My name is Eric M. Dillon, and I'm from Mingo County, West Virginia. As
a digital humanities student, I'm interested in the interplay between
the traditional and the digital. This stems from my childhood being
surrounded with the power of one's voice--how I watched my mother
go on strike for better working conditions, how I learned in school
about the Mine Wars, one of which took place just minutes from my home,
how I was sent home as my teachers striked for fair wages.
The information era means that communication and representation
are no longer purely physical and written ideas, and it’s more
important now than ever that we study the relationship between traditional
representation and vocal disobedience with the impact created by
electronic media. Representation doesn’t just mean unions and formal organizing.
Rather, it’s the presence of those individuals who have been silenced
and pushed aside. In digital humanities, I am interested in what that
presence looks like in the information era—including both real events
and fictional works. Who is talking on social media, and how does their
presence give voice to other people? Which peoples are shown on film, tv,
and video games?
After graduating from Marshall University with my BS in Computer Science and my
BA in English in April, I plan to start my MPhil in Digital Humanities at the
University of Cambridge this October! I'm one of the first people from my region
to pursue (post)graduate school internationally. After completing this
program, I hope to pursue a doctoral degree in the same or an adjacent field.
I'm a terribly unphotogenic person, so pictures of me are few and far between.
Don't confuse that with a lack of participation! At Marshall, I was involved in
numerous committees, organizations, and events throughout all four years. Serving as
the President and the Student Vice President respectively, I held an
instrumental role in keeping the Honors College Steering Committee and the Marshall
University Phi Kappa Phi chapter active throughout the COVID-19 lockdown. I acted
as a student representative for the English department as they hired new literature
and creative writing faculty members, and I spoke to prospective Marshall students
as they considered the institution and the English major.
Research and Projects
I extensively focus on interdisciplinary research. I used one of my favorite projects
as part of my Yeager senior project, the final requirement for my curriculum
assigned by the Society of Yeager Scholars at Marshall University.
In this project, I focused on the impact of gender bias on professor
reviews by employing data mining and natural language processing techniques while
working with my advisor Dr. Haroon Malik.
By using the terms "masculine," "feminine," and "indeterminate" instead of
"man" and "woman," I integrated contemporary gender studies principles with
data science to shed new light on existing concerns. This project had preliminary
findings presented at DiHuCon and the IEEE Integrated STEM Education Conference.
This project was second place for the Best Paper Award for Work-in-Progress Papers
at the latter conference.
Additional projects I was involved in included an internship with Dr. Robert Ellison
and the Library of Appalachian Preaching, in which I archived over 70 unique sermons
preached at Temple Israel in Charleston, WV. Under Dr. Husnu S. Narman, I
investigated the success of cybersecurity training efforts on West Virginia
K-12 teachers as well as developed a prototype to teach K-12 students
cybersecurity tools. These experiences in archival, pedagogy, and educational
technology have developed my ability and my confidence in producing interdisciplinary
work and collaborating with different individuals--faculty and student alike.
A selection of my presentations and projects can be accessed on the Presentations tab.
My CV, as of May 14, 2023, is available next to it. You can contact me at my social links
on the "Contact Me" page at any time--sometimes I forget to respond, so feel free to
remind me about an email if I've not responded in about a day. Thanks!