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College of Arts and Sciences

Digital Humanities

The Humanities Collaborative is sponsoring a new working group committed to the digital humanities that is aimed at humanists, librarians and graduate students with curiosity, interests, plans or projects related to the digital humanities.

News and Meetings

Starting in January 2022, we hope to foster an open community of digital humanities dabblers, novices, and practitioners who can share new and developing projects, discuss strategies for addressing the challenges of beginning and continuing digital humanities work, and find collaborators and colleagues across campus. This group will aim to address practical and intellectual concerns equally, with sessions devoted to topics that are likely to include publishing creative and critical research in multimodal formats, digital mapping, analyzing textual data, crowd-sourcing, geolocation, computational analysis, and any other topics that might be raised by participants.

Questions? Please contact co-organizers Jeanne Britton (jbritton@mailbox.sc.edu) or Kate Boyd (boydkf@mailbox.sc.edu)

In-person meetings occur in the Hollings Library Political Collections Room (The Hollings Library is accessed through the main level of Thomas Cooper Library at 1322 Greene Street, Columbia, SC)

Access this link for remote attendence to in-person sessions below

  • Friday, October 28th at 11:00am: Amie Freeman, Karen Gavigan, Kelly Goldberg, and Hayden Smith (virtual)

    Projects with USC Libraries' Create Digital: Faculty Experiences Panel. Join the Digital Humanities working group of the Humanities Collaborative to learn how three faculty members have used USC’s web hosting and domain service for digital scholarship, Create Digital. Dr. Karen Gavigan (CIC), Dr. Kelly Goldberg (CAS), and Dr. Hayden Smith (CAS) will each discuss the planning and implementation of their digital projects, focusing on the use of the Create Digital platform.

  • Thursday November 3rd at 1:15pm: Tessa Davis, Kate Boyd, Vandana Srivastava  (virtual)

    In 2019, Kate Boyd, Director of Digital Research Services for the Libraries, was contacted by a law student to assist with an unusual research request. The student and her faculty supervisor wanted to conduct a text analysis of a large amount of textbooks.  Since then, Boyd and the faculty member, Tessa Davis, have been learning text analysis and Python.  In 2021, a graduate student in Computer Science, Vandana Srivastava, began helping. As of this past summer, Srivastava and Davis have been making much head-way. In this talk, the team will discuss the trials and tribulations of a project like this at USC.

  • Thursday, November 10th at  11:40: Adam Schor (in person) -- Hollings Library, SCPC Seminar Room                                                   

    “Catching Sight of an Ancient Social Scene: Ego-Network Comparison and the Collected Letters of Late Roman Bishops” by  Adam M. Schor,
    Associate Professor of History at U of SC.

    Studies of social interaction and networking have flourished in this era of email, text, and social media.  But intricate webs of communication and attachment have an older history.  In the ancient Roman world, those with sufficient wealth and education penned countless letters to friends, patrons, allies and protégés.  The rise of Christian leaders to influence, in the fourth century CE, gave added boost to letter-writing, as a means to sustain religious solidarity. Just as importantly, clerics gathered, selectively copied, and preserved the letters of church leaders whom they (later) honored.   Our surviving manuscripts contain six major collections of letters written by men who served as bishops between 360 and 430 CE.  Ranging from a few dozen to a few hundred entries, these collections give us highly partial glimpses of these six clerics' social interactions as they sought influence in a risky setting (split into competing Christian factions).
     
    This presentation discusses one cautious way to use these letter collections to derive meaningful data on ancient social interactions.  "Ego-network analysis" involves examining both the connections that each of the six bishop-authors sought with various sorts of people, and the social signals of commonality that each author sent to those who read their letters. We learn the most through comparisons, both between collections by different authors, and within one collection (between letters written before the author became bishop, and those written afterward).  In this way, we find subtle but crucial patterns in how the ancient Christian clergy operated as an organization, and how participants dealt with the intense partisanship that surrounded them.

