building a CUNY DH Community since 2010
By Jojo Karlin
On 28, Sep 2017 | In Spotlight | By Jojo Karlin
The Distance Machine is a new way of visualizing the linguistic changes that we have to grapple with while reading texts from the past. It uses a statistical model to determine when words either became common or ceased to be common in several large collections of books, including Google’s Ngrams data and the publicly available part of the Early English Books Online collection. This gives an approximate sense of when archaic words like thou cease to appear in these collections and when distinctively modern words—like computer—come into common use. Using this information, it shows you (right in your web browser) which words in a text might have stood out as unusual, novel, or specialized to readers encountering it at a given point in the past.
Last year, a paper on this project, “‘The General Practice of the Nation’: Walt Whitman, Language, and Computerized Search in the Nineteenth-Century Archive,” appeared in the journal American Literature. Since then, I used the Distance Machine in a study of representations of land in eighteenth-century America and France, which I presented at the Northeast MLA conference. In the NEMLA paper, I argue that the word location, which appears at several points in Thomas Jefferson’s writings, was politically charged in the eighteenth century, indicating a way of thinking about land that defines places by projecting a Cartesian grid onto the landscape—a practice that, Edmund Burke argued, was like treating one’s own country as a country of conquest. The example of the word location reveals a way in which the new linguistic forms introduced by the Enlightenment have now become so familiar that they are almost invisible to contemporary readers.
Paying attention to language change using tools like the Distance Machine, I suggest, can help us recover some of the lost sense of novelty that texts from the past once had. Since the linguistic knowledge with which we in the twenty-first century read texts from past periods is, in part, a product of the historical processes that were at work in those periods, there is a danger that we tacitly give preference to the sides of political debates that won out. To resist this possibility, it is necessary to become a little less confident in our ability to understand the language of the past.
Dear CUNY DHI community!
This fall we are excited to launch CUNY DHI Spotlight, a new feature on the blog to highlight ongoing efforts of community members! Consistently impressed by the vibrant activity on the CUNY DHI group forum, we wish to showcase the amazing digital work happening around CUNY for a broader public. We will open with updates on projects seen last fall at the November lightning rounds.
Please contact GCDI Digital Fellow Jojo Karlin if you are interested in presenting a snapshot of an ongoing project (an image, slide or screenshot, and 250-500 word write-up of the project).
Stay tuned for the forthcoming call for presenters for CUNY DHI Lightning Talks, November 13!
On 26, Apr 2017 | In Events of Interest | By Javier
Event: Earth Day Wikipedia Edit-a-thon
When: Thursday, April 27th, 11AM – 2 PM
Where: Science Center (The Graduate Center, CUNY, 4th floor)
Who: Open to GC community and the public
Participation is free, but an RSVP is appreciated.
The GC Digital Initiatives is hosting a Wikipedia Edit-a-thon to celebrate Earth Day and to improve the quality of open access, free resources about environmental sciences and humanities.
Earth Day is celebrated on April 22nd and people from all over the world are launching campaigns and promoting awareness about critical environmental issues. Our Wikipedia Edit-a-thon is designed to help create and improve Wikipedia’s environmental sciences and humanities content. As the largest and most popular general reference work on Internet, Wikipedia provides many people with their first contact with scientific information.
During the Edit-a-thon, you will learn how to set up an account to edit content, learn how to create citations, and either begin connecting existing content to reliable sources or adding new content supported by citations.
No previous experience is required. If you are interested in attending, please RSVP here.
If you need accessibility accommodation to attend, contact us at cuny.is/contactus.
PHOTO: 2017 CREATIVE COMMONS, BY JUNAIDRAO.
On 27, Feb 2017 | In Events of Interest | By Javier
March 6th, 5:00-10:00 PM
The Digital Fellows, part of the Graduate Center Digital Initiatives at The Graduate Center, CUNY, will be hosting a Doc-a-thon to generate better docs!
When learning a new software tool, programming language or library, we all go straight to the tutorials and other documentation. As the first point of entry for almost everyone, documentation is an often overlooked but critical part of any software project, so we’re providing space and resources to contribute. Participants of all skill-levels are encouraged to join.
We’ll provide you with an introduction to the projects, a discussion of good documentation practices, and help setting up your development environment. You can work on your own personal project or help out on a participating project, such as DH Box, Omeka, Matplotlib, Pandas, and Clawpack.
The first day (Monday March 6) will be focused on tutorials and getting people started. We will then have support throughout the week at the GC Digital Lab on Room 7414, via our GC Digital Fellows office hours (Tuesday 2:00pm – 4:00pm) and the Python User’s Group (Wednesday 12:00pm – 2:00pm).
If you are interested in participating, please RSVP here.
