Readings in the Digital Humanities

Occasionally, a colleague or student wants to learn more about the digital humanities. Here is a list of texts/sites/journals that are worth their consideration.


Literary Studies in the Digital Age: An Evolving Anthology is “published by the Modern Language Association of America. It is the MLAs first born-digital, publicly available anthology. It launched in 2013 and continues to grow. The editors welcome new submissions that will expand the breadth and depth of the collection, including pieces that offer primers on topics, tools, and techniques pertinent to computational approaches in literary studies as well as essays that deepen or nuance topics already covered in the volume.” Some of these essays are the de facto standard introductions to various dimensions of the digital humanities. They aren’t necessarily my favorites or even the best, but they do fall under the category of “everyone at least claims to have read them.”

Digital Humanities Spotlight: 7 Important Digitization Projects includes Mapping the Republic of Letters, London Lives, Charles Darwins Library, the Salem Witch Trials Documentary Archive and Transcription Project, The Newton Project, and Quijote Interactivo. This is an interesting collection of some of the more polished sites that are also publicly accessible.


DHQ: _Digital Humanities Quarterly.

DSH Digital Scholarship in the Humanities — the journal formerly known as LLC, _Literary and Linguistic Computing.

JDH: Journal of Digital Humanities.

And maybe:

CA: Journal of Cultural Analytics.

Math for Humanists

Patrick Juola and Stephen Ramsay announceed the publication of their new book, Six Septembers, though Zea Books, The University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s digital imprint. More than ten years in development, this book provides a broad conceptual introduction to the fundamentals of the mathematics that digital humanists are likely to encounter and to support high-level understanding of a variety of key mathematical ideas. The book is freely available under a Creative Commons CC-BY license, and can be downloaded from here.

File under: #iwasthinkingaboutwritingthisbook.

One Meaning of “Statistical Analysis”

One of the things that interests me is all the ways that “statistical analysis” can be defined, even within the confines of a relatively nascent domain like text analytics. Of course, being nascent also means that things are not yet defined. Moreover, as a domain, text analytics is emerging at the intersection of a number of fields. Some of the differences about assumptions of what were the applicable dimensions of statistics, let alone mathematics, were quite striking at this year’s Culture Analytics program at UCLA’s Institute for Pure and Applied Mathematics.

Below is a recent request posted on The Humanist that I am capturing here as another entry in this area:

The work will involve investigating the temporal relationships between
spoken and gesture events, so experience with methods for conducting
statistical analysis (correlation, t-test, anova, hypothesis testing) are expected.

In addition, the preferred workflow is as follows:

Ideally, the work will be done in Python (ideally using pandas), but if people prefer using R, I’d be happy to hear from them.

DH@Guelph Summer Workshops

The University of Guelph, in Ontario, Canada, is hosting a collection of workshops May 9-12. A lot happens in those 3 to 4 days:

  1. Getting Going with Omeka with
    Lisa Cox, Adam Doan, Melissa McAfee, Catharine Wilson.
  2. You’ve Got Data!: Introduction to Data Wrangling for Digital Humanities Projects with Paige Morgan.
  3. Text Encoding Fundamentals and Their Application with Jason Boyd.
  4. Minimal Computing for Digital Humanists with Kim Martin and John Fink.
  5. 3D Modelling for the Digital Humanities and Social Sciences_ with
    John Bonnett.
  6. Spatial Humanities: Exploring Opportunities in the Humanities Jennifer Marvin and Quin Shirk-Luckett.
  7. Online Collaborative Scholarship: Principles and Practicies (A CWRCshop) with Susan Brown, Mihaela Ilovan, and Leslie Allin.

Full details are here.