DH Downunder classes

Introduction to Digital Humanities

Rachel Hendery and Jason Ensor, Western Sydney University

In this session we introduce ‘Digital Humanities’ as an interdisciplinary field of research. We show examples of how digital research methods are being used across the humanities and talk about the considerations for those starting out in terms of how to put together a digital humanities project, what the funding landscape looks like, and how to get involved in existing and new collaborations. We’ll also introduce some of the ‘cultural’ considerations of the Digital Humanities space: the centrality of ideas like democratising research, ‘hacking’ and ‘serious play’, Makerspaces, embracing diversity, and breaking down the academic-public divide.

Bio: Rachel Hendery is the Senior Lecturer in Digital Humanities at Western Sydney University. She is a linguist who works on language contact and change, particularly in the Pacific, and how new digital tools and techniques allow us to research these in new ways.

Jason Ensor is the Manager, Library Digital Infrastructure for the University Library at Western Sydney University. Previously I was Research & Technical Development Manager, Digital Humanities, for the School of Humanities and Communication Arts, also at Western Sydney University.

Introduction to Project Management

Lynne Siemens, University of Victoria, British Columbia, Canada

This offering will cover the basics of project management from project definition to project review upon completion, including risk assessment and mitigation, work effort modeling, software tools and related internet resources and other topics.  The course will be a combination of lecture and hands on activities with participants' own projects.

Bio: Dr. Lynne Siemens is an Associate Professor in the School of Public Administration, University of Victoria.  Her interests include academic entrepreneurship, collaboration and team work with a focus on understanding methods and processes to facilitate collaborative research across distances, disciplines and organizational boundaries.  She has taught workshops in Project Management at University of Victoria’s Digital Humanities Summer Institute and University of Leipzig's European Summer School for Culture and Technology.  Dr. Siemens is also PI of a research team funded through SSHRC’s International Opportunities Fund program examining the impact of representation from multiple countries, languages and culture groups on research teams with the objective of outlining types of supports and research preparation to ensure effective research results.   Finally, she is serving as a management advisor for Implementing New Knowledge Environments (INKE), a Major Collaborative Research Initiative project.  Dr.Siemens's role includes supporting the development of governance documents, organizational structure and project management.

Intro to Code

Bill Pascoe, University of Newcastle

A digital humanist can do a lot with just a little knowledge of software development and you don't have to have a degree in computer science to understand the basics.

This hands on course introduces absolute beginners to basic programming concepts used across all major programming languages.

We will learn concepts such as variables, arrays, conditionals, loops and object oriented programming by building a simple web application in the popular language, Javascript.

Don't know where to begin? This course includes a few pointers on which technologies and languages suit different types of projects, and guidance to teach yourself the skills you need.

Bio: Dr Bill Pascoe is a Digital Humanities Specialist with the Centre For 21st Century Humanities at the University of Newcastle.

Designing Digital Media Methodologies

Jonathon Hutchinson and Justine Humphry, University of Sydney

This workshop builds the participant’s research design capacity to create an appropriate research methodology, that can be applied to a number of research sites, drawing on a variety of digital methods. After identifying the elements of the research and the its potential impact or application, the workshop provides the participants with a wireframe for digital media methods research design.

Bio: Dr Jonathon Hutchinson (Ph.D. 2013, ARC Centre of Excellence for Creative Industries and Innovation, Queensland University of Technology) arrived at the University of Sydney in 2012. Before then, he held teaching positions at RMIT University in Melbourne and UTS in Sydney. His current research projects explore everyday social media use, the role of social media influencers within co-creative environments, and how social media is used in cyber-terrorism. He is a trained ethnographer and has been published in many leading national and international journals. Given the significance of social media in contemporary communication, he is also interested in user relationships in mediated environments, prompting his development of eResearch methodologies for social media network analysis. He tweets from @dhutchman.

Dr Justine Humphry is a Lecturer in Digital Cultures in the Department of Media and Communications at the University of Sydney. Her previous appointments include Lecturer in Cultural and Social Analysis at Western Sydney University and Research Fellow in Digital Media at the University of Sydney.

