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Cambridge Digital Humanities

Cambridge Digital Humanities course timetable

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Wed 25 May 2022 – Mon 28 Nov 2022

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May 2022

Wed 25
Methods Fellows Series | Visualising Data Clearly new (4 of 4) Finished 14:00 - 15:00 Cambridge Digital Humanities Online

If you've ever collected some data but weren't sure how to go about visualising it in a way that could help you uncover new insights, or if you've struggled to present data in a way that helped others understand your findings, this course is intended for you.

We'll talk about how to select the right visualisation for your data, discuss the pros and cons of different approaches, and get hands-on experience displaying information in clear and compelling ways. We'll also discuss broader issues surrounding visualisation science, such as common ways that visualisations are misinterpreted and how to avoid them, and controversies around what counts as best practice in visual communication.

In addition to the weekly online sessions, participants are expected to spend around two hours per week applying the skills learnt to gain greater fluency and enable us to 'workshop' each other's visualisations.

Your participation will also benefit if you have the chance to take our "Give me 5! Principles of Data Visualisation", which is scheduled for 23rd & 30th March. However, attending this workshop is not a prerequisite, so please do not be deterred if you miss the dates.

Thu 26
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 Research Software Engineering Coordinator)

Please note this workshop has limited spaces and an application process in place. Application forms should be completed by noon Wednesday, 4 May 2022 (you can only access this form by signing into your University Google Account). Successful applicants will be notified by end-of-day Monday, 9 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 complete the application form.

Mon 30
Methods Fellows Series | Digital Humanities: Exploring critical, intersectional and decolonial methods new (1 of 4) Finished 14:00 - 15:00 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?

June 2022

Wed 1
Methods Fellows Series | Digital Humanities: Exploring critical, intersectional and decolonial methods new (2 of 4) Finished 14:00 - 15:00 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 6
Methods Fellows Series | Digital Humanities: Exploring critical, intersectional and decolonial methods new (3 of 4) Finished 14:00 - 15:00 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 8
Methods Fellows Series | Digital Humanities: Exploring critical, intersectional and decolonial methods new (4 of 4) Finished 14:00 - 15:00 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 14
CDH Basics: Digital afterlives: data preservation, sustainability and destruction new Finished 10:00 - 11:00 Cambridge Digital Humanities Online

Ensuring long-term access to digital data is often a difficult task: both hardware and code decay much more rapidly than many other means of information storage. Digital data created in the 1980s is frequently unreadable, whereas books and manuscripts written in the 980s are still legible. This CDH Basics session explores good practice in data preservation and software sustainability and looks at what you need to do to ensure that the data you don’t want to keep is destroyed.

Tue 21
Methods Fellows Series | Digital Design of Musical Scores new (1 of 5) POSTPONED 11:00 - 12:30 Faculty of Music, CMS Computer Room

These workshops will offer participants the ability to re-think the graphic design of a musical score and will work with a novel set of principles to modify the spacing, layout, and position of its notes and signs for intelligibility purposes and/or artistic purposes.

In previous experimental research, Arild has found that musical scores with modified engraving, spacing, and layout rules can —at least in certain practices and for certain repertoires— elicit more fluent and precise readings than conventional scores. The abstraction of informational units and of discourse structure from a score seems to be enhanced by his approach of separating and redistributing notation symbols and other visual materials using a digital (quantifiable, taxonomic) hierarchy of divisions comparable to what is nowadays conventionally applied in (Western) language texts. This seems to be facilitating the decoding and apprehension of information, affecting the conversion of notation into performance; it is also being investigated at present in terms of academic and artistic impact.

Participants will be able to use the flexibility and manageability of digital production to introduce a radically new conception of the visual structuring of a musical score: Arild proposes to go beyond the mere reproduction of analogical models with digital tools; for that, participants will be experimenting with novel flexible spacing, layout and visual structuring cues that could be enhancing, in music reading, the integrative and abstractive processes that fluent readers already use in language (we do not read sequentially letter by letter; good readers group, prioritise and predict the symbols presented to them). This approach is intrinsically digital, as it is based on being able to use the symbols of a score in a modular, movable, and experimental manner —and in this context 'experimental' would naturally include heuristic or intuitive manipulations by the score users. Arild's view is that a novel conception of music notation should include the possibility of re-organising the materials, allowing the user at either end (creator or reader) to group, separate, highlight and grade visually the symbols present in a score.

