Manual Collaborative Research in the Digital Humanities (Digital Research in the Arts and Humanities)

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Digital Humanities Advisory Board

Learn how your comment data is processed. To this end we have designed an opportunity for colleagues of all career stages with cognate interests to join us for a series of two funded training schools and a colloquium, which will provide: training in best practices for data collection, preparation, and curation; hands-on sessions to learn how to undertake network analysis and to gain basic skills in coding; close collaboration with colleagues with similar research interests; the opportunity to use newly acquired data-analysis skills to develop a paper for presentation in the colloquium; feedback on this paper to develop it into a book-length chapter, which will be published in an edited collection of essays; mentoring for existing projects, or in the development of new projects, using early modern letter data; the potential to develop spin-off projects and funding applications arising from this work.

Selection will favour candidates who clearly demonstrate one or more of the following: existing work on early modern epistolary culture; a focus on the UK State Papers archive, or on the Republic of Letters; an existing archive or dataset they particularly want to work on from the perspective of network analysis; some background in a complementary area of digital humanities.

Deadline: 1 April Decisions will be announced on or before 30 April. Connecting Libraries and Research. Published on Thursday, May 11, by Jakob Epler. Digital Humanities is widely understood to mean the use of computer-aided and data-driven research methods and techniques in both the arts and humanities.

Some examples of this are critical editions, lexicographical projects, as well as the historical reception of large-scale collections, whether of visual objects or literary textual corpora. But intrinsic to the digitally-enabled arts and humanities are the holdings and collections offered up to researchers by libraries and other cultural heritage and memory institutions.

In addition academic libraries also have an integrating role to play between the researcher, the interested public and the collections not only of libraries, but also of museums and archives especially, where strong regional cooperation or collaborations across borders have been established. Essential to this for this role are services that present appropriately curated digitized materials and provide access to them. This three-day international conference will bring together notable cultural heritage, research and infrastructure organizations, as well as acclaimed keynote speakers in the field.

How can work with large cultural data help us question our stereotypes and assumptions about cultures? What new theoretical cultural concepts and models are required for studying global digital culture with its new mega-scale, speed, and connectivity?

The term "cultural analytics" or "culture analytics" is now used by many other researchers, as exemplified by two academic symposiums, [62] a four-month long research program at UCLA that brought together leading researchers from university and industry labs, [63] an academic peer-review Journal of Cultural Analytics: CA established in , [64] and academic job listings.

WordHoard begun in is a free application that enables scholarly but non-technical users to read and analyze, in new ways, deeply-tagged texts, including the canon of Early Greek epic, Chaucer , Shakespeare , and Spenser. The Republic of Letters begun in [65] seeks to visualize the social network of Enlightenment writers through an interactive map and visualization tools. Network analysis and data visualization is also used for reflections on the field itself — researchers may produce network maps of social media interactions or infographics from data on digital humanities scholars and projects.

Culturomics is a form of computational lexicology that studies human behavior and cultural trends through the quantitative analysis of digitized texts. A study [40] published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America compared the trajectory of n-grams over time in both digitised books from the Science article [70] with those found in a large corpus of regional newspapers from the United Kingdom over the course of years.

The study further went on to use more advanced Natural language processing techniques to discover macroscopic trends in history and culture, including gender bias, geographical focus, technology, and politics, along with accurate dates for specific events. The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy begun in is a dynamic reference work of terms, concepts, and people from philosophy maintained by scholars in the field.

MLA Commons [71] offers an open peer-review site where anyone can comment for their ongoing curated collection of teaching artifacts in Digital Pedagogy in the Humanities: Concepts, Models, and Experiments Lauren F. Klein and Matthew K. Gold have identified a range of criticisms in the digital humanities field: "'a lack of attention to issues of race, class, gender, and sexuality; a preference for research-driven projects over pedagogical ones; an absence of political commitment; an inadequate level of diversity among its practitioners; an inability to address texts under copyright; and an institutional concentration in well-funded research universities".

This is also to foreground the importance of the politics and norms that are embedded in digital technology, algorithms and software.


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We need to explore how to negotiate between close and distant readings of texts and how micro-analysis and macro-analysis can be usefully reconciled in humanist work. How is knowledge transformed when mediated through code and software? What are the critical approaches to Big Data, visualization, digital methods, etc.? How does computation create new disciplinary boundaries and gate-keeping functions? What are the new hegemonic representations of the digital — 'geons', 'pixels', 'waves', visualization, visual rhetorics, etc.? How do media changes create epistemic changes, and how can we look behind the 'screen essentialism' of computational interfaces?

Here we might also reflect on the way in which the practice of making-visible also entails the making-invisible — computation involves making choices about what is to be captured. Klein and Gold note that many appearances of the digital humanities in public media are often in a critical fashion.

