Upcoming Events


Spring 2021 Course - Introduction to Digital Humanities

Sierra Eckert
February 2 - April 27

Introduction to Digital Humanities - HUM 346/ENG 256

T: 1:30-2:50pm

This seminar introduces the digital humanities by exploring key debates around the meaning of humanities data. Like "slow food"--a movement where diners, farmers, and chefs rethink what and how we produce and consume--we will explore data as local, embedded, and requiring careful critical reflection. How can computational tools help us to understand art and literature? What do digital archives reveal (or obscure) about the people who make them? We will explore the foundations of this field while also discussing concerns that emerge when accessing and maintaining digital projects in time and across global and local contexts.

View course details.


Spring 2021 Course - Literature, Data, and Interpretation

Rebecca Munson
Meredith Martin
February 2 - April 27

Literature, Data, and Interpretation - ENG 583/HUM 587

T: 6:00-8:50pm

How and why has literary criticism relied on or resisted quantitative methods? In this seminar we survey current debates about evidence, Digital Humanities and cultural analytics and discuss methods of evaluating data as evidence across disciplines. Using approaches from data feminism, critical archival studies, and Data for Black Lives, we think about traditional objects of literary study: the book, the text, the poem, the artwork, as data with a complicated past and future. How might humanities and data together build more equitable ways of knowing?

View course details.


How We Work: The Postdoc Experience with Jim Casey and Zoe LeBlanc

Jim Casey
Zoe G. LeBlanc
March 4 12:00–1:20 PM

The Center for Digital Humanities, in collaboration with GradFUTURES, is excited to launch How We Work, a new event series centered around the theme of academic work. What does it mean to work in “alternative” academia? What does it mean to pursue “traditional” academic jobs in today’s changing educational landscape? Breaking down the barrier between traditional and alternative, the series invites CDH staffers and postdocs to have open and honest conversations about their jobs, how they got there, and how they get them done.

These informal and interactive sessions will be held on Zoom and are open to graduate students and postdoctoral fellows in all departments. Our first event will feature a conversation between CDH postdoctoral fellow Zoe LeBlanc and former postdoctoral fellow Jim Casey. Discussion will center on the postdoc experience and on the journey from graduate school, to postdoc, to professorship.

Register here.

Guest Lecture

How librarians can protect privacy in the age of Big Data

March 24 4:30–5:30 PM

Privacy is one of the core values of librarianship, but how do we protect this value when surveillance is the business model of the internet? Library Freedom Project is an organization devoted to training librarians to understand digital privacy issues and use their skills as trusted information stewards to teach communities how to protect themselves from surveillance threats. Join LFP director Alison Macrina to learn about the role of librarians in the digital privacy fight, the most pressing digital privacy issues facing society today, and how librarians and community members can work together to take control of our digital lives.

Past Events

Information Session

Humanities Data Teaching Fellows Information Session

Grant R. Wythoff
January 27 2:00–3:00 PM

Join us for a virtual information session on a new opportunity for Princeton Ph.D. students: the Humanities Data Teaching Fellowship. Fellows will bring their humanities subject expertise to a pathbreaking data sciences curriculum development initiative. Applications are due February 12.

Click here to register.


Exploring Privacy Apps

January 28 1:00–2:00 PM

(InfoSec 101) - In celebration of International Data Privacy Day (January 28), the Information Security Office will discuss several software applications developed with privacy in mind.  Some applications explored include DuckDuckGo privacy services, Tor browser, Mailvelope encrypted email, and Signal messaging (encrypted instant messenger, voice, and video calling). Join us to learn about both the advantages and disadvantages of these services.

Speakers: David Sherry, Tara Schaufler


About InfoSec class levels:

InfoSec 100-level classes: Classes with no prerequisites and typically define basic concepts or terminology.

InfoSec 200-level classes: Classes may sometimes have prerequisites and typically define intermediate-level concepts or terminology.

Sign up here (make sure to select the correct webinar and then click “enroll” on the top right of the window).

Book Talk

Book Talk: "Predict and Surveil: Data, Discretion, and the Future of Policing"

February 9 4:30–5:30 PM

Princeton alumna and Assistant Professor of Sociology at the University of Texas at Austin, Sarah Brayne, will speak about her new book, Predict and Surveil: Data, Discretion, and the Future of Policing.