Understanding and Engaging Knowledge in a ‘Social’ Context

Ray Siemens, University of Victoria, British Columbia (Canada)

This 1-day session explores the underpinnings of online knowledge formation and engages at the technologies involved.  Participants can expect to consider, together, textual encoding, webpages, academic journals, scholarly editions, and Wikipedia, via a combination of brief lecture, seminar discussion, demonstration, hands-on examples, and exploration as a group; all participants will engage in a half-day Wikimedia-based project, and are encouraged to consider a ‘hot topic’ or two beforehand to act as foundation for that project.  One resource for this offering is “Social Knowledge Creation: Three Annotated Bibliographies,” in Scholarly and Research Communication 5.2 (2014): http://src-online.ca/index.php/src/article/view/150/291 /, doi http://dx.doi.org/10.22230/src.2014v5n2a150.

Bio:  Ray Siemens (U Victoria, Canada; http://web.uvic.ca/~siemens/) is Distinguished Professor in the Faculty of Humanities at the University of Victoria, in English and Computer Science, and past Canada Research Chair in Humanities Computing (2004-15). He is founding editor of the electronic scholarly journal Early Modern Literary Studies, and his publications include, among others, Blackwell's Companion to Digital Humanities (2004, 2015 with Schreibman and Unsworth), Blackwell's Companion to Digital Literary Studies (2007, with Schreibman), A Social Edition of the Devonshire MS (2012, 2015; MRTS/Iter, Wikibooks), Literary Studies in the Digital Age (2014; MLA, with Price), and The Lyrics of the Henry VIII MS (2017; RETS). He directs the Implementing New Knowledge Environments project, the Digital Humanities Summer Institute, and the Electronic Textual Cultures Lab, recently serving also as Vice President / Director of the Canadian Federation of the Humanities and Social Sciences for Research Dissemination, Chair of the MLA Committee on Scholarly Editions, and Chair of the international Alliance of Digital Humanities Organizations.

Linked data in the digital humanities

Terhi Nermikko-Fuller, The Australian National University

This workshop introduces participants the key concepts and some of the main technologies behind Linked Data and the Semantic Web. Learners will explore data captured in RDF, design ontological structures, and learn how to write SPARQL queries. No prior knowledge or experience of working with Linked Data is necessary. This workshop is capped at 10 participants, so please register early if you wish to attend.

Bio: My research interests are in the interdisciplinary field of the Digital Humanities, and range from 3D models of archaeological objects to the publication of information as Linked Data.

During my postdoc at the University of Oxford's e-Research Centre, I published on bibliographic metadata ontologies for ElEPHãT (Early English Print in HathiTrust: A Linked Semantic Worksets Prototype), and on research in Transforming Musicology (e.g. metaMUSAK).

My earlier research, fully-funded by EPSRC through the Web Science Centre for Doctoral Training at the University of Southampton, UK focused on the representation of Mesopotamian literary compositions using OWL ontologies. In between postgraduate degrees, I worked in the cultural heritage sector, such as the British Museum, the Egyptian Museum, and Visavuori Museum.

Distant Reading

Hugh Craig, University of Newcastle

This one-day course focuses on the practicalities of gaining insights into literary works by counting and measuring. Participants will carry out exercises using the Intelligent Archive tool. We will cover

  • comparisons using unique words and favoured words;
  • measures of complexity and density;
  • finding typical and aberrant members of sets;
  • latent stylistic factors in sets of works; and
  • classification of texts by author and era.

Participants should bring a laptop with Java Version 8 and Excel installed. Intelligent Archive and a group of text sets will be available for online download before the course.

Bio: Hugh Craig works at the Centre for Literary and Linguistic Computing at the University of Newcastle, Australia. Most of his work is on Shakespeare and his contemporaries, in authorship attribution and in stylistics more generally. He has collaborated with John Burrows, Arthur F Kinney, Pablo Moscato, John Drew, Alexis Antonia, Jack Elliott, Ellen Jordan, Alison Ferguson, and Elizabeth Spencer. His work draws on the disciplines of English Studies, linguistics, statistics, bioinformatics and speech pathology.

Mapping Humanities

Bill Pascoe, University of Newcastle

Geographical maps are a visual, interactive and engaging way to relate to humanities content. Maps can be used to research large corpora or individual texts to reveal geographical patterns that might not emerge simply through reading. They are also great for community engagement, telling a story at a glance while enabling users to dig into information in a non-linear way. This course covers key considerations when planning and running a humanities mapping project, technologies available and their capabilities, and how to adapt it to different types of humanities projects - such as simply preparing and plotting your data on a map, layering geo-spatial data, adding a temporal dimension, and extracting placenames from texts and corpora.

