Fall 2018 Events


Fall 2018 Course - Introduction to Digital Humanities

Nora Benedict
September 12 - January 26

Introduction to Digital Humanities - HUM 346 / AMS 348 / LAS 385 / COM 336

T/Th: 1:30 - 2:50 PM

This course will introduce students to debates and approaches in the Digital Humanities from a global perspective. We will consider the foundations of DH while also discussing concerns involving access, maintenance, and care for projects over time in regions with physical restraints such as connectivity restrictions. On seminar days, we will work through theoretical concerns and explore the possibilities and limits of existing tools. On studio days, we work in small teams to gather data from primary sources in RBSC, which we will then use with software and platforms to build skills in computational analysis, data collection, and DH research.

View course details


Fall 2018 Open House

September 24 4:30–6:00 PM

Celebrate the start of the year with us as we kick off our Year of Data!! Learn more about CDH projects, meet our staff, enjoy snacks and drinks, and collect your very own limited edition tote bag.

Reading Group

Reading Group Meeting

September 26 12:00–1:20 PM

Join the CDH+PUL first "Collections as Data" reading group meeting of the Fall semester. 

Please look over and be prepared to discuss the Santa Barbara Statement on Collections as Data  on the Always Already Computational website. See our Reading Group page for more information!


‘Lab’-Learning in the Humanities and Social Sciences

Rebecca Munson
Anne Cheng
Paul B. Muldoon
October 2 12:00–1:15 PM

This event is co-organized by the McGraw Center for Teaching and Learning

What are the possibilities for lab-like research and learning in the Humanities and Social Sciences? Why might we choose to work in inter-generational and cross-professional teams, and what projects are best suited to this approach? What is the pedagogy of the lab, and what can we learn from our colleagues in professional fields, the Natural Sciences, and Engineering?

Panelists include

Anne ChengProfessor of English and American Studies. Director, Program in American Studies.
Paul B. MuldoonHoward G.B. Clark '21 University Professor in the Humanities. Professor of Creative Writing in the Lewis Center for the Arts. Director, Princeton Atelier.
Rebecca G. Munson, Project and Education Coordinator, Center for Digital Humanities



Data Cleaning @ Stokes Library

Jean Bauer
Seth Porter
October 3 12:00–1:20 PM

Do you have messy data?

Is the mess getting in the way of your analysis?

Does Excel crash whenever you open *that* file?

Don’t despair! Help is on the way. The Center for Digital Humanities and the Stokes Library are hosting a workshop to help you get past the mess in your data set and on to the analysis and visualizations you actually want to be doing. We will be using the open source data cleaning power tool, OpenRefine.

This is a hands on workshop, so please bring your own laptop with OpenRefine pre-installed (you can get a copy of the free software here). If you have difficulty installing OpenRefine come 30 minutes early and someone will help you get up and running.

A sample (messy) data set will be provided, but participants are encouraged to bring their own datasets for consultation.

Workshop co-leads:

Jean Bauer is the Research Director of the Center for Digital Humanities at Princeton where she sets the research direction of the CDH and is responsible for developing innovative digital humanities projects and diffusing digital humanities tools and methods into the Princeton curriculum. Through a combination of formal training and curiosity she is an early American historian, database designer, and photographer.  Jean earned her PhD in History from the University of Virginia, where she designed and built The Early American Foreign Service Database for analyzing the US foreign service from 1775-1825 as an information network.  

Seth Porter is the Head of the Princeton’s Stokes Library for Public & International Affairs and Population Research. Seth holds a Master of Arts in Public Affairs from University of Alabama, a Bachelor of Arts in History from the University of Wyoming, and a Master of Library and Information Science from San Jose State University. He is currently working on a Ph.D. at the University of Georgia. His scholarly interests include teaching and learning, program evaluation and project management.

This event is co-organized by the Princeton University Library.

Reading Group

Reading Group Meeting 2

October 10 12:00–1:20 PM

The CDH-PUL Collections as Data Reading Group will meet to discuss the fundamental question: "What Data does PUL Produce"? 

Please contact Natalia Ermolaev (nataliae@princeton.edu) for access to a spreadsheet where we are collecting a list of PUL-generated data and datasets.

For examples of datas and datasets produced at other institutions, see the Always Already Computational group's Data Facets.



Ada Lovelace Day Graduate Mixer

October 11 5:00–7:00 PM

Digital Humanities is all about mixing - computational methods and humanist questions, humanist approaches and technological innovation, and, of course, drinks!!

The Center for Digital Humanities invites you to honor of Ada Lovelace, the first computer programmer. Come meet fellow grads with an interest in DH in the highly interdisciplinary space of Triumph brewery. Ask your burning questions about DH in a relaxed, friendly environment. No previous experience, tech skills, or passwords required.


