Editors' note on the December 2022 issue of Reviews in Digital Humanities
Roopika Risam and Jennifer Guiliano
Welcome to the December issue of Reviews in Digital Humanities. As we wrap up our third year of Reviews, we want to thank you for your enthusiasm, participation, and support for the journal. We wouldn’t be able to run the journal without such a generous community, so we’re incredibly grateful to you. We hope you have a restful holiday and wish you a happy and healthy new year.
News from Reviews
At the request of the Reviews community, we will begin delivering new issues of the journal to your inbox, starting in January 2023! Make sure to subscribe to our email list to stay updated.
We are also ready to expand our team again. Demand for the journal has outpaced our capacities and expertise. We’re currently looking for ten (10) digital humanities practitioners or small teams of 2-3 practitioners to serve as topic editors in areas of high demand and interest to our community from 2023-2026. Applicants from around the world are warmly welcomed. These are paid ($2,500/year) and are fully-remote positions.
Applications are due February 1, 2023.
Please direct all inquiries to founding editors-in-chief Roopika Risam (roopika.risam [at] dartmouth [dot] edu) and Jennifer Guiliano (guiliano [at] iupui [dot] edu) with “Reviews Editor” in the subject line.
This Month’s Issue
The projects featured in our December issue demonstrate the complex interplay of scholarship and service in digital projects. This is a fraught issue for digital humanists, as the many types of service we perform — committees at institutions, mutual aid, and the work we do in our communities — are not sufficiently valued by our employers or even society writ large. Indeed, one of our motivations for founding Reviews in Digital Humanities was to intervene in this very issue. Rather than shying away from making the “service” of their projects legible, the projects in this issue put it front and center, proving that service can be scholarship.
In this issue, we review:
The American Soldier in World War II, a digital project studying U.S. Army surveys on the experiences of troops in the Second World War, directed by Edward J.K. Gitre and reviewed by Matthew F. Delmont;
Civil War and & Reconstruction Governors of Mississippi, a digital documentary edition of governors' papers, directed by Susannah J. Ural and reviewed by Samantha Blickhan;
BibSite, a research and pedagogy clearing house from the Bibliographical Society of America, led by Erin McGuirl, Eric Ensley, Emma Sarconi, and Adriana Cásarez, and reviewed by Paul Fyfe; and
A Deeper Sickness, an online collection curated by Margaret Peacock and Erik L. Peterson to accompany their book A Deeper Sickness: Journal of America in the Pandemic Year (Beacon Press, 2022), and reviewed by Nabeel Siddiqui.
The American Soldier in World War II offers an important look at the morale of soldiers during the Second World War by making surveys from the U.S. Army available to multiple communities. With explanatory essays that dive into the data, the project sheds light on the experiences of soldiers for a wide range of audiences. Making the data itself available in various formats, the project also offers a valuable service for researchers who wish to pursue both quantitative and qualitative analysis of the data.
A compelling crowdsourced transcription project, Civil War & Reconstruction Governors of Mississippi offers access to materials from the archives of Mississippi governors. By including Reconstruction in the scope of the project, the team unearths the voices of a range of people, including those formerly enslaved, who are often invisible in historical archives. This is a valuable resource for public history, general audiences interested in Mississippi and this time period, and scholars looking for robust primary sources that attest to the agency of formerly enslaved people.
Providing a different kind of service, BibSite was developed by the Bibliographical Society of America (BSA) as an aggregator of scholarship and teaching resources for bibliography. The well-designed platform aggregates extant materials from the BSA as well as materials indexed online and offers points of ingestion for materials created by users and BSA community members. Particularly notable is BSA’s long-term commitment to maintaining and sustaining BibSite.
Finally, A Deeper Sickness offers an example to the scholarly community of how a digital project and book can work in tandem to simultaneously blur and expand the boundaries between the two genres. An in medias res look at 2020, the project brings together scholarship, exhibits, and collected digital materials to reveal how the U.S. has failed to save itself from a range of challenges: the COVID-19 pandemic, poverty, disinformation, and racism, among others. The project also offers opportunities for continued exploration of this pivotal year.
Are you signed up to have our new issues delivered to your inbox starting next month? If not, make sure to subscribe to our mailing list! 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.