Editors' note on the March 2022 issue of Reviews in Digital Humanities
Jennifer Guiliano and Roopika Risam
We’re pleased to bring you the March 2022 issue of Reviews in Digital Humanities.
As we do so, we want to pause for a moment to recognize the overwhelming crises that the world continues to face: the continuing struggle against COVID-19 and the long-term impacts of the pandemic; the unwarranted aggression and war crimes being perpetrated by Russia in Ukraine and the forced migration that it has spawned; the unending harm faced by Black, Indigenous, Latinx, Asian, and Asian Americans people at the hands of white supremacists in the U.S.; and the daily effort of many to access clean water, plentiful food, and safe housing. As editors, we cannot fail to recognize that the “business as usual” rhetoric being perpetuated in academy overlooks the emotional, physical, financial, and personal toll these crises take.
Our work on Reviews in Digital Humanities is a bright spot in the darkness for us. This month’s projects, drawn from our open submission process, speak to the many forms of connections that digital humanities makes possible. This month, we feature:
Southeast Asia Under Japan, a repository for diverse primary and secondary sources related to the occupation of Southeast Asia during World War II, led by Sandeep Ray, Han Xing Yi, and Velusamy Sathiakumar Ragul Balaji and reviewed by Kate McDonald;
Radio Free Stein, a critical sound project on Gertrude Stein's dramatic works, directed by Adam J. Frank and reviewed by John F. Barber;
The Comédie-Française Registers Project, a digital project featuring register receipts from the French Comédie-Française (1680-1791), directed by Jeff Ravel and reviewed by Miguel Escobar Varela; and
The Old Spanish Trail Auto Highway Archive and Map, a digital project on the Old Spanish Trail national roadway, directed by Lindsay Passenger Wieck and reviewed by Brian Knoth.
Southeast Asia Under Japan and the Old Spanish Trail Auto Highway Archive and Map connect students and faculty to draw attention to underexamined areas of history. Southeast Asia Under Japan aggregates sources on the occupation of Southeast Asia by the Japanese during World War II, drawing on student research. The website and database are rich sites of materials for students and scholars interested in examining this period in Asian history. The Old Spanish Auto Highway project builds on the work of students, faculty, and staff to digitize material on the road linking towns and cities from St. Augustine, Florida to San Diego, California. The digitization process has served as the basis for a rich array of StoryMaps that help users explore the digitized materials.
Both Radio Free Stein and the Comédie-Française Registers Project represent the work of interdisciplinary and transnational collaborators that push the boundaries of how critics study drama. Radio Free Stein reinvents Gertrude Stein’s lesser-known plays through an innovative approach to sound that brings together Stein scholars and composers. In addition to the live performances that these collaborations have produced, the digital project brings these plays to life for new audiences. The Comédie-Française Registers Project offers a database of receipts from theatrical performances from the Comédie-Française, built in collaboration with scholars and performers. The project has resulted in an open access volume that demonstrates its impact on and invents new data-driven methods for the study of theatre history.
At Reviews, we are committed to creating space to explore the kinds of connections that we see in this month’s issue. Our call for 2022 special issues is still live, and we are accepting proposals until April 1, 2022.
If you are interested in editing a special issue of Reviews, 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.