Who Counts?: A Symposium on Intersectional Data

Lauren F. Klein
Mimi Onuoha
October 22 4:30–6:30 PM

Data is not neutral. The ways in which it is gathered, curated, analyzed, described, stored, and communicated all serve as opportunities for bias. “Who Counts?: A Symposium on Intersectional Data” offers a forum for uncovering and analyzing the ways in which data practices—particularly those that abstract and classify individuals—replicate existing inequalities and institutionalize bias. It focuses on gaps, blanks, and absences and asks what might be done to foster practices at every stage in the data lifecycle that engage and represent the full spectrum of society.

Professor Klein (Georgia Tech) will be speaking on "Data Feminism: On Counting and Power" and Onuoha (NYU, Olin College of Engineering), a Professor and Artist, will be responding. Professor Klein has provided an abstract:

"With their ability to depict hundreds, thousands, and sometimes even millions of relationships at a single glance, visualizations of data can dazzle, inform, and persuade. It is precisely this power that makes it worth asking: "Visualization by whom? For whom? In whose interest? Informed by whose values?" These are some of the questions that emerge from what we call data feminism, a way of thinking about data and its visualization that is informed by the past several decades of feminist critical thought. Data feminism prompts questions about how, for instance, challenges to the male/female binary can also help challenge other binary and hierarchical classification systems. It encourages us to ask how the concept of invisible labor can help to expose the invisible forms of labor associated with data work. And it points to how an understanding of affective and embodied knowledge can help to expand the notion of what constitutes data and what does not. Using visualization as a starting point, this talk works backwards through the data-processing pipeline in order to show how a feminist approach to thinking about data not only exposes how power and privilege presently operate in visualization work, but also suggests how different design principles can help to mitigate inequality and work towards justice."

This event is co-sponsored by the Program in Gender and Sexuality Studies, the Program in American Studies, and the Humanities Council.

Reading Group

Reading Group: Who creates the data?

October 24 12:00–1:20 PM

The CDH-PUL Collections as Data Reading Group will meet the third time to discuss the question: "Who Creates the Data?"

This reading group will be moderated by  Thomas F. Keenan and Don Thornbury. 

  • Who are data creators/producers?
  • Who are/will be the data stewards?
  • How do changes in the metadata & cataloging profession affect data/dataset creation?
  • How does trend toward outsourcing metadata work affect our goals? How do we assess data quality when work is outsourced?
  • What new roles and workflows are needed to make collections available as data?
  • How do we value labor within data-driven collection work?






Wikidata Workshop

Luiza Wainer
November 6 12:00–2:00 PM

Wikidata is an open-source, multilingual repository for structured data, readable by both humans and machines. It acts as central storage for the structured data of its Wikimedia sister projects (like Wikipedia, Wikivoyage, Wikisource, etc.), and provides support to many other sites and services beyond Wikimedia, making it possible to create, collect, curate, and share data.


But what exactly does this mean?


This beginner-level, hands-on workshop will give an overview of structured data and Wikidata, including how it relates to other Wikimedia Projects (especially Wikipedia), and how participants can contribute and/or use Wikidata.


How to prepare?

  • Bring your laptop! Editing Wikidata on a tablet or mobile phone is not very user friendly yet - a laptop is highly recommended
  • If you don't have a Wikidata account yet (same account as on Wikipedia), please create one before the event.

More details here: http://bit.ly/CDHWikidata


Workshop lead:

Lu Wainer is a Metadata Librarian at the Princeton University Library with a specialty in Ibero-American languages and cultures, working as part of the core group exploring link data at PUL. They are interested in culturally responsible metadata as a way to foster their interest in knowledge organization and in equitable access to information, as well as their desire to support diverse user communities. They’re a strong believer in creating highly structured data as way to make connections that were otherwise invisible, providing new and richer forms of knowledge and understanding. A Wikimedia enthusiast, Lu has organized Wikipedia Edit-a-Thons to engage, empower, and bring visibility to people from marginalized communities. They identify as queer and latinx.


This event is co-organized by the Princeton University Library




Controlled Vocabularies: People, Places, Dates

Joyce A. Bell
November 7 12:00–1:20 PM

Do you need help keeping your data under control? Are your struggling to find the right terms, keywords or tags? Does your data contain ambiguous or unknown dates, places whose names changed over time, or multiple names or spelling variants for a single person or subject?  Data problems like these are typical for humanities projects.


