6th – 13th April, Jeff Schramm (USA)

30th March – 6th April, Jeremy Solomons (USA)

We’ve got a new website, where you can find curators’ blog posts as well as more about the project (and requests for your involvement!): www.wethehumanities.org

Welcome, @jcsolomons, who’ll be giving us a glimpse into his research on Anglo-Jewish theatre. Jeremy began his education in STEM and his career since then has taken in teaching, bookshop-managing and theatre. He’s known to 2/3 of the WtH team through the Readibg connection and we’re delighted that he’s submitted to our badgering and agreed to curate. Perhaps we can pester/encourage you to join in too? Find out more here.

My personal blog is called Crossing Borders.  The title originated in secondary school biology class and it is a title that has grown ever closer to my life.  I crossed to the Atlantic to live in Brookline, Massachusetts, 3,281 miles from where I grew up in North London.  Brookline is one of the US towns with the most doctorates per capita, and to do my part I am working on my PhD closer to where I grew up at the University of Reading.  My topic is Anglo-Jewish theatre, which draws together several of the interests I have collected having crossed national, language and cultural borders.

My first job was at an arts centre in Kentish Town working at a Jewish theatre festival, followed by a BSc in Botany atthe University of Durham, then traveling from one end of England and Wales to the other working as a stage manager, actor, and director in theatres large and small, and finally settling into community arts work in Gloucestershire.  When I moved to Boston, I ended up teaching English–literature, writing and some drama–in colleges and universities, and eventually, I studied for my MA in English Literature at U Mass Boston where I became fascinated with literature and poetry in translation.  That is where I thought my doctorate subject matter would come from, but in the end, I settled into my current topic, which feels like coming home. 

I am excited to have the chance to curate @wethehumanities, and I hope we can talk about theatre, how we choose identities for ourselves, and how important the humanities are within and outside academia.  I am sure we will also touch on: books, my last job was as a book store manager; music, including British punk, folk and jazz;and job hunting, my current, and hopefully temporary career. 

Oh, and I am also quite involved in social media.

 I am experimenting in other realms:

23rd – 30th March, Nina (UK)

This week we welcome Nina, who’ll be bringing a perspective on the humanities that’s informed by her own educational experiences and her position as working in a university’s administration.  I’m especially looking forward to hearing her take on academia’s widening participation agendas – something that chimes with the We the Humanities project.
My name is Nina and you can normally find me at @ninabrighton. I love my home of Brighton and I work for the local university in the Philanthropy office. I also study at a vocational college. I am studying towards an Award in Education and Training (previously known as PTTLLS). I will be studying BA Philosophy, Politics and Art from September onwards. I returned to education in my thirties. As a result I am interested in student engagement – particularly engagement with people from widening participation backgrounds and accessibility of education. I had previously worked in finance and I spent ten years trying to get out of it, so I now work in a university spending my days looking at numbers (so I’m gradually getting out!).
I am new to academia. I do wonder if my reluctance to associate myself with academia is due to my inexperience or lack of confidence. I grew up in a household that did not value education because it was not for the likes of us. Class is something I often reflect upon and include in my writing.
I am passionate about art (including how people define art and what people consider art). A trip to a museum and being moved by a video installation inspired me to apply to university. I have a tattoo on my arm inspired by the works of Eyvind Earle and Conrad Roset. I have a tattoo on my thigh based on a Jean Marembert illustration. Art excites me, I remember taking a school trip to an art college when I was twelve and thinking that art students look cool and probably get to travel. Now I am older I realise the student life isn’t all fun and games – but I do remember the feeling that art could open up the world to me.
While curating @wethehumanities I will be tweeting about philanthropy, the highs and lows of my college course and I’ll throw in some images I love to look at for good measure.

16-23 March, Katy Barrett

This week, art curator Katy takes over the account, and will be thinking about how we see and record the world, as well as what it actually means to be a curator. I’m particularly looking forward to seeing her photographs of shadows!

Hello, my name’s Katy, although in the Twittersphere I’m better known as @SpoonsonTrays. Despite appearances, I know comparatively little about spoons (or trays) although I do now collect them, as well as spotting them at 20 paces in any museum, thanks to how people have picked up on myhttp://www.spoonsontrays.com and Twitter handle.

