Humanities Intensive Learning & Teaching (HILT) Institute

Humanities Intensive Learning & Teaching (HILT) Institute
Monday, August 4, 2014 (All day) to Friday, August 8, 2014 (All day)

The Humanities Intensive Learning & Teaching (HILT) will be held August 4-8, 2014 at the Universit of Maryland. HILT will offer courses on:

Project Development
led by Simon Appleford, Clemson University and Jennifer Guiliano, MITH
This course will explore the fundamentals of project planning and design including, but not limited to: formulating appropriate disciplinary questions for digital humanities research, investigating digital humanities tools and resources, structuring your first project, critical path scheduling, understanding roles and responsibilities, risk management, documenting your project work, writing your first grant proposal, budget setting and controls, building the project team, and selecting and implementing project management tools and software. This is an advanced course and, as such, you are expected to have an understanding of the definition of digital humanities. Materials will be covered through lectures, discussions, presentations, and hands-on activities. Participants will get the most of the course if they arrive with at least some sense of a potential digital humanities project that they would like to develop throughout the course.

Introduction to Web Development, Design, and Principles
led by Jeremy Boggs, Scholars’ Lab, and Jeri Wierenga, George Mason University
This course introduces students to best practices and techniques for standards-based, accessible web design and development including, but not limited to: Current trends and issues in web design/development; Responsive design for a variety of platforms and devices; HTML, CSS, and JavaScript; Managing code using the Git version control system. By the end of the course, students will be familiar with steps and skills to conceive, design, develop, and publish a web site. Topics will be covered primarily through hands-on activities, with some supplementary lectures and discussions. By the end of the course, students will have a modest web site published on the Web. Prior experience with web design or development could be useful, but is not required.

Humanities Programming
led by Wayne Graham, Scholars’ Lab, and Brandon Walsh, University of Virginia
This course focuses on introducing participants to humanities programming through the creation and use of the Ruby on Rails web application framework. This course will introduce programming and design concepts, project management and planning, workflow, as well as the design, implementation, and deployment of a web-based application. Technologies covered in this course will include git, HTML, CSS, JavaScript, Ruby, Rails, and relational (and non-relational) data stores. Over the course of the week, we will work through the practical implementation of a developing and deploying a small-scale web application.

Wikipedia for Humanists and Cultural Heritage Professionals
led by Adrianne Wadewitz, Occidental College
In this course, participants will learn not only the basics of how to contribute to Wikipedia but also explore larger issues of what it means for the world’s largest reference work to be crowdsourced. Wikipedia is the encyclopedia “anyone can edit” but not everyone does. Considering that, for example, only about 10% of Wikipedia’s editors are female, we will explore gender dynamics on the site and how this affects its information and power structure. We will think about how the English Wikipedia influences other language Wikipedias, shaping the world’s knowledge from a Western perspective. Finally, we will explore a variety of ways to teach with Wikipedia in the classroom and in cultural institutions, developing assignments and events that teach digital and cultural literacy. Together, we will come to a better understanding of how this important resource shapes our world’s knowledge and do some shaping ourselves.

Games in the Humanities Classroom
led by Anastasia Salter, University of Baltimore
Games can be a great way to add experiential and playful learning to the humanities classroom by integrating learning objectives with game mechanics. We’ll look at three main ways to integrate games into learning objectives: teaching and debriefing existing games, making games for students to play, and building games with your students. Along the way, we’ll discuss what makes an effective learning game and how integrating games can offer a gentle way to learn from failure while offering the opportunity for exploration, collaboration, and the probing of ideas through new lenses. Participants will engage in “critical play” of several examples of humanities board games, text games, and graphical games and learn simple tools for making games in these genres while building simple games. No programming experience is required or assumed.

Large-Scale Text Analysis with R
led by Matt Jockers, University of Nebraska
Text collections such as the Google Books have provided scholars in many fields with convenient access to their materials in digital form, but text analysis at the scale of millions or billions of words still requires the use of tools and methods that may initially seem complex or esoteric to researchers in the humanities. Large-Scale Text Analysis with R will provide a practical introduction to a range of text analysis tools and methods. The course will include units on data extraction, stylistic analysis, authorship attribution, genre detection, gender detection, unsupervised clustering, supervised classification, topic modeling, and sentiment analysis. The main computing environment for the course will be R, “the open source programming language and software environment for statistical computing and graphics.” While no programming experience is required, students should have basic computer skills and be familiar with their computer’s file system and comfortable with the command line. The course will cover best practices in data gathering and preparation, as well as addressing some of the theoretical questions that arise when employing a quantitative methodology for the study of literature. Participants will be given a “sample corpus” to use in class exercises, but some class time will be available for independent work and participants are encouraged to bring their own text corpora and research questions so they may apply their newly learned skills to projects of their own.

