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Cambridge Digital Humanities

Cambridge Digital Humanities course timetable

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Sat 19 Jun 2021 – Tue 8 Mar

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[ No events on Sat 19 Jun 2021 ]

October 2021

Mon 11
CDH Methods Workshop: Machine Learning Systems: a critical introduction new (1 of 2) Finished 13:00 - 14:30 Cambridge Digital Humanities Online

Dr Anne Alexander, Cambridge Digital Humanities

Places are limited and participants must complete this form in order to participate in addition to booking online. We will write and confirm your participation by email. Bookings will remain open until 10am, 11 October 2021; However, participants are encouraged to apply early as demand is likely to be high.

This online workshop will provide an accessible, non-technical introduction to Machine Learning systems, aimed primarily at graduate students and researchers in the humanities, arts and social sciences. It is designed as a preparatory session for potential applicants to our Interaction with Machine Learning Guided Project which will run in Lent Term 2022 in collaboration with the Department of Computer Science and Technology. However, it can also be booked as a standalone session.

Tue 12
CDH Basics: Understanding data and metadata new Finished 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.

Thu 14
CDH Methods Workshop: Machine Learning Systems: a critical introduction new (2 of 2) Finished 13:00 - 14:30 Cambridge Digital Humanities Online

Dr Anne Alexander, Cambridge Digital Humanities

Places are limited and participants must complete this form in order to participate in addition to booking online. We will write and confirm your participation by email. Bookings will remain open until 10am, 11 October 2021; However, participants are encouraged to apply early as demand is likely to be high.

This online workshop will provide an accessible, non-technical introduction to Machine Learning systems, aimed primarily at graduate students and researchers in the humanities, arts and social sciences. It is designed as a preparatory session for potential applicants to our Interaction with Machine Learning Guided Project which will run in Lent Term 2022 in collaboration with the Department of Computer Science and Technology. However, it can also be booked as a standalone session.

Mon 25
CDH Guided Project: GIS and digitisation of historical maps for research new (1 of 4) Finished 15:00 - 16:30 Cambridge Digital Humanities Online

Places are limited, and participants must complete this form to participate in addition to booking online. We will write and confirm your participation by email. Bookings will remain open until 10 am, Wednesday 20 October; however, participants are encouraged to apply early as demand is likely to be high, and we will not be able to guarantee that your ArcGis Online account will be activated for the first session.

This CDH Guided Project series will offer an overview of GIS techniques applied to digitising historical material, from basic manual digitisation to using platforms for crowd-sourced digitisation. It will introduce GIS best practices and terminology and enable participants to design and launch their own projects. Each session will offer a 20-minute presentation, followed by 10 minutes of Q&A and one hour of practice, using ArcGis Online and a range of other GIS solutions. The teaching will be delivered by a team composed of a geospatial analyst, an architect and a historian, giving participants from all fields a broad range of views and expertise to draw on.

Participation in this guided project will also contribute to an ongoing research project led by Dr Alexis Litvine and Dr Isabelle Séguy (anrcommunes.fr), which is (among other things) reconstructing historical transport networks for France. During the sessions, participants will help digitise nineteenth-century French roads using military maps. The work will ultimately be part of a journey planner (aka a "Google Maps") of the past for France.

Applications are invited from early career researchers and others at the University of Cambridge to join this project for four online sessions during the Guided Project phase in Oct-November. The project concludes with a live “mapathon” session on International GIS day, i.e. November 17. On this day, participants will all meet (in person preferably but online will be possible) for a friendly but competitive digitisation challenge against participants in a similar guided project held in France — pizza and refreshments will be provided.

Participants will need to commit to joining the live sessions and to set aside at least 3-4 hours of individual digitisation work. Participation in the final “mapathon” (online or in-person) is also expected, but no prior GIS knowledge is required.

Tue 26
CDH Basics: Re:search new Finished 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 2
CDH Guided Project: GIS and digitisation of historical maps for research new (2 of 4) Finished 15:00 - 16:30 Cambridge Digital Humanities Online

Places are limited, and participants must complete this form to participate in addition to booking online. We will write and confirm your participation by email. Bookings will remain open until 10 am, Wednesday 20 October; however, participants are encouraged to apply early as demand is likely to be high, and we will not be able to guarantee that your ArcGis Online account will be activated for the first session.

