Introductory workshops on digital humanities at Congress 2012 in Waterloo

Just before Congress 2012, on Friday, 25 May, the Society for Digital Humanities/Société pour l’étude des médias interactifs is offering two free, very introductory workshops on digital humanities. In the morning, Aimée Morrison (U Waterloo) will answer the question, “What is Digital Humanities, and how do I get started?” In the afternoon, Dan O’Donnell (U Lethbridge) will provide a gentle introduction to textual studies using TEI (the Text Encoding Initiative).

To register for one or both of these workshops email Brent Nelson at brent.nelson[at] before 15 May 2012. Space is limited, so register early.


Both sessions will be held in B113 Bricker Academic Building, Wilfrid Laurier University.

9:00 am – 12:00 pm.   Aimée Morrison (U Waterloo) will answer the question, “What is Digital Humanities, and how do I get started?”

“Digital Humanities” is a term and a set of practices and projects gaining increasing currency in the humanities. Stanley Fish writes about it in the New York Times! Chronicle of Higher Education columnists name it the next big thing, two years in a row! Funders and administrators often tout digital humanities work as highly desirable: it is technical, collaborative, large-scale, and often draws large amounts of external funding from both the private sector as well as granting agencies.

However, pinning down exactly what “digital humanities” is or what kind of work it entails can be confusing to newcomers, never mind the vague or not-so-vague fear that this new field undermines traditional humanities scholarship.

This workshop will overview the history of digital humanities, the debates that currently animate the field, a variety of projects that represent its potential for continue humanistic inquiry in an increasingly digital world, and point to a wealth of further intellectual and practical resources for scholars looking to maybe join the party.

Everyone is welcome. Nothing is required but curiosity and a willingness to debate.

1:00 pm – 4:00 pm.  Dan O’Donnell (U Lethbridge). “Markup and Metadata: An introduction to the power of XML and related technologies in humanities research applications.”

This workshop introduces scholars to XML and related technologies, demonstrating the power they can offer in conducting humanities research. Some of the major initiatives in the field will be discussed, including a brief overview of the Text Encoding Initiative (TEI).

The workshop is intended to be introductory and will focus on the basic concepts using simple examples and demonstrations. Some elementary hands-on exercises will also be provided.

This workshop will be of interest to scholars who do not have significant digital training or experience and who want to take the first steps in learning about how digital technology can help them in their projects. By the end of the session, participants will have a basic knowledge of some of the core concepts, tools, and resources and an understanding of how they can set about acquiring more detailed training and information.

Daniel Paul O’Donnell is Professor of English at the University of Lethbridge. He is editor of Caedmon’s Hymn: A Multimedia Study, Edition, and Archive, and Principal Investigator on the Visionary Cross Project. He is a former Chair of the Text Encoding Initiative, founding director of Digital Medievalist, and co-president of the Society for Digital Humanities / Société pour l’étude des médias interactifs. He is editor of Digital Studies and Associate Editor of Digital Medievalist.