... and we’re back!

Dear CDH Friends:

Welcome to the new academic year!

I am back from my sabbatical and am excited to work with you to build our digital humanities community on campus and beyond. Thank you to Brian Kernighan for serving as acting faculty director in my absence.

This year we look forward to continuing our collaborations with Princeton scholars engaging with the intersections of the humanities and data science. Over the past few months, we kicked off our redesigned research partnership program, which supports small-scale faculty projects, and welcomed our second cohort of Data Fellows. The 2022–23 Data Fellows—four faculty members, four graduate students—plan to explore everything from women’s wills in medieval Cairo to eighteenth-century Chinese art. Molly Greene (HIS) received the first Data Fellowship co-sponsored by the Seeger Center for Hellenic Studies, which will support a limited number of Data Fellowships relevant to the study of the Greek world. Also new to our slate of CDH opportunities: a weeklong Faculty Institute on Humanities + Data Science, to be held during Wintersession 2023.

headshots of eight CDH grant recipients

Left (top to bottom): Research Partnership Grant Recipients Lara Buchak and Jeffrey Himpele; right (clockwise from top left): Data Fellows Brigid Doherty, Sara Green, Molly Greene, Xin Wen, Rachel Richman, and Helmut Reimitz (not pictured: Caitlin Karyadi and Stephanie Luescher)

We are looking forward to expanding our undergraduate and graduate offerings in DH as well. Perkins Postdoctoral Fellow Sierra Eckert will be teaching our flagship Introduction to Digital Humanities course this fall. Emily McGinn, our humanities computing curriculum specialist, has been helping design undergraduate pathways for humanities minors focusing on data and culture. Grant Wythoff, our digital humanities strategist, has been putting together a proposal for a Digital Humanities Graduate Certificate. We’ve already met with our second cohort of Humanities Data Teaching Fellows and will meet with this fall’s Graduate Fellows next week.

The past few months have given us time to look back on—and build upon—the work we did last academic year. In May, collaborators and friends of the CDH and the Princeton Geniza Project (PGP), with whom we have had a two-year research partnership, gathered for an outdoor reception celebrating the team’s accomplishments, including the release of the PGP’s new public website (sign up for a virtual event with the team on September 15).

Natalia Ermolaev and Marina Rustow speak at a microphone.

Natalia Ermolaev, CDH executive director, and Marina Rustow, co-PI of the CDH-PGP research partnership and Khedouri A. Zilkha Professor of Jewish Civilization in the Near East, delivered remarks at May's celebration. Photos by Shelley Szwast.

Also in May, the CDH hosted the final workshop in the NEH-sponsored New Languages for NLP: Building Linguistic Diversity in the Digital Humanities series. Accompanying the workshop was a conference featuring public lectures by David Bamman (UC Berkeley) and Ines Montani (Explosion AI) and panels including workshop participants. Continuing the natural language processing theme, we recently released a new issue of Startwords, the CDH’s research periodical, on the topic of NLP and the humanities. The issue—which emerged from a fall roundtable on machine predictions and synthetic text (also part of the New Languages for NLP project)—comprises essays by three DH researchers responding to the famous “Stochastic Parrots” paper. We hope you check it out!

Participants in the conference and speaker Ines Montani pose for a group photo

New Languages for NLP organizers and participants gather after the keynote lecture by Ines Montani (front row, third from right). Photo by Shelley Szwast.

The summer is often a time for staff transitions. We recently said goodbye to DH Project Manager Caterina Agostini, postdoc Kavita Kulkarni, and Mana Winters, our events and office coordinator. We also welcomed our new Computing Support Specialist Aaron Dunn and celebrated Natalia Ermolaev’s recent promotion to CDH executive director.

This year, we hope to see you in person and online at our events, beginning with our annual CDH Open House on September 19 at 4:30 pm at our office on B Floor of Firestone Library. Later this fall, we will host a graduate mixer in honor of Ada Lovelace Day and partner with MARBAS for a Princeton symposium on Machine Learning and the Future of Philology. Make sure to follow us on Twitter and consult our website for the latest CDH news and events.

Wishing you all the best,

Meredith Martin
CDH Faculty Director

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