For questions or accessibility accommodations, write us to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photo by Mike Ashton (2013). Creative Commons License.
By Mary Catherine Kinniburgh
On 27, Jan 2017 | In Uncategorized | By Mary Catherine Kinniburgh
The GC and NYCDH Week 2017
The Graduate Center is excited to host one of New York City’s largest digital humanities events of the year: the inimitable NYCDH Week! Hosted at institutions across New York City from February 6th to February 10th, NYCDH Week features workshops, events, and meet-up opportunities for people interested in digital work.
The GC is excited to host the week’s kick-off gathering on February 6th, which includes a day of project presentations, roundtables, and a keynote by our very own Dr. Stephen Brier, who is receiving the inaugural NYCDH Award for his contributions to the digital humanities community.
In addition, we’ll be hosting workshops at The Graduate Center all week, and have posted the events specifically at our institution below. We invite you to register in advance to ensure your spot, and to check out the full lineup (over 30!!!) of city-wide workshops at the NYCDH Week website.
NYCDH Week Workshops at the GC
“Machine Learning: A Primer”
February 8th, 10:00-12:00pm
taught by Achim Koh
In recent years we have seen words related to recent developments in computer science and technology, like machine learning, artificial intelligence or neural networks, be used increasingly in diverse fields of research and of the society in general. This workshop will survey basic concepts of machine learning. No specific background is expected. The goal is to provide some vocabulary with which one can get a sense of what these computational methods are about. In addition, we will also survey existing machine learning-related resources that one can explore to learn further; the resources will address technical understanding as well as critical thinking about the many implications of the technology.
“Physical Computing 101 with Arduino”
February 8th, 6:30-8:30pm
taught by Mary Catherine Kinniburgh
Join us for this absolutely no-experience necessary workshop to introduce you to the basics of using Arduino, an open-source hardware and software prototyping platform, so you can begin to consider and develop your own projects. In this course, we’ll use critical experimentation as a way to think about interactivity in our computational world.
“Introduction to Information Security”
February 9th, 6:30-8:30pm
taught by Patrick Smyth
This workshop will cover issues of data security. What does it mean for data to be “secure”? What is data encryption? How might you begin to protect yourself from data surveillance, reconsider data storage, and think about personal privacy in an age of internet research? This workshop is designed for someone who has never really thought of data security as a humanities scholar but who might want to consider where to begin.
“Social Network Analysis for Humanities”
February 10th, 10:00-12:00pm
taught by Alexander Nakhimovsky
Present the basics of Social Network Analysis (SNA): graphs, metrics, filtering, grouping; introduce NodeXL, Excel-based tool for SNA; do a couple of examples: (characters in Les Miserables; wordnet).
“Introduction to Mapping with QGIS”
February 7th, 3:00-5:00pm
Studio@Butler, Columbia University
taught by Michelle McSweeney and Dare Brawley
“Making Maps into Webmaps with Leaflet.js”
February 8th, 1:00-3:00pm
Studio@Butler, Columbia University
taught by Michelle McSweeney and Dare Brawley
On 03, Oct 2016 | In Events of Interest | By Javier
GC Digital Initiatives
Speaker Event, Fall 2016
October 20th, 6:30-8:00pm
Room C198, The Graduate Center, CUNY
Dr. Joshua Miele
“Digital Accessibility and the Making of a Meta Maker Movement”
GC Digital Initiatives and The Futures Initiative are excited to welcome Dr. Joshua Miele to The Graduate Center, CUNY, to speak on the topic of digital accessibility and maker culture. Dr. Miele is the Associate Director of Technology Research and Development, at the Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center on Low Vision and Blindness, and has spearheaded multiple apps, platforms, and resources that promote digital accessibility–including the Blind Arduino Project, overTHERE, YouDescribe, and many more. In his talk, he will discuss the philosophy that informs his approach to maker culture, and consider the essential role of digital accessibility in this formulation.
This event is free and open to the public, and we kindly request you RSVP in advance clicking here.
If you require accessibility accommodation, contact us at email@example.com, or call Lisa Rhody at (212) 817 8490.
We look forward to seeing you there!
By Mary Catherine Kinniburgh
On 03, Oct 2016 | In Uncategorized | By Mary Catherine Kinniburgh
Call for Lightning Talk Presentations
“CUNY DHI 2016: Building a Digital Humanities Community at the City University of New York.”
Monday, November 7th, 6:00-8:30pm
Ninth Floor Breakout Rooms, Rooms 9204/9205/9206/9207
The Graduate Center, CUNY
Proposals will be accepted on a rolling basis until October 21st (or until all presentation slots are filled).
After last year’s success, CUNY DHI and GC Digital Initiatives invite participation at the second annual “CUNY DHI: Building a Digital Humanities Community at the City University of New York.”
