November 4th, 2021, 2PM-4PM, Virtual

Registration for Locus: Spin Offs: The MI Diaries as a Starting Point is HERE.

What are all the ways that an existing Digital Humanities project can be adapted, grafted, remixed, and spun off into other projects? How can we creatively employ methods, ideas, data, and tools from one research group and use them to feed something new?

MI Diaries has been collecting self-recorded audio reflections from Michigan residents since the Covid-19 lockdowns began in spring 2020. Participants respond to weekly questions like What are you grateful for this week? and Are there any news stories that have stood out to you lately? MI Diaries was developed to capture the effects of social distancing on everyday language. But it has since proven to be fertile ground for the nurturing of other kinds of research as well. The MI Diaries mobile recording app has been adapted for a study of what people learn about Judaism from watching television. The audio reflections and their transcriptions are being employed to teach learners of English about grammatical structures. Youth participants in a photovoice project have used the app to orally respond to questions related to the images they have captured.

This Locus will provide a collegial forum for presentation of MI Diaries-related projects and for broad discussion of how interdisciplinary research can benefit from the spin-off process.

This event will include live captions and ASL interpretation.


2:00 – Gather, welcome, intro to Locus. 

2:15 – Betsy Sneller & Suzanne Wagner (MSU): Michigan Diaries project overview

2:22 – Danielle Brown & Charlene Polio (MSU): Using MI Diaries data as part of TESOL education, to illustrate colloquial American English 

2:30 – Klaudia Janek (Bloomfield Hills International Academy): Integrating MI Diaries into a high school curriculum

2:40 – Discussion of talks 2-3

3:00 – Brian Wibby & Jackie Martin (MSU Extension 4-H): Partnering with MI Diaries to support a youth photovoice project

3:07 – Julie Hochgesang (Gallaudet University): Documenting the Experiences of ASL communities during COVID-19

3:14 – Laura Yares (MSU): Adapting MI Diaries data collection infrastructure for digital ethnography in the study of Judaism and television

3:25 – Discussion of talks 4-6

3:45 – Big Picture discussion / Closing remarks 

Locus is a regular forum for students, faculty, and researchers to share ideas and works in progress and to build relationships through short (5-7 minute) presentations. Each Locus is built around a broad yet distinct theme, method, or topic and to foster a vibrant, collaborative, and active research community interested in digital humanities and social science work.

To brainstorm with the MI Diaries team, contact Betsy Sneller,