About

Black and white photo of a lion.

I work at Akamai Technologies in the Information Security Program Management Office. Prior to going corporate, I spent over 15 years in the academy as a director, technologist, researcher, and consultant in digital humanities—the application of computational tools and methods to traditional humanities disciplines such as literature, history, and the arts. I have led successful design, migration, visualization, and software projects involving heterogeneous data sources, and team members with a diversity of skills and expertise.

My love of great stories and unusual solutions led me to the early days of American diplomacy, when Benjamin Franklin and John Quincy Adams were writing a nation into existence from across the ocean. I developed Project Quincy and The Early American Foreign Service Database to enable and showcase the work of my dissertation “Republicans of Letters: The Early American Foreign Service as Information Network, 1775-1825.”

While a graduate student at the University of Virginia, I transcribed, translated, and decrypted letters for The Papers of James Madison, and I was a founding employee and Design Researcher for Documents Compass, a digital consulting organization for documentary editors and a service provider of the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities. While at Documents Compass I developed data structures and workflow migrations to create The People of the Founding Era. Through these projects I saw firsthand the need for inclusive technical documentation, which brought me to information design and creating DAVILA.

I joined the Brown University Library as their first Digital Humanities Librarian in 2011. In my time at Brown I collaborated with Jim Egan to build the Mapping Colonial Americas Publishing Project, an interactive exploration of the Brown Library catalog which brought together my interest in data visualization and the history of the book with Jim’s background in Colonial American literature.

While at Brown, I became the first Executive Secretary for centerNet, the international professional organization for directors of digital humanities centers. During my three years at centerNet (2012-2015), I worked with Co-Directors Kay Walter and Neil Fraistat in the successful transition of centerNet to a formal, dues-paying Constituent Organization of the Alliance of Digital Humanities Organizations. I co-authored membership guidelines and new organizational by-laws and coordinated annual membership drives with Oxford University Press. I wrote the annual reports and served as Chair of the first Nominating Committee for the International Executive Steering Committee.

I became the first Associate Director of the Center for Digital Humanities at Princeton (CDH) in September 2014, and became Research Director in 2018. In my time at Princeton I built the CDH into a robust center with a wide-ranging project portfolio and recognized leaders in research project management. I created the Development and Design Team within the CDH to envision and ship stable, extensible, compelling, documented, and intuitive full-stack software solutions to thorny research questions involving messy data.

In 2019 I left the academy to become an independent consultant and writer but quickly discovered that I am not built to be an army of one. In 2021 I joined Akamai where I do what I can to help keep the internet safe.

I have been photographing my world since I received my first SLR at age 13, looking for unusual angles and perspectives on cityscapes, people, mountains, and anything else I see. The look of this website has been designed around some of my favorite photographs.

Jean Bauer

[data, design, diplomacy]