Methods Fellows Series | Digital Design of Musical Scores new (2 of 5) POSTPONED 14:00 - 16:30 Faculty of Music, CMS Computer Room

These workshops will offer participants the ability to re-think the graphic design of a musical score and will work with a novel set of principles to modify the spacing, layout, and position of its notes and signs for intelligibility purposes and/or artistic purposes.

In previous experimental research, Arild has found that musical scores with modified engraving, spacing, and layout rules can —at least in certain practices and for certain repertoires— elicit more fluent and precise readings than conventional scores. The abstraction of informational units and of discourse structure from a score seems to be enhanced by his approach of separating and redistributing notation symbols and other visual materials using a digital (quantifiable, taxonomic) hierarchy of divisions comparable to what is nowadays conventionally applied in (Western) language texts. This seems to be facilitating the decoding and apprehension of information, affecting the conversion of notation into performance; it is also being investigated at present in terms of academic and artistic impact.

Participants will be able to use the flexibility and manageability of digital production to introduce a radically new conception of the visual structuring of a musical score: Arild proposes to go beyond the mere reproduction of analogical models with digital tools; for that, participants will be experimenting with novel flexible spacing, layout and visual structuring cues that could be enhancing, in music reading, the integrative and abstractive processes that fluent readers already use in language (we do not read sequentially letter by letter; good readers group, prioritise and predict the symbols presented to them). This approach is intrinsically digital, as it is based on being able to use the symbols of a score in a modular, movable, and experimental manner —and in this context 'experimental' would naturally include heuristic or intuitive manipulations by the score users. Arild's view is that a novel conception of music notation should include the possibility of re-organising the materials, allowing the user at either end (creator or reader) to group, separate, highlight and grade visually the symbols present in a score.

Wed 22
Methods Fellows Series | Digital Design of Musical Scores new (3 of 5) POSTPONED 11:00 - 12:30 Faculty of Music, CMS Computer Room

These workshops will offer participants the ability to re-think the graphic design of a musical score and will work with a novel set of principles to modify the spacing, layout, and position of its notes and signs for intelligibility purposes and/or artistic purposes.

In previous experimental research, Arild has found that musical scores with modified engraving, spacing, and layout rules can —at least in certain practices and for certain repertoires— elicit more fluent and precise readings than conventional scores. The abstraction of informational units and of discourse structure from a score seems to be enhanced by his approach of separating and redistributing notation symbols and other visual materials using a digital (quantifiable, taxonomic) hierarchy of divisions comparable to what is nowadays conventionally applied in (Western) language texts. This seems to be facilitating the decoding and apprehension of information, affecting the conversion of notation into performance; it is also being investigated at present in terms of academic and artistic impact.

Participants will be able to use the flexibility and manageability of digital production to introduce a radically new conception of the visual structuring of a musical score: Arild proposes to go beyond the mere reproduction of analogical models with digital tools; for that, participants will be experimenting with novel flexible spacing, layout and visual structuring cues that could be enhancing, in music reading, the integrative and abstractive processes that fluent readers already use in language (we do not read sequentially letter by letter; good readers group, prioritise and predict the symbols presented to them). This approach is intrinsically digital, as it is based on being able to use the symbols of a score in a modular, movable, and experimental manner —and in this context 'experimental' would naturally include heuristic or intuitive manipulations by the score users. Arild's view is that a novel conception of music notation should include the possibility of re-organising the materials, allowing the user at either end (creator or reader) to group, separate, highlight and grade visually the symbols present in a score.

Methods Fellows Series | Digital Design of Musical Scores new (4 of 5) POSTPONED 14:00 - 16:30 Faculty of Music, CMS Computer Room

These workshops will offer participants the ability to re-think the graphic design of a musical score and will work with a novel set of principles to modify the spacing, layout, and position of its notes and signs for intelligibility purposes and/or artistic purposes.

