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

Bryce Heesacker joins IDRH as Hall Center Applied Humanities Fellow

Bryce Heesacker (creating work under the moniker F. C. Zuke) is an MFA candidate in Expanded Media and will be joining IDRH this summer as a Hall Center Applied Humanities Summer Fellow. Some of his work with IDRH involves web development, creating a database of IDRH projects, and working with IDRH staff to coordinate the 2019 Digital Humanities Forum in the fall. He was previously the 2017-2018 Andrew W. Mellon Graduate Research Fellow for the Integrated Arts Research Initiative at the Spencer Museum of Art. His work with IARI included coordinating interdisciplinary programs and producing audio interviews and short-format documentaries. Bryce is currently an instructor in the Department of Visual Art, where he teaches Fundamentals of Expanded Media, a course that introduces students to aspects of video, sound, installation, digital image, performance, and research-based art practices.

In his artistic practice, he is concerned with creating experiences that involve sound, video, light (or darkness), and unique opportunities for visitors to interact with each other, objects, interfaces, and spaces. He utilizes emergent technologies to create works that respond to viewers, that give the audience control, and that seem to have agency themselves. These interactions often cause visitors to question the impact that their actions have on particular systems, such as systems of power, control, evaluation, classification, or epistemology. Art and music organizations in the United States, Europe, and Asia have performed and exhibited his works.

“In my work, I want to put people inside of a system; a system that is alive, moving, and listening or watching or waiting to see what the visitors are going to do. I think by setting up such scenarios, my audience not only sees a system represented, but they also experience it. They literally see and hear and feel how it reacts to their presence. And I think this visceral nature of my work makes the interaction with these systems more memorable and makes the presence of these systems more recognizable when they appear in the world.”

IDRH Welcomes James Yeku to the University of Kansas in Fall 2019

James Yeku received his PhD in English from the University of Saskatchewan in 2018, joining the University of Kansas a year later as an assistant professor of African digital humanities in the Department of African and African American Studies​ and the Institute for Digital Research in the Humanities. James studies the digital expressions of the literatures and cultures of Africa and the African diaspora and focuses on the African articulations of the digital cultural record.  His research also explores interdisciplinary areas such as cultural studies, social media in Africa, as well as visual culture in Nigeria. 

James’s journal article “Akpos Don Come Again: Nigerian Cyberpop Hero as Trickster” won the 2017 Abioseh Porter Best Essay Award of the African Literature Association. In addition to several book chapters, James has published his work in the Journal of African Cultural StudiesAfrican Studies Quarterly, as well as in Research in African Literatures. James is a member of the editorial board of the Journal of African Cultural Studies. James was a research assistant for Allison Muri’s The Grub Street Project, a digital project that visualizes the literary and cultural history of London.

His current project is Digital Nollywood, a web-based archive of Nollywood film posters. He is the author of the forthcoming book Social media, Popular culture, and Performance in Nigeria, which highlights the ways in which Nigerian social media users organize political humour around online visual culture as performative practices of disrupting state power. Before arriving at KU, James taught Use of English at the University of Ibadan in Nigeria, as well as English and composition at the University of Saskatchewan in Canada where he was a teacher-doctoral fellow in 2017. 



HASTAC Scholars Project Showcase

The HASTAC (Humanities, Arts, Science, and Technology Alliance and Collaboratory) Scholars Program gives undergraduate and graduate students an opportunity to develop their Digital Humanities interests and showcase their DH research and projects to a broader audience. Each year, around 100 new Scholars from dozens of disciplines and a variety of colleges and universities are accepted into a new 2-year cohort of the program.

At KU this spring, we celebrate the work done by our institution’s outgoing cohort of HASTAC Scholars and welcome in a new cohort at this inaugural annual event. The outgoing cohort will present the DH research and projects they have worked on during their two-year stint in the program:

  • An Sasala (Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies)
  • Clarisse Barbier (French, Francophone, and Italian)
  • Mariah Crystal (Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies)
  • Douglas Rain Charger (Indigenous Studies)

We will also welcome the following KU students who were accepted to the HASTAC Scholars Program for the 2018-2020 cohort:

  • Christopher Peace (English)
  • Kristan Hanson (Art History)
  • Shane Lynch (Indigenous Studies)

Join us on May 9, from 1pm – 2pm, in Watson 455 for a digital humanities research and project showcase. (Please note that we are not in the DH Studio this time.) Light refreshments will be served.


Latinx Digital Studies Symposium on 30 April


Dr. Omaris Zamora's class on Latinx Lit + Performance is hosting a Latinx Digital Studies Symposium to showcase final projects on Tuesday, April 30th from 4pm to 6pm in Watson Library 455.

The research projects include topics like Nuyorican Poetry, Chicanx Visual Cultures, Digital Latinidad, and Afterlives of Hurricane Maria. The symposium will highlight how digital pedagogy can be used in ethnic studies classrooms. 

Join us this Tuesday for light refreshments and digital project presentations. This event is co-sponsored by IDRH with the Department of Spanish and Portuguese. RSVP is not required.

You can also follow the conversation on Twitter at #LatinxDigitalStudiesKU

Using Python in Humanities Research: A Conversation with Jonathan Lamb

Jon Lamb (Associate Professor of English, University of Kansas) explains why Python, the programming language, is suitable for humanities research and shares an example from his text analysis research on Shakespeare's Othello. He also notes that IDRH is a gathering place to bring together people working on different kinds of digital humanities research.