Controlled vocabularies may be your answer!  Library cataloging revolves around creating large masses of data for indexing, sorting, and searching, and can provide useful guidelines for managing humanities data. This workshop will bring a cataloger’s insight into standards and best practices for dealing with data for people, places and dates. Topics covered include name authority files, subject thesauri, standards and formats, and linked open data.


If you have specific questions relate to people, places or dates from your dataset, please send your inquiry via email to cdh-consults@princeton.edu by Friday October 19, and the workshop leader may address your question in the session. 


This workshop will be led by Joyce Bell, Director of Cataloging and Metadata Services at the Princeton University Library. Joyce has led Princeton’s participation in several national-level initiatives, such as the Mellon-funded Linked Data for Production (LD4P) project. An Arabic cataloger by training, Joyce remains an active member of the Middle Eastern Librarians Association and Asian and African Materials section of ALA’s Committee on Cataloging. 


This event is co-organized by the Princeton University Library


Pathways with a PhD: DH Jobs, On and Off the Tenure Track

November 8 12:00–1:20 PM

Digital Humanities is having a “job market moment.” This panel brings together recent PhDs working in various capacities to discuss the opportunities, challenges and realities of jobs in DH. Topics covered include: getting DH experience during grad school, navigating the DH job market, post-docs, publishing DH work, and “#alt-ac” DH careers in libraries and DH centers. 
Grant Wythoff, Visiting Fellow, Center for Humanities and Information, Penn State
Andrew Janco, Digital Scholarship Librarian, Haverford College
Jennifer Garcon, CLIR postdoc and Bollinger Fellow in Public and Community Data Curation, University of Pennsylvania
Anne Savarese, Executive Editor (Literature), Princeton University Press
Rebecca Munson, Project and Education Coordinator, Center for Digital Humanities, Princeton

Moderator: Miranda Marraccini, Graduate Student, English, Princeton

 Light lunch will be served
This event is co-organized by the Graduate School, Career Services and the Center for Digital Humanities 

Data Conversations: English Department

Mary K. Naydan
Meredith Martin
Elspeth A. Green
Joshua Kotin
November 12 4:30–6:00 PM

Data Conversations are informal exchanges among faculty and graduate students with DH experience that address broad questions concerning research data in the humanities and social sciences. They include topics like: defining “data” in your field; what not to do with your data; what to know before you go to an archive. Participants will speak from experience and provide discipline-specific perspectives for DH newcomers.

Participants in the English Department's Data Conversation will be 

  • Elspeth Green (Graduate Student in English, Project Manager for The Shakespeare and Company Project)
  • Joshua Kotin (Associate Professor of English, Director of The Shakespeare and Company Project)
  • Meredith Martin (Associate Professor of English, Faculty Director of the Center for Digital Humanities, Director of the Princeton Prosody Archive)
  • Mary Naydan (Graduate Student in English, Project Manager for the Princeton Prosody Archive)
Working Group

Visualizing St. Petersburg

November 13 12:00–1:20 PM

This work-in-progress talk will present the Visualizing St. Petersburg project, an open-source-software-based web application containing historical and cultural heritage data about key landmarks of St. Petersburg, Russia. With input from scholars of history, library science, cultural studies and information technologies, the project team has conducted semantic analysis on a large, multilingual textual corpus that includes memoirs, documentaries and periodicals, and uses Text Encoding Initiative (TEI) to encode information about people, relationships, and events, and Uniform Resource Identifiers (URIs) to identify locations. All landmarks are being mapped onto an interactive city map of St. Petersburg with a user-friendly interface to facilitate easy navigation and filtering.



Antonina A. Puchkovskaia, PhD, works as an Associate Professor at ITMO University (Saint-Petersburg, Russia), where she teaches Digital Humanities and Digital Culture courses. She is a director of the International DH Lab co-directed by Professor Kimon Keramidas from NYU. As a PI she manages two interdisciplinary projects funded by Russian Humanities Foundations. She regularly participates in various international conferences in the USA, Canada, Malta, Finland, Estonia etc. giving workshops and presentations on different aspects of Digital Humanities. She is an author of more than 15 publications and currently working on a book “Generation Z on Digital Culture”.

Light lunch will be served

This talk is presented by the Slavic Digital Humanities Working Group.

Reading Group

Reading Group: Meeting 4

November 14 12:00–1:20 PM


The November 14th Collections as Data Reading Group meeting will be about "Identifying our users: Who will use the data?" Moderated by Jim Casey and Nick Budak.

Please take a look at the Collections as Data Personas (v2) online here: https://collectionsasdata.github.io/personas/ 

Then, browse the list of 50 things you can do to get started in Collections as Data:  https://collectionsasdata.github.io/fiftythings/. We really like the randomizer. From the list, please come prepared to share one thing you think could be a useful first step in your work.