This CDH Guided Project series will offer an overview of GIS techniques applied to digitising historical material, from basic manual digitisation to using platforms for crowd-sourced digitisation. It will introduce GIS best practices and terminology and enable participants to design and launch their own projects. Each session will offer a 20-minute presentation, followed by 10 minutes of Q&A and one hour of practice, using ArcGis Online and a range of other GIS solutions. The teaching will be delivered by a team composed of a geospatial analyst, an architect and a historian, giving participants from all fields a broad range of views and expertise to draw on.

Participation in this guided project will also contribute to an ongoing research project led by Dr Alexis Litvine and Dr Isabelle Séguy (anrcommunes.fr), which is (among other things) reconstructing historical transport networks for France. During the sessions, participants will help digitise nineteenth-century French roads using military maps. The work will ultimately be part of a journey planner (aka a "Google Maps") of the past for France.

Applications are invited from early career researchers and others at the University of Cambridge to join this project for four online sessions during the Guided Project phase in Oct-November. The project concludes with a live “mapathon” session on International GIS day, i.e. November 17. On this day, participants will all meet (in person preferably but online will be possible) for a friendly but competitive digitisation challenge against participants in a similar guided project held in France — pizza and refreshments will be provided.

Participants will need to commit to joining the live sessions and to set aside at least 3-4 hours of individual digitisation work. Participation in the final “mapathon” (online or in-person) is also expected, but no prior GIS knowledge is required.

Tue 9
CDH Basics: Digital research design and data ethics new Finished 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.

CDH Guided Project: GIS and digitisation of historical maps for research new (3 of 4) Finished 15:00 - 16:30 Cambridge Digital Humanities Online

Places are limited, and participants must complete this form to participate in addition to booking online. We will write and confirm your participation by email. Bookings will remain open until 10 am, Wednesday 20 October; however, participants are encouraged to apply early as demand is likely to be high, and we will not be able to guarantee that your ArcGis Online account will be activated for the first session.

This CDH Guided Project series will offer an overview of GIS techniques applied to digitising historical material, from basic manual digitisation to using platforms for crowd-sourced digitisation. It will introduce GIS best practices and terminology and enable participants to design and launch their own projects. Each session will offer a 20-minute presentation, followed by 10 minutes of Q&A and one hour of practice, using ArcGis Online and a range of other GIS solutions. The teaching will be delivered by a team composed of a geospatial analyst, an architect and a historian, giving participants from all fields a broad range of views and expertise to draw on.

Participation in this guided project will also contribute to an ongoing research project led by Dr Alexis Litvine and Dr Isabelle Séguy (anrcommunes.fr), which is (among other things) reconstructing historical transport networks for France. During the sessions, participants will help digitise nineteenth-century French roads using military maps. The work will ultimately be part of a journey planner (aka a "Google Maps") of the past for France.

Applications are invited from early career researchers and others at the University of Cambridge to join this project for four online sessions during the Guided Project phase in Oct-November. The project concludes with a live “mapathon” session on International GIS day, i.e. November 17. On this day, participants will all meet (in person preferably but online will be possible) for a friendly but competitive digitisation challenge against participants in a similar guided project held in France — pizza and refreshments will be provided.

Participants will need to commit to joining the live sessions and to set aside at least 3-4 hours of individual digitisation work. Participation in the final “mapathon” (online or in-person) is also expected, but no prior GIS knowledge is required.

Mon 15
Methods Workshop: Perspectives on participatory research design new (1 of 2) Finished 10:00 - 11:30 Cambridge Digital Humanities Online

We are pleased to welcome Dr Ann Borda as a guest lecturer for this CDH Methods Workshop. Ann is the Participatory Health Lead in the Co-design Living Lab for Digital Health in the Centre for Digital Transformation of Health at the University of Melbourne. She is a Fellow of the Australasian Institute of Digital Health, Honorary Senior Research Associate at University College London, and sits on the policy committee of the Climate and Health Alliance. Ann formerly held collaborative positions in JISC and at the Science Museum London. Her research spans living lab and citizen science methods, and emerging participatory practices in digital health and culture.

There is an increasing presence in research incorporating participatory approaches to the production of knowledge. Participatory research is a range of methods framed within ideological perspectives. Its fundamental principles are that the subjects of the research become involved as partners in the process of the enquiry, and enacted through a set of social values. Participation can be classified by various degrees of involvement. Participatory activities can be expressed through various methods and approaches, such as co-design, citizen science, crowdsourcing, living labs, participatory action research and community-based participatory research, among others.

