Meet the 2015/16 Sherman Graduate Fellows

Three graduate students from a range of disciplines will spend the next year exploring how they can apply the principles of digital scholarship to their research.

The students are the 2015/16 recipients of the Sherman Graduate Fellowship, an award given out annually that provides graduate students with an opportunity to incorporate the tools and methodologies of digital scholarship into their areas of research.

Learn more about digital scholarship

Each student will receive a $1500 stipend and a workspace in the Lewis and Ruth Sherman Centre for Digital Scholarship located in Mills Library for the coming academic year.

“We were pleased to receive an excellent pool of applications this year,” says Dale Askey, Associate University Librarian “This level of interest is indicative of the growth of digital scholarship and digital humanities at McMaster. We are eager to start working with these students and to see the contributions they will make to the growing community of Sherman researchers.”

2015/16 Sherman Centre fellows:

Deena Abul Fottouh – Sociology

Photo of Sherman Graduate FellowMy research is on networking and digital activism during the Egyptian revolution that started in 2011. I look at the evolution of Twitter networks among Egyptian activists since the start of the revolution in 2011 till now. I specifically look at how Twitter networks evolved over time by investigating different moments of solidarity and schism within the Egyptian revolutionary movement. The research methodology is based on network analysis of tweets produced by Egyptian revolutionary activists during the period from 2011 to 2015. My research is funded through the Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship.

Michael Johnson – Religious Studies

Photo of Sherman Graduate FellowIn my research I am exploring how one ancient collection of Jewish poetry called the Thanksgiving Hymns fits into the broader landscape of other anthologies of Jewish poetry from the Second Temple period (515 BCE– 70 CE). The Thanksgiving Hymns were recovered among the Dead Sea scrolls at Qumran in 1947, and their peculiar rearticulation of language from the biblical Psalms has mystified scholars ever since. For the Sherman Centre fellowship, I am using RStudio to discover corpus-wide patterns of syntax in machine-readable and syntax-tagged texts of the Thanksgiving Hymns in order to compare them with those in the Book of Psalms. Treating syntax-tagging of the corpora as strings, I will uncover reoccurring patterns: those that are shared as well as those that are unique to each corpus. This project will not unlock every mystery of the Thanksgiving Hymns, but it will enable us to assess one of the ways the Hodayot psalmist mimics and modifies the poetics of the Psalter.

Melissa Marie Legge – Social Work

legge 140My research centres on the well-being of humans and other animals in shared social environments. The broader aim of my doctoral research is to increase positive outcomes for both humans and other-than-human (OTH) animals involved in social services by documenting how animals are integrated into and neglected by social work practice in Ontario. My goal is to partially document the experiences of OTH animals to gain a greater understanding of how they are impacted by their involvement in these interventions. I intend to explore ways of collecting data with OTH animals, through wearable digital photo and video technology as well as sensory technology.