The scope of criminal justice surveillance, from policing to incarceration, has expanded rapidly in recent decades. At the same time, the use of big data has spread across a range of fields, including finance, politics, health, and marketing. While law enforcement’s use of big data is hotly contested, very little is known about how the police actually use it in daily operations and with what consequences. This book offers an inside look at how police use big data and new surveillance technologies, leveraging on-the-ground fieldwork with one of the most technologically advanced law enforcement agencies in the world—the Los Angeles Police Department. Drawing on original interviews and ethnographic observations from over two years of fieldwork with the LAPD, the text examines the causes and consequences of big data and algorithmic control. It reveals how the police use predictive analytics and new surveillance technologies to deploy resources, identify criminal suspects, and conduct investigations; how the adoption of big data analytics transforms police organizational practices; and how the police themselves respond to these new data-driven practices. While big data analytics has the potential to reduce bias, increase efficiency, and improve prediction accuracy, the book argues that it also reproduces and deepens existing patterns of inequality, threatens privacy, and challenges civil liberties.

Register here.

Douglass Day Event

Abolition: Then and Now

February 13 1:00–2:15 PM

This event will feature presentations by undergraduate Princeton University students on their collaborative, virtual exhibition entitled “Abolition: Then and Now.” The students put this exhibition together as part of a final project for a fall 2020 course on the writings of Frederick Douglass and Ralph Waldo Emerson. Supported by the 250th Fund for Innovation in Undergraduate Education, the course—taught by Professor Eduardo Cadava and supported by undergraduate Shannon Chaffers ’22—encouraged the students to think about the ways in which the writings of these two towering American figures can be used as resources not only for addressing contemporary socio-political issues but also for doing political work, and especially work that goes in the direction of addressing, engaging, and perhaps even overcoming the history of racial injustice in America. As part of this year’s Douglass Day celebration, the students will present the portion of their exhibition devoted to Douglass and to everything that we have inherited from his activism, determination, and ethical force and from which we can gather the strength to further the struggles that he believed were so necessary, and that remain so even today.

Please be aware that one of the presentations includes a potentially disturbing image. The presenter will provide a warning in advance of showing the image.

Register here.

Also join the national Douglass Day events on February 12 and 14!

Douglass Day Event

What's in a Name? A Discussion with Princeton University and Public School Students

February 13 3:00–4:30 PM

In June 2020, the Princeton University Board of Trustees voted to change the names of the University’s School of Public and International Affairs and of Wilson College. As President Christopher Eisgruber wrote at the time, “the trustees concluded that Woodrow Wilson’s racist thinking and policies make him an inappropriate namesake for a school or college whose scholars, students, and alumni must stand firmly against racism in all its forms.”

Two months later, the Princeton Public School Board of Education voted to remove the name John Witherspoon from the town’s middle school; Witherspoon, a Princeton resident who signed the Declaration of Independence, was a slaveholder. 

At this panel, students and teachers from Princeton Public Schools and Princeton University undergraduates will discuss their experiences advocating for these renamings. Why did these issues matter to them? What did they learn from being part of these important events? What can others gain from their experiences? As panelists reflect on these transformational moments in their communities, we will all have a chance to look back on a critical year for racial justice advocacy in Princeton and beyond.

This event is part of Douglass Day celebrations. Douglass Day is an annual event to celebrate Frederick Douglass’s chosen birthday of February 14. Each year, people all over the country gather (this year, virtually) to learn more about Black history through a transcribe-a-thon and other events. This year, attendees are invited to transcribe the papers of civil rights activist Mary Church Terrell, the first president of the National Association of Colored Women. Terrell earned a master’s degree in education at Oberlin College in 1888, and spent part of her career as a teacher and school administrator. It is fitting, then, that the Princeton-area Douglass Day celebration should bring together teachers and students for a conversation about activism.

This program will take place on Zoom. Register on the Princeton Public Library website. If you have questions or concerns, please email kdorman@princetonlibrary.org.

This event is presented in partnership with Princeton Public Library and Princeton Public Schools.

Also join the national Douglass Day events on February 12 and 14!


From Analog to Digital: A Conversation with Professor Andrew Ollett on Open Source Philology

February 19 2:00–3:00 PM

Join the South Asia Digital Humanities Working Group for a conversation with Prof. Andrew Ollett (University of Chicago). Prof. Ollett will discuss the advantages and challenges of using open-source tools for philology with particular reference to his current project, a translation of a Prakrit work on poetics. The conversation will be moderated by Prof. Nataliya Yanchevskaya, Sanskrit lecturer in PIIRS.

Professor Andrew Ollett is an Assistant Professor in the Department of South Asian Languages and Culture at the University of Chicago. He works on the literacy and intellectual traditions of South Asia, and is a specialist in Prakrit and Sanskit. He is the creator of Digital Indology, a collection of resources for the use of digital tools South Asian studies research.

Sponsored by the Center for Digital Humanities, the M.S. Chadha Center for Global India, and the Program in South Asian Studies

Register here.



Year of Data

Collections as Data Series

Douglass Day

Privacy Initiative

How We Work Series

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