Providing resources and trai­ning in the practices and tools of the digital humanities

Keynote talks


The Network Inside Out and the New Digital Humanities

Friday, September 12th | 4:30 p.m.

Steven Jones, Professor of English & Co-director of the Center for Textual Studies and Digital Humanities, Loyola University, Chicago

The rise to prominence of the Digital Humanities in the past decade can be understood as a response to a simultaneous shift in the collective imagination of the digital network. What was once understood to be a transcendent virtual reality apart from the body and the physical environment is now experienced as if it had turned inside out and spilled out into the physical world, a ubiquitous mesh of data and connections to data that we move through every day. This topological shift in the way we figure the network--what author William Gibson has called the eversion of cyberspace--has important implications for the theory and practice of the humanities, calling for a heightened critical attention to the social, locative, embodied, and object-oriented nature of our experience in the networked world.


Learning from Constraints in Visualizations of Information

Saturday, September 13th​ | 9 a.m.

Isabel Meirelles, Associate Professor, Graphic Design, Northeastern University

Visualizations have been part of both humanistic and scientific knowledge production and dissemination for quite a long time. In recent years, however, its use has risen exponentially, fueled in part by the need to extract meaning from huge amounts of information and our inabilities to make sense of data without the aid of external devices. The result is that information visualizations have gained unprecedented prominence and we experience a burgeoning practice of visualizing information in all corners of academia, which includes visual systems and representational tools tailored to humanistic inquiry. It is indisputable that they can and often act as cognitive devices whether aimed at communicating information or for exploration and analyzes of data. Much has been discussed about the benefits offered by visual representations of information. In this talk, I will present the other side of this story and examine several specific constraints imposed on and by visualizations. By means of a series of examples, I will elucidate their capabilities by scrutinizing their limitations. I would like to argue that, though powerful by nature, information visualizations should not serve all research problems uniformly. Ultimately, my goal is to open a conversation about how we can employ information visualizations as research tools in a more critical manner.

Slides


Networks In and Of Society

Saturday, September 13th | 4 p.m.

Scott Weingart, PhD Candidate, Indiana University

Networks are increasingly invoked in the humanities and computational social sciences both metaphorically and formally to interrogate ourselves. Simultaneously, individuals, corporations, and governments employ networks as a means to prestige, profit, and power. When in 1696 Leibniz compared the scientific method to putting nature "on the rack," he was not literally connecting torture to evidence gathering. In the intervening centuries, however, the metaphor has become frighteningly apt. Network analysis, an ostensibly scientific method, is used to justify targeting of terrorists and is instrumental in inferring private lives from public sharing. This lecture will address the relationship between networks and the digital humanities; what DH can learn from network analysis elsewhere; and importantly, how DH can contribute to these broader ethical discussions. Indeed, if we do not contribute our ethical concerns to the discussion, it is unclear who will.

Transcript


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Steven Jones keynote talk from our Digital Humanities Forum last month. Jones is the author of "The Emergence of the Digital Humanities"
Steven Jones - The Network Inside Out and the New Digital Humanities
Steven Jones, Professor of English & Co-director of the Center for Textual Studies and Digital Humanities, Loyola University, Chicago Keynote Talk, Digital H...

Amanda Gailey - The Case for Close Textual Attention in the Age of Text Glut Amanda Gailey, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, English Digital Humanities Seminar, University of Kansas Institute for Digital Research in the Humanities & Hall Center for the Humanities August 27, 2014 http://idrh.ku.edu -- This talk will discuss how the field of literary studies should preserve the scholarly and pedagogical value of close reading even as the digital humanities and the culture at large increasingly prioritize big data. I will discuss some of the blind spots in big data approaches to literature in order to show the continued importance of smaller-scale digital studies, drawing on examples from The Walt Whitman Archive, The Tar Baby and the Tomahawk, and Scholarly Editing, which I use in my research and teaching. I will also talk about how coursework on digital editing can be very effective in teaching students to be careful readers and writers.


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