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Cambridge Digital Humanities

Cambridge Digital Humanities course timetable

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Thu 4 Mar – Tue 8 Feb 2022

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March 2021

Thu 4
Methods Fellow Workshop: Exploring (literary) texts with corpus linguistics tools new (2 of 4) Finished 14:00 - 15:00 Cambridge Digital Humanities Online

Applications for this workshop have now closed.

Corpus linguistic approach to language is based on collections of electronic texts. It uses software to search and quantify various linguistic phenomena that make up patterns, which it then compares within and across texts based on their frequency. Corpus stylistics applies tools and methods from corpus linguistics to stylistic research. Corpus stylistics mainly focuses on literary texts, individual or corpora. Corpora are here, usually, principled collections of texts, for example a collection of texts by one author, or texts from a specific period. It focuses both on more general patterns and meanings that are observable across corpora and patterns and meanings in one individual text. In terms of quantitative approaches that corpus stylistics employs, it is in many ways similar to work that is referred to as ‘distant reading’ and also ‘cultural analytics’. These approaches emphasise the gains that we get from looking at texts from “distance”, i.e., in large quantities. For corpus stylistics, it is the relationship between quantitative and qualitative that is central. Therefore, research in corpus stylistics often deals with much smaller “cleaner” data sets, so that the qualitative step in the analysis is more manageable.

This workshop aims to introduce the basic corpus linguistic techniques and methods for working with literary and other texts. It aims:

  • To provide an introduction to corpus linguistics in relation to digital humanities approaches;
  • To develop critical understanding of how data representativeness used in quantitative research may influence results;
  • To critically examine the relationship between quantitative and qualitative textual analyses;
  • To provide a practical toolkit for computational textual analysis.
Mon 8
Interaction with Machine Learning new (3 of 4) Finished 10:00 - 11:30 Cambridge Digital Humanities Online

Application forms should be returned to CDH Learning (learning@cdh.cam.ac.uk) by Thursday 7 January 2021. We will review applications on a rolling basis and applicants will be notified at the latest by the end of Monday 11 January.

This CDH Guided Project aims to provide humanities, arts and social science researchers with an overview of current theory and practice in the design of human-computer interaction in the age of AI and equip the participants with analytical tools necessary for a critical investigation of contemporary design with AI/ML. Looking closely at interactions between humans and emerging AI systems, the workshop will also explore the potential for interaction between humanities scholars and computer scientists in the process of development and assessment of new solutions.

Lectures and practical research design sessions in Interaction with Machine Learning taught by Professor Alan Blackwell and Advait Sarkar (Microsoft Research) as part of an optional course for Part III and MPhil Computer Science students will form the anchoring element of the Project. These will allow researchers without a Computer Science background to explore how key challenges in AI design are being addressed within the field of interaction design, as well as identify areas in which humanities methodologies and approaches could be adopted to improve the production process, by making it more fair, critical, and socially-aware.

Participants will also take part in three workshops specifically tailored to humanities and social science researchers and will be supported in developing a mini research project investigating how humans interact with systems based on computational models. The projects may include:

  • probing an already existing dataset, system, or user interface from a critical perspective
  • developing an idea for new interaction design based on critical applications of ML/AI.

Please note: no prior practical experience or knowledge of programming is required to take part in the Project, however some awareness of how AI systems work will be beneficial.

Minimum time commitment:

  • 8 weekly online lectures led by Professor Alan Blackwell (Computer Science and Technology) and Advait Sarkar (Microsoft Research). Weekly from 26 January, 2-4pm (with the last hour as an optional session for Guided Project participants).
  • 3 x 1.5 hour specialist workshops for humanities and social science participants led by Tomasz Hollanek and Anne Alexander (CDH)
  • 1.5 hour project showcase and final discussion

Participants are encouraged to set aside additional time to work on their projects between sessions. A Moodle email forum and drop-in ‘clinic’ style support sessions will be available during the Guided Project.

