CLASS Scholars

The Digital Humanities Initiative (DHi) provides new opportunities for students in the humanities to become fully engaged citizens in this ongoing digital revolution.  Hamilton’s DHi is taking the lead in promoting new cross-institutional collaborations with faculty and students.

CLASS is an undergraduate fellowship and research program in the digital humanities based on three-broad areas of scholarly inquiry and their intersection with new and emerging digital technologies: 1) Culture, 2) Liberal Arts, and 3) Society. CLASS provides a unique partnership between departments and programs across the liberal arts and humanities at Hamilton and the Career Center.

For more information about the CLASS program, please visit our CLASS page.


DHi 2014-2015 CLASS Scholars

Jack Lyons - Class of 2016

Jack Lyons - Class of 2016

DHi CLASS Scholar, Hamilton College

Jack Lyons is a rising junior, and is majoring in Asian Studies with a Japanese focus. Since childhood, he has had a profound interest in Japanese culture, especially Samurai.Following this interest, Jack is working with Professor Kyoko Omori on the Japanese silent film, Orochi (1925) & Benshi artists project. For the project, Jack will construct a narrative script in English for the Japanese silent movie, Orochi, and will analyze certain aspects of the movie like its cinematography and the Japanese culture presented in the movie. In addition, Jack will also help create a documentary on the Clinton area that will be used in a workshop this Fall. During the workshop, Hamilton students will be able to create and recite their own Benshi script for the documentary. Jack aims to not only further his knowledge of the Japanese language and culture through this project, but also to learn more about film and how it is created. Hamilton News http://www.hamilton.edu/news/story/the-silent-serpent-understanding-the-role-of-benshi-in-japanese-cinema

Gabriella Pico - Class of 2016

DHi CLASS Scholar, Hamilton College

Gabriella Pico is a rising junior and Public Policy Major at Hamilton College. As an American of Cuban descent, the issues of Cuban and Cuban-American women have interested her for many years. In collaboration with Professor Vivyan Adair, the Emerson Grant program, and the DHi, she will be exploring literature and photography by Cuban-American women in an effort to understand how these two cultures influence these women at the micro and meso levels. Gabriella will be using the skills she has learned in exploring and analyzing the intersections of culture, class, and race in these women’s writings. Her research will culminate in a written analysis which she will contribute to an ongoing digital platform in collaboration with Lafayette College’s DHi. This platform aims to make information more accessible to those scholars who, due to structural economic inequalities, find themselves outside of the academy, and unable to engage with scholarly material.

Lainie Smith - Class of 2016

DHi Student Intern, Hamilton College

Lainie Smith is a sophomore at Hamilton College. She is originally from Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. She is concentrating in Creative Writing and minoring in Religious Studies. As an intern with the Digital Humanities Initiative, she is working with Professor Abhishek Amar on his “Sacred Centers” project. By working with DHi, Lainie hopes to hone her skills in communications and research and apply her knowledge of innovative digital technology to represent creative ideas.Hamilton News http://www.hamilton.edu/news/story/smith-16-studies-the-practice-of-meditation

DHi 2013-2014 CLASS Scholars

Kerri Grimaldi - Class of 2015

DHi CLASS Scholar, Hamilton College

Kerri Grimaldi is an English major at Hamilton College. As a DHi CLASS scholar, she is working with Professor Patricia O'Neill on The Beloved Witness project--a collaborative digital archive featuring the works of Kashmiri American poet, Agha Shahid Ali. Kerri is utilizing the archive to study the influence of Emily Dickinson's poetry on Shahid's. Kerri's work developed from her interest in the discourse formed between the works of the two poets, evident through Shahid's references to Dickinson. With the skills obtained during her year in DHi's CLASS program, she is exploring text analysis tools and creating a digital presentation of her research to visually present the intertextual relationship between Shahid’s poetry and Dickinson’s.  See Kerri's website and interpretative video.  Kerri's Summer 2014 off-campus internship was in the Electronic Textual Cultures Lab (ETCL) directed by Ray Siemens at the Universtiy of Victoria. Hamilton News - DH 2014 Conference Poster Presentation by Grimaldi and Simons

Kenneth Ratliff - Class of 2016

DHi CLASS Scholar, Hamilton College

Kenny Ratliff is a rising sophomore, majoring in math and physics. From a young age, he has been interested in questions of how the world works, and how people attempt to answer these questions; this has led him to be interested both in theoretical physics, and in world religions. He is currently working with Professor Abhishek Amar on the Sacred Centers in India project, which examines the histories of the Indian holy cities of Gaya and Bodhgaya through a study of textual, archaeological, and art-historical remains. Specific to his role, Kenny is using 3-D modeling software, along with the videogame engine Unity, to model shrines, temples, and other important sites from the cities; these will eventually be put together to create interactive virtual models of large parts of the cities themselves. Through this project, he hopes to create a detailed and accessible database that will engage scholars in the study of these centers, and encourage curiosity about these cities and the religions that hold them sacred.

