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

Digital Jumpstart Workshops 2018

IDRH will host our annual Digital Jumpstart Workshops this year on Thursday and Friday, April 5-6. 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.


Thursday, April 5

"Authentic" Teaching and Learning with Wikipedia

10:00 AM - noon (DH Studio, Watson 410A)
Instructor: Paul Thomas, University of Kansas Libraries


Recently, much has been said about engaging students through "authentic" teaching and learning methods, but what counts as "authentic"? In this workshop, we will consider one such project that has been successfully implemented in numerous classrooms: writing/editing Wikipedia articles. Using real Wikipedia articles as examples, we will consider why Wikipedia is a good choice for classroom integration, how Wikipedia projects can impact the real-world, and what exactly the student outcomes are. This workshop will also explore how encouraging students to edit Wikipedia helps reduce biases and promotes understanding of information storage/accumulation.

This workshop will go over the basics of Wikipedia editing, meaning  that no previous experience is required. It is, however, advised that you sign up for a Wikipedia account before attending.

Text Analysis and Other Cool Stuff with Python

1:30 PM - 3:30 PM (Watson 455)
Instructor: Jonathan Lamb, University of Kansas


This two-hour workshop will throw new and experienced Python users into the deep end of the digital text analysis pool. Using various methods and Python tools, we will measure and visualize relationships among texts in a corpus. We will learn the meaning of fancy terms like “tfidf,” “document term matrix,” “cosine similarity,” and “principal component analysis.”

Preparation: No familiarity with Python is required. Participants should bring their laptops with the Anaconda application installed with the Python 3.6 version (NOT 2.7!). See We will be working with Python using Jupyter Notebooks. We will learn using a sample corpus (to be supplied), but if you want to try the methods we learn on your own corpus, bring the files in .txt format with file names that identify what each file is. For example, if you have a Shakespeare corpus, you would have files named “Hamlet.txt,” “KingKear.txt,” and so on. 

IDRH can provide a limited number of laptops for those participants without one.

Digital Humanities Lightning Talks and Networking Session

4:00 PM - 5:30 PM, (DH Studio, Watson 410A)​
Multiple Presenters, Refreshments


This session will feature a number of 5-minute presentations from local and visiting scholars, Q&A, and time for discussion and networking. Light refreshments will be available.


  • Germaine Halegoua (Asking Humanities Questions about the Digital)
  • Whitney Sperrazza (Poetry, Reading, and Digital Making)
  • Lorie Vanchena (WWI Immigrant Poetry)
  • Laura Mielke (Digital Editing, Dynamic Texts)
  • Steve Egbert (Mapping Native Land Allotments)
  • Joshua Miner
  • Hannah Alpert-Abrams (Critical Archives)
  • Spencer Keralis (Building a Digital Scholarship Community)

Friday, April 6

Transcribing Multilingual and Historical Documents

9:00 AM - 11:00 AM, (DH Studio, Watson 410A)​
Instructor: Hannah Alpert-Abrams, University of Texas at Austin


Transcription is the deceptively easy first step in turning a digital collection into a textual corpus or digital edition. Though we often think of transcription as mere copying, the more closely we consider the practices through which we transcribe a text, the more complex and interpretive the work becomes. In this workshop, we'll use the history of textual copying to develop a theoretically rigorous approach to transcription in the digital age, drawing on examples from colonial and multilingual documents. We'll then explore crowdsourcing and automatic options for transcribing your own digital text or corpus.

Recommended preparation: No experience is required. Please bring a laptop computer (IDRH can provide a limited number of laptops at the workshop), and create an account at prior to the workshop.

Integrating Digital Projects with the Humanities Survey Course

11:30 AM - 1:00 PM, (DH Studio, Watson 410A)​
Instructor: Spencer Keralis, University of North Texas & Digital Frontiers


The humanities survey course offers an opportunity for faculty, instructors, staff and librarians to collaborate to introduce digital scholarship methods to students. In this workshop, participants will team up to work on a model assignment 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 the survey course and offer librarians, instructors, and students a chance to explore hands-on digital scholarship.

GIS: Challenge and Opportunity For the Humanities

2:00 PM - 4:00 PM, (DH Studio, Watson 410A)​
Instructor: Christy Hyman, University of Nebraska-Lincoln


This workshop explores the concept of critical cartography through efforts at geographical decolonization as it relates to studies within the humanities and GIS. Major themes discussed will be grounded in reinterpreting the spatial meanings of encounters between captor, captive, settler, and dispossessed. During the session there will be an introduction to examples of humanities GIS as well as an overview of the wide variety of spatial software, both desktop and web-based. Attendees of this workshop will leave with an understanding of how we can critically engage maps as well as an awareness of the many options on how to present humanities data, render maps and tell a compelling story.


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