Fall 2017 Update

I’m supposed to be cranking out another around of revisions on the dissertation proposal, so this will stay brief.

Junior Fellowship at the Library of Congress was AMAZING. I’m one of three scholars in the U.S. who studies baseball/music intersections, and I got to spend 10 weeks on a baseball music scavenger hunt AT THE LIBRARY OF CONGRESS. And they’re planning for a baseball exhibit next summer. Plus all the monuments, museums, and memorials. Amazing really doesn’t cover it.

Successfully finished doctoral comprehensive exams last March, so a dissertation proposal is on the docket for this semester. Looking like an October proposal meeting (*fingers crossed*). More on the dissertation later.

Thanks to the incredible generosity of the Sport Studies Program and C. Pauline Spencer Scholarship fund, I’m also a graduate fellow in the Iowa Women’s Archive this academic year. Looking forward to getting some general archive experience, while also reprocessing the UIowa Department of Physical Education for Women Collection and helping prepare six-on-six women’s basketball materials for the Smithsonian’s summer 2018 Hometown Teams traveling exhibition.

After a summer in Cooperstown as a Library Research Intern and this year’s Library of Congress gig (plus being in the Women’s Archive this year), I figured I should probably make the librarian thing official. Three cheers for a tuition scholarship and an ALA-accredited Library and Information Science graduate program right here at UI. So while the American Studies-Sport Studies side of my brain works on the dissertation, the Libraries/Archives/Museums/Digital Humanities side is taking coursework to complete an MLIS. And thanks to the classes I’ve already taken for the Public Digital Humanities Certificate, I’ll finish the second masters and PhD at the same time. Or something like that. Because nothing could go wrong with this plan.

Speaking of the dissertation ……….

original

When I think about my dissertation                     When I think about my proposal

The short version is back in Fall 2016 I took an Archives & Media course for the Public Digital Humanities Certificate [all hail the wonderful Prof. Lindsay Mattock]. Our semester-long project in the course involved developing a prototype digital humanities (DH) collection using a data set of our choosing. I’d been mulling over ideas related to Minor League Baseball, ideology, and globalization for a while, so I got the crazy idea that it might be interesting to use DH tools and approaches to visualize where American professional baseball players come from and how they move through the Minor League system. Fast forward a year, and I’ve previewed the project at two national conferences [slides here], partnered with UIowa’s Studio for Digital Scholarship and Publishing, and am about a month away from getting approval for a DH dissertation.