Wed 17
CDH Guided Project: GIS and digitisation of historical maps for research new (4 of 4) Finished 16:00 - 18:00 Faculty of History, Seminar Room 5

Places are limited, and participants must complete this form to participate in addition to booking online. We will write and confirm your participation by email. Bookings will remain open until 10 am, Wednesday 20 October; however, participants are encouraged to apply early as demand is likely to be high, and we will not be able to guarantee that your ArcGis Online account will be activated for the first session.

This CDH Guided Project series will offer an overview of GIS techniques applied to digitising historical material, from basic manual digitisation to using platforms for crowd-sourced digitisation. It will introduce GIS best practices and terminology and enable participants to design and launch their own projects. Each session will offer a 20-minute presentation, followed by 10 minutes of Q&A and one hour of practice, using ArcGis Online and a range of other GIS solutions. The teaching will be delivered by a team composed of a geospatial analyst, an architect and a historian, giving participants from all fields a broad range of views and expertise to draw on.

Participation in this guided project will also contribute to an ongoing research project led by Dr Alexis Litvine and Dr Isabelle Séguy (anrcommunes.fr), which is (among other things) reconstructing historical transport networks for France. During the sessions, participants will help digitise nineteenth-century French roads using military maps. The work will ultimately be part of a journey planner (aka a "Google Maps") of the past for France.

Applications are invited from early career researchers and others at the University of Cambridge to join this project for four online sessions during the Guided Project phase in Oct-November. The project concludes with a live “mapathon” session on International GIS day, i.e. November 17. On this day, participants will all meet (in person preferably but online will be possible) for a friendly but competitive digitisation challenge against participants in a similar guided project held in France — pizza and refreshments will be provided.

Participants will need to commit to joining the live sessions and to set aside at least 3-4 hours of individual digitisation work. Participation in the final “mapathon” (online or in-person) is also expected, but no prior GIS knowledge is required.

Mon 22
Methods Workshop: Perspectives on participatory research design new (2 of 2) Finished 10:00 - 11:30 Cambridge Digital Humanities Online

We are pleased to welcome Dr Ann Borda as a guest lecturer for this CDH Methods Workshop. Ann is the Participatory Health Lead in the Co-design Living Lab for Digital Health in the Centre for Digital Transformation of Health at the University of Melbourne. She is a Fellow of the Australasian Institute of Digital Health, Honorary Senior Research Associate at University College London, and sits on the policy committee of the Climate and Health Alliance. Ann formerly held collaborative positions in JISC and at the Science Museum London. Her research spans living lab and citizen science methods, and emerging participatory practices in digital health and culture.

There is an increasing presence in research incorporating participatory approaches to the production of knowledge. Participatory research is a range of methods framed within ideological perspectives. Its fundamental principles are that the subjects of the research become involved as partners in the process of the enquiry, and enacted through a set of social values. Participation can be classified by various degrees of involvement. Participatory activities can be expressed through various methods and approaches, such as co-design, citizen science, crowdsourcing, living labs, participatory action research and community-based participatory research, among others.

Tue 23
CDH Basics: Data protection and information security: a guide for researchers new Finished 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 [Full] 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

Mon 7
Methods Fellows Series | Digital Humanities: Exploring critical, intersectional and decolonial methods new (1 of 4) [Standby] 10:00 - 11:00 Cambridge Digital Humanities Online

Isabelle Higgins, Methods Fellow - Cambridge Digital Humanities

This Methods Fellows' Workshop Series event aims to encourage participants to think critically and reflexively about the nature of digital humanities research. It will explore (both individually and collectively) the function and effect of critical, intersectional and decolonial research methods and their impact on research fields, participants and research outputs.

For each seminar, participants will be provided with a reading list that will contain both core introductory texts and additional readings. They will be expected to do 30 minutes of reading ahead of each seminar. The seminars themselves will be a mix of presentations, small group discussion and the study of specific empirical cases. Throughout the seminars we will collectively assemble a shared bibliography of academic texts and other digital resources. Participants will also be encouraged to bring and share examples and challenges from their own research. To increase space for discussion and critical reflection, participants will be encouraged to form small working groups, focused on the seminar theme they find most productive, and to connect with their working group for a 30-minute call to reflect on their chosen seminar outside of the scheduled four hours of teaching. There will be the option to feed back on these discussions to the wider group, deepening our shared understanding of the content covered in the course. Isabelle will also hold virtual office hours following the seminar series. In these ways and others, the series will aim to cater for those new to this area of research, as well as for scholars who are already working in digital humanities.

