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Communications and Marketing

Digital Chicago students present research

Hakob Parsamyan ’20, Julianne Mauriello ’19, and Kristin Rawlings ’19 had the opportunity to present their research at an undergraduate conference at Washington and Lee University.

The Foresters presented at the second conference of the Undergraduate Network for Research in the Humanities held January 20–22 at Washington and Lee, located in Virginia. The conference also included workshops and a speed-networking style opportunity for students to share their work.

Mauriello and Rawlings presented their 2016 Richter project, “Digitizing a Church,” about their process of creating a 360° tour of First Presbyterian Church in Lake Forest with Associate Professor of Religion Ben Zeller. Using the cutting-edge software Panotour Pro, Mauriello and Rawlings designed three different versions of the tour in order to maximize performance on popular digital media platforms, allowing students to have an immersive, educational experience of religious institutions without leaving the classroom.

Parsamyan discussed the process of digitally mapping dozens of records about Chicago’s history of racial restrictive housing covenants in work he is conducting with Assistant Professor of Education Desmond Odugu. “The purpose of this project is to explore and examine the study of restrictive covenant as one of the many strategies used for discrimination and racial segregation in the city of Chicago,” Parsamyan said. “The project aims to represent the research through a digital map and timeline, making it more visible and easily understandable.”

Work for both projects is part of the College’s Digital Chicago: Unearthing History and Culture grant from the Mellon Foundation. Digital Chicago works to involve students and faculty in exploring specific at-risk or forgotten sites in Chicago’s history, through urban archeological digs, innovative digital humanities projects, and complementary coursework in a wide array of disciplines, including English, history, art, music, and others. 

The Undergraduate Network for Research in the Humanities is an organization founded by and for undergraduates to reimagine the undergraduate role in innovative humanities research. It aims to aggregate, present, and promote student research that questions the methods of traditional humanities research. They further hope to establish a sustainable network of digital scholarship through which students might question and break down leading models of teaching and learning.