Rice DH Projects Featured at Digital Frontiers 2016

Scholars, librarians, archivists, graduate students and others gathered at Rice University’s BioScience Research Collaborative on September 22-23, 2016 for the fifth annual Digital Frontiers conference. Rice was well-represented by a range of presentations and posters, including:


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Participate in the 2016 Art+Feminism Wikipedia Edit-a-thon, Houston

Help to address the underrepresentation of women in Wikipedia, learn how Wikipedia works and participate in a lively community focused on sharing knowledge. Come to The Menil Collection Library, 1533 Sul Ross, Houston, TX on March 18, 2016 from 12pm to 6pm for communal updating of Wikipedia entries on subjects related to art and feminism.

Art + Feminism logo by Ilotaha13

We will provide tutorials for the beginner Wikipedian, reference materials, and refreshments. Bring your laptop, power cord and ideas for entries that need updating or creation. For the editing-averse, we urge you to stop by to show your support. We invite people of all gender identities and expressions, particularly transgender, cis-gender, and gender non-conforming women, to participate.

RSVP on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/events/1680365968868708/ and learn more about the event at Art + Feminism.

This event is co-sponsored by Rice University Fondren Library and the Rice Center for the Study of Women, Gender and Sexuality. Organized by the Menil Collection’s Digital Asset Manager Consuelo Gutierrez.

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Talk by Spencer Keralis on Disrupting Student Labor in the Digital Humanities Classroom

The Rice Digital Humanities group is pleased to present:

Spencer Keralis
Disrupting Student Labor in the Digital Humanities Classroom
Friday, March 11
11 a.m.- 12 p.m.
Fondren 410

Abstract: Crowdsourcing labor and crowdfunding capital are two pillars of the new innovation economy. While these models have worked well for projects ranging from citizen science to music production, bringing crowd-think into the academy, and particularly the classroom, can be ethically fraught. Digital humanities pedagogy involving students contributing to faculty projects or producing durable work products is particularly vulnerable to abuse and misuse. Based on my contribution to the forthcoming Disrupting the Digital Humanities collection, I will offer a critique of these practices and offer ideas on how to avoid ethical pitfalls.

Bio: Spencer D. C. Keralis is Research Associate Professor and Digital Humanities Coordinator with the Public Services Division of the University of North Texas Libraries. Spencer KeralisSpencer is the Founding Director of Digital Frontiers, a conference and community that brings together the makers and users of digital resources for humanities research, teaching, and learning. Spencer is Principal Investigator for the TX-Gender Project for Libraries, which seeks to improve library services for transgender patrons, and he is currently chair of the Texas Library Association GLBT Roundtable. His work has appeared in Book History, American Periodicals, and the Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR) reports The Problem of Data (2012) and Research Data Management: Principles, Practices, and Prospects (2013). His recent research on labor ethics in digital humanities pedagogy is forthcoming in the Punctum Books collection Disrupting the Digital Humanities (2016), and he is curating the keyword “Labor” for Digital Pedagogy in the Humanities: Concepts, Models, and Experiments (MLA, 2016). He has held a Mellon Fellowship at the Library Company of Philadelphia, a Legacy Fellowship at the American Antiquarian Society, and served as a CLIR Postdoctoral Fellow in Academic Libraries with the University of North Texas Libraries.


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Tara McPherson Talk on 12/3: D[igital] H[umanities] by Design

D[igital] H[umanities] by Design

Tara McPherson

Thursday, December 3, 2015
4:00 P.M.
Sewall 309, Rice University
(A reception will follow; no need to RSVP.)

Many view the Digital Humanities (DH) as a scientific and quantitative endeavor, intent on blending computer science and humanities traditions. What if we instead imagined the origin story for DH to emerge from the intersection of the arts and the interpretative humanities? This talk will mine that alternative lineage and explore a series of digital projects that take their inspiration not from the sciences but from feminism, experimental aesthetics and social justice movements.

Tara McPherson is Associate Professor of Critical Studies at the University of Southern California’s School of Cinematic Arts and Founding Editor of Vectors, a multimedia peer-reviewed journal affiliated with the Open Humanities Press.

