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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