This event features a series of
- lightning talks on digital projects from across the CUNY campuses,
- Presentations from graduate student winners of Provost’s Digital Innovation Grants,
- a reception to follow for discussion and networking.
How to get involved
CUNY faculty, graduate students, and staff are invited to submit proposals for lightning talks of no more than 5 minutes (with no more than 3 slides) on projects that highlight ongoing, current, and recent work in the digital humanities. We welcome all disciplines and even encourage presentations that include undergraduate participation. Groups may present collaboratively or individually.
Please check out our recap from last year for an overview of the types of projects and initiatives that have been featured previously: cuny.is/cunydhi2015.
To submit your lightning talk for consideration, please fill out this brief form to share a little more information with us (no abstract required!): https://goo.gl/j71U1B. Once you have submitted the form, we will contact the email address provided with further details.
Last year, we had eight of the CUNY campuses represented across presenters, and this year we are hoping for even more! For specific questions, please do not hesitate to contact Lisa Rhody, Deputy Director of Digital Initiatives at firstname.lastname@example.org or Javier Otero Pena, GC Digital Fellow at email@example.com.
Thank you for your interest in participating, and we look forward to seeing you there!
This event is sponsored by CUNY DHI and GC Digital Initiatives.
By Mary Catherine Kinniburgh
On 04, May 2016 | In Events of Interest | By Mary Catherine Kinniburgh
To share and celebrate the range of digital work at The Graduate Center, CUNY, GC Digital Initiatives invites you to attend:
The Digital GC: End of Year Showcase
Tuesday, May 17th
The Martin E. Segal Theatre
Short presentations will include DH Praxis 2015-2016, the Provost’s Digital Innovation Grant Recipients 2015-2016, GC Digital Fellows, Futures Initiative, The New Media Lab, GC Teaching and Learning Center, Interactive Technology and Pedagogy Certificate Program, Videography Fellows, Social Media Fellows, Software Studies Initiative, Mina Rees Library, and more.
Please stay tuned: this page will be updated with more details as time approaches!
We hope to see you there.
Now Accepting Applications:
when:June 6-10, 2016
what: five-day intensive in digital research methods
where: The Graduate Center, CUNY
why: to equip our academic community with digital research skills
who: for CUNY graduate students, faculty and staff of all skill levels and disciplines (no previous digital experience required)
GC Digital Initiatives invites applications for the GC Digital Research Institute (GC DRI) on June 5-10, 2016 from 9:30-6:00 daily. This program builds on the success of the inaugural GC Digital Research Bootcamp, held in January 2016.
GC DRI offers CUNY graduate students, faculty, and staff an opportunity to develop digital research skills and to connect with others in an interdisciplinary environment. The week will begin with an introduction to the command line, git, Python, and databases for all students; participants will then have the opportunity to choose from a variety of more specific workshops on topics ranging from using APIs to the Natural Language Toolkit to machine learning.
The application will be open until 11:59pm on April 22nd, 2016; however, we recommend that interested participants apply early, as space is limited. Applicants who were waitlisted in January and who expressed interest in being automatically reconsidered need not re-apply; however, we encourage such applicants to fill out the application form again, as some fields have changed.
The GC DRI is sponsored by a CUNY Strategic Initiative Investment Grant and is free of charge. Programming has been developed in collaboration with our partners: Software Carpentry, the New York Public Library, Mozilla Science Lab, Humanities Intensive Learning and Teaching, NYC Media Lab, and the Digital Humanities Summer Institute.
If you have questions or comments, please contact us using the form on our website. Stay up-to-date on the GC Digital Research Institute by following us on Twitter at @Digital_Fellows and checking out the #GCDRI hashtag.
GC Digital Initiatives and CUNY DHI invite you to attend a special workshop in collaboration with the New York Public Library. Please join us for “Citizen Cartography @NYPL!”
Wednesday, March 23, 2016 from 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Room C203, The Graduate Center, CUNY
Register in advance on our EventBrite page
The New York Public Library’s Map Warper is a free online crowdsourcing tool that enables librarians and the general public to align digital images of historical maps with today’s map through a process called georectification, or “warping” maps. As part of NYPL’s ongoing commitment to creating new publicly available resources and building new platforms for historical research, the Library has set out to warp over 4,000 maps!
In this hands-on workshop, we will give you an overview of the NYPL Map Warper tool (available at maps.nypl.org) as well as get you started warping maps. Come learn more about how to use this tool and the ways in which it can impact your research. For more information, watch the tutorial at maps.nypl.org, or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
This workshop is free and open to the public. Please register in advance to attend at http://www.eventbrite.com/e/citizen-cartography-nypl-map-warper-workshop-tickets-21536035863