The Watering Place
During the summer of 2016 I started a Digital Humanities project thanks to a seed grant generously provided by the Seton Hall University Digital Humanities Committee. The purpose of this project is to reconstruct the history of a location on Staten Island once known as the Watering Place (in present day Tompkinsville/St. George area). There were many historical events that took place here, but the most notable is the Quarantine and Marine Hospital which operated for 6 decades. In 1858 fear of the spread of contagious disease, as well as economic, political and social factors, caused members of the community surrounding the Quarantine Grounds to destroy all of the buildings. The project has only just begun, but you can check out its progress with this link:
For this post I identified two goals. I chose Goal 2- Scientific Inquiry and Critical Thinking because one of the aims of this Digital Humanities project is to highlight scientific thinking in the broader context of the Humanities. The study of the Humanities already involves critical thinking, of course, but the addition of a scientific discussion adds to our understanding of the past and present, as well as to evaluate plausible future scenarios. As an example of how I turn to scientific thinking to help me understand historical events I wrote about a brief visitor to the Watering Place – the 18th century British military commander Lord Jeffery Amherst. I also chose Goal 4 – Communication because this is a new format for me. Most of my writings are in the form of scientific publications and notes/comments for my students. This Humanities Project is a new way for me to communicate my interests and ideas.