Providing resources and trai­ning in the practices and tools of the digital humanities

CFP: DH Forum 2015 Peripheries, barriers, hierarchies: rethinking access, inclusivity, and infrastructure in global DH practice

September 25 & 26, 2015

Digital Humanities engages in many alternative scholarly forms and practices, and thus positions itself as a channel for exploring and challenging how social and institutional constructs shape traditional and digital academic discourses. Yet DH itself contains many non-neutral practices and is far from barrier-free. Digital Humanities practices, tools, infrastructures, and methodologies often embed a variety of assumptions that shape what kind of scholarship gets made, studied, and communicated; how it is represented to the world; and who can participate in that making and communication. A truly accessible DH goes beyond technical standards and provides people and communities of different abilities, genders, sexual orientations, languages and cultures--and of varying levels of access to technology and infrastructure--the capacity to shape and pursue scholarship that addresses their own interests and needs.


In a global context, the expansion of DH practices around the world and beyond the academy can reveal the ways in which dominant, hegemonic practices within the field tend to reinforce the very inequalities DH attempts to correct through its embrace of accessibility and knowledge production. Thus, specific practices in Global DH can call attention to the explicit and implicit contradictions in broader DH practices.


Our 2015 Digital Humanities Forum will take a critical approach to exploring peripheries, barriers and hierarchies of digital humanities practice in a global context, identifying those assumptions, and advocating and showcasing alternative practices to advance the field. We will critically engage these issues by exploring themes such as inclusivity, accessibility, global perspectives, decolonization, and democratization as they relate to digital humanities practice and infrastructure.


The Forum will take place on Saturday, September 26, following a full day of (gratis) Digital Humanities workshops on Friday, September 25.


We seek projects, research results, or critical/theoretical approaches to topics such as (but not limited to) the following:

  • How do embedded assumptions of DH practice shape what gets made, studied, and communicated;
  • The limitations of digital structures and infrastructures such as code/databases/ operating systems/interfaces/standards to represent or highlight cultural/gender/linguistic specificities, and efforts to get past these limitations;
  • Inclusion and exclusion in digital collections: archival silences, massive digital libraries, digital recovery projects;
  • "Accessible DH" that includes different abilities, languages, genders and sexual orientations, socio-economic conditions, and access to technical knowledge and infrastructure;
  • Case studies of projects focusing on accessibility and actively focusing on openness;
  • Case studies of indigenous, gendered, transnational, or “Global South” DH;
  • The concept and practice of minimal computing (sustainable computing done under some set of significant constraints of hardware, software, education, network capacity, power, or other factors);
  • Projects exploring data in languages other than English or working towards multilingual presentation;
  • Critical making, hacking, tinkering, and non-textual modes of knowledge production;
  • "Soft infrastructures" such as ideas of ownership, copyright, and intellectual property and their impact on global DH practice.

DH Forum best student paper award: Graduate students are encouraged to submit abstracts of papers or poster presentations. One student presentation will be selected for an award based on the quality, originality, clarity of the written abstract, along with its alignment with the DH Forum theme and expected future impact. The awardee will be presented with a check for $400 and award certificate at the conference. Students should identify themselves as such at the time of abstract submission to be considered for the award. For a paper to be eligible, at least fifty percent of the research reported in the paper must be performed by one or more student authors, and the student must be the primary presenter of the paper at the conference.


Please submit abstracts of 500 words maximum in PDF format to by June 1

Course Development Grants

As part of an effort to develop an interdisciplinary palette of courses in digital humanities at KU, the Institute for Digital Research in the Humanities is offering a $1000 stipend to tenured and tenure-track faculty who develop a new course in the digital humanities.

More information.

Digital Jumpstart Workshops 2015

IDRH will host our annual Digital Jumpstart Workshops this year on Thursday and Friday, March 5th-6th. These free workshops are intended to provide faculty, staff, and graduate students with hands-on introductions to digital tools and practices in order to help you better manage your data, analyze text, work collaborative over long term projects, create digital editions, fund projects, and publish and disseminate your results. All skill levels, from beginner to seasoned digital humanist, are welcome.

More information.

Élika Ortega to join IDRH as postdoctoral researcher

Elika OrtegaWe are thrilled to announce that Élika Ortega will be joining IDRH as a digital humanities postdoctoral researcher beginning in January 2015. Élika is highly active in the international digital humanities community, and comes to KU from the University of Western Ontario where she recently completed her PhD in Literature (Hispanic Studies) at the CulturePlex Lab. In her role at KU, Élika will develop and teach an introductory digital humanities course, conduct original digital humanities research, consult on digital research projects, and help manage IDRH's continuing activities. Welcome, Élika!