I’m an art curator, historian and blogger. My day job is Curator of Art, pre-1800 at Royal Museums Greenwich, where I’ve worked for about 18 months on a number of exciting projects. My Twitter account is very much my own thing, as will be my week on ‘We the Humanities’, but I inevitably spend time talking about my job. I’ve just opened an exhibition that brings the history of our site and collections together with a contemporary art commission. Unseen: The Lives of Looking by Dryden Goodwin seems particularly suited to ‘We the Humanities’ as it’s all about how we see and record the world. It’s thoroughly interdisciplinary, mixing art, astronomy, surgery, law and more.

Interdisciplinarity is something I’m interested in more broadly. Although I’m an art curator, I did my PhD in a history of science department on the cultural history of the longitude problem in the eighteenth century. I’ve written a lot about that on our research project blog.  If you’d like to know more. I’m interested in how both the sources and methodologies of different disciplines can usefully inform each other. Of course I also think objects are central to that.

When I’m not working or thinking about these sorts of big disciplinary questions, I tend to be found in a museum or gallery visiting exhibitions. I tweet a lot as I go around these as I find it a useful means of distilling my thoughts. I also often end up having interesting conversations with fellow enthusiasts on Twitter during my visit. I’ll be continuing that practice while I’m curating the ‘We the Humanities’ account, as well as sharing my love of photographing shadows.

And then there’s that word ‘curating’. There’s endless discussion among museum people and on social media about whether the word curating is overused and inappropriate to many of its new contexts. Can I curate a Twitter feed? I’d love some responses on that during my week.

9-16 March, Verity Burke

This week, we welcome the lovely (because we know her) Verity Burke, a fellow post-grad at the University of Reading with whom Jess and I share a cupboard (pretending to be an office) and copious amounts of sugar-based treats. Verity will be sharing with you her thoughts on her collections-based research, focusing on 19th-century readings of the body, and her experiences the fine line we all tread as post-grads between the work we want to do and the work we have to do to survive.

Hello there! My name is Verity Burke (I tweet at @dicksnensian, do stop by and say hi) and I’m excited to be curating We The Humanities this week. I’m a collections-based literature PhD student at the University of Reading (@uniofreading, @UniRdg_English and @UniRdg_SpecColl), UK. Like many doctoral students, I balance the delights of research with teaching, mentoring, and other breadcrust-earning jobs (while wondering whether Dolly Parton’s “9 to 5” actually applies to any career these days https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DaERHs8Q93E).

My thesis utilizes collections-based research to explore the epistemology of anatomy in the nineteenth-century popular imagination, through examining the intersections between science, medicine and literature. What this really means is that I analyse the representation of the anatomical body in a myriad of texts from my chosen collection, the Cole Library of Early Medicine and Zoology – from the fabulously named Holmes Cootes’s The Homologies of the Human Skeleton (1849) to Claude Bernard’s Introduction to Experimental Medicine (1865) – alongside popular nineteenth-century literature, such as H.G. Wells’ “Triumph of a Taxidermist” (1894) to draw out issues of “reading” the body. I’m currently working on a chapter that considers taxidermy, the anthropomorphized body and “articulation” as epistemological pathways in Dickens’s Our Mutual Friend, after re-reading it for the Our Mutual Friend twitter project (see @DickensOMF and #omftweets).

I’m looking forward to discussing the use of collections, and the intersections between science and medicine, art and literature (my research centres on the nineteenth century, but I’d love to hear about research in other areas too). Perhaps we’ll drop into a bit of gory Victorian crime, and chinwag about living the research experience more generally, over a nice slice of cake and a digital cuppa.

2nd – 9th March, Kola Tubosun (Nigeria)

This week sees a We the Humanities first as we welcome our very first curator from Nigeria. Kola Tubosun (@baroka) is based in Lagos; he’s a linguist, travel blogger and Yoruba champion. He stepped up at the last minute after a schedule change so I am already eternally grateful to him but I’m also really looking forward to hearing more about his Twitter campaign and learning more about his mother tongue.

My name is Kola Tubosun (full name Kolawole Olugbemiro Olatubosun). I look forward to curating the post next week (week of March 2, 2015).

I currently work as a teacher of English language in a high school in Lagos, Nigeria. I have an MA in Linguistics/TESL from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville (2012) and a BA in Linguistics from the University of Ibadan (2005). I’ve procrastinated on starting a PhD for as long as possible. I also got a Fulbright fellowship in 2009 through which I taught Yoruba at SIUE for ten months. I have also worked at the International Institute of St. Louis as an adult literary tutor-volunteer.

