January 02, 2017

The Tri-Co Digital Humanities Newsletter 1.9 (back to school edition): talks, workshops, courses, tools, projects, CFPs, and more

The Tri-Co Digital Humanities Newsletter

vol 1 no 9.  September 6 2016. back to school edition. this is fine.


In this issue: digital sociologies, serendipitous search, W.E.B. DuBois’s data visualizations, digital journalism tools, hack the Tri-Co, the humane digital, environmental dh, citizen science, maps as media, The Stack, the cloud, DH toychest, HASTAC fellowships, creative destruction, the Wikiverse, and more.


As always: Have an idea for a DH course or project? Get in touch to draw on our DH consultancy of Tri-Co faculty and outside experts. Have an item you would like included in this email? Let us know about it. Have an idea for a TDH workshop, speaker, or other event? Or something we might co-sponsor? Let us know.


(Subscribe to make sure you don’t miss an issue of this invaluable source of digital humanities information. Take a look at our archive for back issues. )


Coming up at the Tri-Co: workshops, talks, events, resources


Still looking for a fall class? See our list of digital humanities and digital studies-related courses from across the TriCo. (Teaching a relevant course you don’t see here? Let us know.) Swarthmore DH-relevant classes are now searchable in the TriCo catalog by keyword: DGHU.


Hack the TriCo is coming up Nov. 4-6 at Haverford College! Open and welcoming to all interested Swarthmore, Bryn Mawr, and Haverford students.


Mark your calendars: Tressie McMillan Cottom and Jessie Daniels will join us to talk about the emerging field(s) of digital sociology on Friday, November 11th at Swarthmore. Professor Cottom is an assistant professor of sociology at Virginia Commonwealth University and faculty associate with Harvard University’s Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society. Her award-winning work on race, class, gender, education, and technology in the new economy has been widely published, and her public scholarship has appeared in publications like The New York Times, The Washington Post, Slate, and The Atlantic. (See our “Reads” section below for more of Cottom’s work.) Professor Daniels is Professor of Sociology at Hunter College and The Graduate Center, CUNY (Sociology, Critical Social Psychology). An internationally recognized expert in Internet expressions of racism, she is the author of two books about racism on either side of the digital revolution: Cyber Racism (Rowman & Littlefield, 2009) and White Lies (Routledge, 1997). Her current work continues to examine the themes of race and technology through the emerging field of digital sociology.


This summer TriCo students interned at the Berkman Klein Center for the Internet and Society, contributed to The Ticha Project, helped make digital resources more accessible, interned at Data Arts, studied internet use in Cuba, researched for the Early Novels Database, created linked data for Quaker collections, and much more. Watch this space for stories about summer DH work at the TriCo and beyond, and for opportunities for summer 2017.


Bryn Mawr’s Digital Scholarship Reading Group, led by Alicia Peaker, Bryn Mawr’s new Digital Scholarship Specialist, “will serve as an open forum for learning and critically assessing the plurality of digital approaches to scholarship. Because digital scholarship discussions develop in many different types of venues, readings will be drawn from a wide range of genres including book chapters, peer-reviewed articles, digital projects, and published blog posts.” First meeting will take place September 16, 2016, 1:00pm - 2:30pm.


The Swarthmore Digital Humanities Student Reading Group (DiHum) reconvenes after the summer; fill out this form for more information and to express interest. Students from across the Tri-Co are welcome to attend in person or via machine. Come share your interest in digital archive studies, critical informatics, social media research, videogame studies, computational text analysis, and more. Take a look at DiHum’s New Digital Humanities Manifesto, and follow them on Twitter @SwatDiHum to meet their mascot, the cyborg Hu-Manatee.


Coming up in the region:


Philadelphia THATCamp 2016 will take place on October 7th, 2016 at Penn’s Van Pelt Library. “THATCamp, The Humanities And Technology Camp, is a free, open, interdisciplinary “unconference” where humanists and technologists meet to work together for the common good.” A great opportunity to learn new things and create new connections in the region. Registration information coming to the website shortly.


Temple University’s Digital Scholarship Center has a number of ongoing workshops that are open to all: Text Analysis with R (Thursdays, 12:30 PM-1:30 PM), Learn to Code Python (Wednesdays, Noon-1:00 PM), Mapping the Great Migration (2nd and 4th Tuesday of the month, 12:30 PM-1:30 PM), (Building with 3D Environments

1st and 3rd Tuesday of the month, 12:30 PM-1:30 PM), Introduction to Physical Computing (2nd and 4th Thursday of the month, 2-3:20), Getting started Making Games with Twine (September 20, 2 – 3:20).