Élika Ortega completed her PhD in Literature (Hispanic Studies) at the CulturePlex Lab at the University of Western Ontario in Canada in 2013. She also holds an MA in English from the University of Toronto (2007) and an MA (2006) and a BA (2004) in Modern Languages and Literatures from the National Autonomous University of Mexico. Élika writes about digital literature, (not necessarily digital) media, intermediality, reading practices and interfaces, books, networks, and multilingualism in academia. She is part of the Global Outlook::Digital Humanities executive committee, and a member of the Alliance of Digital Humanities Organizations, Red de Humanidades Digitales, Modern Languages Association, Electronic Literature Organization, Laboratory of Extended Literatures and Other Materialities, and Red Latinoamericana de Literatura Electrónica. During her years at the University of Western Ontario, Élika co-founded and edited the graduate student peer-reviewed journal Entrehojas; co-led the speaker series for the Inter-Disciplinary Initiative in Digital Humanities for two years; worked on digitization projects of the Libraries’ special collection materials; led workshops, and trained undergraduate students in a variety of tools and methodologies. A tireless traveler, Élika has presented her work in conferences in the US, Canada, Mexico, Argentina, Spain, France, Switzerland, and Ghana.

Striving to Make Digital Humanities More Accessible: An Introduction to the Digital Innovation Lab

Striving to Make Digital Humanities More Accessible: An Introduction to the Digital Innovation Lab
Pam Lach
Associate Director, Digital Innovation Lab
University of North Carolina

Friday, October 31
1:00pm - 2:30pm
Watson Library 455

Launched in Fall 2011, the Digital Innovation Lab at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is an interdisciplinary, collaborative hub for digital humanities. The DIL values digital humanities as public goods, and strives to make its projects and tools as accessible as possible. This talk will provide an introduction to the Lab’s work in project and tool development and pedagogic innovation, as well as efforts to support data-driven uses of large digital collections. The talk will also highlight DH Press, a WordPress-based data visualization toolkit, which the DIL has been developing since 2012. 

Pam Lach is the Associate Director of the Digital Innovation Lab (DIL) at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She holds a PhD from UNC in U.S. Cultural History with an emphasis on gender and film history (2007), and a MS in Information Science from the UNC’s School of Information and Library Science (2012). Pam is interested in how new and emerging technologies can support and redefine scholarship and pedagogy in the humanities and hopes to bridge the divide between technology and humanists. Among her many duties, she oversees DIL staff and project work, and is the Project Manager for DH Press, a WordPress-based digital humanities visualization toolkit. 

Seed grant opportunity: Collaborative Research Tornado

Friday, October 24
1pm - 4pm
​The Commons, Spooner Hall

Does your research incorporate computational methods? Might your research be further invigorated by expertise from a wholly different discipline? Are you interested in working across disciplines (humanistic and non-humanistic) with faculty and graduate students from other disciplines who do too? 

This month, the Institute for Digital Research in the Humanities (IDRH) is hosting a Digital Humanities Tornado, a research networking session aimed at developing internal grant proposals based in interdisciplinary collaboration between KU faculty (staff and grad students also welcome). The event is intended to bring researchers together to develop proposals for seed grants of up to $15,000 in the Digital Humanities and all allied fields, including but not limited to Computer Science and Information Technology, genomics, geography, law, journalism, social sciences and other fields. 

The IDRH Co-Directors, Advisory Board and facilitators Germaine Halegoua (Film & Media Studies) and Jonathan Lamb (English) invite you to participate in this brainstorming session on October 24 from 1-4pm at The Commons in Spooner Hall.

Refreshments will be served. Final proposals for seed grants of up to $15,000 are due Monday, December 1.  Please see the seed grant guidelines for more information. SEED GRANT APPLICANTS MUST BE PRESENT AT THE TORNADO TO SUBMIT A PROPOSAL.

Schedule Outline

* Welcome and Overview
* Introductions (please come prepared to share your research projects or interests)
* Workgroup Session
* Large group discussion and reporting back from workgroups
* Wrap-up and next steps


IDRH Workstation Now Available in Watson 425

The Institute for Digital Research in the Humanities has recently finished the deployment of a computer in the GIS & Data Lab of Watson Library, room 425. The workstation is equipped with an array of tools for Digital Humanities research and work, including visualization, analytic, programming and publishing software, as well as a collection of bookmarks to online DH tools and resources. The current list of software and links hosted on the machine can be viewed on the Watson 425 Workstation page on the IDRH website. Requests for assistance or consultations, or for new software acquisition can be directed to us at

Documentary Editing in the Digital Age with Amy Hughes, Brooklyn College

Join us on Monday, April 21 at 1:30 in Watson 455 for a presentation on The Harry Watkins Diary Project, presented by Amy E. Hughes, professor of Theater History & Criticism at Brooklyn College.


The journal Harry Watkins kept from 1845-1860 is the only known diary of significant length and substance written by an American actor during the years leading up to the Civil War. To make this resource more widely available, a team of historians, students, and technologists is creating a critical edition that will be available in both print and digital form. Hughes will discuss how the original vision of the project gradually transformed to take advantage of opportunities available within the Digital Humanities, including open-source tools, best practices in documentary editing and text encoding, and prospects for funding. 


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Directory of DH Scholars

Looking for collaborators, expertise, or other scholars with related interests?

Please see our list of affiliated scholars at KU.

If you would like to be included in this list please complete our affiliated scholars form.

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