Key topics covered in the sessions will include:

  • Seminar 1: Digital Humanities in Social and Historical Context

Considering what and how we research, we will focus on placing digital humanities, as a discipline, in the context of its emergence. Disciplinary Sociology, for example, is increasingly grappling with its colonial past (Meghji, 2020). What happens when we examine the history and context of digital humanities? McIlwain (2020) reminds us of the historical ties between the development of computational technology and the surveillance of Black bodies. Yet digital humanities research has also sought to challenge the legal, social and political power exercised through digital systems (Selwyn, 2019). Does contextualising our methods change how we approach them?

  • Seminar 2: Critical approaches to Digital Environments: Affordances, Interfaces, AI, Algorithms

We will draw on the vast range of work produced by race critical code scholars, which help us to explore the assumptions and inequalities that are coded into the software we study (or use to conduct our studies). Ruha Benjamin (2016a:150) reminds us to ask of digital technology: 'who and what is fixed in place – classified, corralled, and/or coerced, to enable innovation?' How does a consideration of encoded digital inequalities affect our methodologies?

  • Seminar 3: Critical Engagement with User Generated Content

Beyond content & discourse analysis, we will draw on critical theories that draw attention to the digital and social constructs and conventions that shape the production of user-generated content, with Brock's (2018) Critical Techno-Cultural Discourse Analysis as one such methodological contribution. We'll explore what happens to our research when we broaden our methodological framing, considering the type of content produced by users and how it is produced, who is producing it, and what governs this production.

  • Seminar 4: Looking forward: Our roles as researchers in Digital Humanities

We will pay attention to the growing calls from a range of cross-disciplinary scholars who invite us to actively consider the impact of our methods on the future. We'll explore different notions of methodological responsibility and innovation, from the speculative (Benjamin, 2016b), to the caring (de la Bellacasa, 2011), to the adaptive and inductive (Markham & Buchanan, 2012). What happens when we place our research into its broader context and consider how our methods will shape the future of our discipline?

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.

Thu 10
Methods Fellows Series | Digital Humanities: Exploring critical, intersectional and decolonial methods new (2 of 4) [Standby] 10:00 - 11:00 Cambridge Digital Humanities Online

Isabelle Higgins, Methods Fellow - Cambridge Digital Humanities

This Methods Fellows' Workshop Series event aims to encourage participants to think critically and reflexively about the nature of digital humanities research. It will explore (both individually and collectively) the function and effect of critical, intersectional and decolonial research methods and their impact on research fields, participants and research outputs.

For each seminar, participants will be provided with a reading list that will contain both core introductory texts and additional readings. They will be expected to do 30 minutes of reading ahead of each seminar. The seminars themselves will be a mix of presentations, small group discussion and the study of specific empirical cases. Throughout the seminars we will collectively assemble a shared bibliography of academic texts and other digital resources. Participants will also be encouraged to bring and share examples and challenges from their own research. To increase space for discussion and critical reflection, participants will be encouraged to form small working groups, focused on the seminar theme they find most productive, and to connect with their working group for a 30-minute call to reflect on their chosen seminar outside of the scheduled four hours of teaching. There will be the option to feed back on these discussions to the wider group, deepening our shared understanding of the content covered in the course. Isabelle will also hold virtual office hours following the seminar series. In these ways and others, the series will aim to cater for those new to this area of research, as well as for scholars who are already working in digital humanities.

Key topics covered in the sessions will include:

  • Seminar 1: Digital Humanities in Social and Historical Context

Considering what and how we research, we will focus on placing digital humanities, as a discipline, in the context of its emergence. Disciplinary Sociology, for example, is increasingly grappling with its colonial past (Meghji, 2020). What happens when we examine the history and context of digital humanities? McIlwain (2020) reminds us of the historical ties between the development of computational technology and the surveillance of Black bodies. Yet digital humanities research has also sought to challenge the legal, social and political power exercised through digital systems (Selwyn, 2019). Does contextualising our methods change how we approach them?

  • Seminar 2: Critical approaches to Digital Environments: Affordances, Interfaces, AI, Algorithms

We will draw on the vast range of work produced by race critical code scholars, which help us to explore the assumptions and inequalities that are coded into the software we study (or use to conduct our studies). Ruha Benjamin (2016a:150) reminds us to ask of digital technology: 'who and what is fixed in place – classified, corralled, and/or coerced, to enable innovation?' How does a consideration of encoded digital inequalities affect our methodologies?

