Past Workshops
Digital Humanities

Digital Humanities Research Network


  • Danielle Albers (Computer Science)
  • Eric Alexander (Computer Science)
  • Joshua Armstrong (French & Italian)
  • Mattie Burkert (English)
  • Catherine DeRose (English)
  • Brandee Easter (English)
  • Molly Wright Steenson (Journalism and Mass Communication)
  • Jesse Stommel (Liberal Studies & the Arts)
  • Mark Vareschi (English)

Contact: Catherine DeRose ( or Molly Wright Steenson (

Our group aims to fulfill the need for a centralized digital humanities community on campus by meeting regularly and establishing a shared workspace. In our meetings, we will focus on the processes involved in digitizing, quantifying, and visualizing different types of humanities objects turned data (including printed books, manuscripts, historical records, art, music, films). In addition to opening up new research questions, our group will provide an opportunity for a sustained conversation about the computational and analytical aspects of the digital humanities. Our group will consider the current theories underlying digital methodologies and also discuss, brainstorm, and workshop specific projects at various stages. The overarching questions structuring these meetings are:

  1. What do we mean by “digital humanities”?
  2. What are the implications of these methodologies? More specifically, why should we undertake computational humanities projects, and how do they how alter the cultural artifacts they engage?
  3. How do we implement these approaches into our research and teaching?

We shall demonstrate the outcomes of our group meetings in our spring capstone symposium, which will feature Professor Matthew Gold (City Tech and the Graduate Center, CUNY) as our keynote speaker. This symposium will support and showcase the research being undertaken by our participants.

Group meetings information:
To achieve the goals mentioned above, we will have two meetings per month. These meetings will be structured according to a two-pronged approach to digital humanities:

  1. Theory: in the first meetings of each month we will interrogate scholarship on the theories, methodologies, and computational tools related to digital work--from computer science articles on visualization to algorithmic criticism of Shakespeare’s plays. We will not only ask how computational analysis changes the humanities, but also how the objects of the humanities change computation.
  2. Lab time: in the second meetings, we will address the “nuts and bolts” of digital work, with discussions centered around the design and implementation of new digital tools, as well as using existing ones that are available. Lab time will be both structured and unstructured, giving participants the opportunity to learn new tools and work on current projects in a shared space.

Related pages:

To receive event updates and participate in related conversations, or to get the password for protected readings, please e-mail Catherine DeRose ( or Molly Wright Steenson ( Information can also be found at and conversations followed on Twitter at

The Digital Humanities workshop will meet approximately every other Tuesday at 4:00pm unless otherwise indicated. Unless otherwise noted, meetings will take place at the Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery, room 2130. Readings can be found here (password protected).




DH+A Symposium
Second Annual Digital Humanities + Art Symposium: "Going Public"

Friday, April 17, 2015, 8:00am - 6:30pm
Memorial Library Commons, Room 460

Steven Lubar writes, in “Seven Rules for Public Humanists”: “The work of public engagement comes not after the scholarship, but as part of the scholarship.” This symposium will explore the very public shapes that digital scholarship takes, thinking through and past the idea that “going public” is about more than mere dissemination or promotion of research. Instead, we will explore the ways that the digital humanities asks us to rethink how communities form and engage around public work in research, teaching, and art. We will also think about how the form of the work can change the nature of the work. Our hope is to gather together researchers from across disciplines to consider the ways digital scholars and students can work openly in public spaces—and the ways educational institutions can support that work.

The symposium will feature two exciting keynote addresses. Kathleen Fitzpatrick, Director of Scholarly Communication for the Modern Language Association and author of Planned Obsolescence: Publishing, Technology, and the Future of the Academy (2011), will address “Working in Public: Scholarly Societies and Scholarly Communities.” Matthew K. Gold, Associate Professor of English and Digital Humanities at The Graduate Center (CUNY) and editor of Debates in the Digital Humanities (2012), will talk about “Facts, Patterns, Methods: Public Knowledge-Building in the Digital Humanities.” The symposium will also feature poster sessions, panels, and interactive workshops, including one by HathiTrust Research Center.

Full schedule and details available here.

There is still room (though not a lot) in both the D3 Javascript and HathiTrust workshops that are being offered as part of DH+A, so if you are interested, you can register online. The workshops are the only part of the day that require advance registration. You can also find the call to submit posters on the website, if you have work you want to showcase at DH+A.