This event is sponsored by the John E. Sawyer Seminar on the Comparative Study of Cultures, titled Platforms of Knowledge in a Wide Web of Worlds: Production, Participation, and Politics, funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. For more information, please refer to the Seminar’s website.

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Lectures by Voss & McPherson, Culturomics Talk, Text Analysis Workshop

Continue reading

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Upcoming DH Lectures, Meet Ups & Workshops

The 2015-2016 academic year will offer a number of opportunities for Rice faculty, students and staff (as well as other folks in the Houston area) to explore digital humanities. Check out upcoming lectures, gatherings, meet-ups and workshops.


  • Ian Bogost, “Smartwhatever, or, Living Inside Computation”

    Thursday, September 17
    4:00 p.m.
    Herring 100
    Part of the Sawyer Seminar on Platforms of Knowledge in a Wide Web of Worlds, sponsored by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation

    One of the great ironies of today’s era of “smart” devices and supposedly soon-to-be-life-threatening artificial intelligence and all the rest is that computing is actually pretty stupid. Smart TVs, doorbells, thermostats, and related gizmos promise us the ability to control our lives from our smartphones. The only thing they fail to explain is why we’d want to do that. Computational life today is less and less about the operation and use of computing devices, and more a new type of lifestyle we live inside computers. Is it a lifestyle we wish to live? A good question. An even better one: what do we do about the fact that it’s coming one way or another.

    Ian Bogost

    Dr. Ian Bogost

    Dr. Ian Bogost is an author and an award-winning game designer. He is Ivan Allen College Distinguished Chair in Media Studies and Professor of Interactive Computing at the Georgia Institute of Technology, where he also holds an appointment in the Scheller College of Business. Bogost is also Founding Partner at Persuasive Games LLC, an independent game studio, and a Contributing Editor at The Atlantic, where he writes regularly about technology and popular culture.

Stay tuned for other lectures in the Sawyer Seminar series, including Aaron Jaffe (October 22) and Jon Voss (November 5 & 6).

Digital Humanities Group Gathering

Wednesday, October 7
DMC Multipurpose Room, basement of Fondren Library

This academic year Rice is fortunate to host two postdoctoral fellows whose work is relevant to digital humanities: Alex Tarr (Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow in Spatial Humanities) and Rex Troumbley (John E. Sawyer Seminar Postdoctoral Fellow in the Humanities Research Center).   Dr. Tarr and Dr. Troumbley will give short presentations about their research, followed by discussion and treats.

Data Science Meet-Up

September 25, 2015, 1-5pm
BioScience Research Collaborative Building (BRC) Event/Exhibition Hall

Hosted by Ken Kennedy Institute for Information Technology
Co-sponsored by Center for Research Computing, Fondren Library, Humanities Research Center and Institute of Biosciences and Bioengineering

Share your work in data science and network with colleagues.  Data science is relevant to almost any discipline; it involves extracting knowledge from data, such as collections of novels or historical documents, spatial information, or social networking data. This events aims “to initiate conversations and collaborations that will position Rice to seek additional funding for research and scholarship as well as create partnerships that will explore new educational offerings.” Humanities and social sciences researchers are encouraged to participate.

Please see http://dsmeetup.rice.edu/ for more information, including a registration form.


Fondren Library is unveiling a few new workshops focused on digital research methods and tools. These include:

  • Cleaning Messy Data with Open Refine (Tuesday, September 15, 2015 – 11:00am to 12:00pm, Fondren Library Basement B43A)
    One of the major components of research is collecting and understanding data. In the past, this was primarily a concern for the sciences, but as the so-called Information Age continues to produce vast amounts of knowledge, the ability to acquire, ‘clean’ and synthesize data becomes a necessity for researchers of all disciplines. This short course presents a beginner-level introduction to such techniques using Open Refine (formerly Google Refine), a powerful open-source tool for cleaning messy data.
    Register here.
  • How to Manage Your Data (Monday, October 5, 2015 – 2:00pm to 3:30pm, Fondren Library Basement B43A)
    Drowning in data? Not sure how to organize and back it up? This hands-on, interactive workshop will share tips for effectively organizing, documenting and storing research data. Participants will walk away with ideas for completing a data inventory and data storage/ backup plan for their own data.
    Register here.
  • Introduction to Text Analysis (Tuesday, November 3, 2015 – 2:30pm to 4:00pmFondren Library Basement B43A)
    By using text analysis tools, we can explore patterns and anomalies across thousands of texts–or in a single document. This hands-on workshop will provide a basic grounding in text analysis, focusing on:

    • why to use text analysis, and what pitfalls to avoid
    • how to get access to large text collections
    • how to use freely available tools such as AntConc and Voyant to create a concordance, identify frequently occurring phrases, and see what terms co-occur

    Register here.


