Digital Humanities Summer Workshop Funded Additional 5 Years

The Alice Kaplan Institute for the Humanities at Northwestern has recently received funding to continue offering its Digital Humanities Summer Faculty Workshop for an additional five years. Since 2013, the Summer Workshop has brought together faculty, librarians, and technologists for an intensive two-week collaborative experience with the goal of developing new digital humanities pedagogy and research projects with meaningful roles for undergraduate students.

Hosted by Kaplan, and co-organized by the Northwestern University Libraries and the Weinberg College of Arts & Sciences’ Multimedia Learning Center, the workshop provides humanities faculty with the opportunity to learn and grow their technology skills while thinking critically about how the material they teach can be translated to the digital realm.

Commenting on the funding extension, Kaplan’s director Wendy Wall is “thrilled to see the University’s investment in this type of work. Northwestern has lots of ways for technology experts to thrive, but fewer venues like this for people to start from the ground up and really learn the platforms with a specific goal in mind. The workshop provides a vital opportunity for humanities faculty to understand in a hands-on, practical way how to integrate new and emerging technologies into their teaching and research.”  

Projects from the 2016 season are now coming to completion and over the next month we will be running a series of updates with the faculty here on the Digital Learning website. Current projects include:

  • Hitchcock and Beyond by James Hodge uses the films of Alfred Hitchcock, particularly Psycho, to explore film techniques as well as their cultural impact.
  • Chicago Mural Movement by Rebecca Zorach uses student assistance to catalog public art, specifically murals from the Black Arts Movement of the 60s and 70s, around the city of Chicago. An exhibition is planned in April 2017 to display their work in the Block Museum
  • Mapping Indigenous Stories of Chicago by Kelly Wisecup is an undergraduate course and research project about place-based indigenous stories in Chicago in the context of Native American literature and culture.
  • Technologies of Language by Jules Law looks at theories and philosophies of language from the last two centuries to explore the question, "What if language itself is what forms the world?" Another question explored is whether or not a book changes when it is digitized.
  • Prague: City of Cultures, City of Conflict by Martina Kerlova uses the Knight Lab’s Timeline JS to explore a century of ideologies – i.e. the move from mysticism to science and the rise of totalitarianism – through a collection of major 19th and 20th century novels.

Funding for the workshop was initially made possible by a generous grant from the Arthur Vining Davis Foundation awarded to Mary Finn, Weinberg’s Associate Dean for Undergraduate Academic Affairs. When the grant funding expired this past year, a collaborative group across Northwestern stepped in to assure the workshop could continue to benefit humanities faculty and digital scholarship through the 2021 academic year. The current round of funding is being provided by contributions from the Faculty Distance Learning Workgroup through the Office of the Provost, the Weinberg College of Arts & Sciences’ Multimedia Learning Center, the Northwestern University Libraries, and the Alice Kaplan Institute for the Humanities.


2017 Digital Humanities Summer Workshop

August 28 – September 8, 2017

Faculty proposals are now being accepted for the 2017 Summer Workshop. It is open to Professors and Associate Professors; Assistant Professors and Continuing Lecturers (with Chair approval); and Post-doctoral Fellows (first year with chair approval, and with intent to teach in their second year). Participants selected will each receive a $3,000 stipend.

Proposals should relate to a pedagogical or research project in the digital humanities that has meaningful roles for students. Digital humanities is defined broadly as humanities research, teaching and publication that is enabled by digital methods and tools, including, but not limited to digital mapping, digitization and online archives, text analysis, data visualizations, multi-media/modal narrative, and gaming.

Participants may revise an existing course or create a new one in which digital technologies are incorporated into the syllabus, not merely as tools but as means to enable innovative critical thinking in the discipline or interdisciplinary field. To allow adequate development time, course and curricular projects prototyped and scoped during the workshop should anticipate implementation in Spring Quarter, 2018.

Proposals are due April 7, 2017, and should be submitted to Tom Burke, Assistant Director of the Kaplan Institute for the Humanities at

For a full list of the requirements, please visit the Digital Humanities Summer Faculty Workshop website