In the last few weeks, IDRH has released short videos about digital humanities activities at the University of Kansas. This is the last video in the series.


Facilitating an exchange of ideas on digital scholarship: A conversation with Elspeth Healey

Elspeth Healey, Special Collections Librarian at the Spencer Research Library at the University of Kansas, explains how the Digital Humanities Seminar (co-sponsored by the Hall Center for the Humanities) provides a forum for conversation and exchange of ideas on digital humanities. She also adds that faculty and staff at the Institute for Digital Research in the Humanities (IDRH) will challenge you with new ideas for research and projects in an inclusive and welcoming setting.

In the next few weeks, IDRH will be releasing short videos about digital humanities activities at the University of Kansas. This is the fourth video in the series.

Engaging students through digital pedagogy: A conversation with Whitney Sperrazza

Whitney Sperrazza, Postdoctoral Researcher in Digital Humanities at the Hall Center for the Humanities, shares how her class on Digital Feminist Archives incorporated digital pedagogy. Students studied, transcribed, and developed digital projects around an early modern text. Learn more about this assignment here. The Institute for Digital Research in the Humanities can provide support for digital pedagogy, including consultations, course development grants, student showcases, and forums for sharing innovative assignments.

In the next few weeks, IDRH will be releasing short videos about digital humanities activities at the University of Kansas. This is the third video in the series.


Dr. Paloma Vargas Montes, visiting scholar in residence, at KU from April 1-14

The University of Kansas Libraries, along with support from the Institute of Digital Research in the Humanities and other campus sponsors, will host visiting scholar Dr. Paloma Vargas Montes from Tecnológico de Monterrey in Mexico from April 1-14. Dr. Vargas Montes holds a PhD in History (École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales, Paris) and in Hispanic Literature (University of Navarra). Her research focuses on the ethno-history of the Mexican indigenous people by using textual criticism and book materiality methods in the study of primary sources.

During her stay she will give three public talks (details below), will work on two digital research projects, and participate in several classroom visits and other events. Please see below for the schedule of public events:


Monday, April 1, 1pm – 2pm in Watson 455. Meet and Greet

Join us on Dr. Vargas’s first day on campus for an informal meet and greet in Watson 455. Light refreshments will be served.

Tuesday, April 2, 3pm – 4:30pm in the Hall Center. Digital Humanities Seminar

“Building DH Scholars in northern Mexico: the case of the Tecnológico de Monterrey’s Master in Digital Humanities”

Description: For a year and a half, a group of 15 scholars affiliated to the Tecnológico de Monterrey have been working on the curriculum for an online Master on digital humanities which will be available on September 2019. The MHD will offer two lines of work and research:  Cultural heritage and Digital Culture. The university has a long tradition in online education and a solid presence in South America. It is expected that the MHD will impact strongly in other countries, besides Mexico, like Peru, Colombia and Ecuador. This talk will present the process of creation of this program as a case study which exemplifies the challenges and opportunity areas of building DH scholarship in Latin America.

Wednesday, April 3, 3pm – 4:30pm in the Hall Center. Colonialism Seminar

“Cosmogony and culture of the Aztecs of XVI century Mexico: the accounts of Sahagún and Durán”

Description: The primary sources for the study of Prehispanic cosmogony of the Nahua people, the Aztecs, are contained on the chronicles of the friars, who recover the past of the indigenous people as a result of their evangelization efforts. This talk will present the works of Bernardino de Sahagún and Diego Durán, two authors who inherited us with the great accounts of mythology, rites and beliefs of the Aztecs.

Monday, April 8, 3pm – 4:30pm in Tommaney Hall, Haskell Indian Nations University

Indigeneity and the Digital: A Panel with Tiffany Midge and Paloma Vargas

Description: How are digital technologies changing the ways in which Indigenous communities represent themselves? How are these same technologies transforming the general public’s understanding of Indigenous history, culture, and social justice issues? Join us for this important conversation as these two internationally-renowned scholars share their perspectives.


Dr. Vargas will have a cubicle on the fourth floor of Watson Library, and will also be available to meet with faculty, staff and students during her stay. Please let Brian Rosenblum ( know if you would like to schedule a time to meet with her.

This visit is made by possible by the following generous sponsors: School of Languages, Literatures and Cultures | College of Liberal Arts and Sciences | Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies | Dept. of Spanish & Portuguese Indigenous Studies Program | Center for Global and International Studies | Dept. of English | Dept. of History | Hall Center for the Humanities | Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion | Institute for Digital Research in the Humanities | Dept. of Anthropology | Office of International Programs | Dept. of American Studies

Creating scholarly networks through the digital humanities: A conversation with Mariah Crystal

Mariah Crystal, PhD candidate in Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at the University of Kansas, on how digital humanities has opened up opportunities for engaging students through digital pedagogy and creating scholarly networks. Mariah is a HASTAC Scholar (2017-2019) at KU. Her research focuses on women in the Namibian independence movement.

In the next few weeks, IDRH will be releasing short videos about digital humanities activities at the University of Kansas. This is the second video in the series.




Supporting a campus culture of digital scholarship - A conversation with Brian Rosenblum

In the next few weeks, IDRH will be releasing short videos about our digital humanities initiatives for the KU community. In this first video, Brian Rosenblum, Co-Director of IDRH,speaks about how IDRH supports the KU community in pursuing digital scholarship and digital pedagogy. Watch this short video to learn more about how we can get you started on digital humanities research.



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