The W0rdLab is a text analysis research interest community at the University of Pennsylvania Libraries for all related research and disciplines; all are welcome. http://w0rdlab.org/


What is Comparative Media? conference, Columbia University, Sept 29-October 1.

“This is an inaugural conference of the Program in Comparative Media at Columbia University. Comparative media refers to an interdisciplinary approach to studying the history and future of media technologies and their place in our aesthetic, technological and social worlds. It decenters our normative understanding of media in three major ways.” Read more.


2016 Workshop on Visualization in the Digital Humanities takes place in Baltimore, MD on Oct 24 as part of IEEE VIS 2016. “The purpose of this workshop is to propose new research directions in visualization for the digital humanities, to familiarize the visualization research community with the problems faced by digital humanities researchers, and to foster future collaboration between visualization and digital humanities research.”


The Extending Play conference takes place at Rutgers University, Sept 30-Oct 21. “Extending Play 3 takes an inclusive and pluralistic approach to temporality and play, offering a forum for presenting creative applications of the concepts as they relate to all things playable – from analog and digital games and moving images, to recorded sound and performance.” Keynotes by Matthew Kirschenbaum, Wendy Chun, Jesper Juul, Shaka McGlotten.


Archives, tools, and tutorials


DrawMyData. “Want some data that look a certain way or have certain stats, but don't have the time to look for a suitable data set or write a program to simulate it? Just click in the scatter plot below to add points. When you're happy, you can copy and paste the table, or save it to a .csv file. You can change the variable names and ranges and click "Reset Chart" to start again.” Perfect for the end-of-summer moment when when you realize you’ve failed to collect that dataset you promised your advisor or collaborator.  (Satire.)


Another new year, another opportunity to abandon Word and embrace plain-text authoring. You can do it! Start with Sarah Simpkin’s new Markdown tutorial and Dennis Tenen and Grant Wythoff’s Sustainable authorship in plain text using Pandoc and Markdown tutorial, both part of Programming Historian.


Interested in the how and the why of using git and Github for version control of text? Try Daniel van Strien’s new An Introduction to Version Control Using GitHub Desktop.  “In this lesson you will be introduced to the basics of version control, understand why it is useful and implement basic version control for a plain text document using GitHub Desktop.”


While you are at it, learn about Keeping your Twitter Archive fresh and freely hosted on Github Pages.


Editing Audio with Audacity tutorial, by Brandon Walsh. Another new one from Programming Historian. “For those interested in audio, basic sound editing skills go a long way. Being able to handle and manipulate the materials can help you take control of your object of study: you can zoom in and extract particular moments to analyze, process the audio, and upload the materials to a server to compliment a blog post on the topic. On a more practical level, these skills could also allow you to record and package recordings of yourself or others for distribution. That guest lecture taking place in your department? Record it and edit it yourself!”


The Northwestern University’s Knight Lab tools support digital storytelling and work and are fairly easy to use; they include Timeline (“easy-to-make, beautiful timelines”), StoryMap (“map that tell stories”), Juxtapose (for sliding image comparisons), and SoundCite (“a simple-to-use tool that lets you add inline audio to your story”).


Here are some exercises from Kris Shaffer’s Coding for Teachers workshop for beginners who want a tiny taste of what it is like to play with Python and JavaScript.


A Reclaim Hosting account is one way total beginners can get started hosting their own websites and experimenting with and customizing your own instances of web applications like WordPress, WikiMedia, Omeka, Drupal, Moodle, databases, and RSS feed readers. Their quick-start four-video guide that will take you through each step of getting up and running.  (Reclaim is a company run by former staff at the University of Mary Washington’s academic technology program. We tend not to include pay-for services in this email, but leading digital humanities and digital scholarship programs are increasingly using Reclaim, and we think it is worth knowing about.)


As always: UCLA’s Intro to Digital Humanities course materials are full of resources, tutorials, and readings to help get you started with some basic DH methods and approaches.The Programming Historian’s well-tested tutorials are an excellent path for those seeking more in-depth, detailed guidance on specific methods and topics. Alan Liu’s DH Toychest indexes many, many useful tools, tutorials, and datasets.




Dear Data: a analog data visualization project on small, slow, everyday data.


Wikiverse: a galactic reimagining of Wikipedia. Browseable visualization of Wikipedia as a 3D universe lets you spend/waste even more time than usual. (If you like more hierarchy in your browsing, we suggest instead Wikipedia’s Fundamental Categories page.)