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Armand Leroi, writing in The New York Times , discusses the contrast between the algorithmic analysis of themes in literary texts and the work of Harold Bloom, who qualitatively and phenomenologically analyzes the themes of literature over time. Leroi questions whether or not the digital humanities can provide a truly robust analysis of literature and social phenomenon or offer a novel alternative perspective on them. The literary theorist Stanley Fish claims that the digital humanities pursue a revolutionary agenda and thereby undermine the conventional standards of "pre-eminence, authority and disciplinary power.

Its distinctive contributions do not obliterate the insights of the past, but add and supplement the humanities' long-standing commitment to scholarly interpretation, informed research, structured argument, and dialogue within communities of practice". Some have hailed the digital humanities as a solution to the apparent problems within the humanities, namely a decline in funding, a repeat of debates, and a fading set of theoretical claims and methodological arguments. Burdened with the problems of novelty, the digital humanities is discussed as either a revolutionary alternative to the humanities as it is usually conceived or as simply new wine in old bottles.

Kirsch believes that digital humanities practitioners suffer from problems of being marketers rather than scholars, who attest to the grand capacity of their research more than actually performing new analysis and when they do so, only performing trivial parlor tricks of research.

This form of criticism has been repeated by others, such as in Carl Staumshein, writing in Inside Higher Education , who calls it a "Digital Humanities Bubble". There has also been critique of the use of digital humanities tools by scholars who do not fully understand what happens to the data they input and place too much trust in the "black box" of software that cannot be sufficiently examined for errors. Tara McPherson attributes some of the lack of racial diversity in digital humanities to the modality of UNIX and computers themselves.

Amy E. Earhart criticizes what has become the new digital humanities "canon" in the shift from websites using simple HTML to the usage of the TEI and visuals in textual recovery projects. According to Earhart, there is a "need to examine the canon that we, as digital humanists, are constructing, a canon that skews toward traditional texts and excludes crucial work by women, people of color, and the LGBTQ community. Practitioners in digital humanities are also failing to meet the needs of users with disabilities. George H. Williams argues that universal design is imperative for practitioners to increase usability because "many of the otherwise most valuable digital resources are useless for people who are—for example—deaf or hard of hearing, as well as for people who are blind, have low vision, or have difficulty distinguishing particular colors.

Digital humanities have been criticized for not only ignoring traditional questions of lineage and history in the humanities, but lacking the fundamental cultural criticism that defines the humanities.

Digital Humanities Research Questions and Methods

However, it remains to be seen whether or not the humanities have to be tied to cultural criticism, per se, in order to be the humanities. As the field matures, there has been a recognition that the standard model of academic peer-review of work may not be adequate for digital humanities projects, which often involve website components, databases, and other non-print objects. Evaluation of quality and impact thus require a combination of old and new methods of peer review.

This accepts non-traditional submissions, especially mid-stage digital projects, and provides an innovative model of peer review more suited for the multimedia, transdisciplinary, and milestone-driven nature of Digital Humanities projects. Other professional humanities organizations, such as the American Historical Association and the Modern Language Association , have developed guidelines for evaluating academic digital scholarship.


  1. Arts & Humanities Research Council.
  2. MeTA Digital Humanities Lab.
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  4. The edition of Debates in the Digital Humanities recognized the fact that pedagogy was the "neglected 'stepchild' of DH" and included an entire section on teaching the digital humanities. The Alliance of Digital Humanities Organizations ADHO is an umbrella organization that supports digital research and teaching as a consultative and advisory force for its constituent organizations. Its governance was approved in and it has overseen the annual Digital Humanities conference since ADHO funds a number of projects such as the Digital Humanities Quarterly journal and the Digital Scholarship in the Humanities DSH journal, supports the Text Encoding Initiative , and sponsors workshops and conferences, as well as funding small projects, awards, and bursaries.

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    HASTAC Humanities, Arts, Science, and Technology Alliance and Collaboratory is a free and open access virtual, interdisciplinary community focused on changing teaching and learning through the sharing of news, tools, methods, and pedagogy, including digital humanities scholarship. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Retrieved December 26, Archived from the original PDF on Retrieved Digital Humanities in Practice.

    Facet Publishing. University of Cambridge. Retrieved 27 December UK: Polity. Digital Humanities Quarterly. Companion to Digital Humanities. Blackwell Companions to Literature and Culture. Oxford: Blackwell.


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    Historical Social Research. Cambridge: Polity. University of Calgary, McGann ed. Critical Inquiry. The Chronicle of Higher Education.

    Culture Machine. Archived from the original on ADE Bulletin Northwestern University Library.