“Practice and Theory of ‘Distant Reading’ — An Introductory Workshop on Digital Humanities Methods” (U. San Francisco)

“Practice and Theory of ‘Distant Reading’ — An Introductory Workshop on Digital Humanities Methods.” University of San Francisco, 1 March 2016.

  • Abstract: In this beginner’s hands-on workshop and discussion, Alan Liu will introduce the idea of “distant reading” and some of the commonly used digital humanities methods and tools used to pursue it in digital literary studies, digital history, sociology, and other humanities and social science disciplines. Methods covered include text analysis, topic modeling, and social network analysis. Workshop participants will try their hand at one or more tools used for these methods, aiming not for mastery or even competence but just to capture an interesting “souvenir,” e.g., a screenshot. (For the purposes of the workshop, even failed attempts can produce an interesting souvenir.) Liu will then lead a broader discussion based on the souvenirs about the opportunities and limitations of digital humanities methods. (A Web site for the workshop with detailed agenda and resources will be made available in advance to enrolled workshop participants.)
    • Workshop Agenda
    • Workshop “Souvenirs” (Examples and screenshots produced by workshop participants)
    • Workshop Workstation Set-up (Software, data resources, and workspace for the workshop. This page is designed to aid U. San Francisco technical staff in setting up the machines in the lab. However, workshop participants can use the specs to set up a duplicate of the working environment for the workshop on their own computers if they wish.)

“Practice and Theory of ‘Distant Reading’: An Introductory Workshop on Digital Humanities Methods” (Bard C.)

“Practice and Theory of ‘Distant Reading’: An Introductory Workshop on Digital Humanities Methods.” Experimental Humanities program, Bard College. 7 November 2014.

  • Web site for workshop with detailed agenda and resources.
  • Abstract: In this hands-on workshop and discussion, Alan Liu will introduce some commonly used analytical tools in the digital humanities—e.g.,
    • Google Books Ngram viewer & the Bookworm tool for exploring Hathi Trust texts;
    • Voyeur Tools, AntConc, and similar text-analysis tools;
    • Topic modeling tools;
    • Social network analysis tools;
    • Visualization tools.

    Participants will then try their hand at one or more tools, aiming not for mastery or even competence but just to capture an interesting “souvenir,” e.g., a screenshot. (For the purposes of the workshop, even failed attempts can produce an interesting souvenir.)

    Alan Liu will then lead a broader discussion based on the souvenirs about the opportunities and limitations of digital humanities methods. The largest question that the workshop will open to view is: how do digital humanities methods signal today’s changing ideas about the human world?