  • Seminar 3: Critical Engagement with User Generated Content

Beyond content & discourse analysis, we will draw on critical theories that draw attention to the digital and social constructs and conventions that shape the production of user-generated content, with Brock's (2018) Critical Techno-Cultural Discourse Analysis as one such methodological contribution. We'll explore what happens to our research when we broaden our methodological framing, considering the type of content produced by users and how it is produced, who is producing it, and what governs this production.

  • Seminar 4: Looking forward: Our roles as researchers in Digital Humanities

We will pay attention to the growing calls from a range of cross-disciplinary scholars who invite us to actively consider the impact of our methods on the future. We'll explore different notions of methodological responsibility and innovation, from the speculative (Benjamin, 2016b), to the caring (de la Bellacasa, 2011), to the adaptive and inductive (Markham & Buchanan, 2012). What happens when we place our research into its broader context and consider how our methods will shape the future of our discipline?

Mon 14
Methods Fellows Series | Digital Humanities: Exploring critical, intersectional and decolonial methods new (3 of 4) [Standby] 10:00 - 11:00 Cambridge Digital Humanities Online

Isabelle Higgins, Methods Fellow - Cambridge Digital Humanities

This Methods Fellows' Workshop Series event aims to encourage participants to think critically and reflexively about the nature of digital humanities research. It will explore (both individually and collectively) the function and effect of critical, intersectional and decolonial research methods and their impact on research fields, participants and research outputs.

For each seminar, participants will be provided with a reading list that will contain both core introductory texts and additional readings. They will be expected to do 30 minutes of reading ahead of each seminar. The seminars themselves will be a mix of presentations, small group discussion and the study of specific empirical cases. Throughout the seminars we will collectively assemble a shared bibliography of academic texts and other digital resources. Participants will also be encouraged to bring and share examples and challenges from their own research. To increase space for discussion and critical reflection, participants will be encouraged to form small working groups, focused on the seminar theme they find most productive, and to connect with their working group for a 30-minute call to reflect on their chosen seminar outside of the scheduled four hours of teaching. There will be the option to feed back on these discussions to the wider group, deepening our shared understanding of the content covered in the course. Isabelle will also hold virtual office hours following the seminar series. In these ways and others, the series will aim to cater for those new to this area of research, as well as for scholars who are already working in digital humanities.

Key topics covered in the sessions will include:

  • Seminar 1: Digital Humanities in Social and Historical Context

Considering what and how we research, we will focus on placing digital humanities, as a discipline, in the context of its emergence. Disciplinary Sociology, for example, is increasingly grappling with its colonial past (Meghji, 2020). What happens when we examine the history and context of digital humanities? McIlwain (2020) reminds us of the historical ties between the development of computational technology and the surveillance of Black bodies. Yet digital humanities research has also sought to challenge the legal, social and political power exercised through digital systems (Selwyn, 2019). Does contextualising our methods change how we approach them?

  • Seminar 2: Critical approaches to Digital Environments: Affordances, Interfaces, AI, Algorithms

We will draw on the vast range of work produced by race critical code scholars, which help us to explore the assumptions and inequalities that are coded into the software we study (or use to conduct our studies). Ruha Benjamin (2016a:150) reminds us to ask of digital technology: 'who and what is fixed in place – classified, corralled, and/or coerced, to enable innovation?' How does a consideration of encoded digital inequalities affect our methodologies?

  • Seminar 3: Critical Engagement with User Generated Content

Beyond content & discourse analysis, we will draw on critical theories that draw attention to the digital and social constructs and conventions that shape the production of user-generated content, with Brock's (2018) Critical Techno-Cultural Discourse Analysis as one such methodological contribution. We'll explore what happens to our research when we broaden our methodological framing, considering the type of content produced by users and how it is produced, who is producing it, and what governs this production.

  • Seminar 4: Looking forward: Our roles as researchers in Digital Humanities

We will pay attention to the growing calls from a range of cross-disciplinary scholars who invite us to actively consider the impact of our methods on the future. We'll explore different notions of methodological responsibility and innovation, from the speculative (Benjamin, 2016b), to the caring (de la Bellacasa, 2011), to the adaptive and inductive (Markham & Buchanan, 2012). What happens when we place our research into its broader context and consider how our methods will shape the future of our discipline?