Bio: Dr Bill Pascoe is a Digital Humanities Specialist with the Centre For 21st Century Humanities at the University of Newcastle.

Collectors and Collections: the secret life of archives

Hart Cohen, Western Sydney University

This workshop is about contemporary archival cultures that operate in both mainstream institutional contexts and in private collections. Archives may be in analogue form (think of your fabulous vinyl collection) or elaborated in relation to what has been called “the data base imaginary.” (Vesna, Dietz, 2007) In this unit, we will investigate the boundaries between the possibly obsessive approaches of private collectors and that of post-representational and database cultures. How do we think about collections as a feature of our personal or professional lives? What impact do these have on history, memory and the changing concept of the archive? Over two days we visit three virtual archives and one actual one: The State Archives of NSW at Kingswood.

Bio: Dr Hart Cohen is Professor in Media Arts in the School of Humanities and Communication Arts at Western Sydney University, Australia. Dr Cohen is a member of the Institute for Culture and Society and supervises a number of MA (research), DCA and PhD students. He has published widely in the field of visual anthropology, communications and film studies. His book, The Strehlow Archive: Explorations in Old and New Media will be published by Routledge in their Digital Humanities series in 2017..

Digital Ethnography

Anna Pertierra, Western Sydney University

The use of ethnography to study digital and media practices has flourished in recent years, with many researchers from across the humanities and social sciences using ethnographic approaches to undertake open-ended research that focuses on the lived experience of people in specific local contexts, whether online or offline. This workshop will explore the historical development of digital ethnography, from the 1990s until today, and also address pressing concerns for new researchers designing their own digital ethnographic research projects. Day One of the workshop will focus on the basic principles of ethnography and their development within anthropology, with a particular attention on hallmark anthropological works on media and digital culture. Day Two will consider how ethnography is being used more broadly to investigate the cultural experiences and practices of mobile and social media. Participants are encouraged to bring their own current or planned digital research projects for consideration within the workshop – but it is not necessary to be planning a project to attend.

Bio: Anna Cristina Pertierra's research uses ethnography to examine everyday social practice, with a particular interest in media, consumption and material culture, and urban modernities. Regionally, her work focuses on Cuba, Mexico and the Philippines. Prior to joining Western Sydney University, Anna was a Lecturer in Anthropology and an ARC Postdoctoral Fellow at the Centre for Critical and Cultural Studies, both at the University of Queensland. Her forthcoming book, Media Anthropology for the Digital Age, will be published by Polity in January 2018.

Intermediate Programming

Bill Pascoe, University of Newcastle

This follows on from the Intro to Code class on the Monday. It will introduce participants to object-oriented programming. It is possible to attend this class without the Monday Intro to Code, if participants already have some background in simple programming and would like to extend their knowledge.

Introduction to Alveo

Dominique Estival

Alveo is a Virtual Laboratory to support research in language and speech. It combines a data repository with a web API and interfaces to a workflow platform.The overarching goal is to provide an accessible workbench that supports sharing of data and simplifies the application of complex tools in a research workflow.

One motivating insight is that many tools developed in some disciplines are relevant to others where researchers may not have the technical knowledge to acquire and apply them. Alveo provides a way for technology researchers to make their tools available and discoverable by those in other disciplines. In the same way, it is likely that data collected for research in one discipline will be of use in other contexts. Alveo is a data repository for language, speech, music and video data. It makes data available either in bulk, or down to the level of individual documents and audio or video files.

While the core of the Alveo platform is the data repository and web API, we are also developing tools to support workflows on the Galaxy workflow engine. Galaxy was originally developed as a platform for bioinformatics research but is agnostic to the kind of data that is being analysed.

In this workshop, Dominique will introduce participants to the Alveo platform and its collections and how it can be used for research that involves language data.

Bio: Dominique Estival received a PhD in Linguistics from the University of Pennsylvania in 1986. Her research experience in Natural Language Processing has been at the frontier between industry and academia, with positions at ISSCO (Switzerland), The University of Melbourne, the Defence Science and Technology Organisation and private language technology companies in the US and Australia. In 2010, she joined the University of Western Sydney to manage AusTalk, the largest Australian audio-visual speech data collection. Her research interests have included the computational modelling of language change, machine translation, grammar formalisms for linguistic engineering, spoken dialogue systems and aviation communication.

