News and Meetings
We 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 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.
Spring 2024 Events
Potential for Large Language Models in Experimental Research
Date and Time: January 16, 2:00 - 3:00 pm
Presenter: Brian Jabarian
Location: Virtual - Register to add to calendar
In this webinar, Brian Jabarian will present his recent collaborative paper in exploring the potential for Large Language Models (LLMs) to enhance scientific practice within experimentation. In the paper, Brian and his collaborators discuss how LLMs can be used to improve experimental design and implementation and analyze experimental data. They also suggest a scientific governance framework that mitigates the potential risks of using LLMs in experimental research while amplifying their advantages.
Virtual Bench: Deep learning models and custom software for the study of motion picture films
Date and Time: February 21, 3:30 - 4:30 pm
Presenter: Greg Wilsbacher
Location: Virtual - Register to add to calendar
Join Greg Wilsbacher in an overview of the NEH-funded project, Virtual Bench, a partnership between MIRC, the Computer Vision Lab (Dr. Song Wang), and Research Computing (Dr. Jun Zhou). Virtual Bench explores the potential for deep learning models to aid in the description of archival motion picture film elements. The project is also developing open-source software to expand access to digitized archival films, connecting archives and researchers through an innovative new platform. Wilsbacher will highlight the logistics of undertaking a large project involving the development of custom, humanities-focused datasets and AI models.
“The Complete Songs of Cândido Inácio da Silva (1799/1800-1838)”: Challenges and Rewards of a Hypertext Edition
Date and Time: March 14, 11 am - 12 pm
Presenter: Marcelo Hazan
Location: Virtual - Register to add to calendar
In 2021, Dr. Marcelo Hazan began working on “The complete songs of Cândido Inácio da Silva (1799/1800-1838),” the first hypertext edition in Brazilian music scholarship. This talk shall describe the circumstances surrounding the making of this edition, including the funding process engaging both U.S.-American and Brazilian agencies; the acquisition of the source materials widely dispersed in Brazilian, German, Portuguese, and Spanish depositories; the methodological logic underlying the construction and presentation of the scores; and the challenge of securing the work a permanent home online.
Getting Started with Digital Humanities Tools
Date and Time: April 18, 11:00 am – 4:30 pm
Presenters: Kate Boyd, Glenn Bunton, Amie Freeman, & Stacy Winchester
Location: Room 118, Thomas Cooper Library - Register
Get started with digital humanities tools in this hands-on introductory workshop.
You’ll become familiar with and have the opportunity to use:
• Content management systems: WordPress, Scalar, and Omeka
• Text analysis tools: Voyant, AntConc, and JSTOR’s Constellate
• Data cleaning and visualization and tools: Open Refine, R, Tableau
There will be plenty of time for experimentation and to work directly with instructors on your projects, so be sure to bring a laptop and your ideas for digital humanities projects.
- Friday, October 6 from 11 a.m. - 12 p.m. Amie Freeman - Digital Publishing with Scalar In this session, you will learn how to build and host digital projects using Scalar, a technological platform that allows for “interactive and rich media scholarship” (https://scalar.me/anvc/about/). We’ll review use cases for Scalar, consider a variety of project examples, and will explore the many functionalities of the publishing platform. By the end of the session, you will be able to install and build a basic Scalar application.
- Friday, October 27 from 11 a.m. - 12 p.m. John McCullough - Mapping the Gullah Geechee Cultural Heritage Tour: Academic and Touristic Considerations Join John McCullough to discuss Mapping the Gullah Geechee Cultural Heritage Tour. This current project uses GIS resources to geospatially map routes, content, and multimedia of a Gullah Geechee cultural heritage tour in Charleston, SC. By including and coordinating mapping visualizations with linguistic and ethnographic data, a more robust sociocultural analysis of this particular tour site emerges and provides a framework for better visualizing the cultural heritage touristic landscape. While the initial map focuses on one particular tour guide, his authored work, and his tour route, the eventual goal of the project is to map multiple Gullah Geechee cultural heritage tour companies in downtown Charleston. This overlaying of multiple routes and companies will help to illuminate which sites are loci for particular moments of cultural and linguistic significance for guides and for tourists, as well as help to compare similar but distinct narratives and touristic discourses offered by various companies. This also has implications for the digital presence of guides, offering them a resource that may help them appeal to tourists in the virtual marketplace through more robust multimedia engagement.
- Thursday, November 2 from 1 - 2 p.m. Kate Boyd, Axton Crolley, and Vandan Srivastava - Practicing Text Analysis and Machine Learning In this session, you will hear about a Mellon funded text analysis collaborative project that USC worked on with UVA and UNC librarians, legal scholars, and computer programmers. This project involved pulling together a large corpus of SC laws from 1868-1968 and studying the Jim Crow laws within them. The team of USC legal scholars, natural language processing experts, and librarians worked together to clean the data and perform the analysis with machine learning.
