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Digital Humanities

Stanford scholars are harnessing the power of new technologies through an array of digital humanities endeavors. Current digital humanities projects are using tools like 3-D mapping, electronic literary analysis, digitization, and advanced visualization techniques in interdisciplinary research that aims to shed new light on humanities research. With online publishing and virtual archives, creators and users experiment and interact with source materials in ways that yield new findings, while also facilitating community building and information sharing. Stanford professors and students organize an array of workshop style forums to foster discussion of digital humanities scholarship. Guest presenters from around the globe regularly contribute to conversations about the techniques, challenges, and outcomes of digital humanities research.

In collaboration with the Stanford Humanities Center, Stanford’s Center for Spatial and Textual Analysis (CESTA) provides the support and technological resources that enable humanities scholars to conduct leading edge research with digital tools. CESTA offers opportunities for fellows and affiliates of the Humanities Center to pursue digital humanities projects, to participate in workshops and training sessions, and to publish the results of their work in our online venues. CESTA’s innovative model of collaborative scholarly practice in the humanities brings together interdisciplinary research teams made of seasoned researchers, graduate students, and postdoctoral scholars. CESTA’s collaborative model enhances the research opportunities available in existing humanities departments by providing qualified professional staff support in an open research space with the necessary software and hardware for research.

CESTA is made up of the following interdisciplinary labs:

 

Humanities + Digital Tools

On May 5, 2015, the Stanford Humanities Center hosted a panel discussion in which Stanford scholars and technical experts discussed how digital tools enable them to push the boundaries of humanities research, from teaching platforms to textual analysis. Likewise, they discussed how the unique qualities of humanities scholarship are pushing the boundaries of digital tools. The event was streamed in a live webcast, which you can view below.

 

ABOUT THE PARTICIPANTS

Caroline Winterer

Caroline Winterer is the director of the Stanford Humanities Center and a researcher with Mapping the Republic of Letters, a collaborative project at Stanford to digitally map some of the major European and American correspondence networks and libraries of the early modern scholarly world. Winterer is Anthony P. Meier Family Professor in the Humanities, as well as Professor of History and (by courtesy) Classics at Stanford. She specializes in the intellectual and cultural history of eighteenth- and nineteenth-century America in its transatlantic contexts.

Zephyr Frank

Zephyr Frank is the founding director of the Center for Spatial and Textual Analysis (CESTA) at Stanford. He is also the principal investigator in Terrain of History, an international collaborative project to digitally map nineteenth-century Rio de Janeiro in order to reconstruct and analyze the social, cultural, and economic spaces of the city. Terrain of History is affiliated with the Spatial History Project at CESTA. Frank is an Associate Professor of History at Stanford and director of the Program on Urban Studies, specializing in Brazilian social and cultural history and the study of wealth and inequality.

Elaine Treharne

Elaine Treharne is principal investigator of Global Currents: Cultures of Literary Networks, 1050-1900, an inter-institutional project for the cross-cultural study of literary networks in a global context through the integration of image-processing with social network analysis. Treharne is the Roberta Bowman Denning Professor of Humanities and Professor of English and (by courtesy) German Studies, as well as the director of Text Technologies at Stanford. The medievalist scholar has published extensively on the material qualities and functions of Early British manuscripts and how studying these texts helps us understand the past and make connections with the present.

Paula Findlen

Paula Findlen is co-founder of Mapping the Republic of Letters, a collaborative project at Stanford to digitally map some of the major European and American correspondence networks and libraries of the early modern scholarly world. Findlen is chair of the Department of History, Ubaldo Pierotti Professor of Italian History, as well as director of the Patrick Suppes Center for the History and Philosophy of Science and Technology at Stanford. Her work centers on the early history of science and medicine.

Karl Grossner

Karl Grossner’s work as a geographer and digital humanities research developer at Stanford includes his role as co-developer of ORBIS, an interactive geospatial network model of the Roman world that reconstructs the duration and financial cost of travel in antiquity. Grossner is also a research developer in Çatalhöyük Living Archive, an experimental web application in its pilot phase representing data from a Neolithic settlement in present-day Turkey. He received a Ph.D. in Geography at University of California, Santa Barbara in 2010, with research interests are in the representation of historical knowledge in computational models of place.

Brian Johnsrud

Brian Johnsrud is co-director and project manager of Lacuna Stories, an interactive online annotation platform where people can research and discuss significant historical events like 9/11 using a wide array of sources and media. Johnsrud is currently completing a Ph.D. in Modern Thought and Literature at Stanford, specializing in U.S. and Middle Eastern cultural relations. He has also received masters degrees in library and media studies (Montana State University), medieval literature (Oxford), and cultural anthropology (Oxford).

Jason Heppler

Jason Heppler’s interest in applying digital tools to historical research has led him to work as a researcher in Geography of the Post. Part of the Spatial History Project at Stanford’s CESTA, the project analyzes the development of the American West through digital mapping of 19th-century U.S. Post Office locations. Heppler is the Academic Technology Specialist in the Department of History at Stanford and worked as a project manager for the William F. Cody Archive at the Center for Digital Research in the Humanities. His digital projects include Framing Red Power: The American Indian Movement, the Trail of Broken Treaties, and the Politics of Media and contributions to the Digital History Project, a clearinghouse for information about digital history. Heppler is completing a Ph.D. in History at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, where his research focuses on the American West and digital history.

 

ABOUT THE PROJECTS

ORBIS

ORBIS is an interactive geospatial network model of the Roman world that reconstructs the duration and financial cost of travel in antiquity.

Mapping the Republic of Letters

Mapping the Republic of Letters is a collaborative project to digitally map some of the major European and American correspondence networks and libraries of the early modern scholarly world.

Çatalhöyük Living Archive

Çatalhöyük Living Archive is an experimental web application representing data from decades of excavation and analysis at a Neolithic settlement in present-day Turkey.

Lacuna Stories

Lacuna Stories is an interactive online annotation platform where people can research and discuss significant historical events like 9/11 using a wide array of sources and media.

Geography of the Post

Geography of the Post is a project that analyzes the development of the American West through digital mapping of 19th-century U.S. Post Office locations.

Text Technologies

Text Technologies is a project that explores the history of the book and evolving text technologies, analyzing manuscript and print forms alongside today’s digital environment.

Enchanting the Desert

Enchanting the Desert is a digital, interactive platform that uses photographic georeferencing to allow viewers to explore a collection of Henry Peabody’s landscape photographs of the Grand Canyon.

Mapping Galileo

Mapping Galileo is a project that uses the surviving correspondence of mathematician and astronomer Galileo Galilei to map his social and intellectual networks.