  • Thursday, December 1 at 3:00: Matt Simmons and Mark Smith (in person) -- Hollings Library, SCPC Seminar Room

    Southern History Archives Research and Education (SHARE) is a Consortium made up of a group of universities and colleges dedicated to student generated learning and the dissemination of knowledge about the American South.  SHARE is hosted by the Institute for Southern Studies at the University of South Carolina and disseminates primary documents from various archives in the South, grants students from Consortium members access to these documents, and educates students on how to accurately transcribe the documents.  Faculty and staff at Consortium colleges and universities help students curate the material and ensure accuracy.  Searchable transcriptions are then uploaded on the University of South Carolina SHARE website and made available to scholars interested in southern studies from around the world.  This presentation will focus on the use of probate records—how they are transcribed, how the data from these records is managed and made available online, and how we can use probate records to interrogate the histories of material culture and enslavement in the Old South.
  • Thursday October 20th at 11:40am: Stacy Winchester and David Reddy (in person) -- Hollings Library, SCPC Seminar Room.

    Research Computing at USC provides access to High Performance Computing resources, research data storage, computing environments for restricted research, visualization platforms, scientific workflow optimization, and consultation with domain scientists and research computing facilitators. University Libraries at USC provides services for data management planning, assistance with finding data for secondary analysis, research data preservation, and data sharing resources to help researchers meet funding agency and publisher requirements. Join David Reddy, Research Facilitator at Research Computing, and Stacy Winchester, Research Data Librarian at University Libraries, to learn about USC resources to help you store, process, and manage your research data.

 

  • Thursday October 6th at 2:45pm: Kristin Harrell (virtual, see link above)

    The ongoing development of digital resources has expanded the opportunities for researching medieval literature, art, and history in the modern age. For my dissertation on the 15th-century Book of Margery Kempe, I adapted my own personal research into a website/blog that not only helps to organize my own analyses, but also allows other viewers to examine these sources for themselves. My research examines murals of female martyr-saints in England and Italy and inquires as to their potential influence on medieval laywomen as sources of emulation. I focus particularly on depictions which have subsequently been over-shadowed, forgotten, or destroyed in the religious/political shifts since the 15th century. I use maps to follow the travel routes Margery mentions in her books. Then, comparing archival accounts of murals which have since been obscured to modern crowdsourcing of the present-day remains, I examine what themes and trends present themselves. This supplemental digital project not only compiles my research, but also examines how data collection in the digital age expands resources, creates communities, and offers public insights previously restricted to a select few.
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  • Wednesday, September 21st at 12pm: DH Meet and Greet (in person) -- Hollings Library, SCPC Seminar Room
  • Friday, Apr 29 at 11am : Second Meet  and Greet (tentative)

  • Friday, Apr 22 at 11am: Heather Heckman -- Heckman discusses the methods behind her recently submitted paper "Shoot Today, Screen Tomorrow: A Quantitative Analysis of Elapsed Time from Production to Release by Color System in the United States, 1935-1975." She covers data mining from a commercial source, cleanup of semi-structured data in Open Refine, controlling for covariates (to the extent possible) and analysis in R. She also gives an introduction to non-parametric and paired-sample statistical tests, explaining what they are and why you might use them in your own quantitative humanities research projects. She promises that the talk will be much friendlier to absolute beginners than this paragraph has been, and hopes anyone interested in quantitative approaches (or the history of Hollywood film stocks!) will attend.

  • [CANCELLED] Friday, Apr 8 at 11am: Stan Dubinsky - Stan Dubinsky (Linguistics) will discuss two projects: Wordification, an interactive online platform for spelling instruction, and the Language Conflict Project. The Wordification Project seeks to develop dialectally responsive, linguistically based spelling instruction provided through a computer based, gamified interactive instruction platform which will revolutionize spelling instruction in English Language Arts. As an instructional tool that is widely available and affordable, it will benefit both typical student and literacy challenged students in every community in which it is used.  The Language Conflict Project is an interdisciplinary collaborative across Political Science, Linguistics, Geography, and Digital Research studying the relationship between language and social conflict. The Project’s goal is to advance our understanding of how language differences and policies correlate with the onset, escalation, persistence, and de-escalation of intrastate conflict. In the pursuit of this goal, we seek to implement a workable typology of ethnolinguistic conflict, a set of distinct Linguistic Distance Measures, designed to distinguish the roles that different aspects of language play in different contexts, and a Language Freedom Index, to provide an objective measure of linguistic rights in each conflict state.

