18/08 – 25/08 Fiona Tweedie

The final week of this Australian stint sees us move West along the coast from Adelaide to Melbourne where Fiona Tweedie is based.  Her blog post reminds me why the digital humanities can be so much fun: we’re in for a week of Romans, hackathons, text-mining and Open Access!  

Hello there. My name is Fiona Tweedie and I usually tweet as @FCTweedie, although you’ll sometimes find me over at @OKFNau and occasionally @ITS_Res (more on that later). I completed my PhD in Ancient History at the University of Sydney in 2009. My thesis looked at the relationships between Rome and the independent peoples of Italy and the place of the ‘Italian Question’ in Roman politics towards the end of the second century BCE (133-91, for any other Romanists out there!). I haven’t entirely abandoned the Romans and have managed to publish a few articles, but my quest for stable employment has taken me away from ‘straight’ academia.

Since graduating, I’ve mostly worked in the public sector as a researcher and policy adviser. While working at the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner, I discovered a passion for open data. Opening up government-held data for reuse by the community seemed both obvious but also incredibly exciting to me. Following this interest, I’ve joined the Open Knowledge Foundation in Australia as a local ambassador and board member and have now been involved in running several hackathons. My next goal is to up-skill enough to actually compete in one. I’d like to talk open access at some time during my week driving @WeTheHumanities, as I think that a lot of the models are very science-driven and (as is often the case) not a great fit for humanities.

Since February this year, I’ve been working for ITS Research at the University of Melbourne, a role that combines my background as a humanities researcher with my love of open knowledge and research technology. My job is to connect researchers to the tools that will make their lives easier and help them to ask bigger questions of their data. I work mainly with researchers in the humanities and social sciences, so I’ll be really interested to talk about digital humanities this week and hear about what you think it means and how you’re using digital tools to support your work. I’m particularly interested in text mining at the moment as I’m designing a course on it, so I’d love your input.

Like many of you, I also like books, knitting and tea. I’m looking forward to meeting you this week and having an excuse to further indulge my massive Twitter-habit.

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