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Digital Humanities & Language Resources European Summer School 2014

April 24th, 2014

Steve Anderson

“Digital Humanities & Language Resources” – Joint “Culture & Technology” and CLARIN-D European SummerSchool, 22nd of July - 01st of August 2014


We are happy to announce that not only the Electronic Textual Cultures Lab at the University of Victoria (etcl) and the German Accademic Exchange Service (DAAD)  offer generous support to participants of the Joint “Culture & Technology” and CLARIN-D European Summer School 2014 “Digital Humanities & Language Resources”, which aims at integrating Digital Humanities and Language Resources, but also the University of Leipzig , which through its International Centre now makes available bursaries for members of its Eastern European partner universities as well as  for members of its non-European partner universities (please see:

The Summer School is directed at 60 participants from all over Europe and beyond. The Summer School wants to bring together (doctoral) students, young scholars and academics from the Arts and Humanities, Library Sciences, Social Sciences, Engineering and Computer Sciences as equal partners to an interdisciplinary exchange of knowledge and experience in a multilingual and multicultural context and thus create the conditions for future project-based cooperations and network-building across the borders of disciplines, countries and cultures.

The Summer School aims to provide a stimulating environment for discussing, learning and advancing knowledge and skills in the methods and technologies which play a central role in Humanities Computing and determine more and more the work done in the Arts and Humanities, in libraries, archives, and museums, in the Language Industries, and similar fields. The Summer School seeks to integrate these activities into the broader context of the Digital Humanities, where questions about the consequences and implications of the application of computational methods and tools to cultural artefacts of all kinds are asked. It further aims to provide insights into the complexity of humanistic data and the challenges the Humanities present for computer science and engineering and their further development.

In all this the Summer School also aims at confronting the so-called Gender Divide, i.e. the under-representation of women in the domain of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) in Germany and Europe. But, instead of strengthening the hard sciences as such by following the way taken by so many measures which focus on the so-called STEM disciplines and try to convince women of the attractiveness and importance of Computer Science or Engineering, the Summer School relies on the challenges that the Humanities with their complex data and their wealth of women represent for Computer Science and Engineering and the further development of the latter, on the overcoming of the boarders between hard and soft sciences and on the integration of Humanities, Computer Science and Engineering.

The Summer School takes place across 11 whole days. The intensive programme consists of workshops, public lectures, regular project presentations, a poster session and a panel discussion. The workshop programme is composed of the following thematic strands:

Each workshop consists of a total of 16 sessions or 32 week-hours. The number of participants in each workshop is limited to 10.

Lectures will focus among others on digital art history and underresourced languages.

Information on how to apply for a place in one or two workshops can be found at:

Preference will be given to young scholars of the Humanities who are planning, or are already involved with, a technology-based research project and who submit a qualified project description. Young scholars of Engineering and Computer Sciences are expected to describe their specialities and interests in such a way that also non-specialists can follow, and to support with good arguments what they hope to learn from the summer school.

Applications are considered on a rolling basis. The selection of participants is made by the Scientific Committee together with the experts who lead the workshops.

Participation fees are more or less the same as last year.

For all relevant information please consult the Web-Portal of the European Summer School in Digital Humanities “Culture & Technology”: which will be continually updated and integrated with more information as soon as it becomes available.

Elisabeth Burr

Prof. Dr. Elisabeth Burr
Französische / frankophone und italienische Sprachwissenschaft
Institut für Romanistik
Universität Leipzig
Beethovenstr. 15
D-04107 Leipzig


(via the DHSI listserv)

ADHO Communications Fellowship

April 23rd, 2014

Steve Anderson

ADHO-LogoADHO Seeks Communications Fellows

The Alliance of Digital Humanities Organizations (ADHO) seeks applicants for its Communications fellowship. Working on a small team, the fellow will write news releases, blog posts and announcements relevant to ADHO, its constituent organizations, and the broader digital humanities community; monitor and update ADHO’s social media presence; maintain its web site; help to develop and implement ADHO’s outreach strategy; and perform other communications-related responsibilities. The Communications fellow should anticipate spending approximately 3-4 hours per week on the position. The fellowship comes with a small annual stipend of 600 Euros. It is well-suited for graduate students who wish to develop deeper knowledge of digital humanities, contribute to an important digital humanities professional organization, and gain experience in social media and communications.

Desired skills and qualifications include:

  • fluency in more than one language
  • excellent written communication skills
  • attention to detail
  • good graphic design skills
  • ability to work with minimal supervision
  • experience creating content using Drupal or another content management system
  • familiarity with social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook

To apply, submit a CV/ resume, a brief writing sample, three references, and a cover letter describing your interest in the position, experience with social media and communications, and expertise with writing, web development, and graphic design to Lisa Spiro, chair of ADHO’scommunications committee:  The application deadline is May 16, 2014. Two positions will be available.

(via the DHSI listserv)

Job Opportunity: DML Projects Administrator

April 23rd, 2014

Steve Anderson


The Digital Media and Learning Research Hub coordinates an interdisciplinary network of researchers around the country, providing program and meeting support, organizing special events, and providing online infrastructure and communications. The position of project administrator requires strong administrative, organizational, accounting and interpersonal skills, as well as the ability to take initiative and work independently in a collaborative, networked team. Responsibilities include administering and coordinating program-related activities, meetings, and events, and managing grant-funded budgets, including processing honoraria, subawards, contracts, and reimbursements. Additional responsibilities include supporting major events (e.g. the annual DML Conference), assisting with academic recruitments, and editing of grant proposal and reports. Salary range: $43,000-$53,000. Apply online. Job #2014-0336

DHSoCal Meeting Notes

April 22nd, 2014

Rochelle Gold

Last week I attended the DHSoCal meeting hosted by UCSD with Sarah Lozier and Steve Anderson. The meeting was a gathering of over 30 faculty, graduate students, librarians, and alt-acs from universities and colleges across southern California. Perhaps the major takeaway was that people working in the digital humanities across Southern California are enthusiastic about increased opportunities for formal and informal collaboration and coordination across campuses!

Here are just a few key points from various large group conversations and smaller discussions throughout the day:

1. Cast a wide net. DHSoCal participants are working on a broad spectrum of issues, from archiving early modern literature to critically analyzing contemporary data visualizations, that might seem to have little in common at first glance. The digital humanities is a useful term in that it brings these disparate individuals together, even as it is also problematic because it potentially collapses differences. In light of critiques of the digital humanities by groups like Postcolonial Digital Humanities, the question of how to make the digital humanities more inclusive came up repeatedly, especially with regards to those working in languages other than English. There was also interest in expanding the boundaries of DHSoCal to include digital humanities scholars and practitioners in Mexico and throughout the Southwest.

2. Meet in person. While participants in this group regularly use Google Hangouts to coordinate and plan, all of those present expressed interest in having in-person get-togethers at least twice a year. One of the best parts of the meeting was the extended period for mingling and small group discussion where spontaneous convergences between individuals could occur.

3. Pool resources. There was a lot of discussion about how we might support one another and use one another’s expertise across campuses. This is absolutely vital, because there is so much to learn in the digital humanities and many of us agree that it is not necessary or even possible for any one person to be deeply knowledgeable about all things DH. Many participants were interested in using the DHSoCal website and the Twitter hashtag #DHSoCal as online spaces for connecting and sharing ideas. Furthermore, there was talk about potentially pooling resources to work towards SoCal based multi-campus DH grants.

4. Learn together. A major focus of the day was on how to bring digital humanities methods and theories into the undergraduate classroom and also how to teach ourselves what we need to do in order to use digital humanities tools in our teaching and research. In order to work on increasing opportunities for collaboration and learning, DHSoCal members plan to organize a THATCamp in San Diego next Fall. I so look forward to it!

DHSoCal Meeting, April 18, 10-1, UCSD

April 17th, 2014

Rochelle Gold

Several members of CDH will be attending the DHSoCal meeting this Friday to share ideas with others doing DH work and to learn more about the local DH community. See details:

Feminist Theory Reading Group

April 16th, 2014

Rochelle Gold

feb 26 flyer

Day of DH on April 8th

March 24th, 2014

Steve Anderson


“Day of DH 2014″ is occurring this April 8th:

Here’s the info from the About page at Day of DH 2014:

A Day in the Life of the Digital Humanities (Day of DH) is an open community publication project that will bring together scholars interested in the digital humanities from around the world to document what they do on one day. This year, Day of DH will take place on April 8th. The goal of the project is to create a web site that weaves together a picture of the participant’s activities on the day which answers the question, “Just what do digital humanists really do?” Participants document their day through photographs and text, all of which is published on a community online platform (which, for this year, lives at Both during and after the day, people are encouraged to read and comment on their fellow participant’s posts. Eventually, all the data will be grouped together, undergo some light semantic editing, and released for others to study. We hope that, beyond the original online publication, the raw data will be of use to those interested in further visualization or digital community ethnographic research.

Notes on TEI and Markup Fundamentals workshop

February 16th, 2014

Steve Anderson

On February 13th I attended a workshop on TEI and Markup Fundamentals sponsored by the Graduate Quantitative Methods Program. The workshop was given by Rochelle Gold and Kimberly Hall from the Department of English at UC Riverside.

480px-Text_Encoding_Initiative_TEI-800TEI (Text Encoding Initiative) is a method of encoding texts with markup language for digital representation. TEI markup focuses on rendering the semantic qualities of texts more visible. For example, sentences and clauses can be marked within a text, as well as the lines and features of a poem. This granular level of encoding allows for digital representations of these texts to carry details and information beyond their normal forms, which is valuable for critical interpretation.

Adding TEI markup to a document is an “intimate” process as described by Hall. With the addition of every XML tag the encoder must make a series of choices based on the priorities of the project. The TEI process can be quite time consuming, but the close reading required for this encoding also fosters a deep understanding of the text itself.

The basic process of TEI encoding consists of three parts:

1. Document Analysis
What is the text, and what are your research and interpretive priorities?

2. Encoding
Adding markup to the digital version of the text. For texts that have not been digitized, this is also a process of transcription into digital form.

3. Output
Our workshop concentrated on the fundamentals of TEI, so we didn’t yet delve into output. However, the first two steps appear to be the primary focus of TEI, as the encoding is more concerned with semantic representation than visual production.

Overall, the workshop was very well done, and it brought to light new possibilities for my own historical teaching and research. Many of the sources I share with students are digitized, and hyperlinks are helpful for connecting to other sources of information. With TEI these linkages can be broadened greatly — for example, I could encode mentions of historical places, uses of foreign language, or references to Classical antiquity and mythology. Integrating TEI into this workflow will be very helpful, allowing students to see primary source texts in new ways, and adding a new dimension to my own research.

Cross-posted at Book, Archive, and Manuscript Studies @ UC Riverside:

Event Archive: Rethinking Debates on Digital Learning . 12 Feb 2014

February 13th, 2014

Steve Anderson

Yesterday CDH sponsored a talk by Professor Juliette Levy of the Department of History at UC Riverside. In her discussion, Professor Levy described her own evolution toward using digital technology in order to broaden the learning experience for her students.

Professor Levy’s talk began with a common experience many in academia have shared — traditional methods of teaching are not being adapted to the changing needs of students in our modern world.

The RSA talk by Sir Ken Robinson, which was turned into an animated video, was central to describing this need for change. There is a great chasm between the needs of students and the pace of innovation within the classroom.

Central to this movement toward digital learning in the traditional classroom is the need to meet students “where they are” with digital technology. The call for action is not to expand the technological savvy of the students, but to leverage their preexisting familiarity with digital culture and devices in order to expand the classroom experience.

Harnessing the digital skills of students can extend the learning experience outside of the classroom walls, and it can also create more collaboration between the students themselves. For example, every student may not have a smartphone, tablet, or laptop, but many do. Sharing these devices and skills during group exercises can help students get to know each other, while at the same time thickening the learning experience.

Most interaction with technology in the classroom is with a Learning Management System or LMS, like Blackboard or Canvas. These LMS systems are very necessary for grades, enrollment, and automated exercises like quizzes. The key, however, is to move beyond the reliance on the LMS, which was designed to assign, control, automate, and distribute information, and experiment with more decentralized and multi-nodal methods of digital interaction. Decentralized digital platforms like Twitter and Piazza allow for traditional academic hierarchies to be broken-down and remixed in new ways that are rewarding for students and professors alike.

A few key points from the talk:

1. Model the behavior.
Modeling the behavior, such as live-tweeting lectures, will help instructors to retain a sense authority while also allowing for more flexible pathways of interaction. Also, modeling provides students with concrete examples of what digital technologies are available, and also how to use them professionally. Teaching assistants can begin processes like these with Twitter, or tweets can be scheduled to automatically post during the lecture. Students should be encouraged to tweet also, in order to gradually take over the entire note-taking and note-sharing process.

2. Incentives and risks.
Some incentives and risks are set by the professor through the syllabus in an explicit fashion, such as attendance or exam dates. Other incentives and risks are more subtle, but they can also be very powerful and possibly limiting. For example, it’s difficult to harness the technical prowess of students if they are not allowed to use digital devices in the classroom. Of course some students might be inclined to wander off into the far reaches of the Internet, but they should be redirected toward more fruitful material rather than completely restricted.

3. Experiment and innovate.
A sense of experimentation in the classroom can also lead to a sense of excitement. Involving students in the process of the course through polls on Piazza, for example, can foster a sense of student empowerment. Also, if students are aware that the professor is experimenting with pedagogy, they’re also more likely to push the boundaries of the assignments in positive ways. Many students are afraid to take risks academically for fear of failing, and a sense of experimentation in the class can help relieve that pressure.

All in all, Professor Levy made it clear that she is not advocating for building larger lecture halls, or relying on MOOCs to educate the masses. Instead, she calls for the directed application of digital technology in order to expand the traditional classroom experience with the consideration and participation of the students themselves.

Rethinking Debates on Digital Learning

February 10th, 2014

Steve Anderson

Critical Digital Humanities is hosting a talk on debates on digital learning by UCR History Professor Juliette Levy.

The event will take place on Wednesday, February 12th from 4-5:30pm in the English department conference room (HMNSS 2212).

Please consider joining us for a lively discussion on digital pedagogy. Light refreshments will be provided. See attached flyer for more info.

We hope to see you there!

Feb 12 flyer