Debt of Gratitude: Lin-Manuel Miranda and the Politics of US Latinx Twitter

Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Twitter Profile, September 2020

This essay, which engages in an analysis of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s invocation of “for you” on Twitter in comparison to those of twelve other US Latinx writers, has two goals: to identify broader key trends in the discursive strategies used on Latinx Twitter and to make the case for the urgent need to ethically document and archive contemporary Latinx Twitter production. The author moves in the direction of generating a public academic archive of Latinx Twitter by publishing online a limited corpus of Miranda’s “for you” tweets as well as comparative visualizations of how Miranda’s use of “for you” in tweets parallels and differs from other Latinx writers’. In addition to modeling the flawed process of archive-building in the hopes of encouraging other scholars to thoughtfully share their own Twitter archive processes, this essay analyzes the strategies used by some US Latinx creative writers to navigate Twitter and how these strategies may speak to the writers’ understanding of the relationship between institutions, audiences, and aesthetics. It specifically highlights the digital work of Cuban American playwright Marissa Chibas, Puerto Rican poet Rich Villar, and Puerto Rican writer Charlie Vázquez on Twitter as a counternarrative to Miranda’s aesthetics. Much work remains to be done in order to understand how Twitter acts as a vehicle for Miranda and the multitude of US Latinx writers who connect with audiences and each other as a means of translating emotion into action or profit or something else altogether.

Principal Investigator

Elena Machado Sáez
Email: ems040@bucknell.edu

Acknowledgements

I am indebted to the expertise of Emily Sherwood, who served as the Assistant Director of Digital Pedagogy and Scholarship at Bucknell University in 2017 and trained me to use TAGS, Twitter Archiver, and Voyant. I am also grateful to Diane Jakacki, Todd Suomela, and Christian Howard-Sukhil, who provided support for this project at its later stages.

Project Website

Project Status

Published

Funding

  • Untenured Junior Faculty Leave, College of Arts and Sciences, Bucknell U. (Spring 2018)
  • CSREG Scholarly Development Grant, “Hamilton and the Digital Archives of Latinx-Caribbean Writing,” Bucknell U. (2017)

Rising Waters

Rising Waters draws on the project team’s collective strengths and interests in urban design, environmental history, and digital analysis to revive and further the original query. From an historical question – reconstructing the story of a canal basin and infrastructure once central to the city, then forgotten – this project asks what we need to know about urban waterways in order to respond to changing urban waterscapes in an era of climate change. The project uses scattered archival materials (maps, schematics, urban planning documents, photographs, landscape paintings) and digital tools that support spatial analysis and repository curation in order to assemble a narrative of the Richmond Kanawha canal basin: its plan, creation, impact, and erasure. In this way, we hope to develop a model for further research that can be applied to other cities in which we will concentrate on the combined impact of urban development and climate change upon rivers and waterways and their ultimate impact on 21st century infrastructures. The Richmond phase of the project is intended to serve as a model for other analyses of water and infrastructure in urban spaces; the first being Lewisburg, and ultimately more complex analyses.

Principal Investigator

Claire Campbell
Email: cec036@bucknell.edu

Project Collaborators

Student Research Assistant:
Annie Echeverria (Bucknell University)
Collaborators:
Diane Jakacki (Bucknell University)
Sam Pearson (Lewisburg Neighborhoods)

Project Website

Rising Waters StoryMap

Project Status

Active
Project Started: Nov. 2018

Funding

  • Mellon MAYR grant (2018-19)

The Film Search Engine

The Film Search Engine is an online tool that allows scholars and film fans to search a database of feature films using either text strings (e.g. finding all the uses of the word “love”) or objects (e.g. finding all of the flags or bicycles or guns) in the films in the database. The value of this tool is that it allows users to find relevant scenes in films without having had to watch them.

Principal Investigator

John Hunter
Email: jchunter@bucknell.edu

Project Collaborators

Student Researchers & Programmers:
Robb Alexander (Bucknell University)
Charlie Darby (Bucknell University)
Justin Kahr (Bucknell University)
Jacky Lin (Bucknell University)
Shane Staret (Bucknell University)
Digital Scholarship Coordinator:
Diane Jakacki (Bucknell University)

Project Website

http://filmsearch.bucknell.edu/#/

Project Status

Active
Project Started: Oct. 2014

Funding

  • Mellon Humanities Academic Year Research Fellowships (2019-20)
  • Mellon Summer Digital Humanities Grant (Summer 2016)
  • Digital Research Microgrant (2017)

Call for Participation

Anyone interested in investigating how to analyze film using visual inputs and criteria (e.g. color, shape, object recognition), please get in touch!