This grant will support our third year of an ongoing collaborative research program with Stanford’s Poetic Media Lab, who designed Lacuna (, an online annotation platform designed to facilitate collaborative research and teaching. In our modification of the platform, we have adjusted it to support qualitative and collaborative inquiry for researchers looking to develop language and practices for the study of the Contemporary, including contemporary art, literature, and culture. 

Stanford has generously build the core functionality of the program, and their project manager, Brian Johnsrud, has recruited a 2­year postdoctoral researcher, Trine Korsby, to manage the Stanford­Berkeley Collaboration. To help develop collaborative meetings and specifically­targeted web development for features needed to move forward, the funding requested here will be devoted entirely to the Berkeley side of the collaboration. 

What We Plan to Do and Why. The platform we are designing aims at achieving three main goals: First, it is designed to offer digital guidance, concepts, and interfaces for scholars working on the study of the contemporary, utilizing different case studies across disciplines. Second, it aims at facilitating new forms of digital collaboration across academic venues through shared reading, annotation, and structured practices of uploading and diagnosing shared objects of analysis. Finally, our custom extensions of the Lacuna platform will employ user­generated tags and taxonomic categorization of objects to render visible, in a web­based form, connections between texts, schools of thought, associations, and transformations across time so as to promote collaborative inquiry and design. The final site will advance our collaborative work to the publication stage, and the final site design and infrastructure will be free and open­source on GitHub for other researchers interested in engaging in similar collaborative modes of inquiry.

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