The Citizen Sense project investigates the relationship between technologies and practices of environmental sensing and citizen engagement.


The Public Lab “is a community where you can learn how to investigate environmental concerns. Using inexpensive DIY techniques, we seek to change how people see the world in environmental, social, and political terms.” We are especially fond of their MapKnitter project and their related balloon and kite mapping data collection work.


Visualizing the dynamics of character networks, using the plays of Molière as an example. “This project describes a novel open source web application which models the character-system of theatre plays as a sequence of network states synchronised with the actual narrative content. The motivation for this development is ultimately to contribute to a better integration of distant and close reading practices.”


The most recent round of HathiTrust Research Center (HTRC) Advanced Collaborative Support (ACS) projects have been announced, and may be of interest; a call for the next round should be forthcoming (and mentioned in our newsletter’s Grants section).




Creative Destruction / “Digital Humanities,” by Whitney Trettien. “Today, the digital turn in its various constellations offers the best potential for fostering resistance to the conservative forces that seek to devalue interpretive inquiry. This is because the nature of the work itself forces scholars to attend to that frictive zone where critical acts are taken up by technologies, woven into the material world, and entangled within a network of social and cultural practices. The pressures of this seemingly new kind of work have opened a fruitful space of collaborative inquiry around issues like the politics of information storage, the economics of the scholarly monograph, and the role of the public domain. By drawing attention to systems of mediation, this shift has also galvanized discussion around access and disability, as well as the critical valences of different modes of representation and how they invisibly shape discourse.”


The online, open-access edition of  Debates in the Digital Humanities 2016 is out! “Pairing full-length scholarly essays with shorter pieces drawn from scholarly blogs and conference presentations, as well as commissioned interviews and position statements, Debates in the Digital Humanities 2016 reveals a dynamic view of a field in negotiation with its identity, methods, and reach.” Get started with Kim Gallon on Making a Case for the Black Digital Humanities, Swarthmore’s Timothy Burke on The Humane Digital, Paul Fyfe’s Mid-Sized Digital Pedagogies, Roopika Risam on Navigating the Global Digital Humanities: Insights from Black Feminism, Matthew Battles and Michael Maizels on Collections and/of Data: Art History and the Art Museum in the DH Mode, and the forum on “text analysis at scale,”  especially More Scale, More Questions: Observations from Sociology by Tressie McMillan Cottam.


MIT Director of Libraries Chris Bourg on library search environments, browsing, and serendipity: “when we really listen to faculty talk about the value of serendipity and browsing to their work, it really is not just nostalgic luddite longing for a mythically comprehensive physical library of yore...What I’m increasingly hearing, especially here at MIT and in the context of the conversations we have had as part of our Task Force on the Future of Libraries, is an excitement about and a yearning for a new kind of online discovery environment that does more than replicate physical browsing but actually capitalizes on the promises and affordances of technology to facilitate even greater serendipity and to make browsing even more productive and even more fun.”


Important new book: Benjamin Bratton’s The Stack: On Software and Sovereignty. (Coming soon to Tripod.) From Roger Whitson’s review: “As [much of current humanistic] technological criticism achieves little more than voicing nostalgic rants for analogue life into the void, Bratton shows us how new computational forms of sovereignty are emerging and potentially disregarding us altogether. With a materialist specificity that even Friedrich Kittler’s media archaeological work never achieved, The Stack illustrates the danger of failing to engage with these new human and non-human actors as they redesign governmentality.”


On W.E.B. DuBois’s data visualizations, by Rebecca Onion. “In 1900, W.E.B. Du Bois, along with collaborators Thomas J. Calloway and Daniel Murray, planned and mounted an exhibition on the state of black American life for that year’s Paris Exposition. The exhibition consisted of charts, books, maps, and photographs...While the Library of Congress has long offered digital access to the photographs shown in that display, they’ve just recently added scans of 57 hand-drawn charts to that digital collection.”


How does our own and others’ reliance on Google shape our research and scholarly workflows? Standing on the shoulders of the Google giant: Sustainable discovery and Google Scholar’s comprehensive coverage by Max Kemman has some answers.


How do we read differently when we read on a screen? This Atlantic article on the physiology of screen reading discusses Beeline, a color gradient browser plugin for improving the experience of screen reading for some developed by Nick Lum (Swarthmore ‘04).


Glossary of digital history terms from the Doing Digital History 2016 workshop. Useful if you are constantly trying to remember what API or CMS stand for, or if you need a quick definition of “algorithm” or “metadata.”