  • Friday, Apr 1 at 11am: Christian Cicimurri - Historic Southern Naturalists: Six Years of Digitizing Natural History
    The HSN project began in 2016, to facilitate both scholarly and avocational research by generating high quality digital images of objects and archives related to early southern naturalists and publishing them online. Images and metadata are published to several websites, including a dedicated HSN website, online catalogs of USC Libraries, McKissick Museum, and the Charleston Museum, as well as the SC Digital Library and the Digital Public Library of America. Cicimurri will provide an update on the project with a focus on the recent pivot to publishing images and metadata to an online data aggregator.

  • Friday,  Mar 25 at 11am: Research Computing talk on storage - Research Computing will present storage options available for research at USC, including their storage and file size limits and the kinds of data which are appropriate to store on each.  Microsoft OneDrive, Research Computing’s Research Storage, the Carolina Enclave for Secure Research (CESR), as well as a brief overview of other cloud storage options will be presented.

  • Friday,  Mar 18 at 11am: Amanda Wangwright - Amanda Wangwright (art history, School of Visual Art and Design) will discuss her in-progress digital humanities project, Nühuajia in the News, which serves as an extension of her recently published book, The Golden Key: Modern Women Artists and Gender Negotiations in Republican China (Brill, 2021). When finished, the digital humanities project will be an English/Chinese bilingual, public-facing, archival website of news coverage of women artists in twentieth-century China. Anna Morales, who assisted with the project in the fall of 2021, will share her experiences using the Omeka and Quire content management platforms.

  • Friday,  Mar 4 at 11am: (online only) Jason Porter and Evan Meaney - Come share in a conversation about virtual reality’s potential to make historical research more immersive, visceral, and immediate. Jason Porter and Evan Meaney will share the Virtual Piranesi project, an annotated VR tour of the Pantheon according to Giovanni Battista Piranesi’s etchings. They will discuss the design tactics and interpretation strategies that helped this digital humanities project find a remediated home for historical learning.

  • Friday, Feb 25 at 11am: Herrick Brown- Herrick Brown, Curator of the A.C. Moore Herbarium at USC, will speak on interdisciplinary, collaborative digital projects. He will showcase two projects that involved USC Libraries, Digital Humanities, McKissick Museum, and the A.C. Moore Herbarium and were completed at USC with support from NEH and IMLS. Discussion will address the challenges and successes of these projects and then expand into a broader dialogue about sustainability and emerging research topics likely to necessitate future collaboration.

  • Wednesday, Feb 16: Lydia Mattice Brandt
    Project description:
    Digitizing Bull Street was created in spring 2014 by Dr. Lydia Mattice Brandt’s (art history, School of Visual Art & Design) graduate/undergraduate seminar in American Architecture. The digital humanities project documents 16 buildings and landscapes on the site of the South Carolina State Hospital at Bull Street, a 181-acre campus constructed between the early 19th century and the late twentieth century to house and treat the mentally ill. The project includes original histories by the students and a born-digital archive of more than 500 documents, drawings, and other archival materials related to the history of the site. Much of the Bull Street site has been demolished or renovated since the website was completed.

  • Wednesday, February 9, from 3:30 – 4:30 p.m., Meet and Greet 
  • Friday, February 4 at 11 a.m. Hannah Alpert-Abrams of the National Endowment for the Humanities on NEH’s Digital Humanities funding opportunities.

  • Friday, January 28 at 11 a.m. Amie Freeman, Scholarly Communication Librarian on Digital Content Management with University Libraries. An overview of the services the University Libraries offers to support digital projects. Digital content management and popular content management systems available to faculty and students, including WordPress, Scalar, and Omeka.

Below are tools and services available for starting and sustaining digital humanities projects. 

Where to start?  

  •  University Libraries offers CreateDigital, a free web hosting service for digital research and scholarship projects, to USC Columbia faculty, staff, and graduate students.  
  • The libraries also offer support, through Digital Research Services, for topics ranging from data management, analysis and visualization to digital publishing and archiving.  

Where to store?  

USC Columbia faculty can use up to 1TB for digital storage through Research Computing 

Internal grant programs sponsored by the Office of the Vice President for Research can provide start-up support for digital projects.  

The Office of Digital Humanities at the National Endowment for the Humanities offers competitive grants that support projects at early and advanced stages.  

 


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