Wed 16

Itamar Shatz - Methods Fellow CDH

This course will introduce participants to key concepts in statistical analyses, including statistical significance, effect sizes, and linear models. The goal is to give participants the basic tools that they need in order to understand the use of statistical methods by others and to use these methods effectively in their own research. We will focus on an intuitive and practical understanding of statistical analyses, rather than on the mathematical details underlying them. As such, the course will be accessible for those without a quantitative background, although it will help to have knowledge of basic descriptive statistics (e.g., mean and standard deviation).

The course will cover (approximately) the following topics:

  • Session 1: statistical significance and statistical tests (including hypothesis testing, p-values, statistical power, t-test, and chi-square test).
  • Session 2: effect sizes, correlation, confidence intervals, and outliers.
  • Session 3: linear regression (including simple/multiple regression, residuals, beta coefficients, and R-Squared).
  • Session 4: linear regression continued (including test statistics, standard errors, centering, interaction, categorical predictors, linear models, and assumption testing).
Thu 17
Methods Fellows Series | Digital Humanities: Exploring critical, intersectional and decolonial methods new (4 of 4) [Standby] 10:00 - 11:00 Cambridge Digital Humanities Online

Isabelle Higgins, Methods Fellow - Cambridge Digital Humanities

This Methods Fellows' Workshop Series event aims to encourage participants to think critically and reflexively about the nature of digital humanities research. It will explore (both individually and collectively) the function and effect of critical, intersectional and decolonial research methods and their impact on research fields, participants and research outputs.

For each seminar, participants will be provided with a reading list that will contain both core introductory texts and additional readings. They will be expected to do 30 minutes of reading ahead of each seminar. The seminars themselves will be a mix of presentations, small group discussion and the study of specific empirical cases. Throughout the seminars we will collectively assemble a shared bibliography of academic texts and other digital resources. Participants will also be encouraged to bring and share examples and challenges from their own research. To increase space for discussion and critical reflection, participants will be encouraged to form small working groups, focused on the seminar theme they find most productive, and to connect with their working group for a 30-minute call to reflect on their chosen seminar outside of the scheduled four hours of teaching. There will be the option to feed back on these discussions to the wider group, deepening our shared understanding of the content covered in the course. Isabelle will also hold virtual office hours following the seminar series. In these ways and others, the series will aim to cater for those new to this area of research, as well as for scholars who are already working in digital humanities.

Key topics covered in the sessions will include:

  • Seminar 1: Digital Humanities in Social and Historical Context

Considering what and how we research, we will focus on placing digital humanities, as a discipline, in the context of its emergence. Disciplinary Sociology, for example, is increasingly grappling with its colonial past (Meghji, 2020). What happens when we examine the history and context of digital humanities? McIlwain (2020) reminds us of the historical ties between the development of computational technology and the surveillance of Black bodies. Yet digital humanities research has also sought to challenge the legal, social and political power exercised through digital systems (Selwyn, 2019). Does contextualising our methods change how we approach them?

  • Seminar 2: Critical approaches to Digital Environments: Affordances, Interfaces, AI, Algorithms

We will draw on the vast range of work produced by race critical code scholars, which help us to explore the assumptions and inequalities that are coded into the software we study (or use to conduct our studies). Ruha Benjamin (2016a:150) reminds us to ask of digital technology: 'who and what is fixed in place – classified, corralled, and/or coerced, to enable innovation?' How does a consideration of encoded digital inequalities affect our methodologies?

  • Seminar 3: Critical Engagement with User Generated Content

Beyond content & discourse analysis, we will draw on critical theories that draw attention to the digital and social constructs and conventions that shape the production of user-generated content, with Brock's (2018) Critical Techno-Cultural Discourse Analysis as one such methodological contribution. We'll explore what happens to our research when we broaden our methodological framing, considering the type of content produced by users and how it is produced, who is producing it, and what governs this production.

  • Seminar 4: Looking forward: Our roles as researchers in Digital Humanities

We will pay attention to the growing calls from a range of cross-disciplinary scholars who invite us to actively consider the impact of our methods on the future. We'll explore different notions of methodological responsibility and innovation, from the speculative (Benjamin, 2016b), to the caring (de la Bellacasa, 2011), to the adaptive and inductive (Markham & Buchanan, 2012). What happens when we place our research into its broader context and consider how our methods will shape the future of our discipline?