Lecture topics and dates

  • Current research themes in intelligent user interfaces (26 January, 2pm)
  • Program synthesis (2 February, 2pm)
  • Mixed initiative interaction (9 February, 2pm)
  • Interpretability / explainable AI (16 February, 2pm)
  • Labelling as a fundamental problem (23 February, 2pm)
  • Machine learning risks and bias (2 March, 2pm)
  • Visualisation and visual analytics (9 March, 2pm)
  • Research presentations by Computer Science Students (16 March, 2pm)

Workshop themes

  • AI critique, humanities methodologies and user interface design (1 February, 10-11.30am)
  • Recommender systems (1 March 10-11.30am)
  • Machine vision (8 March 10-11.30am)
  • Project presentations and discussion (15 March 10-11.30am)

Objectives By the end of the course participants should:

  • be familiar with current state of the art in intelligent interactive systems
  • understand the human factors that are most critical in the design of such systems
  • be able to evaluate evidence for and against the utility of novel systems
  • be able to apply critical methodologies to current interaction design practices
  • understand the interplay between ML/AI research and humanities approaches
Methods Fellow Workshop: Exploring (literary) texts with corpus linguistics tools new (3 of 4) Finished 14:00 - 15:00 Cambridge Digital Humanities Online

Applications for this workshop have now closed.

Corpus linguistic approach to language is based on collections of electronic texts. It uses software to search and quantify various linguistic phenomena that make up patterns, which it then compares within and across texts based on their frequency. Corpus stylistics applies tools and methods from corpus linguistics to stylistic research. Corpus stylistics mainly focuses on literary texts, individual or corpora. Corpora are here, usually, principled collections of texts, for example a collection of texts by one author, or texts from a specific period. It focuses both on more general patterns and meanings that are observable across corpora and patterns and meanings in one individual text. In terms of quantitative approaches that corpus stylistics employs, it is in many ways similar to work that is referred to as ‘distant reading’ and also ‘cultural analytics’. These approaches emphasise the gains that we get from looking at texts from “distance”, i.e., in large quantities. For corpus stylistics, it is the relationship between quantitative and qualitative that is central. Therefore, research in corpus stylistics often deals with much smaller “cleaner” data sets, so that the qualitative step in the analysis is more manageable.

This workshop aims to introduce the basic corpus linguistic techniques and methods for working with literary and other texts. It aims:

  • To provide an introduction to corpus linguistics in relation to digital humanities approaches;
  • To develop critical understanding of how data representativeness used in quantitative research may influence results;
  • To critically examine the relationship between quantitative and qualitative textual analyses;
  • To provide a practical toolkit for computational textual analysis.
Thu 11
Methods Workshop: Introduction to Text-mining with Python new (1 of 2) Finished 11:00 - 12:00 Cambridge Digital Humanities Online

Text-mining is extracting information from unstructured text, such as books, newspapers, and manuscript transcriptions. This foundational course is aimed at students and staff who are new to text-mining, and presents a basic introduction to text-mining principles and methods, with coding examples and exercises in Python. To discuss the process, we will walk through a simple example of collecting, cleaning and analysing a text.

If you are interested in attending this course, please fill in, and return, the application form by Monday, 22 February 2021. Places will be prioritised for students and staff in the schools of Arts & Humanities, Humanities & Social Sciences, libraries and museums. If you study or work in a STEM department and use humanities or social sciences approaches you are also welcome to apply.

Methods Fellow Workshop: Exploring (literary) texts with corpus linguistics tools new (4 of 4) Finished 14:00 - 15:00 Cambridge Digital Humanities Online

Applications for this workshop have now closed.

Corpus linguistic approach to language is based on collections of electronic texts. It uses software to search and quantify various linguistic phenomena that make up patterns, which it then compares within and across texts based on their frequency. Corpus stylistics applies tools and methods from corpus linguistics to stylistic research. Corpus stylistics mainly focuses on literary texts, individual or corpora. Corpora are here, usually, principled collections of texts, for example a collection of texts by one author, or texts from a specific period. It focuses both on more general patterns and meanings that are observable across corpora and patterns and meanings in one individual text. In terms of quantitative approaches that corpus stylistics employs, it is in many ways similar to work that is referred to as ‘distant reading’ and also ‘cultural analytics’. These approaches emphasise the gains that we get from looking at texts from “distance”, i.e., in large quantities. For corpus stylistics, it is the relationship between quantitative and qualitative that is central. Therefore, research in corpus stylistics often deals with much smaller “cleaner” data sets, so that the qualitative step in the analysis is more manageable.