Networked Virality: Data Visualization, Migratory Birds, and the Frontiers of Pandemics

Gloria Chan-Sook Kim, Postdoctoral Fellow at the Center for 21st Century Studies, UW-Milwaukee
Monday, April 6, 2015 @ 4:00pm
Discovery Building, Room 2130

RSVP by  Sunday, April 5 at

Satellites, birds, rice crops, supply chains, feces; how have these elements come into visibility as parts of one network constituting the ecologies of global pandemics? In this talk, Kim explores the efforts of researchers in fields such as wildlife and environmental management, computer science and epidemiology as they transform avian bodies and movement into data visualizing technologies in the hopes of anticipating the possible futures of a global avian flu pandemic. Implanted with RFID and biothermal chips, and outfitted with GPS devices, migratory birds and their flocking systems are being charted around the world with the goal of detecting how, when and where viruses mightspillover from animal to human populations. Kim asks how these bird sentinels, and the bestial logic of their flocking patterns, function as a collective biosensing mechanism. She explores the relationship between bird sentinel technologies, data visualization and the making of new forms of “transnatural kinship,” situating these within the politics of anticipation that attend the cultures of 21st century risk.

Gloria Chan-Sook Kim is 2015 Provost Postdoctoral Fellow at the Center for 21st Century Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Her research analyzes the political, cultural, ecological, technological and economic projects that take place around emerging infections. She is currently writing a book on the premediation of emerging infectious diseases and is conducting research on the mapping of the global microbiome. As 2012-2014 Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow, Gloria has taught courses on technology and the public sphere, biomedia and visual culture in the Program for Media Studies at Hobart and William Smith Colleges. Her research has been supported by the American Council of Learned Societies, the Susan B. Anthony Institute for Gender and Women’s Studies, and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.





Lightning Problems Session

Monday, March 23, 2015 @ 4:00pm
Discovery Building, Room 2130

Join DHRN as we workshop three projects from members of the group:

Mark Vareschi, Department of English

  • “Looking for Nothing: Searching for Anonymity in ECCO” | This will be both a lightning presentation and problem in which Mark shows a bit of his ongoing study of the appearance of the term “anonymous” in a decade-by-decade survey of Eighteenth Century Collections Online. As a lightning problem, he hopes to both assess the quality of his methods with the group and to find a more efficient and/or accurate way of constructing this study.

Jesse Stommel,  Liberal Arts & Applied Studies; Catherine DeRose, Department of English

  • Jesse and Cathy are co-teaching a Shakespeare MOOC for UW that will go live at the end of April. Currently the course  has over 10,000 students enrolled from 130 countries, many of which are developing countries. In their lightning problem, they’ll solicit feedback on developing community ties across time zones and media platforms. They are specifically interested in discussing strategies for analyzing and collecting social media data throughout the course to assess community formation and involvement.

katrina quisumbing king, Department of Sociology

  • In her dissertation, katrina uses historical records to explore how U.S. state actors made decisions about granting and revoking military benefits to Filipinos after World War II.  She is new to the digital humanities and particularly interested in learning more about tools, methods, and programs that might be useful for topic modeling and textual analysis on a corpus of archival data.


If Fanon Had Facebook: Postcolonial Knowledge, Rhizomes, and the Gnosis of the Digital

A Public Talk by Adeline Koh (Director of DH@Stockton and Associate Professor of literature at Richard Stockton College)

Monday, March 9, 2015 @ 7:30pm
Union South (Check "Today in the Union" for room number)

How is racial inequality addressed in the digital sphere through social media? In The Wretched of the Earth, Frantz Fanon makes a stirring argument that colonialism cannot end without a radical shift in mainstream discourse, and issues a call to accomplish this through pioneering ideological innovations. But the media environment available to Fanon at that moment was drastically different from the one today. In this talk, I will explore the question: what if Fanon had Facebook at his disposal in the 1950s? By invoking “Facebook,” I am not limiting this question to that particular platform, but I want to gesture towards a larger conceptualization of knowledge distribution in digital ecologies. I ask: how would Fanon have reacted to the Internet and social media? How would he have tried to deconstruct and to reconstruct it for his own radical use?

Adeline Koh is Director of DH@Stockton and Associate Professor of literature at Richard Stockton College. Her work spans the intersections between postcolonial studies and the digital humanities, 19th/20th Century British and Anglophone Literature and Southeast Asian and African studies, and games in higher education. Koh directs Digitizing ‘Chinese Englishmen,’ a digital archival project on 19th century ‘Asian Victorians’ in Southeast Asia, and The Stockton Postcolonial Studies Project, an online magazine of postcolonial studies. She is the designer ofTrading Races, an elaborate historical role playing game designed to teach race consciousness in the undergraduate classroom, and co-runs the postcolonial digital humanities website and tumblr blog. She is a core contributor to the Profhacker Column at the Chronicle of Higher Education, and has held a Duke University Humanities Writ Large Fellowship and a postdoctoral fellowship at the National University of Singapore. She has published on diversity and the problem of exclusion in the digital humanities.

