NYU Abu Dhabi Digital Humanities Meetups 2016-17

What is the Digital Humanities Meet Up?  

It is an informal get together for anyone interested in, or just curious about, the digital humanities.  It is co-sponsored by the NYU Abu Dhabi Center for Digital Scholarship and the Division of the Arts and Humanities.  

When will it meet?  

It will meet during the lunchtime hour throughout the Fall and Spring semester every few weeks.  

Who can attend?

Anyone in the NYUAD community or beyond.  The meet up is designed to be a learning experience for all.  No particular technical knowledge is required.

Spring 2017:

Tues, 14 February 2017, 1150-105 C3 118 (Presentation): Mobile Data Collection for Documenting Historical Built Space   Amel Chabbi (TCA Abu Dhabi, Historical Environment Department) will come to speak with AHC-AD 141 Spatial Humanities about a project in the implementation phase that aims to document historical buildings in Abu Dhabi using the tool known as Collector for ArcGIS that facilitates mobile data collection.

Thurs, 23 February 2017, 1150-105, Archives and Special Collections, NYUAD Library C2 3rd floor (Practicum): Digitizing Historical Maps  This hands on session led by Rebecca Pittam, Nicholas Martin and David Wrisley will explore creating digital images of archival maps of different sizes and media for reuse in spatial humanities projects.

Tues, 28 February 2017, 1150-105, C3 118 (Hands-on): Exploring Digital Map Libraries  This session led by Beth Russell and David Wrisley will discuss digital map libraries, what kinds of maps can be found in them, issues of metadata as well as how they can be used in digitized, “georeferenced” form.

Tues, 28 March 2017, 1150-105, Center for Digital Scholarship conference room, NYUAD library (discussion):  What is Web Hosting?, and What is it Doing in the NYUAD Classroom?  This presentation address the use of web hosting in the classroom for written coursework.  It will be presented within the context of the domain of one’s own movement.  We will discuss and the kinds of public, digital, multimedia composition that it enables as well as the questions of audience.  NYUAD students building their own domains will attend and contribute to the discussion.

Mon-Wed, 10-12 April 2017, A6 (Hands-on Workshops) During our international conference Digital Humanities Abu Dhabi – DHAD there will be a number of digital humanities workshops.  These are open to the public, but require registration.  Check the schedule of workshops for updates.  If you would like to sign up for one of these free workshops, you can do so here.

Fall 2016:

Wednesday, 21 September 2016 (11.50am-1.05pm, Center for Digital Scholarship, C2, 3rd floor  PRACTICUM: Demystifying Digitization – This practicum is a part of David Wrisley’s course AHC-AD 139 (Introduction to Digital Humanities) that will be open Wednesday to the NYUAD community. Today’s practicum comes at a point of the semester when students are beginning to think about constructing their own private corpus of text. We will work with one of the best pieces of software for automatic transcription Abbyy FineReader to explore the process of optical character recognition (OCR) of printed texts in multiple languages including Arabic. We will discuss the class readings and do a hands on exercise with a few samples of text.  The exercise should illustrate the benefits and limitations of the digitization for texts of different periods and languages.  Topics of discussion include text archives, the hidden labor of digital texts, as well as digitization and loss.  (This practicum borrows its name from the digital humanities summer school being held in Antwerp next week.)

Monday, 17 October 2016 (1150-105, A6-016)  – UNDERGRADUATE DIGITAL HUMANITIES PRESENTATIONS This session co-led by David Wrisley and the students of his course AHC-AD 139 will feature low-barrier data visualization of textual corpora.  Students will each have built a small corpus in the language of their choice based on a research question they have.  They will be giving lightning presentations about their “distant readings” of this corpus.  These presentations, curated on the students’ sites, will be accompanied by general discussion.  

Wednesday, 23 November 2016 (1150-105, Center for Digital Scholarship, C2, 3rd floor) HANDS-ON LEARNING ABOUT GIS. To celebrate GIS Day 2016, come learn about Geographic Information Systems (GIS) with Matt Sumner and David Wrisley.  We will take a look at some maps made around the time of the unification of the UAE in the early 1970s and we will learn some basic skills useful for GIS like digitization and georeferencing.  We will also compare those maps with digital maps from today like Open Street Maps (OSM) and Google Maps and have a discussion about the different ways they represent the world we live in.  Read this post to learn about the results of this meetup.

Monday, 28 November 2016 (12-1, Center for Digital Scholarship conference room, C2, 3rd floor) – PROJECT PRESENTATION Akkasah.  Akkasah, the Center for Photography at NYU Abu Dhabi, explores the histories and contemporary practices of photography in the Arab world from comparative perspectives: it fosters the scholarly study of these histories and practices in dialogue with other photographic cultures and traditions from around the world. This presentation will engage with issues of image data and metadata, as well as digitization, preservation and collection curation.

Monday, 5 December 2016 (1150-105, TBA) – DIGITAL PUBLISHING IN PERFORMANCE AND ART  Today’s presentation will be given by Debra Levine about Scalar, Tome and other digital publishing platforms used by performance and cultural scholars as well as artists.  Deb will also introduce the Hemispheric Institute Digital Publishing initiative, drawing on some examples from it, her own work as well as projects carried out by NYUAD students.  The presentation will be followed by a open discussion.




How did you make that (digital) literary geography?

How did you make that (digital) literary geography?
American University of Beirut
24 November 2015


At the invitation by IT academic services and the Center for Teaching and Learning at AUB, this short presentation will give an overview of some digital approaches to location-based literary phenomena (sociology of literature, modeling narrative, digital storytelling, map-text relationships, etc).

