By Natasha Romanova, MA in Digital Humanities 2019
Coming to the Master’s in Digital Humanities in 2017 as a mature student with some previous experience of working in academia, I was attracted by the reputation of Digital Humanities at King’s. I was particularly interested in King’s Digital Lab (KDL) and was hoping to find a project that I could contribute to.
When an opportunity presented itself to do some work on Distant Reading across Languages (DRaL) in the second year of my part-time degree, I enrolled on the Internships module in the autumn of 2018.
The project, funded by the Department of Digital Humanities (DDH), is a collaboration between DDH and KDL, and it gave me a chance to combine my interest in modern languages and translation with a focus on the productive interplay between close and distant reading.
Working closely with Principal Investigator Dr Salciute Civiliene (DDH) and the team at KDL which comprised an analyst (Dr Arianna Ciula), a software engineer (Geoffroy Noël) and a designer (Ginestra Ferraro), I could gain an insight into the workflows and processes of a state-of-the-art digital humanities laboratory and the lifecycle of a complex digital project.
In the course of my internship, I contributed to data cleaning, input of new data, testing of the web environment and features at various stages of development and writing project documentation. Last but not least, I participated in project meetings where requirements for every new stage of development were analyzed and established.
This experience gave me a chance to learn but also demanded a substantial amount of personal responsibility for the future of the project – an ideal combination when it comes to internships, and a great addition to the taught courses of the MA.
Building on mine and other past ad hoc internship experiences (see e.g. https://www.kdl.kcl.ac.uk/blog/once-lab-person-always-lab-person/ and https://www.kdl.kcl.ac.uk/blog/using-archetype/), KDL is working with Dr Elisa Oreglia, DDH Internships coordinator, to offer internships opportunities to DDH students at undergraduate and postgraduate levels that will focus on website accessibility testing but will also provide an opportunity to learn more about project development at the Lab and contribute to skills development, talent pipeline and project tasks.