In previous experimental research, Arild has found that musical scores with modified engraving, spacing, and layout rules can —at least in certain practices and for certain repertoires— elicit more fluent and precise readings than conventional scores. The abstraction of informational units and of discourse structure from a score seems to be enhanced by his approach of separating and redistributing notation symbols and other visual materials using a digital (quantifiable, taxonomic) hierarchy of divisions comparable to what is nowadays conventionally applied in (Western) language texts. This seems to be facilitating the decoding and apprehension of information, affecting the conversion of notation into performance; it is also being investigated at present in terms of academic and artistic impact.

Participants will be able to use the flexibility and manageability of digital production to introduce a radically new conception of the visual structuring of a musical score: Arild proposes to go beyond the mere reproduction of analogical models with digital tools; for that, participants will be experimenting with novel flexible spacing, layout and visual structuring cues that could be enhancing, in music reading, the integrative and abstractive processes that fluent readers already use in language (we do not read sequentially letter by letter; good readers group, prioritise and predict the symbols presented to them). This approach is intrinsically digital, as it is based on being able to use the symbols of a score in a modular, movable, and experimental manner —and in this context 'experimental' would naturally include heuristic or intuitive manipulations by the score users. Arild's view is that a novel conception of music notation should include the possibility of re-organising the materials, allowing the user at either end (creator or reader) to group, separate, highlight and grade visually the symbols present in a score.

Thu 23
Methods Fellows Series | Digital Design of Musical Scores new (5 of 5) POSTPONED 11:00 - 12:30 Faculty of Music, CMS Computer Room

These workshops will offer participants the ability to re-think the graphic design of a musical score and will work with a novel set of principles to modify the spacing, layout, and position of its notes and signs for intelligibility purposes and/or artistic purposes.

In previous experimental research, Arild has found that musical scores with modified engraving, spacing, and layout rules can —at least in certain practices and for certain repertoires— elicit more fluent and precise readings than conventional scores. The abstraction of informational units and of discourse structure from a score seems to be enhanced by his approach of separating and redistributing notation symbols and other visual materials using a digital (quantifiable, taxonomic) hierarchy of divisions comparable to what is nowadays conventionally applied in (Western) language texts. This seems to be facilitating the decoding and apprehension of information, affecting the conversion of notation into performance; it is also being investigated at present in terms of academic and artistic impact.

Participants will be able to use the flexibility and manageability of digital production to introduce a radically new conception of the visual structuring of a musical score: Arild proposes to go beyond the mere reproduction of analogical models with digital tools; for that, participants will be experimenting with novel flexible spacing, layout and visual structuring cues that could be enhancing, in music reading, the integrative and abstractive processes that fluent readers already use in language (we do not read sequentially letter by letter; good readers group, prioritise and predict the symbols presented to them). This approach is intrinsically digital, as it is based on being able to use the symbols of a score in a modular, movable, and experimental manner —and in this context 'experimental' would naturally include heuristic or intuitive manipulations by the score users. Arild's view is that a novel conception of music notation should include the possibility of re-organising the materials, allowing the user at either end (creator or reader) to group, separate, highlight and grade visually the symbols present in a score.

Wed 29
Methods Fellows Series | Theorising Transparency in Digital Culture new (1 of 2) POSTPONED 14:00 - 16:00 Cambridge Digital Humanities Online

This project begins from the premise that ‘transparency’ is not clear at all. Transparency is a historically mediated, culturally constructed, and ideologically complex concept. Understood expansively, transparency is enmeshed with a variety of functions and associations, having been mobilised as a political call to action; a design methodology; a radical practice of digital disruption; an ideological tool of surveillance; a corporate strategy of diversion; an aesthetics of obfuscation; a cultural paradigm; a programming protocol; a celebration of Enlightenment rationality; a tactic for spatialising data; an antidote to computational black boxing; an ethical cliché; and more.

