Archive of Ritual, Healing, and Transformation

Rosemary, sage, parsley, and thyme Website: Principal Investigator(s): Prof. David Shorter, World Arts and Cultures

Prof. David Shorter (World Arts and Cultures) has taken over the “Archive of Traditional Medicine” (AKA the “Folk Medicine Archive”) originally created by Prof. Michael Jones, and renamed it the “Archive of Healing, Ritual, and Transformation.” One of David’s research topics is the challenge of publishing cultural information belonging to indigenous, dispossessed, or disenfranchised populations in a way that doesn’t further disempower those populations. So, while David wants to increase the amount of data in the dataset, he also wants to substantially revise both its user interface and its leadership structure.

As part of his efforts to do that, one of the major topics of his Winter 2017 course, CM140/240, “Healers, Ritual, and Transformation,” will be the ethics of digital publication of cultural data. He and his students will research and discuss this question, through both traditional academic journals and discussion with leaders in various traditional communities, and one of the end products of the course will be a series of mockups of possible site designs that David can use to secure funding for an actual overhaul of the database web access design. CDH is supporting David by providing priority support and technical consultation to his class.