Working Groups

Beyond collaborating on projects, we come together in various other ways that enhance our works-in-progress.

Among our venues for intellectual exchange are our Tuesday lunch seminar series which runs weekly during the quarter, the conferences and seminars we organize and host in our physical space on Stanford campus, and the Digital Humanities Long View lecture series, which we launched during the pandemic together with colleagues at UCL DH and now DH Uppsala.

Some of the topics we discuss crystallize to become the focus of sustained working groups concerning computational methods and humanities research, as in the case of the two workshops listed below.

Critical Data Practices

Faculty Coordinators: Mark Algee-Hewitt, Giovanna Ceserani, and Laura Stokes

Graduate Coordinator: Matt Warner

This workshop explores the unique challenges that face the arts and humanities as we ground data-driven insights in real-world human complexity, and in various social, cultural, and historical contexts. Digitization and computational methods provide new opportunities for understanding the cultural implications of data, its meaning, and its significance to the long history of recorded human experience. We must therefore carefully consider the ways that we derive meaning from data through critical attention to methods and sources. The workshop gives particular attention to what the humanities have to say to data practices in the current moment and urges us to critically examine the issues of representation, equity, accessibility, and discoverability.

Computational and Data Sciences approaches are running against the tensions between the urge to generalize data for the purposes of standardization and prediction, and the need to recognize the significance of the individual and the specific. Recently published work in art history looks to medieval Italy to reveal how measurement itself molds our understanding of truth and accuracy, while work on the long history of all forms of human communication demonstrates from massive datasets how particular events in society, and the effect of one group’s decision-making, can change the course of technological evolution. Stanford, now home to the Institute for Human-centered AI and the Stanford Data Science Institute, as well as the leading Digital Humanities center, CESTA, is uniquely positioned to foster cross-disciplinary conversations on these critical issues.

This workshop is sponsored by the Stanford Humanities Center.


Date Topic presenters
06/02/2022 and 06/03/2022 Critical Data Practices Symposium Full program to follow
05/04/2022 The Spatial Dimension of Data TBA
04/29/2022 In collaboration with the School for Advanced Study: The Problem of Missing Data Chair: Jane Winters (Professor, Digital Humanities) Discussants: Caio Mello (Doctoral Researcher, Digital Humanities), Amara Thornton (Co-Investigator and Research Fellow, Classics), Anna-Maria Sichani (Post-Doctoral Research Associate, Digital Humanities), Naomi Wells (Lecturer, Modern Languages and Digital Humanities)
03/09/2022 Best Practices for Presenting Technical Results Mark Algee-Hewitt (Assistant Professor of English and Digital Humanities), Annie Lamar (PhD Candidate, Classics), Nicole Nomura (PhD Candidate, English)
02/23/2022 Premodern Language Elaine Treharne (Professor of English), Rachel Midura (Assistant Professor of Digital History, Virginia Tech), Mae Velloso-Lyons (PhD Candidate, Comparative Literature), Allyn Waller (PhD Candidate, Classics)
12/01/2021 Data Futures Laura Stokes (Associate Professor of History), Alix Keener (CESTA and Stanford Libraries), Yunxin Li (PhD Candidate, History), and Matt Warner (PhD Candidate, English)
11/10/2021 Outliers: the Unusual and the Regular Alison McQueen (Assistant Professor of Political Science), Giovanna Ceserani (Associate Professor of Classics), Nick Gardner (PhD Candidate, Classics), and Maciej Kurzynski (PhD Candidate, East Asian Languages & Cultures) 
10/20/2021 Data Collection Mark Algee-Hewitt (Assistant Professor of English and Digital Humanities), Leo Barleta (Postdoctoral Fellow in Data Science), Nicole Coleman (Stanford Libraries) and Alex Sherman (PhD Candidate, English)


The Future of the Past: Classics & Technology

Faculty Coordinator: Hans Bork

Graduate Coordinators: Rachel Dubit and Annie Lamar

This workshop series explores cutting-edge scholarship and new methodological approaches at the intersection of Classics and technology. Presenters from a variety of institutions and Classical disciplines will speak on new technologies relevant to the study of archaeology, Latin and Greek literature, reception, and Ancient History. Each event will provide insight into applications of these approaches and technologies in research, pedagogy, and/or related careers beyond the academy. One of the great problems facing Classics today is a persistent issue with accessibility and perceived relevance: as a field that explores niche elements of the ancient past, Classics struggles to attract and retain students who are looking for more immediate applicability in their own lives. Technological advancements are a means of addressing this issue by helping us collect and diffuse information in more accessible ways while also staying current as scholars and teachers. This series will consist of theoretical and practical workshops featuring new and underrepresented speakers who have developed and used these diverse tools and approaches. Our hope is that increasing awareness of the available tools will normalize their use even among more ‘traditional’ Classical scholars.

This workshop is sponsored by the Stanford Humanities Center.

Date Event
03/09/2022 Brett M. Rogers: "Do Luzers Dream of Electric Teaching? Harnessing Digital Humanities for Classical Receptions & Beyond"
02/25/2022 Kevin Fisher: "Steps Toward a Digital Archaeology: New Approaches to Ancient Built Environments"
02/01/2022 Kyle Helms: "Ancient Graffiti, Digital Humanities, and Collaborative Undergraduate Research"
11/01/2021 Laure Thompson: "Magic and its Limits, Computational Categorization and Magical Gems"