Network Analysis and Visualization
led by Elijah Meeks, Stanford University
This course will cover the principles of network analysis and representation with an emphasis on expressing network structures and measures using information visualization. The tool we’ll be using will be Gephi, which is freely available at, with some time spent on learning how to deploy your network visualization in a dynamic or interactive manner on the web using a variety of frameworks. This course will introduce and explain a variety of traditional network statistics, such as various measures of centrality and clustering, and explain the appropriate use of network statistics to various classes of networks. The workshop will consist of lectures followed by discussion and hands-on activities. If participants can bring a sample of their network data, the activities will usually be applicable to all manner of networks, but a variety of sample network datasets will be available to explore different network phenomena. This workshop will cover traditional social networks, geographic networks, dynamic networks, and n-partite networks and will deal with issues of modeling networks, formatting data, and using information visualization best practices in representation of your network.

Born-Digital Forensics
led by Kam Woods, University of North Carolina, and Porter Olsen, MITH
This course will introduce students to the role of digital forensics in the act of preserving, investigating, and curating born-digital culture artifacts. We will explore the technical underpinning and the physical materiality of the digital objects we frequently, in our screen-centric world, mistake as ephemeral. Using open source tools including Linux, The Sleuth Kit, and BitCurator, students will get hands-on training exploring a wide variety of digital media and learning how to look for deleted files, how to search and redact personally identifiable information, and how to produce information-rich metadata about a forensic disk image. In addition to practical skills, students will develop a theoretical understanding of digital storage media–and the forensics disk images produced from them–as objects of study in their own right and the importance of learning to read these objects as richly as we do more traditional texts. There are no essential prerequisite skills for this course; however, a working knowledge of Linux will be a great benefit. Students who have access to their own collection of born-digital materials to work with are encouraged to bring them to the course.

Crowdsourcing Cultural Heritage
led by Ben Brumfield, Independent Developer, and Mia Ridge, Ph.D. Candidate, Department of History, Open University
Successful crowdsourcing projects help organisations connect with audiences who enjoy engaging with their content and tasks, whether transcribing handwritten documents, correcting OCR errors, identifying animals on the Serengeti or folding proteins. Conversely, poorly-designed crowdsourcing projects find it difficult to attract or retain participants. This class will present international case studies of best practice crowdsourcing projects to illustrate the range of tasks that can be crowdsourced, the motivations of participants and the characteristics of well-designed projects. We’ll study crowdsourcing projects from the worlds of citizen science, investigative journalism, genealogy and free culture to look for lessons which might apply to humanities projects. We’ll discuss models for quality control over user-generated projects, explore the cross-overs between traditional in-house volunteer projects internet-enabled crowdsourcing, and look at the numbers behind real-world projects. Finally, the course will give students hands-on experience with several different crowdsourcing platforms for image annotation, manuscript transcription, and OCR correction. Students are encouraged to bring their project ideas and some scanned material for the lab sessions.

Additional courses may be offered. They will be announced via our twitter feed @HILT_MITH. You may change which course you’ve registered for (space permitting) until June 1, 2014.

The cost for attendance is:

regular: $950

student: $500

We are offering a number of discounts:

  • UMD Faculty, staff, and students: please enter the code “UMD” to receive 10% off your registration fee. You must use your UMD email when registering to receive the discount. Returning UMD attendees received a separate discount code via email. Please use that discount code.
  • Returning attendees from DHWI2013: please enter the code “DHWI2013″ to receive 10% off your registration fee.
  • Currently enrolled graduate and undergraduate students: please enter the code “Student” to receive the $500 student rate.
  • Sponsored Student Scholarships are available to full-time enrolled students, early career scholars (graduated within 3 years), and current employees of cultural heritage organizations including galleries, libraries, and museums. You MUST apply for (and be notified that you have received) a scholarship prior to beginning registration. You will be provided with a registration code to complete registration to receive the scholarship discount of $250.

Our keynote speaker will be Tara McPherson, University of Southern California. For more information, visit


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