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Digital Frontiers

8th Annual University of Kansas Digital Humanities Forum
4-6 October 2018
Lawrence, Kansas

In 2018, the Institute for Digital Research in the Humanities (IDRH) is joining forces with Digital Frontiers to host the 2018 Digital Frontiers conference at the University of Kansas. These two dynamic communities unite to celebrate digital scholarship as a diverse and growing field of humanist inquiry. The conference will be held from 4-5 October 2018 at the new Frank R. Burge Student Union at KU, with an additional day of workshops October 6 at the Lawrence Public Library.

In pursuing this collaborative conference, we hope to showcase DH scholarship at KU and in surrounding areas to a broader community of DH practitioners, and to create opportunities for local scholars to build networks and collaborations among the Digital Frontiers community. If you have questions, please email IDRH at

Finding Community in the Digital Humanities

The theme for the 2018 Digital Frontiers is Finding Community in Digital Humanities. When the diversity of disciplines, technologies, and communities involved in DH converge, we are often confronted with novel and/or previously uninvestigated approaches to the field. How do these aspects overlap? Where do they diverge? Each community brings its own voice and perspective, often urging us to interrogate the assumptions hidden within our own work. This conference's theme asks participants to examine these intersections and bring us into dialogue with one another. Aside from disciplinary and research communities in the Digital Humanities, we also frame communities as those of lived experiences: international communities, marginalized communities and communities of resistance, classroom communities, digital communities, and others.

Keynote Speakers

Rasheedah Phillips, Esq.

Rasheedah Phillips, Esq.

Community Legal Services of Philadelphia
Friday, October 5, 2018
KU Burge Union

Communal, Quantum and Afrofutures: Time & Memory Mapping in Marginalized Communities

Rasheedah Phillips is a housing attorney, author, advocate, and Afrofuturist living and working out of Philadelphia. She is also the creator of The AfroFuturist Affair, co-creator of Black Quantum Futurism, and 1/4 founding member of Metropolarity Queer Sci-fi Collective. She has been a guest speaker at numerous graduations and ceremonies, including the YouthBuild Philadelphia Charter School, and was a panelist on the symposium, Law and Adolescence: Legal Status, Rights and Responsibilities of Adolescents in the Child Welfare, Juvenile, and Criminal Justice Systems, co-sponsored by the Juvenile Law Center and the Temple Law Review. She also gave a speech called “Why Diversity Matters” at the Pennsylvania Legal Aid Networks Diversity Summit, spoke on the intersectionality of race and gender in sexual vio- lence cases at SlutWalk DC 2013, and was keynote speaker at the 2008 Russell Byers Charter School 6th grade graduation ceremony. She plans to continue working with young teens to help prevent teen pregnancy, and with young parents to help inspire them to succeed in spite of their difficulties.
Lauren Klein

Lauren Klein

Associate Professor, Georgia Tech
Thursday, October 4, 2018
KU Burge Union

Data Feminism: Community, Allyship, and Action in the Digital Humanities

Lauren Klein is an associate professor in the School of Literature, Media, and Communication at Georgia Tech, where she also directs the Digital Humanities Lab. With Matthew Gold, she edits Debates in the Digital Humanities (University of Minnesota Press), a hybrid print/digital publication stream that explores debates in the field as they emerge. Her first book, Matters of Taste: Eating, Aesthetics, and the Early American Archive, is forthcoming from Min- nesota in Spring 2019. She is also at work on two new projects: Data Feminism, co-authored with Catherine D’Ignazio, and under contract with the MIT Press, which distills key lessons from feminist theory into a set of principles for the design and interpretation of data visualization, and Data by Design, recently funded by an NEH-Mellon Fellowship for Digital Publication, which will provide an interactive history of data visualization from the eighteenth century to the present.


