Fellowships and Funding, History, Provost's Digital Innovation Grant, Testimonials
Micki Kaufman is a doctoral student in the Department of History of the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. She received her B.A. in history from Columbia University summa cum laude in 2011. A recipient of the Provost’s Digital Innovation Grant in 2012–2013, her current research involves the use of computational analysis and visualization techniques in the study of the DNSA’s (Digital National Security Archive’s) Kissinger Memcon and Telcon collections. She has taught U.S. history at Hunter College and served as a digital humanities consultant for the Hertog Global Strategy Initiative, the Blinken European Institute, and the Gotham Center. She is also a platinum-award-winning recording engineer and is a featured ASCAP film score composer.
During the course of the 2012–2013 Provost’s Digital Innovation Grant cycle, my work has been expanded and enriched in many unexpected (and welcome) ways. Most important has been the impact of becoming a part of this community of like-minded digital scholars. Although our fields of study differ greatly, we are all encountering a host of related issues in confronting and mastering research data, and as a community, we have been able to observe and enrich each other’s work with practical advice and collegial support. More practically, the grant under which I have been working has enabled me to focus on my research during this year to a greater degree than I thought possible, permitting me to grapple with deeper challenges, both digital and otherwise. Expanding my study of diplomatic materials to include more sources, richer comparisons, and more nuanced interpretations of a number of historical archives, I have been able to develop more effective tools for processing and visualizing these differences. By aggregating us into a true community, once-ominous technical barriers have been reduced to comprehensible (if complex) steps along the path of digital humanities scholarship. With the encouragement and support of the program faculty and my fellow grant recipients, I have been able to much more specifically conceive (and articulate) my vision of the eventual “digital dissertation” in diplomatic history that I plan to defend. Equipped with the increased knowledge and confidence gained during this 2012–2013 grant year, I am more excited and enthusiastic than ever about the work to come!