DLA Reading Group 2015-2016

Photo of cover of book titled "Between Humanities and the Digital"The DLA invites all faculty and staff interested in exploring themes and issues related to the digital liberal arts to join the DLA reading group. Led by Alicia Peaker and Jason Mittell, the reading group is an open forum for learning about the plurality of approaches and critically assessing their applications in digital scholarship and projects. The DLA will purchase copies for participants of the newly published anthology Between Humanities and the Digital, from which readings will be selected each month.

In order to establish a community and ongoing conversation, we ask that you commit to regularly attending the reading group for the academic year. If you are unable to attend regularly, the Behind the Scenes luncheons are an excellent “drop-in” alternative and opportunity to learn about and discuss digital work on campus.


To apply to the reading group, please fill out this three question form, which should take you 2-5 minutes.


The DLA Reading Group will meet once a month, on Fridays from 1:30 – 3:00 P.M., likely at Alicia’s house, which is walking distance from campus. On Fridays with scheduled all faculty meetings we will end at 2:30 P.M. Coffee, tea, and light refreshments will be offered. If you anticipate needing any type of accommodation or have questions about the physical access provided, please email the DLA.


Oct 2nd

November 6th

December 4th

March 11th

April 8th

May 17th (reading day)

Summer Training Opportunities

There are a number of national and international workshops and intensive training opportunities in the digital humanities and digital liberal arts that run during the summer. Please see below for more information about some of the most popular events. This is by no means an exhaustive list. Many of the summer institutes may be full or no longer accepting applications, but this list may help you plan for future summers as well.

Middlebury faculty and staff can apply to the DLA for funding to attend these professional development opportunities. The DLA considers requests for funding under $3000 on a near-weekly basis. For more information, click here or select the funding tab above.

THATCamp (The Humanities and Technology Camp) (various dates) Many locations across the U.S. & Europe

THATCamps are open, inexpensive meetings where humanists and technologists of all skill levels learn and build together in sessions proposed on the spot. They are collaborative, informal, spontaneous and meant to encourage making connections across disciplines, ranks, and technologies.

DHSI@Dal (4-15 May, 2014) Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada

Dalhousie is hosting a two-week summer institute to provide training in the digital humanities relevant to research and teaching for graduate students, faculty and others, from Dalhousie or elsewhere. All are welcome. The offerings this year at the DHSI@Dal (Atlantic) draw on the well-established DHSI at the University of Victoria.

DH@Guelph (19-22 May, 2015) Guelph University, Guelph, Ontario, Canada

They are currently offer three four-day workshops as part of the Digital Humanities Summer Institute training network. Registration deadline is April 20th, after which additional fees will be charged.

The Digital Humanities Summer Institute (DHSI) (June 6-10 + 13-17, 2016) University of Victoria, British Columbia, Canada

Described by one participant as an event that “combines the best aspects of a skills workshop, international conference, and summer camp,” the DHSI prides itself on its friendly, informal, and collegial atmosphere. This year, they’re running two weeks of different courses. Classes fill very quickly, and this is probably the most popular and largest DH series of workshops in the world. Middlebury participants receive a discount through our membership in the Digital Library Federation. Email the dla[at]midd for more details.

HILT (Humanities Intensive Learning & Teaching) (27-31 July 2015) Indiana University – Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI), Indianapolis, Indiana, USA

HILT is offering 10 courses this summer, from crowdsourcing to digital storytelling, designed for novices and those interested in gaining a foundation in digital practices and skills. It is generally less expensive than DHSI to attend and also (like DHSI) has wonderful and experienced instructors.

DH@Leipzig (28 July – 7 August 2015) Universität Leipzig, Leipzig, Germany

The European Summer University offers a range of workshops on important areas of Digital Humanities and Language Resources. All workshops run in parallel through the 11 days. Each workshop consists of a total of 16 sessions or 32 teaching hours. Registration is closed for 2015. Dates announced for 2016.

Digital Pedagogy Lab (10-14 August 2015) University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, Wisconsin, US

Digital Pedagogy Lab is a five-day practical institute that explores the role and application of digital technology in teaching. The institute will have three tracks, providing hands-on practice with and discussion of networked learning, digital identity, new media, and critical digital pedagogy.


Digital Discoveries: Progress Reports by DLA Faculty Fellows Hang Du and Louisa Stein

May 11th, 2015, 3:00 P.M – 4:30 P.M.
LIB 201

Hang Du and her RA Aaron Kano-Bower and Louisa Stein (FMC) and her two RAs, Annie Wymard (not pictured) and Dennise De La Cruz shared their works-in-progress during a DLA Brown Bag Lunch last December.
Hang Du (Chinese) and her RA Aaron Kano-Bower and Louisa Stein (FMC) and her two RAs, Annie Wymard (not pictured) and Dennise De La Cruz shared their works-in-progress during a DLA Brown Bag Lunch last December.

Please join us in celebrating the work of the DLA’s first cohort of faculty fellows Hang Du (Chinese) and Louisa Stein (FMC). Professors Du and Stein will share the results of their fellowship and discuss the ways that digital methods and tools have informed and shaped their research.

“Analyzing Learner Speech with a Computer: Digital Approaches to Second Language Acquisition Research”

In this talk Hang Du will briefly explain what corpus linguistics is, share her experience building learner corpora based on her study abroad research, present some preliminary findings of the analyses of the data, and argue for the usefulness of this research paradigm.

“Curating Transformative Culture.”

In this talk, Louisa Stein will discuss her use of Scalar to create an evolving digital book that maps out the creative range of transformative culture online, including remix video, vlog style literary adaptations, fashion and cosplay, and online crafting.

Refreshments will be served. Please RSVP below.

A recording of the event is available below:


Beyond Excel: A Brief Introduction to Data Analysis

April 7th, 2015, 12:00 P.M – 1:20 P.M.
Lunch provided
CTLR Lounge

Word cloud of keywords related to "data"
Photo by Flickr user CyperHades, used under Creative Commons Licensing.

As data analysis plays an increasingly large role in the humanities and disciplines across academia, there has been a corresponding proliferation of tools for data manipulation and visualization. In this demonstration, Matt Landis will introduce the most popular computer language for data analysis: R, as well as the software and resources needed to use it effectively for your own research. No prior experience with data analysis or coding is necessary, and novices and faculty interested in learning more about data are encouraged to attend.

Matthew Landis is a Visiting Scholar at Middlebury College and a Research Scientist at ISciences, LLC in Burlington, Vermont where he works on a variety of issues at the interface of environment and society.  He has been using R daily for more than 10 years.

Lunch will be served beginning at 12 pm with the demonstration beginning at 12:15. Please RSVP using the sign-up sheet below.

You can access slides from the workshop here.

Current Sign-up Sheets

Title Date Open Spots  
Digital History as Team Sport: Applying Design Thinking to the Study of the Past N/A 0

“Head-and-Shoulder Hunting in the Americas: Exploring Lobotomy’s Visual Culture”

a public lecture by Miriam Posner

April 15th, 2015, 4:30 P.M – 6:00 P.M.
103 Hillcrest

Drawing of hand preforming lobotomy

Walter Freeman, the world’s foremost proponent and practitioner of lobotomy, was also an obsessive photographer. He almost invariably took photos of his patients before and after surgery, often tracking them down years after the operation to capture their images. These cross-country trips to photograph patients, which Freeman called head-and-shoulder hunting expeditions, consumed the physician during the last years of his career.

What do we do with an archive like this? Its contents can tell us volumes about the medical epistemology that made lobotomy thinkable. But how can we avoid replicating Freeman’s own rhetorical moves, in which the photographs were mobilized as evidence during scientific presentations?

During this talk, Posner will describe the visual rhetoric that defined the scientific moment from which lobotomy emerged, and demonstrate some digital methods for placing them in context. Against the background of this history, Posner asks, what is the contemporary digital scholar’s responsibility for working with, writing about, and displaying images of human beings in distress?

Miriam Posner is Coordinator and Core Faculty Member of the Digital Humanities program at the University of California, Los Angeles.

How Did They Make That? Reverse Engineering Digital Projects

a presentation by Miriam Posner

April 15th, 2015, 12:00 P.M – 1:20 P.M.
CTLR Lounge

Photo of a Wrench
Photo by Flickr user Kate Ter Haar, used under Creative Commons licensing.

The catch-all term “digital project” can refer to a daunting array of technologies and methods. For a newcomer (or even an experienced practitioner), it can be hard to know where to start. In this presentation, we’ll examine a range of digital projects to get a handle on what’s out there. Then I’ll share some simple principles for figuring out the sources and technologies that constitute a “project.” You can use these principles to model your own project, or just to understand and evaluate someone else’s.

Miriam Posner is Coordinator and Core Faculty Member of the Digital Humanities program at the University of California, Los Angeles. 

