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Theme: CDH Methods Fellow Workshop Series

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Applications for this workshop have now closed.

As religious services and communities have shifted online so too have scholars of religion. But at what cost? These sessions raise some of the epistemological and ethical issues of doing fieldwork in a digital environment from an inclusive anthropological perspective with a close-up on a particular case study in each session.

The first session considers conducting virtual ethnography, what is gained and what is lost, with a focus on ethnography with Orthodox Jewish populations; the second session assesses digital surveys of religious communities and their attitudes e.g. what the 'bean-counters' might miss (and strategies not to) and finally in the third session we problematize the ethical tensions in online studies of community media with a particular focus on French Muslim media, already heavily surveilled.

The sessions are intended to develop researcher knowledge and explore cross-cutting issues that concern a broad spectrum of humanities and social science-based scholarship serving as;

  • a forum for the critical discussion of digital methods and epistemologies,
  • a place to learn more about specific case studies particularly in the UK and France, and
  • an assembly of early research minds in the throes of a related or relevant project themselves who wish to share and learn from one another

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.

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 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

Methods Fellow Workshop: Audible knowledge: soundscapes, podcasts and digital audio scholarship

Dr Peter McMurray (CDH Methods Fellow)

With the rise of web-based scholarship and affordable digital audio equipment, artists and researchers are increasingly turning to audio formats as way to share their work with a larger audience and to cultivate new forms of knowledge rooted in listening. This workshop will offer an introduction to digital audio recording and editing (using Reaper, a digital audio workstation which can be downloaded/used for free on an extended trial basis). We will focus particularly on the editing choices for soundscape composition and podcasting, and participants will have the opportunity to produce a short audio piece over the course of the workshop.