Spring Research Computing/ Digital Scholarship Workshop Series

The Rice Digital Humanities (DH) group, in partnership with the Center for Research Computing (CRC), Fondren Library and the Humanities Research Center (HRC), will continue its series of hands-on workshops this spring semester. In these workshops, we will introduce you to the basics of supercomputing, 3D modelling, web scraping and more.

In addition, check out the Data and Donuts series, which features workshops on visualizing, organizing and documenting data. This spring the University of Houston’s Recovering the US Hispanic Literary Heritage project is hosting an exciting series on Digital Humanities & Social Justice. Finally, Rice’s Spatial Humanities Initiative Lecture Series is bringing some excellent speakers to campus.

Updated 1/31/18

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Presentations on Support for DH at Rice

The Rice DH group got together on Thursday, October 12 to explore support for digital humanities at the university. Here are the slides presented by:

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Fall Research Computing/Digital Humanities Workshop Series

The Rice Digital Humanities (DH) group, in partnership with postdocs from the Center for Research Computing (CRC), Fondren Library and the Humanities Research Center (HRC), will be holding a series of practical workshops this fall semester. In these workshops, we will introduce you to new DH work being done and possibilities being introduced on campus, and more importantly, show you how work like this is done.

Workshops will take place 3-4pm, Digital Media Commons Multipurpose Room (basement of Fondren).

Thursday October 12:
Fall DH meetup!

An opportunity to check in with the community on campus, and updates on available campus services in brief presentations from:

  • Lisa Spiro on Fondren Library’s support for the digital humanities.
  • John Mulligan and Clinton Heider on the CRC’s resources and services for humanities and social science researchers.

Thursday October 26:
Using the JSTOR API, with John Mulligan and Clinton Heider.

Learn to make automated queries to the JSTOR database. See an example of what can be done with this data, in an intertextual mapping of Shakespeare passages.
Bring your laptop, and register for a JSTOR API account beforehand! We will have you code along with the examples.

Wednesday November 8:
Mapping and 3D Modeling: A Lightning Workshop, with Marie Saldaña and Elisabeth Narkin, HRC Spatial Humanities Postdoctoral Fellows.

We will briefly introduce projects that use digital cartography and 3D modeling as tools for humanities research, then provide a quick, hands-on workshop demonstrating software to get you started on your own project. For those interested in developing the skills introduced here, a week-long bootcamp will be offered in December (details TBA).
If you’d like to follow along with the tutorial on your own laptop, please download or register for the following software prior to the workshop: Mapbox (free version of the web application); Sketchup Make

Wednesday November 29:
Virtual Machines @ Rice, with John Mulligan and Clinton Heider.

“Virtual machines” are simulations of operating systems run on large servers; they allow users to run any number of processes, like web apps or computational jobs. The CRC is building capacity to provide this service to Rice researchers; in this workshop, we will introduce to you the concept of virtualization and some uses of virtual machines. We will show you how to use virual machine services at Rice, and walk you through a step-by-step example of launching a web-based application.
Bring your laptop!

Keep up with digital humanities at Rice by joining the Rice DH listserv: https://mailman.rice.edu/mailman/listinfo/ricedh

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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

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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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