This fall LITS welcomes five fabulous 2018-2019 Emory Libraries/Emory Center for Digital Scholarship (ECDS) Fellows. We hope this blog series of interviews will help you get to know them better. Funded by the Laney Graduate School, Emory Libraries and Emory Center for Digital Scholarship (ECDS) award fellowships to advanced graduate students expecting to complete their dissertations by the end of the academic year. Fellows are placed in a department related to their subject specialization or interest, culminating in a formal presentation in the spring. Mark your calendar for April 10th from 2pm to 3:30pm in the Jones Room.
Welcome,John Bernau, who is doing Digital Humanities with Emory’s Center for Digital Scholarship.
- Tell us a little bit about yourself. Where are you from? What’s your favorite book?
I am a PhD candidate in Sociology focusing on culture, social psychology, and religion. I grew up in Iowa and love how Atlanta has preserved so much green space within a metropolitan area. With so many parks and running trails, it’s easy to forget you’re in the big city! Lately I’ve been reading Tolstoy’s nonfiction. A Confession and What Then Must We Do? are both amusing and self-deprecating account of youthful convictions.
- What are you researching for your dissertation?
I study how groups use language to solve social problems. My previous research has examined how modern states differ in their public interpretations of national disasters, and how country musicians use linguistic codes to signal group membership. In my dissertation I develop a method for leveraging word embedding spaces to understand the American language of death and dying as it fluctuates over time.
- What interested you about this Fellowship?
I have had many years of wonderful collaboration with the folks at ECDS and am excited about the role of the center in bridging disciplinary boundaries. I think uniting under the umbrella of “digital scholarship” offers an opportunity to come together and do interesting work!
- What will you be working on this year for your Fellowship?
In my role as Associate Editor of Atlanta Studies, I am excited to learn more about digital publishing and back-end web development. I will also teach a number of R workshops over the course of the Fellowship, from basic orientation to advanced data visualization and text analysis with Twitter data.