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Data-driven: the humanities get digital

May 12, 2021 @ 2:30 pm - 4:30 pm

Thinking, researching, and being online

We are pleased to invite you to the first in a series of workshops on ‘thinking, researching, and being online.’

The past year has brought about changes we could hardly have predicted. With archives closed and research participants accessible only via video calls, much of the research in the humanities has been moved online at an unprecedented rate. While this has been a challenge for many projects and researchers have had to re-evaluate and reinvent their work, the rapid change has brought about a new interest in working online.

Is this what the ‘digital’ humanities look like? How might we make sense of the explosion of online activity? How can researchers account for the ‘Zoom effect’? And what data can we find online anyway?

This workshop will equip researchers with a range of methods and approaches to conducting digital humanities research and the use of the online environment as a rich source of data.

The second and third workshops (16, 23 June) shift focus to ‘being’ online and explore the affective aspects – including sentiment, emotional, and kinesic analysis – of online research and communication.

The event will be held on Zoom. Registration essential via Eventbrite.

Data-driven: the humanities get digital

Dr Emily McGinn and Katie Kuiper

This session will provide a broad overview of the digital humanities tools and methods for developing data driven research. Building on this understanding, the workshop will explore participants’ own data collection methods and models and will offer a wide range of options for investigating data and building your project.

This workshop will be of particular interest to researchers pursuing fields such as social media analytics, big data research, virtual ethnography, discourse analysis, or archival research.

The workshop will:

  • build a theoretical underpinning for digital humanities research,
  • reflect on the place of the digital humanities in the contemporary research environment,
  • introduce useful computing and programming tools for research,
  • provide practical training on online data gathering, web-scraping, or corpus analysis,
  • prepare researchers to handle, treat, visualise, and analyse big data ethically.


You can watch a recording of the workshop here.

Our first workshop, “Data-driven: the humanities get digital”, took place on 12 May 2021. It was led by Dr Emily McGinn and Katie Kuiper, both from the University of Georgia. The session focused on the use of Voyant (an easy-to-use web-based tool for text analysis) and R. You can find a complete catalogue of the resources used specifically for the workshop on this dedicated site.

We invite you to go through the workshop recording at your pace and time. To follow through the session, you will need to download R and R Studio. If you need more help with R, do have a look at Swirl to locate tailored tutorials. The workshop itself was based on the analysis of the corpus of Jane Austen’s novels. The R codes that were used can be accessed here.

You can also explore beyond what was covered in the workshop. Please visit programming historian to find additional resources on wider digital humanities tutorials. The Digital Humanities Lab of the University of Georgia also provides more resources from data visualisation to web scrapping that you may consider useful. These can be found here.

Dr Emily McGinnis the Head of Digital Humanities at the University of Georgia, USA. She oversees the Wilson Center Digital Humanities Lab in a role that includes advising, consulting and managing new digital projects, designing new digital humanities curriculum and outreach.
Katie Kuiperis a Researcher and Visiting Lecturer in corpus linguistics, language variation, and digital humanities at the University of Georgia.






May 12, 2021
2:30 pm - 4:30 pm
Event Categories:


Online event


The PGR Studio

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