My name is Viviana Pezzullo and I am one of the participants of the European Summer University in Digital Humanties, recipient of the CLARIN-D Fellowship. I would love to publicly thank CLARIN-D for having given me the opportunity to take part in such an amazing experience that has allowed me to improve my project and to meet young scholars from all over the world.
For the two weeks, I joined Dr. Carol Chiodo's and Lauren Tilton's workshop titled Hands on Humanities Data. This workshop has been such a perfect fit for the project on which I am currently working: a digital collection of letters exchanged during the 1940s belonging to the Badia family. Thanks to my instructors now I have a better understanding of how to organize my data and how to make a better use of them. The first week focused on understanding what kind of data one is dealing with and how to use Google Sheets to work collaboratively. After having discussed my method with my peers and Dr. Chiodo and Dr. Tilton, I realized all the unintentional mistakes that I have carried out throughout my whole recollection of data. Therefore, I had the opportunity to improve my cluttered data set.
The second week focused on the tools that one could use not only to study the data but also to showcase it. For instance, our group has discovered Voyant, which I consider an impressive tool for anyone who wants to approach text analysis but who is not familiar yet with Python or R. Furthermore, I learned how to create a timeline (by using TimelineJS) and a map (by using Carto and StoryMap), which I will definitely embed in the Omeka website that I built to host my digital exhibition. In my specific case, since the letters date from different years and come from all over the United States, these tools are essential to arrange the items in such a way that can be easier to understand, also for didactic purposes.
Moreover, beside my own workshop, I deeply enjoyed the Teaser Sessions, which have showed me endless possibilities for my upcoming projects, which I intend to pursue in the near future. For instance, after having attended the teaser with Dr. Maciej Eder, I decided to learn more about Stylometry and to possibly participate to one of Dr. Eder's workshops on this topic.
However, perhaps the best aspect of this experience is the group of amazing people that I met and with whom I exchanged thoughts and ideas. In particular, I have been lucky enough to meet three incredible women (as well as brilliant young scholars), which now I count among my closest friends. I deeply believe that the greatest strength of ESU is the network and the hotbed of ideas. It is a unique chance to meet people who are working of similar projects or who could be interest in collaborating. At least, this was the case for me; I left Leipzig with a baggage full of inspiration and contacts of colleagues willing to start projects together.