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Digital Humanities Summer Workshop

2020 Digital Humanities Summer Workshop

August 31 - September 4, 2020

Hosted by the Kaplan Humanities Institute in collaboration with Northwestern University Libraries and Weinberg IT Solutions/Media and Design Studio.

Call for Proposals

Proposal deadline: Friday, December 13, 2019. See below for submission details.


Northwestern’s Digital Humanities Summer Workshop brings together humanities faculty, librarians, and technologists for a full-week intensive experience to conceptualize and develop undergraduate and graduate courses that include involvement with digital media, technologies, and literacies. The workshop is an opportunity for Northwestern faculty to identify campus resources; learn and grow technology skills; think critically about digital information, tools, and culture; conceptualize and collaborate on pedagogical projects; and participate in interdisciplinary discussion about the humanities and digital affordances. Participants need not have prior expertise or knowledge in the digital humanities. 

We define both the humanities and digital humanities broadly. Past participants have included faculty from English, Spanish & Portuguese, French & Italian, Latina/o Studies, Classics, Political Science, Religious Studies, Slavic Languages and Literatures, Art History, Asian Languages & Cultures, Journalism, African American Studies, Performance Studies, and others. Examples of past curricular projects include: Ancient Rome in Chicago, a multimedia walking tour for classical receptions of Chicago architecture; Chicago Mural Movement, a database of murals created during the Black Arts movement of the 1960s and 1970s augmented by interactive student-produced essays; Open Door Archive, a digital repository and exhibition space dedicated to the print culture and multimedia archives of multiethnic poetry; and WildWords, a collaborative encyclopedic dictionary for Northwestern speech communities. 

The goal of the workshop is for participants to develop a syllabus for a course that contains digital humanities assignments. Participants may, for example, consider revising an existing course or creating a new course in the humanities in which digital technologies are incorporated into the syllabus, not merely as tools but also as a vehicle for enabling innovative critical thinking in the discipline or interdisciplinary field. Rather than suggesting the development of entirely new software, proposals assume the customization and tuning of existing tools and platforms. During the workshop, participants will have time to work one-on-one with technologists who will introduce  the most common tools and advise how they can meet desired outcomes.


The workshop is open to tenured and tenure-track faculty and members of the teaching track faculty.  (Assistant Professors and teaching track faculty need permission from their departmental Chair). Participants will receive a $2,000 stipend. Up to five faculty members will be selected to participate.

Other Information

While some digital pedagogical projects require very little technological or development support, others can require significant resources. To allow adequate development time, course and curricular projects prototyped and scoped during the workshop should anticipate earliest implementation no sooner than Winter Quarter 2021. Actual implementation time may be longer. 

Faculty attending the workshop will also typically be asked to provide an update about their curricular plans during the 2020-2021 academic year, and may also be asked to share additional presentations of their curricular projects.

Submitting a Proposal

Proposals should provide (a) an introduction to the course/project, (b) a list of possible technology needs (if known, and it is fine to speculate), (c) proposed roles and learning outcomes for students.

Prior to submitting an application, applicants are strongly encouraged to schedule a brief consultation with Josh Honn, English and Digital Humanities Librarian, ( or Matt Taylor, Media and Design Studio IT Director (

Proposals are due Friday, December 13, 2019 and should be submitted to Tom Burke, Assistant Director of the Kaplan Institute, at

For more information about the workshop and to see a full list of previous participants and projects, please visit

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