Digital Humanities Lab


We welcome partnering with existing interest groups and initiatives on campus.  If you would like to ask us to host a speaker, workshop or other digital humanities related event, please contact Ann Hanlon ( for more information. See Past Events

Fall 2020 (all events are virtual)

October 13-14 | 10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. (two-part workshop)
R for Social Science (Two-part virtual workshop)
led by certified instructors from the Carpentries community.

R is a powerful and free programming language and environment for data analysis, data mining, and visualization. This workshop will use RStudio, a free integrated development environment that you load on your desktop, and that makes programming in R much easier. We will be working with instructors from the Data Carpentries, a community of researchers and instructors with a mission to “provide researchers high-quality, domain-specific traning covering the full lifecycle of data-driven research.” A rough outline of the workshop can be found here:

No prior knowledge or skills with R or RStudio are required to join the workshop. This workshop will be especially helpful for anyone interested in working with textual and spatial data, especially data collected for social science, humanities, and cultural heritage research. Please contact me with any questions.

This workshop is made possible as part of the LGBTQ+ AV Archive Mining Project, part of the Mellon-funded Collections-as-Data: Part to Whole initiative.

Wednesday, October 28 | 3:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.
The Interdisciplinary Dynamics of Machine Learning Design for Libraries, Museums and Archives: the AI4AV Case
Maria Esteva, Research Scientist, and Weijia Xu, Research Scientist, Data Intensive Computing Team, Texas Advanced Computing Center at the University of Texas at Austin
Registration required:

In this presentation Dr. Esteva and Dr. Xu will introduce a research project in which their team uses Machine Learning to predict labels to describe archival audio collections. The case study will be the conduit to explain the project’s design, the methods used, and how its goals align with best practices and values in LAMs. The team works in many projects involving use of computational methods to organize, describe, manage, and preserve digital records and data. From their inception and throughout their development the team identifies, and also discover along the way, the roles, skills, and intersections, that contribute to highlight and accomplish their interdisciplinary nature in the context of digital libraries and archives. In the process, projects are steered, assessed, interpreted, and improved, and build up towards a much needed corpus of experience incorporating computational methods in LAMs practices.

Monday, October 19 | 2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Rescheduled: Monday, November 9 | 2:00 – 3:00 p.m.
Community with a Dash of Hierarchy:
Using Social Tools for Better Student Engagement
Krista-Lee Malone, UW-Madison
Registration Required:

We live in unprecedented times. Our universities, our students, and ourselves were not prepared for this, but that doesn’t mean it has to be less than amazing – despite the laments of many. In this talk I will discuss my use of Twitch, an online streaming service, and Discord, a group communication platform, to conduct my online classes.  Both platforms were originally built for gamers as social spaces, and decidedly not designed for educational purposes. By using the socially constructed architectures of these platforms rather than the perceived rigidity of LMSs such as Canvas, I found students almost immediately displaying productive behaviors I had previously struggled to encourage. Some of the experimental teaching methods I will discuss here began pre-covid, in the winter of 2019, and others arose in response to campuses closing in March 2020. This is an important distinction because many negative (and positive) articles and opinion pieces being published about online teaching since March 2020 have been reactionary to covid-times. While this was of course understandable in the immediate aftermath of the pandemic, it is time to move beyond this stage and look at what benefits and limitations online education really has to offer.

Krista-Lee Malone is an Anthropology PhD and faculty associate for the game design certificate at UW-Madison. She streams weekly from both her teaching channel and her research channel ( Her past research includes anthropological research on MMORPGS and educational games in Taiwan – where she also worked as a cultural consultant and quest designer. Currently, she is researching issues of gender and engagement on her research Twitch channel and educational engagement on her teaching channel.

November 17-18 | 12:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. (two-part workshop)
Library Carpentries (Two-part virtual workshop)
Led by certified instructors from the Carpentries community
Registration required:

Library Carpentry workshops teach data science skills with an eye toward library and information science related tasks, and will be useful to anyone working with messy data and looking for better tools to manage it. The lessons introduce terms, phrases, and concepts in software development and data science, how to best work with data structures, and use regular expressions in finding and matching data.

This workshop series will focus on Introduction to Working with Data/Regular Expressions and OpenRefine, “a power tool for working with messy data.” Specific workshop curriculum for November 17-18 can be found here:

Wednesday, December 2 | 10:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
Mapping Prejudice: Visualizing Structural Racism in the Urban Landscape

  • Anne Bonds, Associate Professor, Geography, UWM
  • Derek Handley, Assistant Professor, English, UWM
  • Kirsten Delegard, Project Director, University of Minnesota Libraries
  • Ryan Mattke, Co-Director and Project Manager, UMN Libraries
  • Kevin Ehrman-Solberg, Digital and Geospatial Director, University of Minnesota

Registration required:

The Mapping Prejudice project is using GIS, optical character recognition, and crowdsourcing to build spatial databases of racial covenants for Minneapolis and other American cities. These covenants were used in the 19th and 20th centuries to prevent people who were not white from owning or occupying property. While now illegal, covenants continue to impact the racial geography of cities across the United States today and undergird many of our contemporary racial disparities. This talk will feature an overview of the methods used to build Mapping Prejudice and how researchers are beginning to use those methods to map and understand the impact of racial covenants in Milwaukee.