This lecture is sponsored by the Digital Humanities Research Network, the Center for the Humanities, the A.W. Mellon Foundation, and the Asian-American Studies Program.


Workshop with Adeline Koh

Monday, March 9, 2015 @ 4:00pm
Discovery Building, Room 2130

In preparation for the evening’s public lecture, Professor Koh will join us for a discussion of essays by Frantz Fanon, Donna Haraway, and Howard Rheingold that intersect with the subject of her talk. Copies are available on our Readings page.


Brownbag Discussion with Richard Grusin

Tuesday, March 3, 2015 @ 12:00pm
University Club 313

Please join us for a brownbag discussion with Richard Grusin, Director of the Center for 21stCentury Studies and Professor of English at UW-Milwaukee. Professor Grusin is the author or co-author of four books, including Remediation: Understanding New Media (MIT, 1999), co-authored with Jay David Bolter, and most recently, Premediation: Affect and Mediality After 9/11 (Palgrave Macmillan, 2010).

We will be discussing his recent essay “The Dark Side of Digital Humanities: Dispatches from Two Recent MLA Conventions” (Differences 25.1 [2014]: 79-92). For a copy, hop on over to our Readings page; if you need the password, you can email cmderose [at] wisc [dot] edu.


First Meeting of the Spring Semester

Monday, January 26, 2015 @ 4:30pm
Fluno Center Study Pub

The Digital Humanities Research Network will be convening for our spring kickoff meeting on Monday, January 26th at 4:30 p.m. in the Fluno Center study pub. Although our regular meetings will be held in WID, this first session in the study pub is an informal regrouping to catch up and chat about any DH questions, topics, and ideas you have or would like to discuss during the spring semester. We hope to approach DH interdisciplinarily, and faculty, grad students, and staff from all fields are welcome!

This spring, we will continue to hold meetings every other week to discuss and explore DH topics. These meetings will be held every other Monday from 4-6 p.m. in WID (room 2130) beginning February 9. We will also hold the second annual DH+A symposium featuring Professor Matthew Gold (City Tech and the Graduate Center, CUNY) as our keynote speaker on April 17.


Digital Archives and Preservation III: Data Management and Best Practices

Tuesday, December 2, 2014 @ 4:00pm
Discovery Building, Room 2130

This third meeting of the series will be led by Brianna Marshall, Digital Curation Coordinator for UW-Madison Libraries. Brianna will introduce us to practical best practices for working with data, setting up experiments, and generating scholarly output in ways that promote preservation and sustainability. She will also address the new data management requirements for many federal grant applications.

In addition to hearing from Brianna, we’ll also hear brief presentations from Joshua Armstrong and Kit Hughes about their current research.

Preparation: Although there won’t be any readings for this session, you may find it useful to check out the following links:

  • DH Curation guide: (particularly the introduction)
  • Research Data Services:
  • Digital Media Center conversion services:

Finally, here are a couple of questions Brianna has asked us all to consider in preparation for the meeting:

  • Think about the digital materials you generated 20, 10, 5, 1 year(s) ago.
  • What can you still access? What can’t you access? Why?
  • What kinds of materials are you generating now and what concerns do you have about them?


Digital Archives and Preservation II: Institutional and National Preservation Efforts

Tuesday, November 18, 2014 @ 4:00pm
Discovery Building, Room 2130

This second meeting of the series will be led by Peter Gorman, Head of UW’s Digital Collections, who will discuss specific digital archiving and preservation efforts taking place at the institutional and national level. This should be an interesting follow up to many of the questions raised at our last meeting, including:

  • How is the university thinking about research data vs archive data?
  • Which digital formats does UW prioritize for preservation?
  • How do efforts at UW fit into larger initiatives?

Readings: Although there won’t be any readings for this session, you may find it useful to look over the informal minutes from the last meeting, which can be found on DHRN’s blog.


Digital Archives and Preservation I: Theoretical Perspectives

Tuesday, November 4 @ 4:00pm
Discovery Building, Room 2130

This is the first of three meetings on digital archives and issues of data preservation and sustainability in the humanities. This first meeting is designed to get us thinking about big-picture questions at the intersection of cultural heritage, archival memory, disciplinary identity, and digital media. To start off this three-part series, we’ll discuss some readings that introduce a variety of theoretical, historical, and ethical perspectives:

  • Ernst, Wolfgang. “Underway to the Dual System” and “Archives in Transmission” in Digital Memory and the Archive, ed. Jussi Parikka (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2013): 81-101.
  • Kirschenbaum, Matthew G. “Preface” and “Introduction: Awareness of the Mechanism” inMechanisms: New Media and the Forensic Imagination (Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 2008): ix-23.
  • Parikka, Jussi. “Archive Dynamics: Software Culture and Digital Heritage” in What is Media Archaeology? (Cambridge, UK: Polity, 2012): 113-135.
  • Kirschenbaum, Matthew G., Richard Ovenden and Gabriela Redwine. Digital Forensics and Born-digital Content In Cultural Heritage Collections (Washington, D.C.: Council on Library and Information Resources, 2010):

