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Digital Humanities [clear filter]
Thursday, May 12


You Have the Right to Rest: Arbitrating the War on Sleep
With sleep deprivation being historically weaponized in interrogation and warfare tactics it comes to some surprise that such little attention is given to the education and protection of our nation’s own sleep health. Johnathan Crary’s analysis in his 2014 publication 24/7 underscores the issues of sleep health that proliferate late capitalistic society. Unceasing consumer-production demands, addiction to visual and social media, the ever-present wakening force of electric light, and the absence of sleep health educational programs add up to an endangering ignorance of sleep-related disease and imminent disaster. The preventative practice that could save us from the fatalistic nature of sleep deprivation is kept out of reach in order to sustain an “always on” consumerist culture. Arbitrating the war on sleep falls to the powerful collective appeals of art, science, education, and public policy formation.

The erosion of sleep is an erosion of physiological health as well as psychological stability and an undermining of a universal cultural connection. Sleep and dreams are revered by past cultures in fictive mythologies, art, and literature. Our disconnection from sleep is a disconnection from humanity.

Liminal sculpture artist Aaron Williams leads this discussion with an introduction to his installation studies on sleep medicine, philosophy, and mythology entitled somnbody somnwhere. Williams co-facilitates sleep research by repurposing clinical tools such as electrooculography and medicine-related concepts like sleep-debt into sculptural performances embedded with digital applications.

This discussion invites attendees to address the question: How can liberal arts restore sleep to a restless society? Participants will be prompted to critically analyze the problems of sleep in current society and how technology, education, and the humanities can collectively uproot these issues. Emergent strategies connect interdisciplinary places of research through the philanthropic effort to restore the right to rest.


Thursday May 12, 2016 4:00pm - 5:00pm
COOR 186 975 S Myrtle Ave Arizona State University Tempe, AZ 85281
  • Session Location COOR 186
Friday, May 13


Building Undergraduate Liberal Arts Research Skills
The Liberal Arts Collaborative Archive Project seeks to develop an interactive, interdisciplinary, technologically informed, undergraduate research experience that uncovers, recovers, explores, and chronicles the story of the University of Texas at Austin.

The project focuses on developing authentic research skills in the liberal arts. In 1998, Boyer Commission Recommendations emphasized the importance of teaching research skills in college courses. Several studies have linked acquisition of key research skills to succeeding in college and to functioning effectively in an increasingly complex world. Research shows that undergraduates develop these important abilities most effectively through doing and sharing activities associated with research. Most undergraduate research programs focus on STEM fields; this project seeks to provide those opportunities for doing and sharing research in Liberal Arts. The history of the University of Texas provides an entry point for the project because of high student interest and rich and easy access to archival materials.

We see three reiterative project phases: Phase 1: Learning; Phase 2: Planning; and Phase 3: Implementing. Our Phase 1 goal is to discover, through partnerships among student interns, archivists, and faculty, just how students learn to conduct the “moves” basic to research and to navigate archival holdings. We are also interested in exploring ways to engage and work with students in practicing digital history by using the Omeka platform to organize, curate,and publish results of their work.

From student focus groups and journal data, as well as examination of student research products, faculty have learned a great deal about these key areas and have raised questions that they hope to address in Phases 2 & 3
* Person-to-person interactions (faculty and students; students and students)
* Course content
* Course structure

In this Birds of a Feather Session, project members will present key learning and open key questions for discussion in these areas.

Friday May 13, 2016 11:45am - 12:45pm
COOR 186 975 S Myrtle Ave Arizona State University Tempe, AZ 85281
  • Session Location COOR 186


Visualizing Biodesign : Transforming Research Through Interactive Technology
In the 21st century, “bioinspired” solutions are crucial for innovating our future (Myers, 2012). Some “bioinspired” alternatives include vaccine and medicine revolution; technologies to identify and eliminate contaminants from the environment; and nanotechnology for biomedicine diagnostic, and environmental safety (ASU Biodesign Institute, 2015). We propose an interactive technology called “Neosphere” to visualize scientific findings while creating a connection between biological research performed at the laboratory and media. This interactive media tool can increase learning, our ability to explore scientific jargon, and can also establish positive experiences through feedback (Hoffman and Novak, 1995). Hence and based on interactions between media and user characteristics, the use of this media indirectly influences the perceived benefits of searching different types of information, (Klein, 1998). In this project, we evaluate and discuss the potential of interactive media towards advancing the public awareness of environmental biotechnology research. Our interactive media, Neosphere, is made of three different components. First, “the green mission”, a strategic planning game that introduces the players to the concept of phytoremediation, the way in which scientists manage specific plants to remove pollutants such as metal compounds, pesticides, solvents, and crude oil from the environment. Second, “the uranium fighter”, a physical - digital interactive game that immerse the players into the process of uranium contamination by giving players chance to be bacteria destroying uranium concentrations in water. And third, “the Eco DNA art project”, an interactive art piece that visualizes microbial communities contributing in several environmental remediation processes.

Friday May 13, 2016 2:30pm - 3:45pm
COOR 186 975 S Myrtle Ave Arizona State University Tempe, AZ 85281
  • Session Location COOR 186