Digital Humanities

The Kaplan Institute continues to develop the area of Digital Humanities at Northwestern! in 2016-17, we are:

• Continuing to launch new courses that feature digital mapping, recording, and analysis;
• Hosting a faculty workshop on incorporating digital tools into the undergraduate curriculum;
• Continuing our partnership with NUHDL (Northwestern University Digital Humanities Laboratory);
• Benefitting from our first Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow in the Digital Humanities.

What are Digital Humanities?
“Digital Humanities” combines inquiry with digital tools—such as data mining, visualization, mapping, and video and audio recording—to conduct and communicate humanities research. It allows scholars to go beyond textual sources to integrate multimedia, user interfaces, and content analysis into humanistic study.

August 28-September 8, 2017
In collaboration with Northwestern University Libraries and the Media and Design Studio of Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences, the Kaplan Institute will host its fourth Digital Humanities Summer Workshop in 2017. The workshop is dedicated to teaching faculty how to implement digital humanities into undergraduate courses and research. Because this is an exploratory workshop, faculty do not have to have any expertise in digital tools to apply. Click here for the workshop overview.

Danny Snelson began a two-year residency in fall 2015, with a joint appointment in the Kaplan Institute and the English Department. Danny taught courses that engaged in digital cultures from a humanities perspective and contributed scholarly expertise to general digital humanities initiatives. His course, Print-on-Demand Poetry: Making Books After the Internet, examined the emergence of innovative forms of writing under the influence of digital networks, inviting students to experiment with print-on-demand in a series of collaborative and independent scholarly projects.

We have introduced several new digital humanities courses that incorporate technology for broader examination of interdisciplinary humanities topics.

Ancient Rome in Chicago: Digital Humanities Lab
Students learn digital mapping, video editing and rigorous research methodologies while exploring Chicago and its classical past, examining this quintessential modern city’s ongoing dialogue with antiquity. Click here to explore the collaborative online map that went live in December 2015 and is updated with more content each quarter the class is taught! (Taught by Francesca Tatarrani, winner of a Northwestern Alumnae Course Development Grant.)

Shakespeare’s Circuits: Global, Local, Digital
Students reflect on the unique position of Shakespeare in world cultures using digital platforms to create an interactive map of his influences over time and space in visual arts, film, print, and performing arts. Click here for the Shakespeare's Circuits website. (Taught by Wendy Wall and Will West.)

Digitizing Folk Music History
Students examine the history of the US folk music revival through readings, audio listening, documentary films, seminar discussions, and extensive digital analysis, looking at how digital technologies might help interpret history more meaningfully. (Taught by Michael Kramer.)

Technologies of Language
"What if language were the true measure of the world, and syntax the true nature of time?" Students explore the most important philosophies of language from the last century and the digitization of language today, with a final project to convert a book from the library's Special Collections into a digital object. Click here for the Technologies of Language website. (Taught by Jules Law.)

(Additional instructional support for digital humanities courses provided by the WCAS Multimedia Learning Center and Northwestern University Libraries: Information and Learning Services and Center for Scholarly Communication and Digital Curation.)

NUDHL returns in 2017 with a new slate of workshops, discussions, and lectures, which will explore the nature and role of interdisciplinary digital humanities research.


Digital Humanities Pedagogy Graduate Student Workshop
This workshop is a year-long collaborative learning experience dedicated to theoretical discussions, hands-on tool learning, guest faculty speakers, and course conceptualization. At the end of the workshop, each participant will have completed the design of a course syllabus.

Space is limited to 8-12 graduate students; participants are expected to attend every meeting. The application deadline is Tues., September 5, 2017. Click here for details and application instructions.

Digital Humanities Research Grant
The Digital Humanities Research Grant is intended to enable PhD students in the humanities to access specialized training. Awards up to $2,500 will be granted for training in digital technologies (e.g., big data, digital collation and analysis, digital object management and analysis, digital encoding, etc.) directly in support of dissertation research.

Digital Humanities Travel Quarters
Eligible PhD students may apply for up to four quarters of Graduate Assistantship to provide support while absent from the Chicago area in order to pursue unique training opportunities related to the digital humanities.