Heidi Heim

Emblematica Online 2014 LEARNING Assessment

With the intentions of applying my academic interests in Art History and French, Emblematica Online instantly became a realization of those goals and more. While providing a constantly stimulating and challenging learning atmosphere, Emblematica Online generated scholars capable of intellectual and practical skills and knowledge fundamental not only in scholarship but applicable in many diverse situations.

Extensive and detailed study and discipline through weekly instructional meetings secured a thorough knowledge of emblem studies and the digital humanities. The Emblem genre and its ever-changing formations and linguistic variations have now become a familiar literary device, which is comfortably understandable and explainable, for example to professors and students at the Undergraduate Research Symposium. Like the Emblem, the computational knowledge to create and read metadata such as Excel Spreadsheets, Iconclass hierarchy and indexing, and XML coding, has instilled the quantitative and informational literacy to adapt and expect variation within and outside research. With this awareness, my intention is for these rare texts to be propelled and made attainable to be explored throughout the digital humanities and art history.

The group oriented and long-term approach to our research has crafted sets of practical and intellectual skills advantageous not only to the members of Emblematica Online but also to outside scholarship. As a team, the ability to communicate and facilitate efficiently has improved the capability to problem solve as well as present confidently, and not only restricted within our small research group but also globally, including Hans at Iconclass. This has implemented the improvement to communicate and present verbally and technologically with each other. Further, due to the intensive, long-term objectives and investment in the project, students can critically evaluate challenges, discuss and even improve a situation. For example, by critically and creatively inferring that the Iconclass category of Turquoise as a stone and hue was not available to index, I was able to develop with Hans a new Iconclass notation that is now accessible for pedagogy internationally. These developed skills are now imperative to my problem solving and the ability to adapt to both scholarly and real-world challenges.

Through the commitment and reliability that was constructed during the first two years of Emblematica Online, there is an understanding and appreciation for trust. During the weekly meetings, we have applied learning and different understandings to function cohesively as a whole. Even the ability to rely solely on technology such as e-mail or Skype to communicate has demonstrated the importance of responsibility and respect. Learning to be available and flexible for others and to be respectful of their time and energy is applicable everywhere, from the workplace to family and friends.

The outcomes from Emblematica Online and the intellectual and practical skills and knowledge attained by its students relate not only to Emblem research in the digital humanities but also individually to our approaches towards our education, relationships, and future. For example, next semester one objective is to advance our knowledge of Iconclass and html indexing. Not only would this enhance our skills as metadata scholars but also in a society becoming ever more technological, coding would advance our potential in whatever industry we chose. Ultimately, I hope that this experience can be turned into a future career to advance emblem studies in the digital humanities and art history as well.


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