ($66,000) that funded the journal from 2020-2022. Here are some highlights of our grant term (July 1, 2020 to June 30, 2022):

  • As of November 2022, we have a robust user base with over 100,000 page views and over 23,000 unique users from 128 countries;

  • During the two years of Mellon funding, we published 27 issues with 109 projects reviewed.

  • We have brought on three partners (the ARC Catalog, the Recovery Hub for American Women Writers, and The Western Historical Quarterly) who model their peer review practices on the Reviews system and allow us to aggregate and republish their project reviews.

  • Our thriving partnership with MIT’s Knowledge Futures Group and PubPub continues. We’re grateful to Catherine Ahearn for her support and delighted that Reviews has been adopted as a use case for the platform.

  • Thanks to the support of Brandon Locke and Katherine Skinner at Educopia Institute, we made progress on governance and business and financial modeling, with an eye to positioning Reviews for fundraising to support a future for the journal that doesn’t rely on the two of us or a single institution for support.

With the conclusion of the first phase of Mellon funding, we are able to continue paying our Associate Editor and to bring on Managing Editors with financial support from Digital Humanities and Social Engagement at Dartmouth, where Roopika now works. We are currently in the process of seeking funding to support the next phase of Reviews and will share more news when we have it.

The projects reviewed in November’s issue exemplify the innovative and engaged work that we value at Reviews. Additionally, they are all projects that show careful attention to the relationship between place, cultural heritage, and digital scholarship.

In this issue, we review:

  • Time Layered Cultural Map, a software ecosystem that allows humanities and social science researchers to create, find, analyze, visualize, and share digital maps, led by Hugh Craig and Bill Pascoe, and reviewed by Imogen Wegman;

  • Colonial Frontier Massacres, an interactive web map of massacres on the Australian colonial frontier, developed by Lyndall Ryan, Bill Pascoe, and team, and reviewed by Jennifer Guiliano;

  • London Stage Database, a digital project that remediates the London Stage Information Book, directed by Mattie Burkert, reviewed by Kalle Westerling; and

  • MaCleKi, a location-based digital history project that curates historic places in and around Kisumu, Kenya, directed by J. Mark Souther, Meshack Owino, and Erin J. Bell, and reviewed by Annemie Behr.

We have published reviews of Time Layered Cultural Map (TLCMap) and Colonial Frontier Massacres together not only because they are important projects on Australian history but because of their interconnections. TLCMap has done critical work developing tools that support spatio-temporal and geohumanities research. Colonial Frontiers Massacre draws on the work of the TLCMap team to share a troubling history of violence against Indigenous people in Australia. This pairing, therefore, illustrates both the value of developing tools for research and what such tools make possible.

London Stage Database also exemplifies how projects can beget projects. This comprehensive database offers insight into London’s theatre history from 1660-1800 by reviving an early humanities computing project: the London Stage Information Bank (1970-1978). The project’s data rescue and media archaeology efforts have brought the London Stage Information Bank to new audiences.

Finally, MaCleKi, a portmanteau reflecting collaborators at Maseno University in Kenya, Cleveland State University in the U.S., and the city of Kisumu, Kenya documented in the project, provides a compelling example of international collaboration for location-based projects. The project’s documentation of cultural heritage in Kisumu is itself significant, but its applications are broader through the team’s development of the Curatescape for WordPress plugin that brings the affordances of the Omeka Curatescape plugin to WordPress websites to facilitate access for mobile phone users.

We hope you enjoy November’s projects!

If you are interested in editing a special issue of Reviews or exploring the possibility of a partnership, drop us a note! You can also submit a project for review, nominate a project you admire, volunteer for our reviewer pool, and tell your colleagues and students about the journal.

Questions? Thoughts? Concerns? Contact the editors, Jennifer Guiliano and Roopika Risam, by email or through the Twitter hashtag #ReviewsInDH.

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