Since this is a long report, you might want to focus on just the following sections:

  • section 1.0, “Introduction” pp 1-2
  • section 1.3, “Background and Assumptions,” pp 5-8
  • section 2.2. “Unique and Irreplaceable,” pp 23-26
  • section 2.3, “Trustworthiness,” pp 26-32
  • section 2.4, “Authenticity,” pp 32-39
  • section 3.0, “Ethics,” 49-51


Lab Meeting: How to Think About Data

Tuesday, October 21, 2014 @ 4:00pm
Discovery Building, Room 2130

Danielle Albers Szafir, one of DHRN’s coordinators and a PhD candidate in Computer Science, asks that meeting attendees either (a) bring a specific dataset that they’re interested in analyzing and willing to discuss with people in the group, or (b) think about methods and approaches they’ve used for understanding and exploring data in the past.

The lab meeting will again begin with lightning talks, after which Danielle will give a high-level overview of common computational and visual approaches to analyzing and exploring data. Afterwards, we’ll break off into groups blending people from (a) and (b) to think about how we might go about analyzing the datasets that people bring and do some hands-on paper prototyping. During the last half hour or so, we will bring the group back together and people can talk about some of the solutions that they designed and we can have some open discussion and critique about both the analysis methods used in each solution and existing tools that might be useful for making the prototyped analysis a reality.


New-form Scholarship and the Public Digital Humanities

Public humanities seminar with Jesse Stommel, Liberal Arts and Applied Studies

Tuesday, October 7, 2014 @ 4:00pm
University Club, room 313

This meeting will occur in tandem with the Center for the Humanities' Public Humanities seminar. At 4:00pm Jesse Stommel, one of our group's co-coordinators, will be giving a 40-minute talk on the public digital humanities. The talk will be followed by an open Q&A. Then, at 5:00pm, our group will stick around to discuss the readings below and whatever other issues the talk raises for people.



Workshop meeting

Tuesday, September 23, 2014 @ 4:00pm
Discovery Building, Room 2130

For the first half hour of the meeting, we will have 5-minute informal presentations about past, ongoing, and anticipated DH projects members of the group have been involved in. If you would like to present your work at the meeting, please email Cathy DeRose <> by this Sunday.

For the remaining portion of our meeting, starting at 4:30pm, we will switch to our first tool demo of the semester. Jill Hopke, a dissertator in the Department of Life Sciences Communication, will present on collecting and analyzing Twitter data using the tool DiscoverText (please see an outline of her talk below). If you would like to use the tool at the meeting, please register for the 30-day free trial in advance at: We recommend registering for the tool as soon as possible since you will need to be approved by DiscoverText.

Jill suggests coming to the meeting with a research question in mind and/or a short list of topical hashtags and/or keywords to test out since we'll have some open lab time following the talk for people who would like to work with the tool directly. A discussion about being priced out of DH work and about the importance of having a theory drive tool decisions will follow after.

Please register for the meeting in advance on account of WID's security (please include your full name):

Collecting and Coding Twitter Data in DiscoverText (for full outline, contact Cathy DeRose <

  1. Overview my project on Global Frackdown social movement
  2. What kinds of data can you get from Twitter?
  3. Steps to collect Twitter data in DiscoverText (the tool I used)
  4. Coding data in DiscoverText
  5. Advanced features and cost barriers
  6. Can set-up 30-day trial account in DiscoverText (
  7. Other tools/resources
  8. Contact info/additional discussion and questions


Workshop meeting

Tuesday, September 9, 2014 @ 4:00pm
Discovery Building, Room 2130

Some questions our group will work through during this first meeting include:

  1. What do we mean by “digital humanities”?
  2. What are the implications of digital methodologies? More specifically, why should we undertake computational humanities projects, and how do they how alter the cultural artifacts they engage?
  3. How do we implement these approaches into our research and teaching?

The readings for our first meeting come from the forum on search in the latest issue of Representations (127.1). Together, the readings address how digital tools have affected our research practices. The three readings we will focus on are the ones by Ted Underwood, Frederic Kaplan, and Lisa Gitelman. The articles by Leah Price and Daniel Rosenberg are optional. Since this is our first meeting of the year, we will also discuss plans for future meetings and what we hope will be the long-term outcomes of our Mellon workshop.

Registration is required in advance due to WID security. If you are able to attend, please add your full name to our Doodle sign-up: