Digital Humanities around BU

Support for work in digital humanities and social sciences has been gathering steam at BU in the last few years. Are you interested in incorporating computation into your scholarship, or already doing it and need support?

For those new to the field

If you are just starting out, consider asking us for a workshop. DiSc has offered many, from the Digital Humanities Fundamentals series to bespoke workshops when and where necessary. We are happy to take you and/or a group through any of them on request, and/or create new ones as needed.

On our Resources page, we have annotated links to tools and readings that you may find useful. If a category is missing about which you would like to know more, please get in touch — we’d like to create it for you.

We also recommend joining the BU DH mailing list. To do so, send a plain text email to majordomo@bu.edu. In the body of this email type, without quotation marks: “subscribe dh-list@bu.edu”. Be sure that no other text is included; delete your signature if needed. Email us if you run into trouble.

First lines of support

Do you have an inkling of an idea, and want to talk it out with someone? DiSc staff has the humanistic perspective with solid technical knowledge to help you get started. We can:

  • ask questions to gain a better understanding of what you’d like to do, and assist you in finding existing DH projects that may serve as models or collaborators;
  • help connect you with resources that may be helpful;
  • provide basic training in the use of some software;
  • help you set up a tool if you just want to test it out;
  • discuss the pedagogical possibilities of your project;
  • assist in writing a grant application for one of the opportunities listed below, if and when appropriate; and
  • talk labor ethics and/or copyright issues, as applicable.

When appropriate, we may pull the Software & Application Innovation Lab (SAIL) into the conversation. SAIL staff have deep technical expertise, and can help provide consultations, project and budget planning assistance, and prototype development support. They have already worked with several projects in the humanities and social sciences; take a look.

Together, DiSc and SAIL can not only help you get started on your digital scholarly project, but also connect you with other resources as appropriate.

Additional support

In addition to SAIL and DiSc, the following offices around BU may be useful, depending on your needs and affiliation:

  • The Hariri Institute for Computing, under whose auspices SAIL operates, initiates, catalyzes, and propels transformative computational and data-driven research and training initiatives across the landscape of academic disciplines for a better society. They run a research incubation awards program, and have fellowships available for early career researchers and graduate students.
  • Research Computing Services provides computing, storage, and visualization resources and services to support research that has specialized or highly intensive computation, storage, bandwidth, or graphics requirements. Typical applications include bioinformatics, geographic information systems (GIS), statistics, data analysis, molecular modeling, scientific and engineering simulation, and visualization.
  • The CAS IT group serves the College of Arts and Sciences’ information technology needs. They provide a range of services, from equipment borrowing to software licenses and purchasing to file servers.
  • The IT Help Center provides centralized technology support (software, hardware, and account services) to the BU community via phone, email, and walk-in locations.
  • The Digital Education Incubator encourages and nurtures innovative ideas and approaches in digital education through incubating select pilot projects.
  • The Center for Teaching and Learning partners with faculty to cultivate teaching that is inclusive, centered on student learning, and guided by research.  They offer individualized consultations, workshops, seminars, and institutes designed to promote critical reflection and experimentation in teaching, including the purposeful use of technologies. They also offer funding opportunities.
  • The Educational Technology team can support and consult on a variety of digital platforms that can be used for digital humanities projects in the classroom. These include web platforms for multimedia exhibits, mapping and timeline features, and qualitative data analysis for pedagogical purposes. Educational Technologists can also help with course and project design, finding the right digital platform to achieve your desired learning outcomes, and finding the appropriate pacing for a given project. Feel free to reach out to them at askedtech@bu.edu.

Questions?

If you don’t see what you need, or if you are not sure where to start, please drop us a line and we’ll talk.