Colloquium: Office of Digital Humanities

Date(s) - 11/04/2021
3:00 pm - 4:00 pm


Faculty from the Office of Digital Humanities will present for the Humanities Center’s weekly colloquium on Thursday, November 4th. The presentation will be held at 3:00 PM in room 4010 JFSB.
Title: Wrangle Your Data Before It Wrangles You!
We don’t often think of humanities disciplines as data-driven. But peel back the layers of many articles on literature or language and you’ll find data lurking beneath.
For instance: Professor Nudillos has collected dozens of field recordings of a minority language in a Central American country. Now she’s back on campus and wonders how to make them easily accessible to fellow linguists (not to mention herself.)
Professor Hawthorne has uncovered a possible connection between New England tradesmen and the poetry of Emily Dickinson. He has found a treasure trove of records of commercial transactions between Dickinson’s grandfather and tradesmen in Amherst, Massachusetts, related to the building of her family home. He is convinced that he is onto something, but doesn’t quite know how to organize these records to suss out the secrets hiding there.
The data doctors from the Office of Digital Humanities will discuss ways to take control of your data before it takes control of you. We’ll discuss why a spreadsheet might be your best friend–until it isn’t. How something called “data modeling” can save you time and frustration down the road. And when it might be appropriate to take the leap and create a database. We will talk about ways that ODH can partner with you to help you figure out what data to gather and how to organize it. We will present case studies to help you understand when a database might be helpful.

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