Data analysis fluency

Jason Ensor, Western Sydney University

In contemporary scholarship, to explore and test a research question generally requires the creation of a dataset and in the Humanities that is not always a problem free exercise. Data may be fuzzy, heterogeneous and full of gaps. It might also have a history of dodgy provenance or chain of custody, or it might be spread across a range of different data types and formats including spatial information, multimedia, markup and annotation. This is compounded by the reality that each research project has its own inherent complexities. This often challenges the "one size fits" all approach inherit in the question that every digital humanities project eventually gets asked: "why didn’t you use [insert software name]?". Add is this the fact that the digital world is an ecosystem of varied tools and solutions in different states of support or decay and it can quickly become overwhelming. From project to project, no analytic process or digital technique will be the same. Thus, 'Data Analysis Fluency' is about getting ahead of that problem by becoming more comfortable with working with data. For any research project, digital humanists spend much of their time obtaining data, diagnosing data quality and preprocessing data into a useable form. This day will introduce you to the dark arts of getting, transforming and modelling data.

Bio: I am Manager, Library Digital Infrastructure for the University Library at Western Sydney University. Previously I was Research & Technical Development Manager, Digital Humanities, for the School of Humanities and Communication Arts, also at Western Sydney University. I have been engaged in data management projects and digital humanities research for over a decade. I am proficient in the key technologies and approaches commonly used in professional and academic projects – such as creating, modelling and manipulating structured data; developing tools to search, query, retrieve and display structured data using relational databases and standards-compliant web-delivery services; Geo-Location; XML and related technologies; designing and writing programs and interfaces which facilitate content creation and web publication. I am fluent in HTML5, JQuery, PHP and MySQL and comfortable configuring and managing LAMP, EC2 and Google Cloud servers. In my research I am particularly interested in systems and strategies for measuring and benchmarking research impact across disciplines; the evaluation gap between "born digital" scholarship and traditional research outputs; digital cultural mapping, geo-temporal analysis and big data in humanities scholarship; the interaction between consumerism, technology and cultural transformation; the future of books projected from an historical perspective and from current product developments; the predictive role of creative work in book formats; and open business models in academic publishing.

Using location-aware mobile apps as research tools

Jenna Condie, Western Sydney University

When the ‘field’ is an app on your phone that is in your hand, in your home and every place else you go, the rules of research need rewriting. Mobile devices open new spaces of inquiry to which established research practices and protocols are difficult to apply and follow. This workshop will consider the theoretical, methodological, and ethical implications of using location-aware mobile dating apps in research and identify strategies for staying close to our digital devices.

Bio: Dr Jenna Condie is a Critical Social Psychologist, Lecturer in Digital Research and Online Social Analysis at Western Sydney University and a World Social Science Fellow on transformations to sustainable urbanisation for the International Social Science Council. Her research focuses upon how our everyday experiences and social connections are mediated by digital technologies in the places we live, work, play and stay. As an experienced qualitative researcher, Jenna use methods that are participatory, critical, creative, and digital.

Social Network Analysis

Rachel Hendery, Western Sydney University

Visualising and analysing networks is important for all kinds of applications in historical, literary, linguistic, social, and cultural research, but also beyond the humanities. In this hands-on workshop I will introduce some key concepts from network theory, and walk participants through using common tools to prepare data for visualisation as a network, display it, and do simple analyses such as automatic community detection, analysing the centrality of an individual to the network, etc. We will talk about what these analyses mean.

We will use Gephi, a free, open-source program that runs on Windows, Mac and Linux. Please install it on your computer before the workshop if at all possible.

You will have the opportunity to create a network from your own data if you wish, or from sample datasets provided.

We will mainly concentrate on using networks for analysing social networks (e.g. who knows who or who communicates with who in social media networks or real-life communities), but I will also briefly touch on other applications for these methods.

Bio: I am a linguist who works on language contact and change, particularly in the Pacific, and how new digital tools and techniques allow us to research these in new ways. Together with Simon Burrows, I run the Western Sydney University Digital Humanities Research Group (DHRG). I am also a member of the MARCS Institute for Brain, Behaviour and Development, and the Centre of Excellence for Language Dynamics. I am  the Treasurer for the Australasian Association of Digital Humanities and the NSW coordinator for the Australian Computational and Linguistics Olympiad.