Notable new syllabi and teaching resources


Clouds, Matt Gold (CUNY)

Cultures of Computing, Nick Seaver (Tufts University)

Text Analysis for Historians, Lincoln Mullen (George Mason University)

Maps as Media, Shannon Mattern (Graduate Studio at the New School)

Digital History: Concepts, Methods, Problems, Jason Heppler (Stanford University)

Distracted Reading, Rita Raley (UCSB)


Repeat notice of some important teaching resources:


Get started with text analysis right away with the just-released new and improved Voyant 2.0! Read the quick start guide, explore examples of assignments on their website, and read the companion book, coming soon to Tripod. Highly recommended. The TDH faculty consultancy can connect you with fellow instructors who have successfully worked with Voyant in the classroom.


If you are thinking about integrating Wikipedia editing work into your teaching, WikiEdu has amazing resources, and the TDH faculty consultancy can connect you with fellow instructors and outside experts who have successfully worked with Wikipedia in the classroom.


The in-progress Modern Languages Association’s project Keywords for Keywords for Digital Pedagogy in the Humanities: Concepts, Models, and Experiments is a curated collection of downloadable, reusable, and remixable pedagogical resources.


As always, the Digital Humanities Slack run by Amanda Visconti and others has more than 51 channels where you can learn from and talk to scholars and students from many different backgrounds and levels of expertise about topics ranging from annotation to crowdsourcing to visualization to involving students in DH projects. Sign up here.


CFPs, grants, workshops, opportunities




New! Digital Humanities Advancement Grants from the NEH. “The NEH is eliminating both the DH Start-Up Grant Program and the DH Implementation Grant program and replacing them with a single program that will be offered twice per year that will combine features from both programs. The new program is called Digital Humanities Advancement Grants (DHAG).” First deadline: January 11, 2017, with opportunities to apply every six months from that time forward.


ACLS Digital Extension Grants support “digitally based research projects in all disciplines of the humanities and related social sciences. It is hoped that these grants will help advance the digital transformation of humanities scholarship by extending the reach of existing digital projects to new communities of users.” Details about the 2016-2017 application cycle will be available in late October.


The Digging into Data Challenge has been funding cutting-edge digital research in the humanities and social sciences since 2009. Now under the auspices of T-AP, the program will support collaborative research teams from three continents: Europe (Finland, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Portugal (to be confirmed) and the United Kingdom); North America (Canada, Mexico, the United States); and South America (Brazil and Argentina). A great grant for anyone doing international digital research.




The HASTAC Digital History Review Series seeks nominations for reviewers and projects to be reviewed.


Journal of Big Data and Society Special Issue on Social and Technical Trade-Offs. “Working with “big data” isn’t easy, especially when it involves social data. Researchers and practitioners must make hard choices when cleaning and processing data, grapple with biased data sets and missing data, and evaluate the social and technical trade-offs involved in analysis and interpretation. What are the ethical implications of these choices? What happens when we get it wrong? How can we prioritize reproducibility? What happens when biased data and imperfect methods are combined in unexpected ways? This special issue will examine the trade-offs that emerge from the interconnected nature of the social and technical decision-making that lies at the heart of big data.” Edited by Solon Barocas, dana boyd, and Sorelle Friedler. Submissions by September 15, 2015.


Bibliography Among the Disciplines, “a four-day international conference to be held in Philadelphia from 12 to 15 October 2017, will bring together scholarly professionals poised to address current problems pertaining to the study of textual artifacts that cross scholarly, pedagogical, professional, and curatorial domains. The conference will explore theories and methods common to the object-oriented disciplines, such as anthropology and archaeology, but new to bibliography.” With many panels on computational approaches and digital theories and practices in bibliographic work. Deadline: October 25, 2016.


Researchers, Practitioners and the Archived Web conference. “The second biennial RESAW (Research Infrastructure for the Study of Archived Web Materials) conference is seeking contributions.This conference seeks to explore the value of web archives for scholarly use, to highlight innovative research, to investigate the challenges and benefits  of working with the archived web, to identify opportunities for incorporating web archives in learning and teaching, and to discuss and inform archival provision in all senses.” Via DH Now. Deadline: December 9


HASTAC 2017: The Possible Worlds of Digital Humanities. Thursday, November 2, 2017 to Saturday, November 4, 2017.  The annual meeting of HASTAC (Humanities, Arts, Science, and Technology Alliance and Collaboratory), an organization focused on “the role of humanistic learning in the Information Age.” Hosted by the Florida Digital Humanities Consortium #HASTAC17 Orlando, Florida. Deadline passed, but of interest.