DHi 2012-2013 CLASS Scholars

Max Lopez - Class of 2014

DHi CLASS Scholar, Hamilton College

Max Lopez is a rising sophomore and archaeology major at Hamilton College. Having been interested in archaeology since a very young age, Max now works with Professor Nathan Goodale on a site in the Slocan Valley of British Columbia. The site consists of a series of pit houses or winter homes for the Native Americans that inhabited it. Max, who has been working with and learning 3D digital modeling software over the summer, will visit the site and using GPS/GIS technology will map the pit houses. After that he hopes to create an accurate to life 3D reconstruction of the site that can be walked through and interacted with. Not only will this reconstruction aid in research as a cost effective alternative to a physical reconstruction of the site but it will also be a new way to get the public involved in the research. Archaeology is a field defined by advancing technology and Max looks to use his knowledge of 3D modeling to continue pushing the field forward in new ways and staying ahead of the curve.

Ujjwal Pradhan

DHi CLASS Scholar, Hamilton College

Ujjwal Pradhan is working on The Beloved Witness, a digital humanities project that aims to create a collaborative digital archive for the works of a Kashmiri American poet, Agha Shahid Ali. Shahid ia a famous Kashmiri-American poet who popularized ghazal form of poetry and represented the Kashmiri struggle in his poems. Ujjwal is working with Professor Patricia O’Neill in getting a deeper understanding of Shahid’s works as the archive is being built. Ujjwal worked as a journalist for a national newspaper during his gap year in Nepal, and has keenly followed South Asian geo-politics. With the Witness project, he is attempting to use his knowledge to comprehend the Kashmiri struggle through Shahid’s poems. Besides creating an interactive archive interface for readers to learn about Shahid’s life and works, he is also very interested in using the new technology in analyzing literary texts like Shahid’s.

DHi 2011-2012 CLASS Scholars

Sarah Bither

DHi CLASS Scholar, Hamilton College

Sarah Bither is an Asian Studies major and an Economics and English double minor at Hamilton College. She enjoys studying the complexities of Japanese language and culture and is a self-proclaimed bookworm. Alongside Professor Kyoko Omori, Sarah is currently conducting a comprehensive study of the power and influence of Japanese silent film on the Japanese culture and film industry. Ultimately, she hopes to travel to Japan and continue her research by working closely with rare primary sources. As technology continues to rapidly evolve, Sarah will aim to take advantage of these new technological opportunities and incorporate digital media into her studies. She is confident that the research, analytical, and presentation tools she has developed through DHi will be a tremendous asset to her in whatever career path she pursues, whether it be in humanities or finance.

Xinyang Li

DHi CLASS Scholar, Hamilton College

Xinyang Li is working on her project about Confucianism’s role in China. Confucianism has been a school of thought, which is considered as the orthodox thinking of Chinese culture. However, as China develops its economic power, Confucianism serves new roles. It has become a symbol of Chinese culture as Confucian Institutes are established vastly in the Western world. Furthermore, Confucianism has been commercialized in recent decades, serving to attract tourists. Li is exploring whether Confucianism is losing its essence while it is acting multiple roles or Confucianism coexists with its new roles.

Randall Telfer

DHi CLASS Scholar, Hamilton College

Randall Telfer is a rising senior at Hamilton College, majoring in both Chinese language and World Politics. He recently returned from a semester abroad at the Minzu University of China located in Beijing, where he studied advanced modern Chinese and Classical Chinese, and also conducted research on the environmental ethics of Confucian, Buddhist, and Daoist teachings. While in China, he also made his debut as an amateur Xiangsheng performer. Back in his hometown of Avon, CT, however, no one wants to see him on a stage of any kind. Telfer joins the Digital Humanities Initiative at Hamilton College with an interest in the Cult of Confucius as well as the relationship between Confucian teachings and the environment.

Brynna Tomassone

DHi CLASS Scholar, Hamilton College

Brynna Tomassone is a member of the class of 2012, just having returned from her junior year abroad as part of the Hamilton College Academic Year in Spain program. Ms. Tomassone is double majoring in Hispanic Studies and Africana Studies, with a particular interest in the socio-politic-linguistic influence of the African diaspora on women in the Caribbean. Ms. Tomassone will deliver a paper entitled 'The Use of Study Abroad in the Development of a Global Multicultural Perspective for Preservice Teachers in both Kenya and the United States' at the International Conference on Education at Kenyatta University, Nairobi, Kenya, East Africa in July, 2011. Additionally, she is completing a Culture Liberal Arts and Society Scholar (CLASS) fellowship, working on a Digital Humanities project documenting the Soweto uprising in 1976. In collaboration with Dr. Angel Nieves and his work on the Soweto '76 Digital Archive, Ms. Tomassone is hoping to raise awareness to social justice issues by linking global perspectives and the human experience. Ms. Tomassone plans to pursue her scholarly interests in graduate school abroad.

Melissa Yang

DHi CLASS Scholar, Hamilton College

Melissa Yang is a sophomore at Hamilton College. She is a DHi undergraduate scholar. She is currently working with Professor Kyoko Omori and Sarah Bither on the Comparative Japanese Film Archive, which was started by Professor Omori and Alex Benkhart. Her interest in films and filming techniques was cultivated during her time at Brooklyn Technical High School. At the same time, she picked up an array of skills in manipulative software, which she hopes to add to in the future. Melissa also has an interest in foreign languages. She hopes to study abroad in China and Japan during her junior year to further her language skills. She would like to work on future projects that would put her acquired language skills to use.