- Tuesday, September 26 from 9:00 – 10:30 a.m. - Coffee Drop-In Join your peers to kick off another great year of Digital Humanities! Enjoy coffee while learning about upcoming events, exploring support services, and chatting about your future DH plans with colleagues.
- Thursday, September 28 from 10 – 11 a.m. Sarah Williams - Singing the Archives: A Digital and Musical Collaboration In this presentation, Dr. Williams will talk about intermedia and digital approaches to early music. Beginning in the Spring semester 2023, music history students in the School of Music and Dr. Williams collaborated with Digital Collections to create a digital audible history project centered on the library’s collections of late medieval liturgical plainchant. My talk will discuss the organization and execution of the “Singing the Archives” project, intermedia approaches to early musical culture, as well as suggestions for collaborative pedagogies between students, faculty, archivists, librarians, and developers. I would like to show how, through the processes of re-enactment and re-performance, my students became “earwitness subjects” in dialogue with historical subjects and their musical practices.
- Friday, January 27 from 3:00 - 4:00 p.m. Jason Porter, USC College of Information and Communications - Piranesi’s Worlds through Virtual Reality Piranesi’s Worlds, recreates and re-interprets Giovanni Piranesi’s original immersive two-dimensional views through interactive virtual reality. Part multi-player videogame, part art history lesson, and part wearable museum, Piranesi’s Worlds elaborates and extends elements of Piranesi’s original engravings in ways that point to both the future and the history of immersive design. Learn from VR creator Jason Porter as he provides a hands-on demonstration of Piranesi’s Worlds.
- Thursday, February 9 from 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. and Friday, February 10 from 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. Malcolm Williamson and Dr. Carla Klehm, University of Arkansas, Center for Advanced Spatial Technologies - Applications of Photogrammetry (Workshop) Hollings Library and Thomas Cooper Library Room 118. Please join the College of Arts and Sciences’ Public Heritage Laboratory and the University Libraries for a free two-day introductory workshop on photogrammetry, the practice of extracting information from 3D objects. On day one, we will welcome you with an overview of photogrammetry and a keynote lecture, Photogrammetry for Heritage: 3D Photography for Researching the Past, by Carla Klehm and Malcolm Williamson from the University of Arkansas' Center for Advanced Spatial Technologies, followed by best practice instruction and hands-on camera practice led by Williamson. On the second day, you’ll learn photo pre-processing and processing through Metashape, as well as visualization and publication methods. Registration is open to all interested USC faculty, staff, and graduate students, as well as select community members.Registration is limited and required for the workshop component. Although registration is preferred, anyone may attend the keynote on February 9, 2023.
- Tuesday, February 21 from 12:00 - 1:00 p.m. Dr. Joshua Meyer-Gutbrod, College of Arts and Sciences -- Digital Campaigns Project (Virtual) The Digital Campaigns Project is an effort to establish a long-running data source on state campaign rhetoric by archiving campaign websites for state-level elected officials. Current work focuses on developing a database of state legislative campaign website in order to examine variation state partisan agendas and rhetoric. Campaign website html files from the 2016, 2018, 2020, 2021, and 2022 elections have been archived, and platform and issue pages have been extracted to compile lists of candidate issue positions coded according to policy arena using the Policy Agendas Project.
- Friday, March 24 from 11:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. Dr. Stan Dubinsky and Dr. Michael Gavin, College of Arts and Sciences -- The Language Conflict Project (Virtual) The Language Conflict Project (LCP) is an interdisciplinary collaborative across Political Science, Linguistics, and Digital Humanities studying the relationship between language and social conflict. The Project’s goal is to advance our understanding of ways in which language differences and policies correlate with the onset, escalation, persistence, and de-escalation of intrastate conflict.
- Thursday, April 6 from 12:00 - 4: 30 p.m. Kate Boyd, Amie Freeman, and Stacy Winchester -- Getting Started with Digital Humanities Tools. Thomas Cooper Library Room 118. Get started with digital humanities tools in this hands-on introductory workshop. You’ll become familiar with and have the opportunity to use: Content management systems (including WordPress, Scalar, and Omeka), timelines and story maps, OpenRefine, Voyant and AntCon, HathiTrust.
- Wednesday, September 21st at 12pm: DH Meet and Greet (in person) -- Hollings Library, SCPC Seminar Room
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Friday, February 4 at 11 a.m. Hannah Alpert-Abrams of the National Endowment for the Humanities on NEH’s Digital Humanities funding opportunities.
- Wednesday, February 9, from 3:30 – 4:30 p.m., Meet and Greet
- Wednesday, Feb 16: Lydia Mattice Brandt
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.
- 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.
- 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, 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 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, 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.
- [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 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.
- Friday, Apr 29 at 11am : Second Meet and Greet (tentative)
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.