During the week of my hosting at WtH, I’ll be talking about my current effort to improve mother tongue use in Nigeria’s governance and educational sectors, and my other effort into making my native language, Yoruba, relevant in information technology. In 2012, I led a campaign to push Twitter to allow the platform be translated into Yoruba. We succeeded in 2014 (techcabal.com/2014/11/14/twitter-yoruba/) and I’m currently involved in the translation process. I also intend to talk about another current project: a multimedia dictionary of Yoruba names, currently raising money on Indiegogo: indiegogo.com/projects/the-yoruba-names-dictionary/x/9532548. I’m interested in thoughts and opinions on lexicography in general and about mother tongue education/second language acquisition in particular.

I look forward to the experience.

23rd – 29th February Adam Whittaker (UK)

This week we turn to music theory, courtesy of @awhittakermusic.  I’ve never heard of Tinctoris, the focus of his research, but I’m looking forward to finding out more (and it feels like a handy name to know for watching University Challenge).  In common with many of our curators, Adam’s interests are interdisciplinary, so even if if music theory is as new to you as it is to me I hope you’ll join us for a week of brain-expanding discussions. 

Hello everyone! My name is Adam Whittaker, and I’m very much looking forward to curating @WetheHumanities on the week beginning 23rd February. You can follow me @awhittakermusic.

I am currently a PhD student at Birmingham Conservatoire, working on a project on medieval and Renaissance music theory. My PhD focusses on the fifteenth-century music theorist, Johannes Tinctoris (c. 1435–1511), who is a key figure in music theory from the end of the fifteenth-century. My research engages with the wider history and traditions of music theory, and I have a particular interest in music theory from the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, as well as medieval and Renaissance music more generally. I’m also interested in opera and jazz, and work as a conductor.

During my curation week, I hope to have fruitful discussions about the role of music theory, things that it can tell us about musical cultures of the past, the value of digital manuscript repositories, and many other things medieval and Renaissance. I also hope to have discussions about interdisciplinary research, being a PhD student and look forward to many interesting conversations over the week!

16th – 23rd February – Jennifer Rushworth (UK)

This week we return to the UK to meet @JFRushworth who currently holds one of the hotly-contested JRF posiitons at Oxford University.  Proving once again that the humanities won’t sit still in one pigeonhole, she’ll be discussing interdisciplinarity as well as what it means to be a post-doc in the UK.  I’m also hoping she’ll chat about her experiences of studying at Oxford and I’m looking forward to hearing about her take on public engagement.

Hello! My name is Jennifer Rushworth, and I am excited to be taking over @WetheHumanities this week, which I usually follow from my own account @JFRushworth.

I am a Junior Research Fellow in Medieval and Modern Languages at St John’s College, Oxford, and typically work across comparative literature and (perhaps) reception studies. My DPhil thesis (completed 2013) was entitled ‘Discourses of Mourning in Dante, Petrarch, and Proust’. My current project is provisionally named ‘Transformations of Petrarch from Sade to Proust’ and considers the reception (‘transformation’) of Petrarch in nineteenth-century French culture, particularly through translation, biography, criticism, poetic rewriting, and novelisation. I am torn between a passion for modern French literature (in particular, as is evident, Proust) and a fondness for the distant medieval world of encyclopaedic knowledge and courtly love.

During my curation I hope to ask questions about topics including: the role and future of comparative literature; interdisciplinarity; studying canonical authors; making the transition from graduate to post-doc; the rewards and challenges of public engagement. I look forward to a productive and interesting dialogue with many of you.

9th – 16th February, John Borghi (USA)

The intersection between science and humanities is an increasingly popular field of research, attracting researchers from both sides of the divide, including this week’s curator, science communicator and cognitive neuroscientist John Borghi.  I’m looking forward to some behind-the-scenes tidbits from behind the library desk and hearing more about his research area and the science of comic books.

Hi everyone, my name is John Borghi (@JohnBorghi) and I am very excited to be curating @WeTheHumanies this week! I am a science informationist, cognitive neuroscientist, and science communicator, currently living in Brooklyn, New York.

I am interested in communicating science- not just scientific concepts and the results of science experiments, but also the process and culture of science- to non-scientists. In my day job, as the science informationist at The Rita and Frits Markus Library at The Rockefeller University I assist researchers navigate the scientific literature and proactively bring the tools of the library into the laboratory. Though this typically involves tracking down papers, preparing literature summaries, and helping everyone stay compliant with the NIH Public Access Policy, I also teach classes on subjects ranging from including database searching to reference and citation management to using social media to communicate science.

