Stephanie Moore photo

Stephanie Moore has joined the Digital Humanities at Berkeley staff as a consultant. Stephanie is a seventh-year Ph.D. student in the English department writing her dissertation on allegory and mnemotechnics in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. She will primarily be consulting with the numerous Drupal-based digital humanities projects on campus, as well as running Drupal workshops and supporting the Drupal Developers' Circle working group.

Stephanie began her training in Drupal as a research assistant for English department professors Hugh M. Richmond and David Landreth. Since 2005, Shakespeare’s Staging has served as a resource for students, teachers, directors, and performers of Shakespeare’s work. Over the course of a decade, the project curated audio-visual collections, essays, and bibliographies on several centuries of Shakespeare productions. Originally tasked with refreshing the website’s design, Stephanie’s work expanded to rethinking the site’s interface to make it more accessible and implementing these changes in Drupal. The new site will be rolled out in spring of 2016. She did similar work with Milton Revealed, a project that examines John Milton and his relationship to theatricality.

In 2014, Stephanie attended the Digital Humanities Summer Institute (DHSI) at the University of Victoria, BC. There she attended the “Visual Design for Digital Humanists” course, where students engaged with both analog and digital tools for thinking about interface design and user experience. Because Shakespeare’s Staging serves a pedagogical purpose, Stephanie realized that she needed to prioritize ways to make the site easy and intuitive to navigate for users who aren’t subject matter experts, like high school students or undergraduate students. “A lot of DH projects need to think about design as more than cosmetic, but as central to users’ experience of the site” Stephanie emphasized. Though Stephanie’s dissertation project does not focus on digital presentation or computational tools for its argument, Stephanie noted that working through these challenges of design and data management have contributed to her research on mnemotechnics. Stephanie’s introspection on digital interfaces has led her to revisit the history of the book and reexamine “user interfaces” in manuscript and print media.

This summer, Stephanie worked with Prof. Elizabeth Honig (History of Art) on a Drupal implementation of and the Open Catalogue Raisonne Platform. The Brueghel site, Stephanie noted, gathers much more data than her previous projects. A typical entry on might include images, provenance, attributions, a painting’s physical dimensions, bibliography, and links to relevant paintings. “I’ve been learning more about data management challenges and becoming familiar with new Drupal modules for addressing them,” Stephanie shared. “There’s a high standard for this data because it is intended to be used in other tools.” Stephanie explained that she has been learning how to use OpenRefine (a tool for cleaning and transforming data) and regular expressions (an abstracted language for identifying patterns in a collection of characters). Because the Jan Brueghel data is intended to be used by tools on built into the site, as well as exported and analyzed in external tools, Stephanie uses OpenRefine and regular expressions  to fix inconsistencies in the data, which inevitably arise in any crowdsourced project. By implementing reasonable constraints on data entry, Stephanie hopes that the new Drupal formulation of the site will make it smoother and easier for many users to contribute to the site. These are important considerations in developing the Open Catalogue Raisonne Platform as well, where art historians and curators need to be able to easily adapt the platform’s settings to their own collection’s metadata concerns.

Stephanie served as a teaching assistant in the Digital Humanities at Berkeley Summer Institute’s “Database Development Using Drupal” course. Though she accepted the job with some trepidation, Stephanie was surprised by how much she had learned in a relatively short time. “Having students helps you figure out what you know, what you now take for granted. It increases the pace at which you are building your knowledge base,” Stephanie noted. Drupal icon

Stephanie will be teaching a 3-part workshop on the basics of Drupal site-building at the D-Lab, beginning October 5th. No programming experience is required, and no code will be written as part of this workshop. Participants will set up a basic Drupal site and learn how to configure some essential features.

Interested in attending DHSI? Applications for DHSI 2016 tuition scholarships close on October 30, 2015.