This workshop aims to introduce the basic corpus linguistic techniques and methods for working with literary and other texts. It aims:

  • To provide an introduction to corpus linguistics in relation to digital humanities approaches;
  • To develop critical understanding of how data representativeness used in quantitative research may influence results;
  • To critically examine the relationship between quantitative and qualitative textual analyses;
  • To provide a practical toolkit for computational textual analysis.
Mon 15
Interaction with Machine Learning new (4 of 4) Finished 10:00 - 11:30 Cambridge Digital Humanities Online

Application forms should be returned to CDH Learning (learning@cdh.cam.ac.uk) by Thursday 7 January 2021. We will review applications on a rolling basis and applicants will be notified at the latest by the end of Monday 11 January.

This CDH Guided Project aims to provide humanities, arts and social science researchers with an overview of current theory and practice in the design of human-computer interaction in the age of AI and equip the participants with analytical tools necessary for a critical investigation of contemporary design with AI/ML. Looking closely at interactions between humans and emerging AI systems, the workshop will also explore the potential for interaction between humanities scholars and computer scientists in the process of development and assessment of new solutions.

Lectures and practical research design sessions in Interaction with Machine Learning taught by Professor Alan Blackwell and Advait Sarkar (Microsoft Research) as part of an optional course for Part III and MPhil Computer Science students will form the anchoring element of the Project. These will allow researchers without a Computer Science background to explore how key challenges in AI design are being addressed within the field of interaction design, as well as identify areas in which humanities methodologies and approaches could be adopted to improve the production process, by making it more fair, critical, and socially-aware.

Participants will also take part in three workshops specifically tailored to humanities and social science researchers and will be supported in developing a mini research project investigating how humans interact with systems based on computational models. The projects may include:

  • probing an already existing dataset, system, or user interface from a critical perspective
  • developing an idea for new interaction design based on critical applications of ML/AI.

Please note: no prior practical experience or knowledge of programming is required to take part in the Project, however some awareness of how AI systems work will be beneficial.

Minimum time commitment:

  • 8 weekly online lectures led by Professor Alan Blackwell (Computer Science and Technology) and Advait Sarkar (Microsoft Research). Weekly from 26 January, 2-4pm (with the last hour as an optional session for Guided Project participants).
  • 3 x 1.5 hour specialist workshops for humanities and social science participants led by Tomasz Hollanek and Anne Alexander (CDH)
  • 1.5 hour project showcase and final discussion

Participants are encouraged to set aside additional time to work on their projects between sessions. A Moodle email forum and drop-in ‘clinic’ style support sessions will be available during the Guided Project.

Lecture topics and dates

  • Current research themes in intelligent user interfaces (26 January, 2pm)
  • Program synthesis (2 February, 2pm)
  • Mixed initiative interaction (9 February, 2pm)
  • Interpretability / explainable AI (16 February, 2pm)
  • Labelling as a fundamental problem (23 February, 2pm)
  • Machine learning risks and bias (2 March, 2pm)
  • Visualisation and visual analytics (9 March, 2pm)
  • Research presentations by Computer Science Students (16 March, 2pm)

Workshop themes

  • AI critique, humanities methodologies and user interface design (1 February, 10-11.30am)
  • Recommender systems (1 March 10-11.30am)
  • Machine vision (8 March 10-11.30am)
  • Project presentations and discussion (15 March 10-11.30am)

Objectives By the end of the course participants should:

  • be familiar with current state of the art in intelligent interactive systems
  • understand the human factors that are most critical in the design of such systems
  • be able to evaluate evidence for and against the utility of novel systems
  • be able to apply critical methodologies to current interaction design practices
  • understand the interplay between ML/AI research and humanities approaches
Thu 18
Methods Workshop: Introduction to Text-mining with Python new (2 of 2) Finished 11:00 - 12:00 Cambridge Digital Humanities Online

Text-mining is extracting information from unstructured text, such as books, newspapers, and manuscript transcriptions. This foundational course is aimed at students and staff who are new to text-mining, and presents a basic introduction to text-mining principles and methods, with coding examples and exercises in Python. To discuss the process, we will walk through a simple example of collecting, cleaning and analysing a text.

If you are interested in attending this course, please fill in, and return, the application form by Monday, 22 February 2021. Places will be prioritised for students and staff in the schools of Arts & Humanities, Humanities & Social Sciences, libraries and museums. If you study or work in a STEM department and use humanities or social sciences approaches you are also welcome to apply.

May 2021

Thu 6
CDH Labs: Digital Scholar Lab session: Introduction to Gale Digital Scholar Lab new Finished 15:00 - 16:30 Cambridge Digital Humanities Online

Chris Houghton (Head of Digital Scholarship for Gale) joins us to deliver this suite of CDH Labs sessions. Chris collaborates globally with scholars, in the digital humanities community, ensuring the development of Gale Digital Scholar Lab continues to meet their needs.

Are you interested in looking at primary sources in new ways? Would you like to learn how to analyse large sets of historical and contemporary materials to provide a different perspective on your research?

In this session we will introduce Gale Digital Scholar Lab, a cloud hosted text and data mining platform available to the University. The Lab combines the text from Gale’s archive collections available at Cambridge, including Times Digital Archive and Eighteenth-Century Collection Online (ECCO), with powerful text mining tools that enable sophisticated, wide-ranging analysis.

You don’t need any previous experience in text and data mining, and you don’t have to have any interest in coding or algorithms – this session will explain how absolutely anyone can run these analyses and enhance their research accordingly.

Fri 7
CDH Labs: Digital Scholar Lab sessions: Tools in Depth new Finished 10:00 - 11:00 Cambridge Digital Humanities Online

Chris Houghton (Head of Digital Scholarship for Gale) joins us to deliver this suite of CDH Labs sessions. Chris collaborates globally with scholars, in the digital humanities community, ensuring the development of Gale Digital Scholar Lab continues to meet their needs.

Mon 10
CDH Labs: Digital Scholar Lab session: Introduction to Gale Digital Scholar Lab new Finished 15:00 - 16:30 Cambridge Digital Humanities Online

Chris Houghton (Head of Digital Scholarship for Gale) joins us to deliver this suite of CDH Labs sessions. Chris collaborates globally with scholars, in the digital humanities community, ensuring the development of Gale Digital Scholar Lab continues to meet their needs.

Are you interested in looking at primary sources in new ways? Would you like to learn how to analyse large sets of historical and contemporary materials to provide a different perspective on your research?

In this session we will introduce Gale Digital Scholar Lab, a cloud hosted text and data mining platform available to the University. The Lab combines the text from Gale’s archive collections available at Cambridge, including Times Digital Archive and Eighteenth-Century Collection Online (ECCO), with powerful text mining tools that enable sophisticated, wide-ranging analysis.

You don’t need any previous experience in text and data mining, and you don’t have to have any interest in coding or algorithms – this session will explain how absolutely anyone can run these analyses and enhance their research accordingly.

Tue 11
Working with image collections at scale: an introduction to IIIF new Finished 10:00 - 11:00 Cambridge Digital Humanities Online

This CDH Basics session introduces the IIIF image data framework, which has been developed by a consortium of the world’s leading research libraries and image repositories and methods of access to image collections including the collections of Cambridge University Digital Library. We will also discuss a range of methods using IIIF image data in humanities research.