Across two workshops, we will explore the multidimensionality and intractability of transparency by questioning how the demand for more of it—in our algorithms, computational systems, and digital culture more broadly—encodes assumptions about the liberational capacity of making unseen things visible. Understood expansively, ‘transparency’ can be a political call to action; a design methodology; a radical practice of digital disruption; an ideological tool of surveillance and capture; a corporate strategy of obfuscation and diversion; an aesthetics of failure; a cultural paradigm; a programming protocol; a celebration of Enlightenment rationality; a tactic for spatialising data; an antidote to computational black boxing; an ethical cliché; and more.

Across two workshops, we will explore the multidimensionality and intractability of transparency and investigate how the demand for more of it—in our algorithms, computational systems, and digital culture—encodes assumptions about the liberational capacity of restoring representation to the invisible. As a group, we will discuss transparency’s historical lineage; question its limits as an ethical imperative, and map its strategies of anti/mediation. Drawing on a combination of artworks, historical texts, cultural references, and theory, this project will give participants an opportunity to attend to transparency’s complex configurations within contemporary culture. This project is designed to facilitate collaborative study; foster inter-disciplinary discourse; promote experimental learning, and develop a more theoretically nuanced and historically grounded starting point critiquing transparency and its operations within digital culture.

Thu 30
Methods Fellows Series | Theorising Transparency in Digital Culture new (2 of 2) POSTPONED 14:00 - 16:00 Cambridge Digital Humanities Online

This project begins from the premise that ‘transparency’ is not clear at all. Transparency is a historically mediated, culturally constructed, and ideologically complex concept. Understood expansively, transparency is enmeshed with a variety of functions and associations, having been mobilised as a political call to action; a design methodology; a radical practice of digital disruption; an ideological tool of surveillance; a corporate strategy of diversion; an aesthetics of obfuscation; a cultural paradigm; a programming protocol; a celebration of Enlightenment rationality; a tactic for spatialising data; an antidote to computational black boxing; an ethical cliché; and more.

Across two workshops, we will explore the multidimensionality and intractability of transparency by questioning how the demand for more of it—in our algorithms, computational systems, and digital culture more broadly—encodes assumptions about the liberational capacity of making unseen things visible. Understood expansively, ‘transparency’ can be a political call to action; a design methodology; a radical practice of digital disruption; an ideological tool of surveillance and capture; a corporate strategy of obfuscation and diversion; an aesthetics of failure; a cultural paradigm; a programming protocol; a celebration of Enlightenment rationality; a tactic for spatialising data; an antidote to computational black boxing; an ethical cliché; and more.

Across two workshops, we will explore the multidimensionality and intractability of transparency and investigate how the demand for more of it—in our algorithms, computational systems, and digital culture—encodes assumptions about the liberational capacity of restoring representation to the invisible. As a group, we will discuss transparency’s historical lineage; question its limits as an ethical imperative, and map its strategies of anti/mediation. Drawing on a combination of artworks, historical texts, cultural references, and theory, this project will give participants an opportunity to attend to transparency’s complex configurations within contemporary culture. This project is designed to facilitate collaborative study; foster inter-disciplinary discourse; promote experimental learning, and develop a more theoretically nuanced and historically grounded starting point critiquing transparency and its operations within digital culture.

July 2022

Thu 28
Introduction to Exhibit.so platform new Finished 10:00 - 12:00 Cambridge Digital Humanities Online

In this workshop, you will learn about the various features of the exhibit.so platform, led by Ed Silverton, from Mnemoscene and introduced by Andy Corrigan from Cambridge Digital Library.

Cambridge Digital Humanities (CDH) is working with Mnemoscene to develop a local instance of the Exhibit tool that will be available to University of Cambridge users.

Exhibit is a tool for visual storytelling developed by Mnemoscene supported by the Esmée Fairbairn Collections Fund. It is an easy-to-use tool for creating captivating interactive stories and quizzes with Cultural Heritage content, also now publicly available at https://www.exhibit.so/. Built using the Universal Viewer it enables users to load images or 3D objects from any IIIF-supporting online catalogue to tell stories within and across collections.