This demonstration is open to the entire Middlebury community. All are welcome!

Lunch will be provided beginning at 12 pm, with the presentation to follow at 12:15. Please RSVP by signing up below.

Current Sign-up Sheets

Title Date Open Spots  
Digital History as Team Sport: Applying Design Thinking to the Study of the Past N/A 0

Introduction to Video Editing Workshop

April 24th, 1:30-3:00 P.M.
Wilson Media Lab

Photo of video editing software on computer screen
Photo by Flickr user WCN 24/7, used under Creative Commons licensing.

In this workshop we’ll be working with Adobe Premiere Pro editing software to introduce the basics of narrative and non-fiction editing. Instruction will be focused on beginning to intermediate editors, but all skill levels are welcome. For the first hour we will work toward an assembly edit of an interview for a non-fiction film and a rough cut of a scene from a narrative short film (media will be provided). Editing concepts and software features will be introduced and explained as they are encountered during the editing process.

Each participant will have their own workstation and can actively follow along throughout the process. During the last half hour of the workshop participants can choose one of the sequences (narrative or non-narrative) and can continue putting some polish on them while I assist and answer questions.

This workshop will be led by Ethan Murphy, Media Production Specialist with assistance from Matt Lennon, DLA Arts Technology Assistant.

Sign up below to reserve your spot.

Current Sign-up Sheets

Title Date Open Spots  
Digital History as Team Sport: Applying Design Thinking to the Study of the Past N/A 0

Building Digital Exhibits with Omeka

March 3rd, 2015, 4:30-5:30 P.M.
Wilson Media Lab (DFL 220)

Seeking alternative models for research essays?
Looking for ways to engage your students with public audiences?
In need of a digital supplement to your book project? 

With Omeka, you can create beautiful online exhibits of your art, videos, documents, or other collections. Omeka, sometimes referred to as “WordPress for museums,” is a free, flexible, and open source web-publishing platform for the display of library, museum, archives, and scholarly collections and exhibitions. It was created at the Center for History and New Media (CHNM) at George Mason University and is one of the most widely implemented digital humanities tools.

This workshop will introduce you to the basics of planning a digital exhibit and get you started with your own Omeka.net digital exhibit. DLA Post-doc Alicia Peaker will be leading the workshop. She has also worked as the Director of Our Marathon, a digital archive, ​built with Omeka, of crowdsourced materials related to the 2013 Boston bombings.

While enrollment is limited, materials used in the workshop, including the presentation slide deck, can be found at go.middlebury.edu/omeka.

Current Sign-up Sheets

Title Date Open Spots  
Digital History as Team Sport: Applying Design Thinking to the Study of the Past N/A 0


Behind the Scenes – A New Series

Photo of red stage curtains.
Photo by Flickr user rosmary.

Thursdays, 12:30-1:30 P.M.
CTLR Lounge (campus map)

Special Sessions

In spring 2015 the DLA is launching a special series called “Behind the Scenes: Demystifying Project Development in the Digital Liberal Arts” that will run every other week during the Brown Bag Lunches. During these sessions, Middlebury faculty and staff will share stories and tips from their experiences creating digital projects. Here’s a list of the line-up for this spring:

Feb. 19 – Daniel Houghton, (Arts Technology Specialist, DLA), “Collaborative Media Production”
March 5 – Holly Allen (American Studies), “Doing Digital Public History at Middlebury”
March 19 – Anne Knowles (Geography), “Dealing with Data”
April 2 – Christopher Andrews (Computer Science), “Bespoke Visualization”
April 16 – Carrie Anderson (HARC), “Planning and Documenting a Digital Project”
April 30 – Louisa Stein (Film & Media), “Teaching Digital Scholarship and Citizenship”

Stay in the loop for future DLA events by signing up for our mailing list in the right-hand column.


DLA Reading Group: Spring 2015

The DLA will continue to host a bi-monthly faculty reading group to explore themes and issues in the digital liberal arts by discussing peer-reviewed articles, short books, blog posts, digital projects, and websites. This spring, we will examine the complex, contentious landscapes of the digital and spatial humanities. Led by Alicia Peaker and Anne Knowles, the reading group is an open forum for learning about the plurality of approaches and critically assessing their applications in digital projects.

Faculty are welcome whenever they can come. Watch this space for session readings.


We will meet every other Friday from 1:30 – 3: 00 P.M. at Alicia’s house (email dla@middlebury.edu for address). Coffee, tea, and light refreshments will be offered.