The week before starting work in the Markus Library, I completed a PhD in integrative neuroscience. My thesis was titled “Major depressive disorder is related to a broad disruption in brain regions underlying working memory process,” which is a fancy way of saying that I studied the ways in which depression affects the brain activity associated with remembering pictures of human faces and outdoor scenes over a short time. While in grad school I attended classes at what is now known as the Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science, which helped to catalyze my shift from research scientist to science communicator.

In addition to my work in the library, I also work on a variety of science communication-related projects. I am the managing editor of The Incubator, a blog run by the Rockefeller University Science Outreach Program and I teach science-related classes for non-expert audiences on topics ranging from the History of Neuroscience, to the Biology of Mental Illness, to the Science of Comic Books.

I am hoping to discuss a variety of things related to communication and science. I hope we’ll discuss communicating scientific concepts to non-scientists, the structure and culture of science, academic publishing, libraries, and, of course, books.

Happy Birthday to Us! 2nd – 9th February 2015

A year ago this week we welcomed our first We the Humanities curator, the wonderful @LouiseHJackson. I remember sitting at my desk (then in the Graduate School at the University of Reading) waiting eagerly for 10am, wondering whether anyone was really going to say anything.  The past month had augured well – the account had jumped form a few earlybirds tweeting this thought we’d had, to nearly 500 followers by the start of the first week – but at this stage it still didn’t feel certain that the idea would stick.

Since then the account has grown to more than 2,300 followers and has been curated by Medieval scholars, Victorianists, Egyptologists, literary theorists, performers, museum curators, educators, a marketing manager, classicists, art historians, sci-fi fans, philosophers, a technologist, art historians, digital humanists, science communicators, artists, musicians, medical historians and librarians.  Curators have been drawn from academia (lecturers, researchers and graduate students), tourism, schools, businesses, museums and galleries, and have tweeted to us from across Europe, Scandinavia, North America, South America, Australia and New Zealand.

The range of our curators’ home countries and interests is dwarfed only by those of the accounts’ followers and it seems to me that it’s as much the contributions from the people following the account as much as from its curators that makes this project so lively and interesting.

By way of a thank you we have something a little different happening on the account for our birthday: rather than handing over to a new humanities academic or practitioner just once for the week we’re going to be doing it every day, braving timezones to bring you six of the people who’ve entertained and educated us over the last year, plus the latest addition to our administrative team.  The handover times will vary and there will be a few hours in which the account will get a bit quiet but we’re very excited about our round-the-world anniversary week and hope that you get a kick out of it too.

In the early hours of Monday morning GMT @smiffy will pick up the reins from rural South Australia.  You might remember him from his epic week in August when he switched from his science and technology comfort zone to put the A in STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Maths).

From Australia we head to the UK with @bennosaurus, who’ll be shifting the conversation to the political sphere, as he did back in September when he talked to us about youth engagement in UK politics.

On Wednesday we’ll be in Norway and to @skatemaxwell, last seen on the account in March.  She’ll be tweeting to us from the Arctic Circle, revisiting her interdisciplinary interest in the Medieval period and no doubt making us all jealous of the Norwegian life-work balance ethic all over again.

Thursday will welcome @trueanomalies, coming to us from Pasadena in the USA as she last did in July.  I’m looking forward to hearing how her book (on the history of impact crater research) is going plus finding out a bit more about science communication, especially the ways in which her activities in history and journalism intersect with this.

Friday sees usher book is going heading back to Norway, this time in the company of @camilla_hoel.  She was also a July curator, during which time she indulged us in nineteenth century literature and her infectious enthusiasm for science fiction.

Unlike our Scandinavian friends we won’t be taking a break for the weekend: instead, Saturday will introduce you to the third person in the We the Humanities administrative team, the lovely @emmabutcher_, who’ll be continuing the Victorian vibe (perhaps with a breakout into Romanticism too).

And on Sunday @krisreadsbooks, the account’s co-founder, will be spending a day reflecting on the last year and hopefully telling us all about the paper on Emerson and Twitter that she’ll be giving at the American Literature Association conference later this year (having won The Graduate Student Paper Prize from the Ralph Waldo Emerson Society in January).

And me? I’ll be doing what I usually do: eavesdropping on the conversations of humanities academics, professionals and experts from around the world for a week and hoping that everyone else is enjoying it as thoroughly as I am.

[Edited 1st Feb to better reflect Meg’s research focus]