The Immersive Reality Lab for the Humanities is an experimental digital humanities workgroup that brings together scholars, creatives, and professionals. Since I began working with IrlH in 2016, I have led one project (Interactivity, Indigeneity, and the Digital Imaginary), and contributed and collaborated within several others, including the digital vaiven and Pray Daddy.
The Digital Atlas of Native American Intellectual Traditions is an IMLS-funded project to develop a framework for sharing, exploring, and visualizing Native-authored library and archival collections. The project brings together Native Studies scholars, Native librarians, tribal historians, digital humanities and user interface specialists, and many others to improve culturally appropriate access to Native digital collections.
During my time working for DANAIT, I worked specifically on the Kim-Wait/Eisenberg Native American Literature Collection at Amherst College. I reported to the head of Archives and Special Collections and the rare book cataloguer at Amherst to extract catalog data and create a proof-of-concept for a network visualization, a major component of the digital project. I conducted data analysis and visualization, research, and collection development.
Worked as site and content editor, contributor, and research fellow.
Our Beloved Kin is a digital awikhigan, and a companion to the book Our Beloved Kin: A New History of King Philip's War, available in print and e-book versions from Yale University Press. Through words, images, and maps, the site illuminates networks of relations in Native space during the seventeenth century. Users can consult the site as they read the book, or navigate the site independently.
Awikhigan is an Abenaki word which originally referred to birchbark maps and scrolls, but came to encompass letters, petitions, maps, books and works of art. In our time, this word extends to encompass our creations in digital space. The word is fluid and thus adaptable to many contexts, including both colonization and Indigenous innovation. The prefix awik- means to draw, to map, to write. The suffix -igan means a tool or instrument. This digital awikhigan is a tool to help us to navigate the complex historical terrain from which we have emerged.
Interactivity, Indigeneity, and the Digital Imaginary situates indigenously-determined videogames in the context of intellectual traditions, including deep-time stories, speculative fiction, and Native scientific and technological knowledge. From explorations into early indigenous virtual realities to close-playings of the Cook Inlet Tribal Council game Kisima Ingitchuna (Never Alone, 2014), the project highlights the early and ongoing presence of indigenous creators in digital media. It traces the connections between literary technologies and digital media, reaching back to the Cherokee syllabary as a critical precedent for indigenous innovations in digital technology.
Through panels and conventions, published articles and social media, indigenous game developers are actively fostering connections and community among themselves and building their own uniquely situated body of work. This project seeks to center the voices of these indigenous game developers, drawing upon materials from panels to personal interviews. It argues that the indigenous game developer community is an intellectual network in which developers are deeply interested in pushing the formal constraints and conventions of video games as a genre.