Digital Humanities Lab News

August 29, 2016

Award Recipients

The Digital Humanities Lab is delighted to announce the recipients of our 2016 Project Grants. These awards support the initial phases of faculty projects that pursue innovation and excellence in the humanities by way of digital methods. Selected from a highly competitive and varied field, the projects range from research on Renaissance Florence and present-day New Haven to twentieth-century Russian and East European émigrés.

2016 Recipients

Marijeta Bozovic, Assistant Professor of Slavic Languages and Literatures 

Fabian Drixler, Associate Professor of History, and Peter C. Perdue, Professor of History 

Karin Roffman, Senior Lecturer in Humanities, English, and American Studies

Elihu Rubin, Associate Professor, Yale School of Architecture and American Studies

Francesca Trivellato, Frederick W. Hilles Professor, Department of History

We are currently accepting applications for the 2017 award cycle. For more information and to apply, please visit DHLab Grants.

Project Descriptions

Avant-Gardes and Émigrés: Digital Humanities and Slavic Studies
Principal Investigator: Marijeta Bozovic
Graduate Team: Carlotta Chenoweth, Jacob Lassin, Ingrid Nordgaard, Masha Shpolberg
Support Team: Anna Arays (Sterling), Trip Kirkpatrick (CTL), Kevin Repp (Beinecke), DHLab team

This project will develop a teaching, learning, and research initiative dedicated to the study of Russian and East European avant-gardes and émigrés in the twentieth century. The initiative will foreground the continuity of Russian Formalism, structuralism, semiotics, and discourse analysis with emerging work in Digital Humanities today. By studying social and institutional networks, the team will explore the dissemination and evolution of interpretive practices. The intersection of two fields uniquely situates us to interrogate the foundations of Digital Humanities practices, even as we explore new research methods, pedagogical tools, and archival and resource-sharing possibilities for cultural studies of Russia and East Europe.

Telling History through Images: New Tools for Visually Driven Narratives
Principal Investigators: Fabian Drixler and Peter Perdue 

The Visualizing Cultures website, dedicated to the examination of interactions between modern Asia and the West, contains over 50 units that exemplify a new form of historical analysis that integrates images and text in the form of visually drive narrative. This project will extend and redesign the existing website so as to expand the opportunities for other scholars to contribute to this emerging genre by developing software tools for the existing corpus or by creating templates that will allow scholars to work with their own images.

John Ashbery's 'Nest': A Virtual Tour and Digital Study Center of a Poet and Collector in his Hudson House
Principal Investigator: Karin Roffman
Project Team: Ninoslav Adzibaba (VHR Solutions), Milan Branezac (VHR Solutions), Monica Ong Reed (DHLab)

This project will provide ​crucial documentation of the American poet John Ashbery's Victorian house and collections. Using new virtual reality technologies to explore inside the house, we will create a prototype of the center hall that includes photographs, archival records, and audio clips of Ashbery and others discussing his collections. The website we design will enable users to experience the intimacy of being in "the middle of things," a reality that echoes in Ashbery’s poems.

A Digital, Mobile, and Interactive Field Guide to New Haven's Built Heritage
Principal Investigator: Elihu Rubin

The New Haven Building Archive (NHBA) brings together ten years of student research on buildings and streetscapes in New Haven, Connecticut. As an interactive digital guide to local buildings and the role they play in the life of the city, the NHBA will harness digital mapping technologies, place-based storytelling, and community-based research to prompt conversations about the historical patterns and future development of New Haven.

The Economy of Information in Renaissance Florence
Principal Investigator: Francesca Trivellato
Project Team: Pauline Bernard, Priscilla Coker, Russell Gasdia, Matteo Giuli, Stewart Palmer, Carlo Taviani, Niccolò Valmori

Was Renaissance Florence the cradle of Western capitalism and individualism? This project will create an online platform that will allow users to draw from unpublished archival material to search for new answers to this age-old question. Thanks to the Project Grant, the team will develop the analytics and visualization component of a relational database based on nearly 5,000 limited partnerships registered in Florence between 1445 and 1808 — arguably the longest and most homogeneous archival series of business contracts from pre-industrial Europe.


Post on August 15, 2016 - 1:58pm |

August 19, 2016

Upcoming Courses

Still looking for classes to take this fall? Check out a few exciting DH-related courses below!

If you are teaching a course connected to DH and would like it included, please email the DHLab.

The American Counterculture, ENGL 195
Mondays, Wednesdays 1:30-2:20pm
R. John Williams

This lecture offers an introduction to the notion of the "counterculture" as both a historical and literary phenomenon.  We will not only introduce basic definitions of the concept (as understood by participants in the 1960s and 1970s), but also complicate those same definitions, offering more nuanced explorations of what it meant to cultivate an experience that ran "counter" to the dominant practices of American bourgeois society. DH Fellow Kimberly Quiogue Andrews will assist with this course.


