Taylor Faires, Post-Baccalaureate Fellow ’19-20

As promised, here’s an introduction! I’m Taylor Faires and I’m the new post-baccalaureate fellow for the Digital Humanities Center. I graduated from Barnard this May and I’m excited to be on campus again in a new capacity.

I’ve always been a huge fan of the humanities, collaborating with friends on writing songs, poetry, and plays. While at Barnard I was an active member of the student theatre community, serving as a board member for the Columbia University Players and performing in student productions. Despite my interest in theatre, however, I graduated with a combined major in Political Science and Women’s, Gender, & Sexuality Studies. I finished up my time at Barnard with two major projects: my political science capstone project and an independent study project conducted in Southern Ecuador. Both of these projects looked at the intersections of power when it comes to development and humanitarian aid, paying close attention to conflicting narratives and their importance in how programs that are meant to help look on the ground and how people respond to it.

My previous focus on the construction of narratives and their importance in international and domestic policy led me to wonder about digital narratives. Memes are cool, but what are they saying about our culture? How are they shaping the way we think? The way we vote? Our media and how it shapes us has become an incredibly important topic for study in all of the social sciences. Why not, then, bring it to the humanities? It is these questions that guide my research project on internet and fan culture. Our media shapes us in ways that we are only beginning to explore, and I, for one, am excited to learn more!

In addition to my own research project, I’m here to help you with yours! Expect to hear from me with all sorts of cool tools I’ve found in my own research!

At the end of the day, I’m learning too. I want to learn how to use the many tools at the Digital Humanities Center and across Barnard can help me bridge the gap between so many of my interests. While I love the humanities, I also love science- with environmental science a field I hold near and dear to my heart. How do we bridge the gaps between academic disciplines towards a recognition that everything is connected. The success of The Lorax is relevant to climate change just like erosion patterns or the Green New Deal are. Young adult novels have a political agenda. Stories matter because everything is a story.

That’s all for today but tune into my DHC weekly blog to see musings on ethics, digital humanities, tools and tricks!

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