No prior knowledge of IIIF or Exhibit required!

Outcomes

At the end of the workshop attendees will be able to:

  • Identify the key features of Exhibit
  • Identify how to source existing IIIF manifests or add new ones to Exhibit
  • Create stories, quizzes, and kiosks in Exhibit
  • Embed your Exhibit on your website
Introduction to MorphoSource new Finished 14:00 - 17:00 Cambridge Digital Humanities Online

Cambridge Digital Humanities is working with MorphoSource to offer an introduction to its platform. In this workshop you will be introduced to the MorphoSource platform, which is a repository for researchers, curators, and everybody to find, view, download, and upload 3D scans and data of natural history, scientific specimens, and cultural objects.

Contributions come from museums, researchers, scholars and specialists to share findings, increase impact, and improve access to material for scientific discovery, sharing, and the advancement of human knowledge.

The workshop will cover:

  • Highlight the main features
  • Focus on usage most relevant to the cultural heritage sector
  • Using the site - searching, exploring, referencing
  • Contributing data
  • Embedding content

The workshop has a GLAM focus and is more about safely storing & providing access to complex visual data content rather than story-telling, although still has aspects of engagement, but might also be of interest to STEM areas working with 3D/complex visual data or in the area of scholarly communications/data repositories.

October 2022

Mon 31
CDH Basics: Designing a digital research project new Finished 09:00 - 10:00 Cambridge Digital Humanities Online

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

  • Introduction to the digital project life cycle
  • Ethics by design and EDI-informed data processing
  • Data and metadata - definitions
  • Basics of data curation (good practice in file naming, version control)
  • Understanding files and folders

November 2022

Mon 7
CDH Basics: Acquiring data for your project new Finished 09:00 - 10:00 Cambridge Digital Humanities Online

This session provides a brief introduction to different methods for capturing bulk data from online sources or via agreement with data collection holders, including Application Programme Interfaces (APIs). We will address issues of data provenance, exceptions to copyright for text and data-mining, and discuss good practice in managing and working with data that others have created.

  • Data collection methods
  • Introduction to working with APIs
  • Data brokerage
  • Provenance and integrity
  • Assessing intellectual property, copyright and Data Protection issues
  • Documentation of collection methods
Mon 14
CDH Basics: Transforming your data new Finished 09:00 - 10:00 Cambridge Digital Humanities Online

Data which you have captured rather than created yourself is likely to need cleaning up before you can use it effectively. This short session will introduce you to the basic principles of creating structured datasets and walk you through some case studies in data cleaning with OpenRefine, a powerful open source tool for working with messy data.

  • Structuring your data
  • Cleaning messy textual data with OpenRefine
  • Batch processing file names
CDH Methods | Digital Archival Photography new Finished 10:30 - 12:30 Cambridge University Library, IT Training Room

This Methods Workshop will introduce advanced techniques used for the digitisation and preservation of archival material. The first workshop will introduce the following topics:

  • Copyrights and sensitive data considerations
  • Understanding Photography basics
  • Digitisation Imaging Standards
  • Scene and capture calibration
  • Image post-processing
  • Taking usable images in any conditions
  • Principles and Digital Preservation good practice

Completing the workshop will give participants a good understanding of archival photography best practices. You will gain a strong professional vocabulary to discuss imaging and a toolkit to assess image quality.

A second session, bookable separately, will focus on how to adopt those principles to the projects chosen by the participants. This will cover learning a practical approach to taking images fit for purpose in any conditions with available resources. It may also address any more advanced imaging topics such as image stitching, Optical Character Recognition, Multispectral Imaging, or photogrammetry if these are in the interest of the participants. It will also be an opportunity to visit the Digital Content Unit at Cambridge University Library.

Mon 21
CDH Basics: Analysing and presenting your data new Finished 09:00 - 10:00 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 Basics session presents the basic principles of data visualisation for researchers who are new to working with quantitative data.

