Autumn Beginnings: My New DH-Season at the IEG in Mainz


by Tetiana Shyshkina

Autumn, in my mind, is like a beautiful story about the end of the year. It’s a time when things start to cool down and nature gets ready to rest. Starting in August, the leaves slowly change from green to gold and copper. At the same time, German stores fill up with Christmas treats and decorations. It’s as if they’re quietly saying that the peaceful autumn is just the beginning of something special and bright. Amidst this time of anticipatory waiting and a touch of melancholic premonition, I commence my fellowship, opening what I anticipate being one of the most productive and significant chapters of my life.

Foto by Tetiana Shyshkina

Let me introduce myself: I am Tetiana Shyshkina. I was born and educated in Kyiv, the brave capital of Ukraine. Throughout various stages, my academic journey has been a blend of digital technology and humanities, in varying degrees. I embarked on my academic journey with a bachelor’s degree in software engineering, followed by three master’s degrees – two in History and one in Political Science. Currently, I am in the second year of my PhD journey at the International Graduate Centre for the Study of Culture, located at Justus-Liebig-Universität Gießen, under the expert guidance of Prof. Dr. Hans-Jürgen Bömelburg, Vice Managing Director for the Gießen Center for Eastern European Studies (GiZo).

My research on the Jewish Anti-Fascist Committee (JAFC) in the USSR (1942-1948) merges Soviet and Jewish Studies utilizing digital tools. This includes modeling the ‘Eynikait’ newspaper as a co-authorship network based on metadata from the Index of Yiddish Periodicals, followed by a comparison with other co-authorship networks of contemporary Yiddish and Soviet newspapers. Such I am aiming to identify unique and general structure patterns of the JAFC’s co-author network and the organisation itself. Additionally, my plan is to explore the intricate connections of the JAFC with international bodies and individuals by supplementing the JAFC Archive with data from Yad Vashem and YIVO, among others, aiming to uncover previously unrecognised influences and roles within JAFC’s international networks. 

Regarding Digital Humanities, my educational path has been a messy blend of fragmented experiences, rather than a comprehensive training path. This journey has been shaped by a foundational base from my bachelor’s program in software engineering enriched by participation in a dozen diverse summer schools, hackathons, and individual courses. Attaining a DH-fellowship at IEG is a significant milestone in this journey, that allows me both to collaborate with specialists skilled in digital methods for historical research, and to get very particular feedback about my usage of digital tools for humanities data. My mentor, Dr. Cindarella Petz, has already significantly enriched my vision of the project, helping me see its weaknesses and prospects for development.

Blending digital and historical methods in my research is like moving through the seasons, each bringing its own perspective and richness to the study object. The greatest challenge I face is effectively using digital tools on humanities data to produce not just any results, but meaningful insights that truly illuminate aspects of our past and our understanding of ourselves. This fellowship marks a new season in my academic journey, a period where I’m focused on transitioning from mere analysis to producing truly valuable insights. With each step, I am evolving in my Digital Humanities path, continuously enriching my academic and professional growth with deeper insights and broader perspectives, much like the ever-changing and enriching cycle of seasons.

Cite this article as: Tetiana Shyshkina, “Autumn Beginnings: My New DH-Season at the IEG in Mainz,” in Digital Humanities Lab, 17/11/2023,

Featured image: Image was created using DALL-E with the prompt to alter a personal image of an alley in Mainz in horizontal format and then as a natural looking landscape.

Diesen Blogbeitrag zitieren
DH Lab (2023, 17. November). Autumn Beginnings: My New DH-Season at the IEG in Mainz. Digital Humanities Lab. Abgerufen am 20. Mai 2024, von

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