Increasingly, humanities scholars are turning to data as a key element of both humanities research and teaching: as DH methods become more prevalent and accessible, students and researchers begin to seek out, digitize, or generate data sets such as cartographic data for mapping, unstructured textual data for distant reading and computational processing, or controlled vocabularies for XML/TEI markup.
But it’s not always clear what forms our humanities data can and should take, or how these structures might affect the results of our work. In this session, participants will receive a primer in data formats and uses, including the differences between structured, semi-structured, and unstructured data and the file formats they encompass. We will work together to think critically about the implications of data organization (including for ethics and accessibility) and about how data-driven projects can serve as sites of epistemological critique, pedagogy, and self-reflection in our work and the work of those we teach.
This workshop is meant primarily for humanities instructors or students who are interested in the *idea* of data-driven projects, either as pedagogical tools or components of their own research, but don’t feel they have the basic familiarity with data taxonomies necessary to make informed, intentional decisions. While we won’t linger on any one particular tool or file format (except by popular demand), participants are encouraged to bring a laptop (Chromebooks OK) to explore some data files up close and tinker with structures. Emphasis will be on data drawn from sources pertaining to history and literature, but I’m happy to take requests by email in advance of our meeting!
Laptop computer recommended but not required.