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What's in an Archive? Critical Reflections on Expanding Critical Comics

Created by Vidi. Last updated on May 3, 2018. Archivization as an Act of Preservation and Destruction In our society, we have this widespread assumption that materials that are included in archives such as books, textiles, stones, and paintings are always special. We believe they’re chosen because they mean something for a group of people or even for a country. The definition of archives, according to The Society of American Archivists, even implies that archived materials possess … Read More

Data Cleaning with a Humanist Lens

Created by Anthony. Last updated on May 3, 2018. Diving in (again) In an initial appeal to the importance of consistency and standardization within data work (that I will discuss at length later in this piece), I open by paralleling my perspective on and overall direction in my contribution to the Critical Comics project to that of Erin, the former digital humanities student whose data work I am, in a way, succeeding. In a talk given at the Harvard Purdue Data Management Symposium, Miriam … Read More


Works cited on this webpage Anderson, Carl. Creating a data-driven organization: practical advice from the trenches. Sebastopol: O'Reilly, 2015. Print. Benjamin, Walter. Illuminations. Eds. Hannah Arendt, and Harry Zohn.New York: Schocken Books, 1969.Print. Bowker, Geoffrey C., and Susan Leigh Star.Sorting Things Out.Cambridge: MIT Press, 1999. Print. Burton, Antoinette. "Introduction: Archive Fever, Archive Stories." InArchive Stories.Durham: Duke University Press, 2005. Print. Gold, … Read More

The Comic Book in the Age of Digital Reproduction: Critical Reflections

Created by Matt. Last updated on May 3, 2017. The process of digitization, central to any online archive, covers up as much as it reveals and limits as much as it enables. The critical theorist Walter Benjamin succinctly gave a name to this trade-off in his much-discussed essay “The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction,” published in various versions between 1935 and 1939. In the translated version included in Illuminations (1968), Benjamin argues that a work of art … Read More

Online Archives between Fidelity and Utility

Created by Emily and Rachel. Last edited May 3, 2017. Archive Theories and Stories When creating an archive there is the challenge of making sure the data and text are historically accurate and truthful to the best of our knowledge, since a lot of information and personal connection can be lost when translating physical objects into data and onto an online platform. As we were creating our archive, we considered some of the discussion topics brought up in AL340. These topics included critical … Read More

Diving into Data: Cleaning Data for 1,000 Comics

Created by Erin. Last updated on May 3, 2017. What is Data Cleaning Anyway? In Posner’s article “Humanities Data: A Necessary Contradiction,” she describes work with literature in this way, “[...] you’re not extracting features in order to analyze them; you’re trying to dive into it, like a pool, and understand it from within.” This is the framework by which I will approach the data cleaning portion of this project. Let’s dive in. The backbone … Read More