Freer/Sackler Blog Post #4

 

The latest project that I am working, the mapping project for the digital edition of Ars Orientalis 51, is the most challenging thing that I am working on. I am learning to work on the ArcGIS platform after working in StorymapJS. It is a much more complex platform with a lot of elements to master, so I have had to watch several tutorials and experiment with the program. As I mentioned in my previous post, this is a joint project with Professor Holly Saffer and my mentor at the Freer-Sackler Galleries, Sana Mirza. The digital mapping project is a companion piece for the print version of Ars Orientalis 51. The platform is somewhat quirky, so I have also had to use photo-editing software in order to reformat some of the files and combine images. As it is, I am having to figure out why the pre-set map tours presentation on the site crops some of the images. The project combines images, maps, and text, and traces the routes that specific images travelled as they were replicated during the 19th century. The article combines studies on print culture and exoticism and how, as Edward Saïd pointed out, the West created the concept of “orientalism”. Something I am very excited about is seeing how the platform can be used for other public humanities projects. I am also experimenting with adapting my own Japan-US course module. I can better envision how to involve students in working on mapping projects as well. The other, survey project of Ars Orientalis that I am working on is allowing me to see how broad scholarship in the fields of Asian, Indian, Turkish, and Islamic has been. Once the mapping project is completed later this month, I will be going back to working on the data project on the history of the magazine. As stated earlier as well, I am reading up on Sufism in preparation of the Rumi exhibit which will take place next year.

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