New journal! Cultural Analytics is “a new open-access journal dedicated to the computational study of culture. Its aim is to promote high quality scholarship that intervenes in contemporary debates about the study of culture using computational and quantitative methods.”


Social Media and Voices in the Margins (Howard U., Oct. 6-7)

“The 6th Annual Social Media Technology Conference & Workshop is a two-day intensive conference combining panel discussions, posters sessions and hands-on workshops designed to enlighten attendees about new scholarship, professional practices and pedagogical approaches to teaching. This year’s theme focuses on dissecting how power and difference force or provide an opportunity for social media to be used by those who may be considered marginalized in U.S. society or within other countries. The goal is to bring scholars and professionals together to share their perspectives on how social media are utilized by various individuals, groups, cultures or organizations to bring their voice, influence and impact on societies.” Deadline past, but of interest.


Digital Humanities Quarterly special issue: Creative Pedagogical Approaches in Information Design. “DHQ invites submissions for a special issue on creative pedagogical approaches in the instruction of information visualization. Contributions are invited on methodologies, tools, and resources that practitioners have used to teach any facet of information visualization, which may include (but is not limited to) best practices in design, the use of specific tools, or data literacy. These approaches may include any resources, workshops, activities, or other materials that translate principles of information visualization both widely across as well as within specific disciplines, cultures of scholarship, and technical backgrounds. Alternatively, contributions may be submitted about theoretical and philosophical perspectives on information visualization that inform the ways in which visualization is taught, where “teaching” may encompass engagement with audiences at any level of academe (e.g., students, faculty, administrators, or staff).” Deadline October 1.


French-Language DH (Digital Humanities Quarterly). "With the goal of highlighting the work of Digital Humanities in French to our audience, we invite you to participate in a special issue of the Digital Humanities Quarterly magazine. This number is the second of several planned for DHQ in different languages or regional traditions. The deadline for submitting articles is September 30, 2016. The items must be presented in French, and should be in the range of 10-30 pages, using the editorial guidelines of the DHQ journal. You should send the item, following these guidelines todhqfrench@gmail.com, with the subject “DHQ numéro spécial FR”, with French and English versions of the abstract." Via Miriam Posner.


Selected jobs, fellowships,  and paid internships for undergraduates:


Interested in how academic work is changing in the digital age? Apply to be a HASTAC Scholar! “The HASTAC Scholars fellowship program is a student-driven community of graduate and undergraduate students who are working at the intersection of technology and the arts, humanities and sciences. Their work centers on rethinking pedagogy, learning, research, and academia for the digital age. HASTAC Scholars discuss new ideas, projects, experiments, and technologies that reconceive teaching, learning, research, writing and structuring knowledge. Broadly speaking, Scholars are interested in the intersection of technology and learning, applied and interpreted in incredibly varied ways.” Deadline: Oct 15.


Some career opportunities at JSTOR and ITHAKA.


Doctoral positions in the field of digital history and hermenutics, The Historical Institute / Center for Contemporary and Digital History University of Luxembourg. “The Historical Institute / Center for Contemporary and Digital History University of Luxembourg has obtained a large grant from the Fonds National de la Recherche Luxembourg in the framework of the so-called PRIDE-program, enabling the creation of a Doctoral Training Unit (DTU) and opens up to 13 positions for Doctoral candidates (PhD students) in the field of digital history and hermeneutics.”


Civic Art Project Manager, LA County Arts Commission. "Los Angeles County Arts Commission seeks a full-time contractor as a Project Manager for its Civic Art program, which works with leading and emerging public artists, County departments and communities to create permanent artwork, creative place making projects, public engagement activities, temporary art and event-based programming for new and renovated facilities throughout Los Angeles County." Apply by September 14. Via Miriam Posner.


Miriam Posner lists DH-related jobs and internships for undergrads (LA-focused, but including national and international opportunities) on her Pinboard.  


Digital Humanities Now jobs listings also may be of interest.

Jobs and fellowships for graduate students, faculty, and staff:


The Price Lab invites applications for the 2017–2018 Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Fellowship in Digital Humanities. Awards are available to untenured scholars in the humanities whose PhD must have been received between December 2008 and December 2016. The DH Fellow is required to spend the ten-month academic year (August 2017 – May 2018) in residence at Penn. Deadline: October 30, 2016.