Data-driven: the humanities get digital

Thinking, researching, and being online

Event series organised by Amélie Doche, Vincent Obia, and Pierre d’Alancaisez in conjunction with Birmingham City University’s PGR Studio.

The past year has brought about changes we could hardly have predicted. With archives closed and research participants accessible only via video calls, much of the research in the humanities has been moved online at an unprecedented rate. While this has been a challenge for many projects and researchers have had to re-evaluate and reinvent their work, the rapid change has brought about a new interest in working online.

Is this what the ‘digital’ humanities look like? How might we make sense of the explosion of online activity? How can researchers account for the ‘Zoom effect’? And what data can we find online anyway?

This workshop will equip researchers with a range of methods and approaches to conducting digital humanities research and the use of the online environment as a rich source of data.

Dr Emily McGinn and Katie Kuiper

This session will provide a broad overview of the digital humanities tools and methods for developing data driven research. Building on this understanding, the workshop will explore participants’ own data collection methods and models and will offer a wide range of options for investigating data and building your project.

This workshop will be of particular interest to researchers pursuing fields such as social media analytics, big data research, virtual ethnography, discourse analysis, or archival research.

The workshop will:

  • build a theoretical underpinning for digital humanities research,
  • reflect on the place of the digital humanities in the contemporary research environment,
  • introduce useful computing and programming tools for research,
  • provide practical training on online data gathering, web-scraping, or corpus analysis,
  • prepare researchers to handle, treat, visualise, and analyse big data ethicall