February 27th – The Spatial Humanities

March 6th – no meeting

March 20th – Databases

(please note, this meeting has a different location. Please email Anne Knowles for address and directions)

April 3rd – Data & Metadata

May 1st  – Data Visualization

May 12th – Creative Commons, Fair Use & Digital Projects

3D Printing Workshop

February 24, 12:30-1:45 P.M.
Johnson Design Lab (campus map)

Photo of Makerbot Industries Replicator 2 3D Printer
Image by Flickr Commons user Creative Tools.

What is 3D Printing and why are so many people thrilled by the possibilities of this new technology? Come find out at a friendly, low-tech introduction to the tool. See the 3D printer in action. Get inspired by examples of what other people have done with the tool. Bring a couple of ideas for your upcoming projects and we’ll brainstorm ways that 3D printing technology can enrich your project goals.

This workshop will be led by Daniel Houghton, the DLA Arts Technology Specialist.

Current Sign-up Sheets

Title Date Open Spots  
Digital History as Team Sport: Applying Design Thinking to the Study of the Past N/A 0

Crafting Digital Narratives with Scalar

January 21, 2:45 – 4:15 P.M.
Wilson Media Lab (220 Davis Family Library)

Screen shot of Scalar book project

From non-linear storytelling to rich, scholarly annotations, this workshop will encourage new ways of thinking about writing in digital environments. Using a web application called Scalar, you will begin to craft a media-rich digital narrative. Scalar is a free, open source authoring and publishing platform that’s designed to make it easy for authors to assemble media from multiple sources and juxtapose them with their own writing in a variety of ways. No technical expertise required.

This workshop is currently full. Please contact Alicia Peaker for a schedule of upcoming workshops or to set up a consultation.

You can view the slides for this workshop here.

Sample Scalar projects referenced in the workshop:


Building Digital Exhibits with Omeka

January 14, 2015, 2:45-4:15 P.M. &
January 27, 2015, 2:45-4:15 P.M.
Wilson Media Lab (DFL 220)

DLA Post-doc Alicia Peaker will be leading two introductory workshops to Omeka, an open-source, web-based platform for building digital exhibits. The workshop is part of the Winter Term Digital Media Boot Camp. While enrollment is limited, materials used in the workshop, including the presentation slide deck, can be found at go.middlebury.edu/omeka.


Meet the Fellows Special Brown Bag Lunch

Photo of Hang Du presenting her research

On Thursday, December 4th, the DLA hosted a special brown bag lunch session featuring presentations by current DLA faculty fellows. Professors Hang Du (Faculty Fellow 2014-2015) and Louisa Stein (Faculty Fellow 2014) and their student research assistants shared the challenges and serendipitous discoveries of working with new digital technologies.

In her research, Du uses methods from corpus and computational linguistics to assess Chinese language learners’ uses of the “bah” construction. Aaron Kano-Bower (’15), a Computer Science major and Chinese minor, wrote several programs in close collaboration with Du to organize and standardize her large collection of transcribed interviews with Chinese language learners. Du is currently in the process of analyzing and comparing this corpus to other available corpora of spoken Chinese.

Stein is currently using Scalar, an online publishing platform, to compose a book on the transformative media produced by members of fan cultures. Her research assistants Denisse De La Cruz (’17) and Annie Wymard (’15) discussed the digital exhibits they have created using Scalar. While each student has focused on different areas of media and fan culture, they have contributed both to the form and content of Stein’s larger Scalar book.

[Photos by Matt Lennon (’13), DLA Arts Tech Assistant]

Academic Roundtable: Rethinking the Digital Experience and the Terms of Digital Engagement

December 9, 2014, 12:15 P.M.
CTLR Lounge

This special edition of the Academic Roundtable,“Rethinking the Digital Experience and the Terms of Digital Engagement,” will feature Will Thomas, Chair of the Department of History at the University of Nebraska and Faculty Fellow of the Center for Digital Research in the Humanities and the John and Catherine Angle Chair in the Humanities.

Among the questions to be explored are: How do we structure our classrooms and pedagogies around the open web, how do we work at smaller scales, how do we develop a more community-based (reciprocal) approach to the digital for our students?

Lunch will be served (and will be available at noon). Please RSVP to dbernier@middlebury.edu by noon, Friday, December 5.

The Academic Roundtable Series is co-sponsored by the Center for Teaching, Learning & Research and the Library.