Other motivating questions for discussion: 

  • Who do we imagine as users of PUL collections as data?
  • What are examples of library data being used for computational purposes? Success or failures stories.
  • How do we make collections as data accessible to a variety of users, including non-technical users?
  • How do we use data & digital tools to promote learning, engagement and innovation? How do we promote/encourage the use of PUL collections as data?
  • How do we train Princeton researchers to use collections as data?

Light lunch will be served



'Reading Matters' Conference

November 29 - December 1

The CDH is proud to be co-sponsoring 'Reading Matters',  a three-day conference convening in Princeton,  that brings together luminary scholars from the fields of the sciences, humanities, and design, to propose and discuss diverse and interdisciplinary methods for reading practices. The conference is free and open to the public. Registration is recommended, as seating is limited.

The conference calls on an interdisciplinary group of distinguished scholars to respond to contemporary political problems in their many social, textual, material, and embodied manifestations by considering reading as a collaborative, engaged and generative practice. In reflecting on why and how reading matters, participants will consider the influence of new media and the digital humanities on reading, and the viable encounters between the humanities, the creative and applied arts, and the natural sciences. Articulating and performing a mode of reading that responds to the challenges of the present has been a constant endeavor not only in literary studies, but in all academic disciplines. Technological and scientific developments require us to constantly reflect on what it means to read and make sense of texts and events as conveyed through various mediatic forms, across disparate global contexts. A crucial aspect of this is accounting for their various historical, political and cultural specificities.

This event is a collaboration between The Department of Comparative Literature and The School of Architecture   and  is co-sponsored by the CDH. 

Reading Group

Reading Group: Meeting 5

December 5 12:00–1:20 PM

On Wednesday December 5, the Collections as Data Reading Group will discuss ethical aspects of working with data. We'll ask: 

  • What are the ethical issues we need to keep in mind as we generate collections as data?
  • How do we document/publish our ethical approach/stance?

We'll have a special presentation by members of the Mudd Manuscript Library about the Archives Research and Collaborative History (ARCH) program and discuss Safiya Noble's Algorithms of Oppression: How Search Engines Reinforce Racism in advance of her keynote talk on Dec. 6. 


Guest Lecture

Algorithms of Oppression: How Search Engines Reinforce Racism

Safiya Noble
December 6 4:30–6:00 PM

In Algorithms of Oppression: How Search Engines Reinforce Racism Safiya Umoja Noble challenges the idea that search engines like Google offer an equal playing field for all forms of ideas, identities, and activities. Data discrimination is a real social problem; Noble argues that the combination of private interests in promoting certain sites, along with the monopoly status of a relatively small number of Internet search engines, leads to a biased set of search algorithms that privilege whiteness and discriminate against people of color, specifically women of color.


Dr. Safiya U. Noble is an assistant professor at the University of Southern California (USC) Annenberg School of Communication. Noble’s academic research focuses on the design of digital media platforms on the internet and their impact on society. She holds a Ph.D. and M.S. in Library and Information Science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and a B.A. in Sociology from California State University, Fresno with an emphasis on African American/Ethnic Studies.


See more about this event in out blogpost here


This event is sponsored by

  • Princeton University Library
  • Humanities Council
  • Center for Collaborative History
  • Department of African American Studies
  • University Center for Human Values
  • Center for Information and Technology Policy
  • Department of Computer Science
  • Center for Statistics and Machine Learning
  • The Interdisciplinary Doctoral Program in the Humanities at Princeton (IHUM)
  • Department of Sociology
  • Department of Politics
  • Department of Anthropology
  • Department of Mathematics
  • Woodrow Wilson School 



The Just Data Lab

December 7 10:00–6:00 PM

The Just Data Lab: Reimagining and Retooling Data for Justice workshop is organized into three panels, each focusing on a different social arena - housing, policing, and education - that draw on data from the Eviction Lab, Mapping Police Violence, and the Baltimore Equity Toolkit and Powermapping, respectively

For each module, presenters will share a short presentation related to the theme (including a brief introduction of the data, discussion of existing literature, and a hands-on activity idea). Then respondents will kick off the workshop discussion by raising questions and reflecting on how the material can be used in classrooms and communities, including a new Princeton University class, and the syllabus, modules, and other resources will be available free online.

Organized by Ruha Benjamin, AfricanAmerican Studies and CDH Faculty Fellow.

This event is by-invitation only, but materials from the workshop will be made publicly available after the event. For information on the schedule and speakers see the Just Data Lab website: https://www.thejustdatalab.com/

Co-sponsored by the CDH, the Department of African American Studies and the University Center for Human Values

Year of Data

Reading Group

Co-Sponsor an Event