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)

Moravian Lives

The DH project Moravian Lives led by Katherine Faull (Bucknell U) involves collaborators in the US, Germany and Sweden. It is a scholarly research project and digital collaborative publishing platform that is focused on the memoirs of some 60,000 people from around the world, from the early 18th century to the present. The Moravians (a German Protestant religious group) required the written relation of each member’s life. And this archival record provides today’s scholars in multiple fields in the humanities and social sciences with rare opportunities to understand how people from the 18th century to the present from all over the world thought and wrote about their lives. The Moravian Lives platform includes customized open-source tools and methods for image digitization, text encoding hosted at Bucknell, as well as mapping, and network analysis applications. Most recently, the project has moved to using the machine learning transcription platform, Transkribus, to facilitate accurate and speedy transcriptions of the memoirs in English and German. The newest development in this research relationship involves the discussion and development of a rich multifaceted visualization platform that enables scholars to delve into the lives of these remarkable people.

Principal Investigator

Katherine Faull
Email: faull@bucknell.edu

Project Collaborators

Encoding Manager:
Diane Jakacki (Bucknell University)
Transkribus Manager:
Carrie Pirmann (Bucknell University)
Student Researchers:
Carly Masonheimer (Bucknell University)
Jess Hom (Bucknell University)
Programmer:
Michael McGuire (Indiana University)
Institutional Collaborators:
University of Gothenberg, Sweden
University of Mainz, Germany
Moravian Archives, Bethlehem, PA
Moravian Archives, London UK
Unity Archives, Herrnhut, Germany

Project Website

http://moravianlives.org/

Project Status

Active
Project Started: 2015

Funding

  • Presidents Fund, Bucknell
  • Mellon Foundation Humanities Center, Bucknell
  • Institute for Critical Heritage Studies, University of Gothenburg
  • Academy of Sciences, Mainz U

References and Links

  • “Moravian Lives Scales Up”
  • “Visualizing Religious Networks, Movements and Communities: Building Moravian Lives” Christianity and DH, De Gruyter. Forthcoming.
  • “Pietismusforschung und die Digital Humanities” Pietismus Handbuch, ed. Wolfgang Breul, Mohr Siebeck Verlag. Forthcoming.