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Mike Widner's blog

Members of the Center for Interdisciplinary Digital Research central in many Digital Humanities projects

In advance of the upcoming "Humanities + Digital Tools" panel discussion, the Stanford Humanities Center has produced a series of videos that detail the different exciting projects, many of which were created with support from or even led by members of the Stanford University Libraries' Center for Interdisciplinary Digital Research (CIDR). Below, I've embedded the videos that feature support from Academic Technology Specialists and Digital Humanities Research Developers, all core members of CIDR. Rather than list the entire team for each project, I have only highlighted the contributions of the CIDR-affiliated members. Please watch the videos (listed in no particular order) to learn more about all the talented individuals who are working on these exciting projects.

Lacuna Stories features Mike Widner, the Academic Technology Specialist for the Division of Literatures, Cultures, and Languages

On DHThis, a Slashdot for the Digital Humanities

A recently launched site, DHThis, aims to be the Slashdot of the Digital Humanities. I have some reservations about the platform they chose, which I discuss at some length on my blog.

Debating the Methods in Matt Jockers's Macroanalysis

On September 3rd we had our second meeting of the Stanford Digital Humanities Reading Group, in which we discussed Matt Jockers’s new book, Macroanalysis: Digital Methods & Literary History. Because Jockers is a former colleague, a co-founder of Stanford’s Literary Lab, and a friend to several people in the reading group, I went into this meeting anxious that we might all be too happy with his book to sustain ninety minutes of conversation. I was very wrong. Jacqueline Hettel, whose Ph.D. research focused on text analysis of domain-specific language using corpus linguistics, prompted a vigorous debate about the methods Jockers uses in Macroanalysis. Hettel’s primary critique is that the statistical methods behind topic modeling, word frequencies, and other methods that undergird the book’s chapters are heavily dependent upon a set of assumptions common to NLP, Chomsky, and other primarily American approaches to understanding language.

On Digital Humanities and Surveillance

Over at my blog, I just posted a piece about the role digital humanists should play in discussions of government surveillance. Some key questions:

Is there a chilling effect already in place? Are we afraid to speak out against the expanding erosion of privacy? Or are we already so reliant on Google, Facebook, and the other digital oligarchs that we have resigned ourselves to being watched by Big Brother's ever-vigilant eyes?

I won't repost here, so go read it there, if you're interested.

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