Introduction: Elizabeth Callaway, Postdoctoral Fellow

Hello, world!

My name is Elizabeth Callaway, and I am the Postdoctoral Fellow at the Digital Matters Lab. I research and teach at the intersections of Digital Humanities, New Media Studies, and Environmental Humanities. My PhD is in English, but what I enjoy most is using my humanities training to interrogate digital objects, platforms, and spaces. In my current book project on narrative and biodiversity I analyze the databases of global seed banks, critique born digital visualizations of evolutionary supertrees, create network graphs of science fiction ecosystems, and topic model the publications of environmental nonprofits. Rather than accept that biodiversity is a final measurement of variation among species, I pay attention to the genres and tropes that are drawn upon in these various representations of biodiversity, revealing that biodiversity is not a matter of counting species so much as a matter of narrative.

While my own expertise is strongest where the digital and material meet, at the Digital Matters Lab, I am looking forward to helping foster all sorts of new and existing work. I am enthusiastic about planning workshops, learning new techniques, discussing projects, and engaging deeply with people about their own work.

One of my favorite things I do in the Digital Matters Lab is lead the Collaboratory. We’re a working group of graduate students and postdocs in which we collectively come up with and carry out a digital humanities project each year. In this is group we learn digital humanities by doing digital humanities. This an open group where everyone is welcome. We’ve had every level of experience from seasoned digital scholars to new initiates to people who want to try out just one digital project to see what it’s all about. I send out emails fall semester inviting participants, so be on the lookout for those if you’re interested!

Some of my favorite pastimes are critiquing databases, topic modeling in R, breaking video games, reading science fiction, knitting data visualizations, and inviting newcomers into digitally-engaged scholarship (so send me an email if you’re interested in learning more about digital humanities, new media studies, or digital scholarship more broadly elizabeth.callaway@utah.edu).

I also like bad programming jokes (obviously).

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