Micah Bateman, University of Texas at Austin

In this workshop, participants will install and learn the basics of TWARC, a Python script used to harvest and archive data from Twitter. Many disciplines use social media data. As a literary historian, I use Tweets featuring poems of resistance for reception studies. But only recent Tweets are easy to find using Twitter’s search ap- paratus, and Tweets are only archived for two years, making the public discourses of resistance movements ephemeral. TWARC makes it easier to search for and archive Twitter data given research parameters. The workshop will begin with an introduction to TWARC through my own research about archiving and preserving #BlackLivesMatter Tweets that intersect with quotations of Black radical poetry. We’ll also discuss the task of archiving Twitter, a task that even the Library of Congress has taken on and quit. Then I’ll walk participants through installing TWARC on Windows and Mac operating systems followed by a number of search exercises, including some directed toward participants’ own research needs. Bring your own Wifi-enabled laptop.

xtine burrough and Sabrina Starnaman, University of Texas at Dallas

“An Archive of Unnamed Women” is a browser-based digital archive juxtaposing nineteenth-century literature about women with photographs of unnamed or unidentified American women found in the collections of the New York Public Library, Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, and the Library of Congress. This re-presented archive accessed through a digitized library research station generates a dialog about female identity within libraries. In lieu of citation information, visitors who search our photography archive of unnamed women are presented with misinformation as descriptions drawn from a parallel collection of women’s writing about women. Together, the resulting imagined narratives relocate the women on the screen as subjects of literary examination. Blurring the lines between art and archive, this project furthers discourse about the library as an authority of knowledge curation and a site of creation. When visitors explore the database its perimeters are visible. This reveals the arbitrary nature of information preservation and highlights the constructed nature of digitized materials. We explore the stakes in preparing an archive while making space for self-generated narrative, all the while asking: What would it mean to move these unnamed women from anonymity, deep within the archive, to the center of the screen? Through a discussion of our project, participants will explore the political role of archives in emphasizing or hiding marginalized people. Moreover, we investigate archives as mechanisms for critical discussions about identity. Participants will search our archive, suggest additional source materials, and print their own “Un- named Woman” action-artifact on archival paper.

Zach Coble, New York University

As more and more primary and secondary source material appears on websites, it is becoming increasingly important for scholars and librarians to learn how to collect this material at scale. Participants in this workshop will learn how to create a textual corpus using web scraping techniques. We will begin with a discussion of why web scraping can be a useful technique (for analysis, archiving, etc.) as well as legal and ethical questions associated with scraping data. Using this discussion as our theo- retical foundation, we will then write a program together using Python’s Beautiful Soup library that scrapes textual data from websites. There are many types of websites and many types of data that can be gathered, so we will go through several examples so that participants learn strategies for scraping in a variety of contexts. Finally, once the data is gathered, we will perform a few additional steps to clean the data and prepare it for the next phase of analysis. By the end of the workshop, participants will be comfortable using a variety of web scraping tech- niques, and will be able to generate a corpus and to prepare it for further analysis. This workshop is open to all, including beginners. Bring your own Wifi-enabled laptop.

Spencer Keralis, Digital Frontiers

Melissa Gonzales, Houston Community College

District Internet-based self-publishing platforms offer an opportunity for almost anyone to share information on the web. In this workshop, participants will team up to work on an interactive timeline that integrates historical contexts with data and information literacy principles, and that requires minimal technical know-how. The end result is a fun, collaborative project that can enrich blogs or websites, and can easily be integrated into the classroom. This workshop offers librarians, genealogists, primary and secondary educators, local historians, faculty, and students a chance to explore hands-on digital scholarship. Beginners welcome. Bring your own Wifi-enabled laptop.

Audience at the 2018 DH forum
Presenter at the 2018 DH Forum

Organizing Committees

University of Kansas

Sarah Bishop, Hall Center for the Humanities

Sherri Brown, KU Libraries

Pam LeRow, CLAS, KU Libraries

Brian Rosenblum, KU Libraries

Dhanashree Thorat, KU Libraries

Greta Valentine, KU Libraries

Digital Frontiers

Spencer D. C. Keralis, Digital Frontiers

Board of Directors

Melissa Gonzalez, Houston Community College District

Liz Grumbach, Arizona State University

John Edward Martin, University of North Texas Libraries

Partner Institution Representatives

Pamela Andrews, University of North Texas

Scott Carlson, Rice University

Coby Condrey, University of North Texas Libraries

Jeff Downing, University of Texas Arlington Libraries

Brea Henson, University of North Texas

Joshua Jackson, North Carolina State University

Courtney Jacobs, UCLA

Kimberly Johnson, Texas Woman’s University Library

Rafia Mirza, Southern Methodist University

Sara Outhier, University of North Texas

Jennifer Rowe, University of North Texas

Jeanette Sewell, Rice University Library

Jennifer Stayton, Schreiner University

Laura Waugh, Texas State University