Rev 9-3-15: Added missing date.

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Lecture by Kathleen Fitzpatrick, March 26

Rice University Humanities Research Center’s John E. Sawyer Seminar, “Platforms of Knowledge in a Wide Web of Worlds: Production, Participation and Politics”

Open Review, the New Peer, and the Future of Scholarly Communication

Kathleen Fitzpatrick
Director of Scholarly Communication, Modern Language Association
Visiting Research Professor of English at New York University
Co-founder of MediaCommons

Thursday, March 26, 2015 – 4:00pm

Herring Hall, Room 100
Rice University

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Call for Participation, Upcoming Presentations and Training Opportunities

Here are some updates for the Rice Digital Humanities group:

Call for Participation

For the fall meetings of our group, we will explore current digital humanities research and/or teaching projects at Rice. Please let Lisa Spiro know by October 10 if you would be interested in giving a brief (15 minute) presentation about your digital humanities project or if you’d like to recommend a project to be included. Each session will feature two projects and will allow time for discussion.

Upcoming Presentations

Mark your calendars for three upcoming events of interest:

Training Opportunities

Looking to sharpen your DH skills?  Check out the following workshops and online resources:

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Keynote by Erez Lieberman Aiden (4/10, TX DH Conference at U of H)

On April 10, Rice’s own Dr. Erez Lieberman Aiden (also affiliated with the Baylor College of Medicine) will give a public keynote lecture as part of the Inaugural Texas Digital Humanities Conference hosted by the University of Houston. In “Quantitative Analysis of Culture,” he will discuss how computational methods can be used to analyze millions of digitized books to draw conclusions about large-scale trends in human culture.

Date: April 10, 2o14
Time: 4 p.m.
Location: Great Hall, University of Houston Alumni Center
Reception to follow

Open to the public

See the flyer for more information.

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Project Based Learning in the Humanities and Social Sciences (4/15)

Project Based Learning in the Humanities and Social Sciences

Tuesday, April 15, 2014
Kyle Morrow Room, Fondren Library (3rd Floor)
Box lunches served at 11:30, session begins at noon

By incorporating projects into classes, instructors can provide real-world contexts for learning, motivate students, and help them develop both in-depth understanding of the subject matter and skills in problem solving, communication and collaboration. This session will focus on Rice humanities and social sciences courses that include innovative digital projects, such as building 3D models, analyzing digital texts, developing scholarly digital resources, or creating digital media. During this panel discussion, faculty from art history, anthropology, history, English and architecture will explore how they have incorporated projects into their courses and what the impact has been on learning.

This session features:

  • John Hopkins and Jeff Fleisher on “Virtual Reconstruction of Historical Cities” (ANTH 346/ ARCH 310/ ART 316/ COMP 316)

  • Caleb McDaniel on “Digital History Methods” (HIST 318)

  • Alida Metcalf and Farès El-Dahdah on “Rio De Janeiro: A Social and Architectural History” (ARCH 366/ HIST 366)

  • Kirsten Ostherr on “Medical Media Arts Lab” (ENGL 386/ FILM 381)

Each instructor or pair of instructors will make a brief presentation, followed by questions and discussion.

Box lunches will be served beginning at 11:30 in the lounge immediately outside the Kyle Morrow Room, and the program will begin at noon. If you would like a box lunch, please RSVP at http://tinyurl.com/RiceHumanitiesPBL by Monday, April 14 at 9 a.m. Thanks to the Humanities Research Center and the Center for Teaching Excellence for co-sponsoring this event, which is organized by Rice’s new digital humanities group.

Please contact Lisa Spiro at lspiro@rice.edu with any questions.

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