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DHIL blog

News about the Digital Humanities Innovation Lab

Meet the DHIL's new digital fellow

Published September 23, 2019 by Alexandra Xanth...

Hi, I’m Alex, and I’m the DHIL’s newest digital fellow. Though I’ve spent years learning various digital humanities tools in an amateur setting—thanks Tumblr!—my formal experience with DH has been very short; I fell into it rather than consciously choosing it as a research avenue. 

I was first introduced to the digital humanities in Spring 2018, and was set to attend the Digital Humanities Summer Institute (DHSI) during that same summer. Still, I hadn’t even considered it for my own research until I was beginning to flesh out a research plan, and realized that my entire thesis rests on my ability to use different digital humanities tools. Since that realization, I’ve been slowly growing my arsenal of DH tools for various research- and non-research related endeavours. 

Despite the fact that I am a candidate for SFU’s Master of Publishing, my research actually has very little to do with the traditional, brick-and-mortar industry. I’m more interested in digital publishing. Specifically: online fannish publishing practices--or, fanfiction. As someone who’s been reading and writing the stuff for over a decade, everything about fanfic fascinates me: content, form, archiving practices, circulatory patterns… it’s actually the latter that I’m looking at: how fanfiction of different sub-genres circulates across online platforms and fan communities. More broadly, I’m situated in the field of fan studies, but my main research interest is definitely all aspects of fannish literature. Other research interests of mine include: feminist and queer studies, fan history, fan labour, fan activism and celebrity studies. If it’s even remotely geeky and intersectional, I’ll probably read it!

Though my thesis requires me to have a knowledge of mapping and web scraping, I’m also very into playing with Application Program Interfaces (APIs) with varying levels of success, and exploring archive tools like Omeka and Scalar. Though I’ve only just started in my position at the DHIL, I am incredibly excited to be joining such a great team, and I can’t wait to help support SFU’s fantastic research community.

If you’d like to chat, you can find me on Twitter: @alexanthoudakis, or shoot me an email: axanthou@sfu.ca