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

Digital Jumpstart Workshops 2017

IDRH will host our annual Digital Jumpstart Workshops this year on Thursday and Friday, March 2nd-3rd. These free workshops are intended to provide faculty, staff, and graduate students with hands-on introductions to digital tools and practices in order to help you better manage your data, analyze text, work collaborative over long term projects, create digital editions, fund projects, and publish and disseminate your results. All skill levels, from beginner to seasoned digital humanist, are welcome.

All workshops will take place in the Digital Humanities Lab, Watson Library, 410A

Thursday, March 2

Thinking About Networks in Literature: A Hands-On Conversation

9:00 AM - noon
Instructor: Jeff Rydberg-Cox, Univeristy of Missouri-Kansas City.


In this workshop, we will look at several articles that discuss ways that network analysis can be applied to literary texts. After reviewing the articles, we will continue with a conversation about how these approaches can be applied to participants’ own fields of research. Participants are welcome to come with no advance preparation, but they can also read one or more of the articles in advance of the workshop. The articles we will be discussing are:

Command Line Tools for Text Analysis: How to Get the Most Out of Your Mac

1:00 PM - 3:00 PM
Instructor: Sandra Kuebler, Indiana University.


Have you ever tried to extract specific information from text? And have you ever been annoyed because the software that you use does not allow you to do exactly what you need? In many cases, we can extract the information easily using the command line on a Mac or a Unix/linux computer without prefabricated software and without programming. This workshop will introduce ways of extracting information from texts using command line tools. We will create concordances and extract all trigrams (sequences of 3 words). The workshop will start with an introduction on how to use the command line instead of graphical tools.

No unix/linux, linguistic, or programming experience necessary. Please bring your own Mac or Unix laptop (or, if using a Windows machine, you may install Cygwin or Windows Subsystem for Linux on Windows 10).

Encryption: Strengthening Your Security and Anonymity in Digital Environments

3:30 PM - 5:30 PM
Instructor: Andrew Lison, Postdoctoral Researcher, Hall Center for the Humanities


From smartphones and computers to web services and social media, the proliferation of computing devices and platforms we use presents a strange paradox: our every action is tracked and recorded, yet, at the same time, whistleblowers, criminals, and dissident voices proliferate online. These latter developments would not be possible without the use of tools designed to evade and obfuscate the pervasive corporate and state surveillance that defines the 21st-century Internet, but one does not have to be an outlaw in order to take advantage of them; those merely concerned with the potential for abuse inherent in this state of affairs can and should know both how these techniques work and how to use them.

This workshop will cover the basics of encryption in a number of realms of digital activity, beginning with an overview of cryptography and threat models before moving into specific applications and tools such as file storage (FileVault and BitLocker), mobile voice and messaging apps (Signal), email (PGP/GPG), network privacy (VPN/Tor), and cryptographically-oriented operating systems (Tails/Qubes/Blackphone). Participants interested in following along may wish to download any or all of the following in advance: Signal for Android or iOS (, Gpg4win (, GPG Suite for Mac (, Tor Browser (, VirtualBox (; for running Tails experimentally), and/or the latest Tails image (

Friday, March 3

Easy and Sustainable Web Publishing with Plain Text, Jekyll and Github​

8:45 AM - 10:15 AM
Instructor: Brian Rosenblum, KU Libraries and Co-Director, Institute for Digital Research in the Humanities


Static websites are very easy to create and host, perform more reliably than dynamic, CMS-based websites, and are easier to maintain over the long run. This workshop will help participants over the initial learning curve by providing an introduction to the technologies and tools needed to create and deploy static websites. We will begin by discussing the concepts behind static websites and how they differ from CMS-based systems like WordPress. Participants will then learn how to edit plain text in a text editor, author content using markdown syntax, configure and build websites using Jekyll, and host the site on GitHub.

At the end of the session, participants will be able to deploy their own websites for a range of purposes, including digital projects, personal webpages and blogs, or scholarly digital texts.

No prior experience in website development necessary. Some familiarity with HTML and CSS helpful but not required. Please bring a laptop (Mac preferred).

Grant Development for Digital Humanities Projects

10:30 AM - noon
Instructor: Bobbi Rahder, Hall Center for the Humanities


Led by the Hall Center for the Humanities' Research Development Specialist, this session will discuss developing grant proposals to fund Digital Humanities projects. Information provided will include where to find funding sources, reading grant proposal guidelines, developing the components of a grant proposal, writing project descriptions and demonstrating significance, developing work plans and timelines, writing abstracts, and creating budgets and budget justifications. The session will also include sharing of first-hand experience serving on review panels for the NEH Digital Start-Up Grants and other grant programs.

Beyond Basic Text Search: Searching with Regular Expressions

1:00 PM - 3:00 PM
Instructor: Sandra Kuebler, Indiana University.


Independent of which research area we work in, most of us often have to search in texts. Sometimes, just searching for words is insufficient because the search results cover too many hits that are not interesting. This workshop will give an introduction on how to search in MS Word with a more powerful method: regular expressions. "Regular Expressions can be used in most text-processing software (e.g. OpenOffice Writer, oXygen XML Editor, and most text editors). These allows us to search for more general sequences, for example "as (adjective) as", and it can be used in a variety of text processing applications. No linguistic or programming experience necessary.

Participants should bring a laptop (with MS Word, a text editor, Openoffice, oXygen, etc. installed) to this session.

Problem Solving Session: Bring Your Own DH Project

3:15 PM - 5:00 PM
Facilitators: Arienne Dwyer, Sandra Kuebler, Brian Rosenblum


Do you have a project in mind and need help thinking about how to move forward? Are you stuck with a particular problem or challenge using a tool or organizing your data? Do you have another question about digital humanities? This is a participant-driven session, intended to allow participants to get assistance thinking about their projects and to share ideas, ask questions, or learn about resources and projects. IDRH staff and other DHers will be on hand to help answer questions, provide feedback, and point participants to additional resources.

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