Introductory Spotlight on 2019-2020 ECDS Fellows

Square cropped photos of three ECDS fellows

We welcome three Emory University doctoral candidates in English, Philosophy, and Cognitive Psychology who join the Emory Center for Digital Scholarship (ECDS) as digital scholarship fellows for the 2019-2020 year. Below you can read short bios and project work descriptions written by each of our fellows.

ECDS offers fellowships annually in partnership with the Laney Graduate School. Fellows in the ECDS (Digital Humanities Fellow, Data Services Fellow, and David R. Scott Fellow) support projects in digital scholarship, computer-based research, and electronic publishing such as the Emory Libraries and ECDS open access digital publications, born-digital multimedia projects, and digital archives. ECDS Fellows collaborate with interdisciplinary teams of researchers, librarians, writers, and technologists; and they serve as project researchers, content administrators, editorial associates, and reviewers for the academic year. This year the ECDS has also offered a new fellowship in conjunction with work on the Apollo 15 collection donated to Emory University by Commander David Scott. Fellows learn about changing practices, platforms, and products of digital scholarship and gain training in project development, project management, developmental editing, online presentation, workshop leadership, and digital archiving.


Amy S. Li; Digital Humanities Fellow

Amy is a PhD candidate in the Department of English at Emory University. She has taught literature courses on such topics as diversity in science fiction, women writers, and “food, feelings, and film.” Her dissertation explores representations of gender, disability, race, and embodiment in science fiction literature and media, with research focusing on the shifting conceptions of monstrosity in science and culture as represented in literature and films such as Frankenstein (1818), Ex Machina, and Get Out. Amy has also served as social media coordinator for the Emory Center for Digital Scholarship since 2018, and worked at the ECDS as a digital scholarship assistant after completing the graduate student internship; in this role she aided students, staff, and faculty with various digital tools (e.g. Photoshop, Audacity, WordPress, Zotero) and projects.

As the Digital Humanities Fellow, Amy is working with Jesse Karlsberg on digitization projects that include a proposal to digitize punk fanzines from the Stuart A. Rose Manuscript, Archives and Rare Book Library’s Atlanta punk periodical collection. This process includes rights assessment of materials and contextualizing these ephemera as unique contributions to print culture and politics in the 1980s and 1990s (as well as her own contemporary zine series RIOT GRRRD). She also serves as associate editor for the open-access, peer-reviewed journal Atlanta Studies, helping with publication (review, copy-editing, layout, etc.) and upcoming site updates for the Atlanta Studies Network and Atlanta Studies journal.



Robert Thorstad; Data Services Fellow

Digital fingerprints of human behavior are everywhere, as when people write on social media, search the web, play games, and shop for products. As a PhD student in cognitive psychology, Robert’s research asks whether these everyday online behaviors can predict people’s psychology. For example: can your twitter posts reveal the kinds of decisions you will make? Can your Reddit posts predict whether you have a mental illness?  The answer to both questions is yes!

As a data services fellow with Rob O’Reilly, Robert is helping individuals across the university to locate research data sources and prepare them for statistical analysis. In one project, Robert is helping to use census data from tens of millions of individual households to track African American migration patterns to the American South. In another project, Robert helped transform thousands of journal articles from word documents to a text corpus suitable for statistical analysis. Robert also led workshops this semester on Python programming and Mining Social Media.

Robert has background in Python programming, social media mining, and machine learning and is happy to discuss these with interested folks!



Sarah (Sadie) Warren; David R. Scott Fellow

Sadie is a PhD student in the Department of Philosophy at Emory University. While her background is interdisciplinary and has focused on various iterations of materiality, embodiment, and ethics within philosophy and critical theory, her current research focuses on the intersection of environmental philosophy and metaphysics. In particular, her scholarly interests reside in looking to American pragmatism (especially the works of John Dewey) to constructively critique and build on recent developments in contemporary new materialisms and phenomenology. Her dissertation will propose that adopting a Deweyan metaphysics holds potential for cultivating an ecological comportment that supports not only a renewed understanding of the relationship between self and world, but a pragmatic answer to the biodiversity crisis. 

Her position as a David R. Scott fellow will support the Apollo 15 Learning Hub, a project to assemble, preserve, and make accessible numerous primary source materials from this Apollo mission. She is excited to work with these records to bring Apollo 15 to life—to leverage the possibilities of digital scholarship to create a research resource that is as engaging as it is educational.