Avant-Gardes and Émigrés, RUS 384/690 
Tuesdays, Thursdays 11:35am-12:50pm 
Marijeta Bozovic

The Avant-Gardes and Émigrés Lab, a highly collaborative experimental seminar open to graduate students and advanced undergraduates, has two primary objectives: to familiarize students with the work of some of the most influential Russian artists, writers, and thinkers of the twentieth century; and to introduce students to new ways of conducting and presenting research, using digital tools. DH Fellow Carlotta Chenoweth will assist with this course.  

Computational Tools for Data Science, CPSC 262/STAT 262
Tuesdays, Thursdays 2:30-3:45pm
Daniel Spielman 

This course provides an introduction to the core ideas and principles that arise in modern data analysis, bridging statistics and computer science and providing students the tools to grow and adapt as methods and techniques change. Topics include principle component analysis, independent component analysis, dictionary learning, neural networks, clustering, streaming algorithms (streaming linear algebra techniques), online learning, large scale optimization, simple database manipulation, and implementations of systems on distributed computing infrastructures. Students require background in linear algebra, multivariable calculus, and programming.

Take after or concurrently with MATH 222, 225, or 231, after or concurrently with MATH 120, 230, or ENAS 151, after or concurrently with CPSC 100, 112, or ENAS 130

Gender & Sexuality in Media and Popular Culture, AMST 402/ANTHRO 302/FILM 324/WGSS 380 
Tuesdays 2:30-4:20pm
T.L. Cowan, Laura Wexler

As part of the FemTechNet DOCC, this seminar on popular culture in the United States and transnationally will teach digital skills via a significant lab component in which students use media technologies to make and illustrate arguments. In the course, we will discuss gender, race, class, and sexuality in relation to the production, circulation, consumption, and reception of media culture.

Introduction to Latin American History, HIST 325
Mondays, Wednesdays 10:30-11:20am
Anne Eller

This lecture class offers an introduction to critical themes and events across a broad swath of Latin America’s history. The course considers major formative epochs and themes of race, class, and gender through the exploration of case studies from across the Central and South America and the Caribbean.  In order to engage meaningfully with these themes, the approach of the course is two-fold.  First, lectures offer a broad sweep of events, zooming in on moments of particular interest in ample context.  The readings, discussion section, and digital humanities elements, meanwhile, focus much more closely on individual countries, events, and groups. DH Fellow Brandi Waters will assist with this course.

Quantitative Linguistics using Corpora, LING 234/634
Wednesdays 4:00-5:50pm
Kevin Tang

This course provides an introduction to the basics of corpus linguistics. Students will learn how to compile and process corpora, as well as how to conduct statistical tests in R in order to better understand linguistic patterns. We will both create new corpora (through Webmining using BootCat) and use existing sets (e.g. COCA, British National Corpus) to discuss how extracted norms can be used to predict behavioral data. Digital humanities students from other departments are welcome.


Post on August 19, 2016 - 10:22am |

August 18, 2016

Coffee and Code: Introduction to Bookworm

August 18 from 2:00-3:30pm in Bass Library, L06

Visualize word frequencies at the DHLab's Coffee and Code. During the workshop, participants learned how to deploy Bookworm, a tool for analyzing trends in word or phrase frequencies over a designated time span. Sample text files were provided, but participants were encouraged to bring their own data for discussion. No prior programming experience was required.

Couldn't make it to the workshop?

See our GitHub page for what we covered.

For the cloud-based version of Bookworm, visit Culturomics.

To see one deployment of Bookworm in action, check out the n-gram search on Yale's "Robots Reading Vogue" project site.


Post on August 5, 2016 - 2:27pm |

August 2, 2016

DH Highlights: Accessibility and DH Programming

August 2 at 2:00pm in the Digital Humanities Lab (SML 316)

During Office Hours, Tracy MacMath and Joseph Stadolnik presented on digital humanities courses they participated in over the summer. Beginning with design, Tracy discussed "Accessibility and Digital Environments," a course offered at the Digital Humanities Summer Institute (DHSI) that addressed how to design digital projects for all users. Moving from design to implementation, Joseph then provided an overview of "Humanities Programming," a course given at the Humanities Intensive Learning and Teaching (HILT) institute that was aimed at deploying web-based applications.

Both courses will be offered again at next year's DHSI and HILT, so this was an opportunity to hear what they were like and to learn more about the DHLab's Training Scholarships.

Coffee and tea were provided! 


Tracy MacMath is a User Interface Programmer for Library IT.

Joseph Stadolnik is a PhD Candidate in English.

Post on July 14, 2016 - 1:45pm |