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Foundations Seminar Series

The DSG organizes a year-round seminar series, called Foundations, that provides training in digital methods for research and teaching. Through the introduction of foundational topics in digital methods, the series provides a pathway to more advanced topics about the wide variety of tools and approaches used in digital scholarship today.

In our approach, we translate the general research process of the Social Sciences and the Humanities into a data-processing workflow. This intellectual framework anchors the myriad methodologies, techniques, and tools that comprise digital scholarship to help participants build a solid foundation of immediately applicable skills.

Participants also develop an overall understanding of the larger ecosystem of digital scholarship to help them make informed decisions, seek further support, and acquire more advanced skills. The ultimate goal is to offer a conceptual framework that can contextualize any digital skills, even if acquired in isolation, into a coherent whole. The Foundations series consists of a core set of flagship seminars and an occasional offering of advanced topics, which are described below.

Fundamentals of Digital Scholarship

This two-day seminar is designed to introduce participants to the core stages in the digital scholarship research workflow: the acquisition, manipulation, analysis, and presentation of data. The seminar is intended to serve as a springboard for students, faculty, and staff who wish to explore the potential of digital scholarship and continue to develop these skills, whether on their own or through a series of advanced, subject-specific follow-up seminars. In this seminar, structured as a series of hands-on sessions, participants work with real-world datasets that relate to the humanities and social sciences.

Digital Teaching Methods

This two-day seminar focuses on the use of digital tools and methods in teaching and learning. It provides a hands-on introduction to several approaches that have proven successful in the classroom, including online exhibitions, annotations, timelines, and mapping. In this seminar, we not only discuss the practical mechanics of employing these tools and approaches, but also the pedagogical needs that they serve to enhance learning. Discussions are grounded in specific pedagogical examples and use cases.

Working With Data

This seminar provides an introduction to working with humanities data and explores how humanities scholars might approach “data”. Students work through multiple research scenarios with different datasets to help develop strategies for organizing and cleaning data. Tools used in this seminar may include OpenRefine, Google Sheets, and R with RStudio.

Advanced Topics

In addition to the core Foundations offerings described above, the DSG regularly organizes additional training on advanced topics. These workshops typically focus on one of the three core areas of a digital research workflow – the acquisition, analysis, or presentation of data. Examples include “Using Web APIs with Python,” “Tidying Data with Google Sheets, OpenRefine, and Pandas,” “Text Analysis in R with Quanteda,” “Mapping History,” “Digital Editing and the Medieval Manuscript,” “Images as Data with the Distant Viewing Toolkit,” “Scalar in the Classroom,” “Intermediate Tableau,” and more.