DHSI 2021 (Institute Lectures)

Every year, we have the pleasure of hosting institute lectures as part of the Digital Humanities Summer Institute. This speaker series, which now takes place both in person and online, provides DHSI registrants with the opportunity to heear from leading researchers and field experts on a variety of subjects relevant to digital humanities.

Invited Institute Lecturers

  • Roopika Risam (Salem State U)
  • David Wrisley (NYU Abu Dhabi)
  • Quinn Dombrowski (Stanford U) & Erica Cavanaugh (U Virginia)
  • Lise Jaillant (Loughborough U)
  • Aaron Mauro (Brock U)
  • Miriam Posner (UCLA)
  • Jessica Otis (George Mason U)
  • Rahul Gairola (Murdoch U)
  • Katherine D. Harris (San José State U), Rebecca Frost Davis (St. Edward’s U), and Matt Gold (CUNY)
  • Elisabeth Burr (U Leipzig)


To view presentations and related materials from this event, please see below.

Please note: the present site does not contain a full archive of DHSI events; some presentations and related materials are not represented here. To learn more about the Institute Lectures, please visit dhsi.org.


For a complete listing of past Conference & Colloquium participants, visit our Course Archive!


Institute Lectures


Miriam Posner (UCLA) What Does “Data” Mean in the Humanities? Chair: Lisa Goddard (U Victoria)

View presentation: https://echo360.ca/media/b348ae43-40cd-4e3c-8c2b-64208f97920d/public


Abstract: Digital humanists have no particular problem talking about data. We use it, trade it, and think about it constantly. Many “traditional” humanists, though, bristle at the notion that their sources constitute “data.” And yet humanists work with evidence, and they speak of proving their claims. So is this just a problem of terminology? I’ll argue in this talk that our data trouble is more substantial than we’ve acknowledged. The term “data” seems alien to the humanities not just because humanists aren’t used to computers, but because it exposes some very real differences in the way humanists and scholars from some other fields conceive of the work they do. In this talk, I’ll outline the specific points of tension between the notion of data and the ways that humanists work with sources, and I’ll explain why I think this epistemological divide actually suggests some incredibly interesting avenues of investigation. Is there a way we can build humanist concerns into the data table? Miriam Posner is an assistant professor at the UCLA School of Information. She’s also a digital humanist with interests in labor, race, feminism, and the history and philosophy of data. As a digital humanist, she is particularly interested in the visualization of large bodies of data from cultural heritage institutions, and the application of digital methods to the analysis of images and video. A film, media, and American studies scholar by training, she frequently writes on the application of digital methods to the humanities.