Digital Scholarship Workshops

Posted in

In winter 2015 we’re working with the McGill Library to offer a series of workshops focused on Digital Humanities Research practices.

You must register through the Library to participate in these workshops. Please visit the Library workshop page at

Digital Infrastructure for Humanities Research

What kinds of digital or cyber infrastructures are best suited for Humanities Research? How does the type of cyber infrastructure effect the ways Humanities Research is conducted and managed, as well as disseminated? The first session in this two-part workshop will describe the kinds of websites and cyber-infrastructures currently in use in a variety of Humanities Research contexts. It will outline how different types of websites work – ranging from static html sites, to fuller dynamic database and data-driven web applications and systems – and what kinds of sites are best suited to particular Humanities Research objectives. The second session will focus on a needs assessment for Humanities Researchers by examining the cyber-infrastructure provisions currently offered by McGill University, private Internet Service Providers, as well as partners institutions. Attendees submitting Insight Development Grant proposals with Digital Infrastructure components are strongly encouraged to attend.

Date: January 27 & 29 – 230-430pm
Location: TBD
Instructors: Matthew Milner & Ed Bilodeau

GIS and Spatial Data for Humanities Research

How can Humanities Researchers use geographic information and spatial data in their work? This is the spatial turn with a twist – using GIS Data to contextualize traditional Humanities scholarly interest has become increasingly important over the past decade. Can we plot the spaces and places within a novel, or an historical source? This workshop will provide Humanities Researchers with an overview of GIS methods and tools, and how they can begin to apply open access spatial data to their work.

Date: February 19 2015 – 230-430pm
Location: TBD
Instructors: Matthew Milner & Deena Yanofsky

Data Visualization for Humanities Research

In an age of data-driven research, the old adage that an image is worth a thousand words takes on new importance. Data visualizations now pepper periodicals and websites; data journalists have become data artists. More importantly, perhaps, is how visualizations are impacting the creation of digital tools – visualizations more often than not are interfaces, ways to move through complex data, allowing scholars and the public alike to navigate and explore information in new ways that sometimes defy easy summation in prose-based argumentation. This workshop will introduce Humanities Researchers to the ways Data Visualization is reshaping their domains, how visualization can be employed both as an alternative and in compliment to their traditional forms of research dissemination and publication. It will explore different types of visualizations – from spatial tools to analytical suites like to visualization libraries like D3.JS.

Date: March 17 2015 – 230-430pm
Location: TBD
Instructors: Matthew Milner & Sarah Severson

Assessing Humanities Digital Research / Digital Scholarship

In a world of where Humanities scholars are urged to put their work into new digital forms, ensuring that these new modes of scholarly output are properly assessed is critical. How do we assess the scholarly value of visualizations? Of blogs and websites? While scholarly critical apparata are well established for print-based scholarship, the conventions of digital assessment are new and raw. Professional societies like the American Historical Association and Modern Language Association have produced blueprints for assessing humanities digital research. Do these, however, go far enough in light of the importance of such assessments for the tenure-process, as much as scholarly debate? While the need to ‘code’ is often discussed in the light of digital production, how much technological know-how is required to be a good and professional critic? This workshop will lay out the current conventions for assessing digital scholarship in the humanities. Participants will also interrogate or draft conventions for their home departments here at McGill.

Date: April 28 & 30 2015 – 230-430pm
Location: TBD
Instructors: Matthew Milner & Eamon Duffy