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Patch featured Pace University in "Pace & UCLA Partner to Explore Digital Mapping in Latinx Studies"

03/01/2021

Patch featured Pace University in "Pace & UCLA Partner to Explore Digital Mapping in Latinx Studies"

The neighborhood surrounding Pace University's Lower Manhattan campus was once home to a thriving Spanish-language publishing community that—like many such publishing centers located throughout the United States in the nineteenth century—has largely been forgotten. Associate Professor of English Kelley Kreitz, PhD, also an affiliate faculty member in Latinx Studies, has been working to recover that history with her students. 

In partnership with Marissa López, professor of English and Chicana/o Studies at UCLA, Kreitz has been awarded $50,000 from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) Office of Digital Humanities to continue and expand this groundbreaking work along with Latinx Studies scholars working on similar projects across the country.

"Professor Kreitz has been on the forefront of this fascinating new field of digital humanities, bringing her expertise into the classroom for Pace University students," said Tresmaine Grimes, PhD, dean, Dyson College of Arts and Sciences and School of Education at Pace University. "Her participation as a co-director in this prestigious grant is a testament to her innovative scholarship in this field." 

Read the full Patch article.

 

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Press Release: Pace University & UCLA Partner to Explore Digital Mapping in Latinx Studies

02/24/2021

Press Release: Pace University & UCLA Partner to Explore Digital Mapping in Latinx Studies

National Endowment for the Humanities Awards $50,000 to Help University Scholars Collaborate on Groundbreaking Work

NEW YORK, N.Y. (Feb. 24, 2021) – The neighborhood surrounding Pace University’s Lower Manhattan campus was once home to a thriving Spanish-language publishing community that—like many such publishing centers located throughout the United States in the nineteenth century—has largely been forgotten. Associate Professor of English Kelley Kreitz, PhD, also an affiliate faculty member in Latinx Studies, has been working to recover that history with her students.

In partnership with Marissa López, professor of English and Chicana/o Studies at UCLA, Kreitz has been awarded $50,000 from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) Office of Digital Humanities to continue and expand this groundbreaking work along with Latinx Studies scholars working on similar projects across the country.

“Professor Kreitz has been on the forefront of this fascinating new field of digital humanities, bringing her expertise into the classroom for Pace University students,” said Tresmaine Grimes, PhD, dean, Dyson College of Arts and Sciences and School of Education at Pace University. “Her participation as a co-director in this prestigious grant is a testament to her innovative scholarship in this field.”

The funding will support a two-day working session at UCLA in August 2021, bringing together scholars, GIS experts, and public and academic librarians to explore digital mapping for Latinx Studies. Digital mapping provides scholars with opportunities to support historical inquiry and the use of archival materials in Spanish, English, and Indigenous languages in a variety of ways, including visualizing communities represented by archival materials, making visible absences in the archival record, and engaging academics, students, and the public in contemplating history and its making. 

“The goal is to share ideas, resources, and best practices while building a network to help scholars at universities across the country to use digital mapping in their research and teaching,” said Kreitz.  

For the past few years, students in her Latinx literature courses have used digital mapping to make visible the community of editors, writers, printers, and bookstore owners who participated in lower Manhattan’s Spanish-language press, including Cuban writer and revolutionary José Martí and Puerto Rican printer, editor, and political organizer Sotero Figuero. In 2018, through Pace University’s digital humanities center Babble Lab, she launched the Recovering New York City’s Nineteenth-Century Spanish-Language Press digital map and website, which draws on her research and mapping projects conducted in her courses.

“We’re looking at digital mapping as a means of helping scholars and students to build on and contribute to traditional research methods in the field, especially those focused on understudied archival materials,” Kreitz said. “In my courses, I am particularly interested in how teaching digital mapping skills in combination with archival research skills can empower students to understand history and contribute to filling its gaps and omissions.”

López is also exploring digital mapping in her research and teaching—through Picturing Mexican America, a mobile app which enables users to access archival photos that reveal Los Angeles’ Mexican American history as they navigate the city.

“Providing opportunities in the digital humanities ensures that there is a diverse group of people doing archival and research work, so that BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, people of color) communities can be properly documented for future generations,” said Holly Tomaino ’22, a Film and Screen Studies major and student of Kreitz.

The planning and capacity-building work funded by NEH grant is specifically meant to lead to more opportunities for scholars and students to engage with digital mapping for Latinx Studies.

“NEH’s Office of Digital Humanities has funded a number of projects in recent years focused on using digital mapping methods to better understand where people live and work and how they engage with their local environments,” said Senior Program Officer in the Office of Digital Humanities at the NEH Elizabeth Tran. “We are pleased to support this exciting workshop that will allow a new cohort of scholars to explore existing and emerging methods in digital mapping.”

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About Pace University 
Pace University has a proud history of preparing its diverse student body for a lifetime of professional success as a result of its unique program that combines rigorous academics and real-world experiences. Pace is ranked the #1 private, four-year college in the nation for upward economic mobility by Harvard University’s Opportunity Insights, evidence of the transformative education the University provides. From its beginnings as an accounting school in 1906, Pace has grown to three campuses, enrolling 13,000 students in bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral programs in more than 150 majors and programs, across a range of disciplines: arts, sciences, business, health care, technology, law, education, and more. The university also has one of the most competitive performing arts programs in the country. Pace has a signature, newly renovated campus in New York City, located in the heart of vibrant Lower Manhattan, next to Wall Street and City Hall, and two campuses in Westchester County, New York: a 200-acre picturesque Pleasantville Campus and the Elisabeth Haub School of Law in White Plains. Follow us on Twitter or on the Pace News website.

About Dyson College of Arts and Sciences: Pace University’s liberal arts college, Dyson College, offers more than 50 programs, spanning the arts and humanities, natural sciences, social sciences, and pre-professional programs (including pre-medicine, pre-veterinary, and pre-law), as well as many courses that fulfill core curriculum requirements. The College offers access to numerous opportunities for internships, cooperative education and other hands-on learning experiences that complement in-class learning in preparing graduates for career and graduate/professional education choices. www.pace.edu/dyson.

About the NEH: Created in 1965 as an independent federal agency, the National Endowment for the Humanities supports research and learning in history, literature, philosophy, and other areas of the humanities by funding selected, peer-reviewed proposals from around the nation. Additional information about the NEH and its grant programs is available at: www.neh.gov. Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this press release, do not necessarily represent those of the NEH.