Tue 22
CDH Basics: Data transformation with OpenRefine new [Places] 10:00 - 11:00 Cambridge Digital Humanities Online

Data which other people have created is often either unstructured or structured in the wrong way for the questions that you want to answer. Rather than reinventing the wheel and collecting it all over again, this CDH Basics session introduces participants to OpenRefine, a free ‘power tool’ for dealing with messy data. In order to work with OpenRefine you will need administrator privileges to install software on your laptop. 

Wed 23

Itamar Shatz - Methods Fellow CDH

This course will introduce participants to key concepts in statistical analyses, including statistical significance, effect sizes, and linear models. The goal is to give participants the basic tools that they need in order to understand the use of statistical methods by others and to use these methods effectively in their own research. We will focus on an intuitive and practical understanding of statistical analyses, rather than on the mathematical details underlying them. As such, the course will be accessible for those without a quantitative background, although it will help to have knowledge of basic descriptive statistics (e.g., mean and standard deviation).

The course will cover (approximately) the following topics:

  • Session 1: statistical significance and statistical tests (including hypothesis testing, p-values, statistical power, t-test, and chi-square test).
  • Session 2: effect sizes, correlation, confidence intervals, and outliers.
  • Session 3: linear regression (including simple/multiple regression, residuals, beta coefficients, and R-Squared).
  • Session 4: linear regression continued (including test statistics, standard errors, centering, interaction, categorical predictors, linear models, and assumption testing).

March 2022

Wed 2

Itamar Shatz - Methods Fellow CDH

This course will introduce participants to key concepts in statistical analyses, including statistical significance, effect sizes, and linear models. The goal is to give participants the basic tools that they need in order to understand the use of statistical methods by others and to use these methods effectively in their own research. We will focus on an intuitive and practical understanding of statistical analyses, rather than on the mathematical details underlying them. As such, the course will be accessible for those without a quantitative background, although it will help to have knowledge of basic descriptive statistics (e.g., mean and standard deviation).

The course will cover (approximately) the following topics:

  • Session 1: statistical significance and statistical tests (including hypothesis testing, p-values, statistical power, t-test, and chi-square test).
  • Session 2: effect sizes, correlation, confidence intervals, and outliers.
  • Session 3: linear regression (including simple/multiple regression, residuals, beta coefficients, and R-Squared).
  • Session 4: linear regression continued (including test statistics, standard errors, centering, interaction, categorical predictors, linear models, and assumption testing).
Mon 7
Methods Workshop: Geospatial Digital Humanities Methods for Reading Against the Archives new [Places] 10:30 - 16:00 Cambridge Digital Humanities Online

Jessica M. Parr, PhD (Simmons University and The Programming Historian)

We welcome Jessica Parr as a guest lecturer for this Methods Workshop, where we will discuss mapping techniques for scholars of the transatlantic slave trade. It will open with a discussion of addressing the Eurocentricity of geospatial techniques and the archives. We will then discuss strategies for reading against the archive to locate Black voices and strategies for determining geospatial coordinates from primary sources. Finally, the workshop will conclude with a demonstration of how to create maps in Tableau and some discussion of data ethics.

Please apply for a place if you would like to attend, on registration, you will be asked to complete and submit an information form (which will remain open until 10 am Monday, 14 February 2022), places are limited and selected on a rolling basis, we would suggest early completion.  We will confirm participation week commencing Monday, 21 February 2022.

Tue 8
CDH Basics: Foundations of data visualisation new [Places] 10:00 - 11:00 Cambridge Digital Humanities Online

The impact of well-crafted data visualisations has been well-documented historically. Florence Nightingale famously used charts to make her case for hospital hygiene in the Crimean War, while Dr John Snow’s bar charts of cholera deaths in London helped convince the authorities of the water-borne nature of the disease. However, as information designer Alberto Cairo notes, charts can also lie. This introductory CDH Basics session presents the basic principles of data visualisation for researchers who are new to working with quantitative data.

Methods Fellows Series | Social Network Analysis new (1 of 3) [Standby] 14:00 - 16:00 Cambridge Digital Humanities Online

Thomas Cowhitt, Methods Fellow - Cambridge Digital Humanities

This Methods Fellow's Workshop Series event will introduce users to social network analysis in R. Participants will be asked to generate their own relational dataset. We will then use several R packages to visualize and interpret relational data. By the conclusion of this course, users will be able to construct a relational dataset, load and clean this dataset in R, and generate static network diagrams and reports on descriptive network statistics.