  • Principles and good practice in data visualisation
  • Basic introduction to quantitative methods of data analysis
CDH Methods | Introduction to R Studio and R Markdown new Finished 13:00 - 17:00 Cambridge University Library, IT Training Room

Convenor: Giulia Grisot (CDH Methods Fellow and a Visiting Academic)

This Methods Workshop will deliver an introduction to R Studio and R Markdown; the workshop will run through the functionalities and advantages of using R Studio and related tools for organising and analysing data, as well as for writing and referencing.

About the convenor: Giulia has a mixed background in Literary Linguistics, Psycholinguistics and Digital Humanities and has gained experience in both qualitative and quantitative approaches to texts and language in general, becoming familiar with several coding languages (R, python) essential for statistical as well as corpus investigations.

Giulia is currently working with large corpora of Swiss German fictional texts, looking at sentiments in relation to represented spatial locations, using both lexicon-based methods and machine learning.

Mon 28
CDH Basics: Sustaining your data new Finished 09:00 - 10:00 Cambridge Digital Humanities Online

Ensuring long-term access to digital data is often a difficult task: both hardware and code decay much more rapidly than many other means of information storage. Digital data created in the 1980s is frequently unreadable, whereas books and manuscripts written in the 980s are still legible. This session explores good practice in data preservation and software sustainability and looks at what you need to do to ensure that the data you don’t want to keep is destroyed.

  • Data and code sustainability
  • Retention, archiving and re-use
  • Data destruction
  • Recap on the project life-cycle
CDH Methods | Digital Archival Photography in-depth new Finished 10:30 - 12:30 Cambridge University Library, IT Training Room

This second session, following the Methods Workshop, held on 7th November 2022, will focus on how to adopt the principles to the projects chosen by the participants. This will cover learning a practical approach to taking images fit for purpose in any conditions with available resources. It may also address any more advanced imaging topics such as image stitching, Optical Character Recognition, Multispectral Imaging, or photogrammetry if these are in the interest of the participants. It will also be an opportunity to visit the Digital Content Unit at Cambridge University Library.

CDH Methods | Video Data Analysis for social science and humanities new (1 of 2) Finished 14:00 - 16:00 Cambridge University Library, IT Training Room

Convenor: Tom Kissock (CDH Methods Fellow)

This Methods Workshop will offer Video Data Analysis for Social Science and Humanities students. It’s a relatively new, broad, and innovative multi-disciplinary methodology that helps students understand how video fits into modern research both inside and outside academia. For example, Cisco has estimated that video will make up 80% of internet traffic and 17.1% of it will be live video which is a 15-fold increase since 2017; therefore, it’s a tool that cannot be overlooked when conducting research.

Tom will address how to use video ethically, for example:

  • Informed consent
  • Storage
  • Privacy

and also practically;

  • Building timelines
  • Coding schemes
  • Presenting research findings

Tom will also plans to include a lesson focussed on viewing livestreams in a reflexive manner as this is a huge topic in the TikTok era

About the convenor: Tom has fifteen years’ experience as a Director, Executive Producer, and Livestream expert for the BBC, YouTube, NBC, and Cisco; coupled with seven years’ experience researching video witnessing and human rights abuses. In 2020 he received his MSc in Globalization and Latin American Development from UCL where his research used Video Data Analysis as a research methodology. He tracked how populist politicians in Brazil built misinformation campaigns by strategically cross-sharing videos to avoid journalistic questioning as a symbolic accountability mechanism during the 2018 presidential elections.

His PhD in Sociology at the University of Cambridge is a loose extension of his MSc, but explores positive aspects of streaming advocacy, such as how Indigenous video activists in Brazil use live video on platforms like Instagram, TikTok, and Kwai to reach audiences to discuss climate change, the environment, and land rights. He is interested in how video can produce knowledge and, subsequently how societies value different knowledge through the process of video witnessing. In his spare time, he serves as the Executive Producer of Declarations: Human Rights Podcast (part of Cambridge’s Centre for Governance and Human Rights), has given lectures on live streaming and human rights at MIT, UCL, and the University of Essex, and has written pieces for LatAM Dialogue and the Latin American Bureau.