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The Devil is in the Details:
Engaged Qualitative Research and the Digital Humanities

Start Time:

April 15, 2014 – 3:00pm – 5:30pm



University Room and the Incubator Room – Institute for the Arts and Humanities

This two-part lecture/presentation focuses on the “front stage” and “behind the scenes” processes that created Digital Portobelo, an interactive online collection of ethnographic interviews, ph

otos, videos, artwork, and archival material that illuminate the rich culture and history of Portobelo — a small town located on the Caribbean coast of the Republic of Panama best known for its Spanish colonial heritage, its centuries old Black Christ festival, and an Afro-Latin community who call themselves and their cultural performance tradition “Congo.”

Front Stage:

Digital Portobelo: Art + Scholarship + Cultura

l Preservation

Renee Alexander Craft
Assistant Professor in Communication Studies & Curriculum in Global Studies
Digital Portobelo, Primary Researcher and Research Team Manager

Tuesday, April 15
3 PM – 4:15 PM,
University Room, Institute for the Arts and Humanities. Light refreshments provided.

Launched in December 2013, Digital Portobelo ( is a collaborative, interdisciplinary, digital humanities project that represents the second phase of Alexander Craft’s performance-centered critical ethnographic project that began in 2000. The first phase is represented through her monograph entitled When the Devil Knocks: The Congo Tradition and the Politics of Blackness in 20th Century Panama. Digital Portobelo aspires to serve as a digital repository and public platform that might allow researchers and community members to engage and address pertinent questions collaboratively.

Pam LachBehind the Scenes:
The Making of Digital Portobelo

Pam Lach (MSIS ’12)
Digital Innovation Lab Manager & Digital Portobelo Project Manager

Tuesday, April 15
4:30 PM – 5:30 PM,
Incubator Room, Institute for the Arts and Humanities

In this workshop, Digital Innovation Lab Manager Pam Lach (MSIS ’12) will uncover the process of creating Digital Portobelo — from the technical requirements to the workflows the team developed. Building from the example of Digital Portobelo, she will illustrate how participants might undertake similar digital humanities projects using DH Press, the digital humanities visualization toolkit developed by the Digital Innovation Lab and RENCI. Lach will provide advice about how to prepare content and data, and will share the requirements and workflows for those interested in creating similar projects.

This project received support through an inaugural Digital Innovation Lab/Institute for the Arts and Humanities Faculty Fellowship, a program of the Carolina Digital Humanities Initiative, which is supported by a generous grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

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