Thu 13
CDH Labs: Digital Scholar Lab sessions: Tools in Depth new Finished 15:00 - 16:00 Cambridge Digital Humanities Online

Chris Houghton (Head of Digital Scholarship for Gale) joins us to deliver this suite of CDH Labs sessions. Chris collaborates globally with scholars, in the digital humanities community, ensuring the development of Gale Digital Scholar Lab continues to meet their needs.

Thu 20
Methods Workshop: Best Practices in Coding for Digital Humanities new (1 of 2) Finished 11:00 - 12:00 Cambridge Digital Humanities Online

Methods Workshop: Best Practices in Coding for Digital Humanities

Mary Chester-Kadwell (CDH Methods Fellow)

Please note this workshop has limited spaces and an application process in place. Application forms should be completed by Tuesday, 11 May 2021. Successful applicants will be notified by end-of-day Wednesday, 12 May 2021.

This course introduces best practices and techniques to help you better manage your code and data, and develop your project into a usable, sustainable, and reproducible workflow for research.

Developing your coding practice is an ongoing process throughout your career. This intermediate course is aimed at students and staff who use coding in research, or plan on starting such a project soon. We present an introduction to a range of best practices and techniques to help you better manage your code and data, and develop your project into a usable, sustainable, and reproducible workflow. All the examples and exercises will be in Python.

If you are interested in attending this course, please fill in the application form. Places will be prioritised for students and staff in the schools of Arts & Humanities, Humanities & Social Sciences, libraries and museums. If you study or work in a STEM department and use humanities or social sciences approaches you are also welcome to apply.

If you are interested in attending this course, please fill in the application form.

Tue 25
Computer Vision: A critical introduction new Finished 10:00 - 11:00 Cambridge Digital Humanities Online

Machine vision systems can potentially help humanities researchers see historical and cultural image collections differently, and could provide tools to answer new research questions. This CDH Basics session provides an introductory overview of basic tasks in machine vision, such as Image Classification, Object Detection and Image Captioning within a critical framework highlighting the challenges of algorithmic bias and the limits of automation as a method for humanistic enquiry.

Thu 27
Methods Workshop: Best Practices in Coding for Digital Humanities new (2 of 2) Finished 11:00 - 12:00 Cambridge Digital Humanities Online

Methods Workshop: Best Practices in Coding for Digital Humanities

Mary Chester-Kadwell (CDH Methods Fellow)

Please note this workshop has limited spaces and an application process in place. Application forms should be completed by Tuesday, 11 May 2021. Successful applicants will be notified by end-of-day Wednesday, 12 May 2021.

This course introduces best practices and techniques to help you better manage your code and data, and develop your project into a usable, sustainable, and reproducible workflow for research.

Developing your coding practice is an ongoing process throughout your career. This intermediate course is aimed at students and staff who use coding in research, or plan on starting such a project soon. We present an introduction to a range of best practices and techniques to help you better manage your code and data, and develop your project into a usable, sustainable, and reproducible workflow. All the examples and exercises will be in Python.

If you are interested in attending this course, please fill in the application form. Places will be prioritised for students and staff in the schools of Arts & Humanities, Humanities & Social Sciences, libraries and museums. If you study or work in a STEM department and use humanities or social sciences approaches you are also welcome to apply.

If you are interested in attending this course, please fill in the application form.

June 2021

Tue 8

The aim of this course is to support students, researchers, and professionals interested in exploring the changing nature of the English vocabulary in historical texts at scale, and to reflect critically on the limitations of these computational analyses. We will focus on computational methods for representing word meaning and word meaning change from large-scale historical text corpora. The corpus used will consist of Darwin’s letters from the (Darwin Project https://www.darwinproject.ac.uk/) at Cambridge University Library. All code will be in online Python notebooks.

If you are interested in attending this course, please fill in the application form

The aim of this course is to support students, researchers, and professionals interested in exploring the changing nature of the English vocabulary in historical texts at scale, and to reflect critically on the limitations of these computational analyses. We will focus on computational methods for representing word meaning and word meaning change from large-scale historical text corpora. The corpus used will consist of Darwin’s letters from the (Darwin Project https://www.darwinproject.ac.uk/) at Cambridge University Library. All code will be in online Python notebooks.

