Digital Scholarship and Skills Workshop Series, Hilary 2020

Understanding the Role of Uncertainty in (Humanities) Research 

A workshop by the CHIST-ERA funded PROVIDEDH Project Partners — University of Salamanca and Trinity College Dublin Centre for Digital Humanities

Date: Wednesday, February 12 

Time: 12:30-15:30

Uncertainty hardly needs an introduction. It is perhaps the most inherent and the most prevalent property of the knowledge of the world around us.  Incompleteness of information, imprecision, approximations made for the sake of simplicity, variability of the described phenomena, contribute all to the fact that we rarely can make categorical statements about the world.

— Druzdzel, M.J. 1993. Probabilistic reasoning in decision support systems: from computation to common sense. 

The sources of humanities research are replete with ambiguity and uncertainty. Yet, to date, there is relatively little discourse on the topic of uncertainty from the perspective humanities research. This workshop will introduce participants to the sources of uncertainty as they apply to research in the humanities, together with new visual approaches to uncertainty display.

The central challenge of uncertainty representation has increasingly come to the fore in digital humanities research. The new practices of knowledge production characterised and analysed by digital humanities imply uncertainty by their very nature, they are intended to alter our understanding and they almost always occur at the boundaries between different disciplines. This workshop presents the work of the ongoing work of the interdisciplinary PROgressive VIsual DEcision-Making in Digital Humanities project (PROVIDEDH), a three-year project funded within the CHIST-ERA call 2016 for the topic “Visual Analytics for Decision Making under Uncertainty – VADMU.” Participants will also have the opportunity to annotate pieces of text in the project’s nascent research environment for analysing and visualising uncertainty in humanities data.   

Using Open Notebooks for Textual Research

A workshop by Javier De La Rosa Perez and Salvador Ros Munoz — Horizon 2020 funded Poetry Standardization and Linked Open Data Project. 

Date: Cancelled 

*** This workshop cannot be taken for credit ***

This two-day workshop will introduce participants to the use of ’open notebooks’ as a way to implement and document programming routines in the free, open source Python programming language with the objective of learning to perform typical digital humanities tasks such as manipulating text and documents and automating certain tasks.  In day one participants will learn how to install the Jupyter Notebook software, how to run and create Jupyter Notebook files, and contexts where Jupyter Notebooks can be particularly useful.   In day two, participants will become familiar with the Python language and be taught to program basic algorithmic procedures.  At the end of the two days, participants should feel equipped to tackle a variety of typical problems that arise for digital humanists, such as:

  • The vocabulary of programming in digital humanities;
  • Basic text analysis and visualisation;
  • Manipulating strings, working with variables, lists and dictionaries;
  • If-statements, for-loops and functions;
  • Counting word frequency, Key Word in Context (KWIC) and other formats for concordance.

If the words above mean little or nothing to you, don’t panic — this course is for you.  The workshop assumes no prior technical knowledge and will focus on accomplishing basic research tasks. 

Identifying, Reaching and Engaging with Audiences in Digital Humanities

A workshop by Dr. Jennifer Edmond, Vicky Garnett and Eliza Papaki — DARIAH-EU and Trinity College Dublin Centre for Digital Humanities

Date: Wednesday, March 4

Time: 13:00-16:00


Online, openly accessible digital humanities projects are often assumed to possess an almost infinite audience.  However, the reality is that how a project is conceived and communicated will often have the effect of greatly reducing the target audience(s), even if we don’t intend it, as no project can appeal to everyone. This workshop will enable researchers and practitioners with active projects and/or project ideas to understand how to situate and disseminate their work for maximum impact.  The workshop will focus on the following three topics: how to define and prioritise audiences for a digital project, and how to design for their needs; how to reach audiences and encourage use; and how to facilitate deeper engagement by users.   

The workshop facilitators will present examples of best practice in audience engagement in digital humanities projects, discuss why they have been successful, and give practical recommendations and suggestions for how researchers at any career level can make use of outreach and audience engagement practices.

Social Network Analysis: How Does It Work and What You Can Do with It

A workshop by Dr. Elenora Lima, EU Marie Skłodowska-Curie Postdoctoral Fellow and Early Career Researcher at The Trinity Long Room Hub Arts & Humanities Research Institute.

Date: Cancelled

This workshop is designed to present the general theoretical framework behind network analysis and its applications within the Humanities. The workshop also provides a practical introduction of how to carry out Social Network Analysis (SNA) on the basis of datasets and create graphs with Gephi, as well as in Python.

In the last decades, the concept of network has become central in order to map and understand both reality and knowledge: participants will be introduced to examples of SNA application in research projects showing the tool’s wide adaptability.

As to the practical section, no previous skills are required. Participants will work with Gephi (free to download here). For the manipulation of datasets, a spreadsheet software such as Microsoft Excel or equivalent will be employed. To work with Python, we will use Google online Colaboratory, so there will be no need to download and install Python. Participants are requested to bring their laptop and download and install Gephi beforehand.

Under the Bonnet of a DH Website: How the Web Works?

A workshop by Dr. Jennifer Edmond — Trinity College Dublin Centre for Digital Humanities

Date: Cancelled

One of the most common activities in digital humanities is the presentation of sources, texts, documents or arguments via the world wide web.  While there are now many user-friendly content management systems enabling this to be done with little or no understanding of the technical underpinnings of the Internet, it is both practically useful and methodologically important to understand how the protocols and standards that underpin the websites we use and create actually work.  The aim of this workshop will therefore be to explore the Internet and the Worldwide Web and the foundation technologies that underlie both. The workshop will give an introduction to the history of the web, including the emergence of hypertext and web technologies such as HTML and XML. Participants will work with HTML and CSS and will learn introductory approaches to web site development. The workshop will be of interest to those who are curious about the impact of the web on all aspects of society, with a particular focus on the Humanities, and on the delivery of humanities research projects.

Interdisciplinary Critical Feminist Digital Scholarship: Topics and Tools

A workshop by Dr. Patricia Treusch Postdoctoral Fellow at the Interdisciplinary Berlin Cooperative Graduate Program “DiGiTal — Digitalization: Design and Transformation” and Visiting Researcher at The Trinity Long Room Hub Arts & Humanities Research Institute.

Date: Cancelled

This workshop will explore how Digital Humanities (DH) and selected perspectives of Feminist Science and Technology Studies (FSTS) can be brought into a productive relationship. This entails to discuss the need as well as the availability of critical analytical tools adjusted to processes of a digitalization, datafication and algorithmization of humanities. Arguing that the latter cannot be reduced to the claim that digital scholarship is paradigmatic for the neoliberal, entrepreneurial university with its instrumentalist forms of education, the workshop will highlight the chances of what David Berry calls „digital intellect“ (2011). 

The goal of the workshop is to bring together concepts of critical DH, informed by FSTS, in order to develop an account of digital humanities as positioned between technology and culture, and therefore an ideal field of reflecting on how recent computer cultures are impacting not only societies, economies and politics, but also knowledge production and practices of knowing. At the core of the position of a digital intellect then is to raise questions such as: How to re-think both knowledge cultures and the knower of digital humanities in terms of a network of distributed cognition based on large sets of data and the use of code? And: How to become accountable for processes of in- and exclusion as well as the (re-)production of stereotypes and bias, that are, existing power relations through developing and engaging in certain networks of distributed cognition and data practices over others? The workshop will enable participants to develop a set of reflective tools geared towards individual research projects.