Announcing Digital Scholarship Fundamentals workshop series

DiSc is pleased to announce the first Digital Scholarship Fundamentals workshop series, aimed at digital humanities and social sciences practitioners, and scholars at all levels interested in becoming one. We will run workshops every Fall and Spring semester; the precise content of those workshops might change, and they are all likely to be one hour long. Don’t see a workshop you would like offered? Contact us, and we’ll try to put it on the roster for the next run. Find workshop descriptions below, and a registration form further down.

A note of gratitude to Micah Vandegrift of Florida State University Libraries for allowing us to base our workshop series on FSU’s Discover DH series.

Workshop descriptions

Discussion 1: Getting started in DH: A brief overview
Instructor: Vika Zafrin
2/13 3pm, 2/14 10am

How did digital humanities start? What have humanities and social sciences practitioners done in it so far? What are they doing these days? In what ways is it useful to modern-day researchers in these fields? What venues exist for scholarly communication in DH? We will speak specifically to fields represented in the room.

We will then introduce some basic activities that make up digital scholarship, applicable to both students and faculty-level researchers in the humanities and social sciences. Participants will leave with a list of suggested resources to follow up on if they wish.

Hands-on session 1: Introduction to Text Manipulation and Visualization
Instructor: Vika Zafrin
2/27 3pm, 2/28 10am

In this session, we will look at text manipulation techniques for both close reading and larger-scale text analysis. Participants will learn the basics of XML (eXtensible Markup Language) and semantic text encoding, and will be introduced to commonly used encoding standards (notably the Text Encoding Initiative’s modular tag set). We will also do some text manipulation using regular expressions, which make search-and-replace editing much more powerful. We will discuss why you might want to encode text, and look at some tools that can help you visualize encoded text.

Discussion 2: Starting and Managing a Digital Project
Instructor: Vika Zafrin
3/6 3pm, 3/7 10am

So, you have an idea. How to get it off the ground? What resources are available for consultation at BU? We will talk about how to plan out your work, the time commitment you might expect to need, how to balance solitary and collaborative work. We will touch on approaches to talking with technically inclined people likely working outside of your field in ways that bridge everyone’s basic assumptions; and on conceptualizing your project to have an end point, and possibly milestone deliverables, in a way that feels like a productive time investment.

Hands-on session 2: Humanities Datasets, and What You Might Do with Them
Instructor: Vika Zafrin
3/13 3pm, 3/14 10am

In this session, we will talk about what might constitute data in the humanities, and find out what data sets are out there already for you to use. We will look at some humanities data sources; discuss ways of approaching others with requests to share datasets; and begin to consider why and how you might build your own dataset, and database.

We will look in depth at the Heurist Network, a data management system built at the University of Sydney that allows users to build powerful humanities databases and share database structures with one another.

Discussion 3: Copyright, Yours and Others’
Instructors: Vika Zafrin and Anna Newman
3/20 3pm, 3/21 10am

This session will give an overview of copyright in the humanities and social sciences, with particular emphasis on digital humanities projects. We will talk about your rights to the intellectual content you create; different intellectual contributions often made to digital projects, the ethics of collaboration, and how to give proper credit to all project contributors; and rights considerations in using third-party materials in online projects.

Hands-on session 3: Introduction to the HathiTrust Extracted Features Dataset
Instructor: Jack Ammerman
4/3 3pm, 4/4 10am

A great deal of useful research on published texts can be performed non-consumptively using the HathiTrust Extracted Features Dataset. Features are notable or informative characteristics of the text such as part-of-speech tagged token (word) counts, header and footer identification, and various line and page level information.

The recently released full dataset includes statistics for over 13.6 million volumes, over 8 million of which are for books still in-copyright. This session will introduce the dataset and available tools for analysis and visualization.

Hands-on session 4: Digitization Fundamentals
Instructors: Eleni Castro and Mike Ward
4/10 3pm, 4/11 10am

For those new to digitization. This hands-on workshop will give participants an introduction to the skills necessary to bring analog objects (35mm film, slides, acetates, audio cassettes, printed images, papers, VHS, vinyl) into a digital space. We will provide guidance on how to employ digital tools to further explore, expand, and preserve the digital objects. Participants are encouraged to incorporate their own interests and materials into the workshop by bringing an item they would like to digitize.

Discussion 4: Publishing in the Digital Humanities, and Digital Publishing
Instructor: Vika Zafrin
4/24 3pm, 4/25 10am

The scholarly publishing landscape has been rapidly changing. In this session, we’ll talk about what publishing means in digital humanities, both formally and informally. We will discuss the principal venues for article dissemination in DH both in print and online, and the recent developments in experimentation around hybrid (digital and print, in tandem) monograph publishing. Participants will come away with a better sense of the publishing landscape, and a clearer idea of the possibilities afforded by digital publishing.

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