If you are interested in attending this course, please fill in the application form

Tue 15

The aim of this course is to support students, researchers, and professionals interested in exploring the changing nature of the English vocabulary in historical texts at scale, and to reflect critically on the limitations of these computational analyses. We will focus on computational methods for representing word meaning and word meaning change from large-scale historical text corpora. The corpus used will consist of Darwin’s letters from the (Darwin Project https://www.darwinproject.ac.uk/) at Cambridge University Library. All code will be in online Python notebooks.

If you are interested in attending this course, please fill in the application form

The aim of this course is to support students, researchers, and professionals interested in exploring the changing nature of the English vocabulary in historical texts at scale, and to reflect critically on the limitations of these computational analyses. We will focus on computational methods for representing word meaning and word meaning change from large-scale historical text corpora. The corpus used will consist of Darwin’s letters from the (Darwin Project https://www.darwinproject.ac.uk/) at Cambridge University Library. All code will be in online Python notebooks.

If you are interested in attending this course, please fill in the application form

October 2021

Tue 12
CDH Basics: Understanding data and metadata new [Places] 10:00 - 11:00 Cambridge Digital Humanities Online

This CDH Basics session provides a basic introduction to good practice around understanding file formats, version control and the principles of data curation for individual researchers. We will examine the importance of metadata (‘data about data’), exploring the crucial role played by classification systems and standards in shaping how scholars interact with historical and cultural records. Rather than accepting data as a ‘given’, we will discuss the creation and curation of data as interpretative practices and analyse their relationship to other traditions of scholarship in the humanities and social sciences.

Tue 26
CDH Basics: Re:search new [Places] 10:00 - 11:00 Cambridge Digital Humanities Online

In this CDH Basics session, participants will explore how searching and finding technologies structure scholarship, through an introduction to search engines both for web search and custom search functions within collections. We will discuss how errors introduced by digitisation technologies create blindspots for digital search in historical collections, interacting with social and legal processes to structure bias and discrimination into search processes. The session will provide a brief introduction to the importance of machine-learning driven systems for digital search and suggest strategies for researchers to critically engage with, rather than passively accept, search engine results.

November 2021

Tue 9
CDH Basics: Digital research design and data ethics new [Places] 10:00 - 11:00 Cambridge Digital Humanities Online

This CDH Basics session explores the lifecycle of a digital research project, across the stages of design, data capture, transformation, analysis, presentation and preservation, and introduces tactics for embedding ethical research principles and practices at each stage of the research process.

Tue 23
CDH Basics: Data protection and information security: a guide for researchers new [Places] 10:00 - 11:00 Cambridge Digital Humanities Online

In this CDH Basics session, we will discuss how to assess the impact of relevant legal frameworks, including data protection, intellectual property and media law, on your digital research project and consider what approach researchers should take to the terms of service of third-party digital platforms. We will explore the challenge of informed consent in a highly networked world and look at a range of strategies for dealing with this problem. 

January 2022

Tue 25
CDH Basics: First steps in coding with Python new [Places] 10:00 - 11:00 Cambridge Digital Humanities Online

This CDH Basics session is aimed at researchers who have never done any coding before. We will explore basic principles and approaches to writing and adapting code, using the popular programming language Python as a case study. Participants will also gain familiarity with using Jupyter Notebooks, an open-source web application that allows users to create and share documents containing live code alongside visualisations and narrative text.

February 2022

Tue 8
CDH Basics: Bulk data capture new [Places] 10:00 - 11:00 Cambridge Digital Humanities Online

This CDH Basics session investigates three different methods for accessing digital data ‘in bulk’: using an API (Application Programme Interface), web scraping and direct access (via download or on a hard drive). We will explore the importance of good practice in documenting the provenance of data that others have created and discuss the practical steps in research data management essential to ensuring that you are able to make legal and ethical use of this type of data in your research. No knowledge of programming languages is required, however, there will be a demonstration of a Python web scraper during the session and references to more in-depth tutorials on web scraping will be provided.