Outline of the presentation:

1  Introduction

Tomorrow’s Teaching and Learning (circulated by CTL, 19 Nov) – higher order thinking skills, spatial literacies, interdisciplinary co-learning, making critical arguments in a variety of formats, open geographic data, modeling data
Moretti’s Atlas of European Novel vs. national literary geographies (Ferre, Bartholomew, de Oliviera)
Miriam Posner’s blog How did they make that?
DHCommons Journal “How Did They Make That?” issue 1
GeoHumanities gallery Humanities GIS
starter bibliography
related workshop– Cairo October 2015 (with hands on component, not all literary)

pieces of a spatial project: locations, geographic coordinates, other relevant metadata, projection system, database, base maps, APIs

2  Advanced non-literary examples (born-digital data)

Obesity map @kyle_e_walker
What: visualization of open data about obesity in the US
How: fetching data on obesity from CDC, programming language R, processing data, pushing automatically to cloud web mapping (CartoDB), “abstract” base map

Wimbledon 2014
What: A map of tweets during Wimbledon final match
How: twitter mining, cloud hosting and visualization using torque (CartoDB)

2  (Mostly hand curated, non-born digital data) Examples from literature and culture

Pre-modern Spanish literature @RojasCastroA
What: A map of places mentioned in Spanish Golden Age works by Gongora.
How:  manual extraction and geoparsing,cloud hosting of data, use of color, unlabelled political map, info box containing snippets of text,web mapping (CartoDB), open data

Roman de la violette (vers vs prose) @DJWrisley
What:  mentions of places in a 13th c verse text and its 15th prose rewriting
How: manual extraction and geoparsing,cloud hosting of data, contrasting color and shape, unlabeled satellite view, web mapping (Google Maps), open data

French epic space-time choropleth vs torque @DJWrisley
What: mentions of places in a corpus of medieval French epic poems by date of composition
How: manual extraction and geoparsing, cloud hosting of data, unlabelled political map, web mapping and animation (CartoDB), open data

Exploring Place in the French of Italy @MVSTFordham @DJWrisley
What: exhibit built around mention of places in a corpus of medieval French texts composed in Italy, individual maps, weighted by place, composite map and essays
How: semi-manual extraction, geoparsing and counting, cloud hosting of data, embedded maps in Omeka (from CartoDB), open data

Dislocating Ulysses
What: locating objects from an exhibit about Ulysses within their geospatial context and historical context within Dublin
How: manual geoparsing, hosted in Google Earth (here viewed as video capture)

Slave Revolt in Jamaica, 1760
What: animated thematic map of Jamaica slave insurrection
How: manual extraction and geoparsing?, listed archival sources, “locational database”, historical base map, animation, timeline, Leaflet

Grub Street Project
What: “a digital edition of eighteenth-century London”, “both a real place and an abstract idea”
How: digital edition in TEI linked to map, manual extraction and geoparsing, web mapping, custom interface

Life of Maya Angelou
What: digital storytelling of places important across time for the life of Maya Angelou
How: manual extraction and geoparsing, Odyssey.js, cloud hosting of data, Markdown

Bruce Chatwin’s Utz vs Vichy
What: contrast of two novels by Chatwin and different narratological modes
How: ArcGIS?, fuzzy spaces as dispersion, color, not web mapping (static images)

Interactive Ibn Jubayr
What: a set of interactive exhibits from a class on Ibn Jubayr
How: manual extraction and geoparsing, Omeka, Neatline

Atlantic Networks Project
What: visualizations of data from the “logbooks of the merchant vessels that participated in an Atlantic commodity network”
How: manual extraction of data, ArcGIS, web mapping (ArcGIS), semi-open data

Mapping the Lakes: A Literary GIS
What: an exploration of the places mentioned in Gray’s and Coleridge’s accounts of the Lake District, the emotions expressed in them
How: semi-manual extraction of data, ArcGIS?, not web mapping (static images) and Google Earth kmz download, semi-open data

Visualizing Medieval Places in Time @DJWrisley
What: mention of real places in medieval French literature by date of composition
How: semi-manual extraction of data, cloud hosting of data, third-party hosting of map, custom time slider written in Java

ReNom (Ronsard vs Rabelais)
What: Database, map visualization, people & places (real, mythical, imaginary) of two French authors
How: semi-automatic extraction of data, Drupal, filterable interface, web mapping and text interconnected

Rai’tu Ramallah @Randa_DH
What:  A visualization of the places mentioned in Barghouti’s novel about Palestine, contrasting places visited and not visited (created in Fall 2013 Intro to DH seminar)–other student projects here
How: manual extraction and geoparsing, color, web mapping (Google Maps), open data

Beirut publishes…  @DJWrisley
What: A thick map of the Lebanese publishing industry over the last century (under construction, course project)
How: Manual extraction from archival materials, cloud database, mobile data collection, web scraping of publication metadata, open dataset to be published (GitHub and Zenodo with DOI)

What: Project quantifying and visualizing the Lord of the Rings, map, timelines
How:  Grid built based on Tolkien’s map, image coordinate system, “infographics”, timelines

“Where are you in Beirut?”  @DJWrisley and ENGL 229
What: A response to Mapping a City without Street Names, visualizing crowd conceptions of location in Beirut
How: human-created data by-product of Mapping Language Contact in Beirut, data field in mobile data collection application (Fulcrum), cloud live hookup, web mapping (CartoDB)

“What do you tell the taxi to get where you are in Beirut?”
What: Another response to Mapping a City without Street Names, visualizing crowd conceptions of closest place for public transport mobility
How: human-created data by-product of Mapping Language Contact in Beirut, data field in mobile data collection application (Fulcrum), cloud hookup, web mapping (CartoDB)

3  Discussion