You are here

Digital Humanities

The digital humanities at Stanford sit at the crossroads of computer science and the humanities. Since the 1980’s, a wide range of computational tools have enabled humanities scholars to conduct research at a scale once thought impossible. Digital humanities foster collaboration and traverse disciplines and methodological orientations, with projects to digitize archival materials for posterity, to map the exchange and transmission of ideas in history, and to study the evolution of common words over the centuries.

At Stanford, current digital humanities projects implement tools such as 3-D mapping, algorithmic literary analysis, advanced visualization techniques, and digitization of textual corpora in non-Latin languages. Researchers experiment and interact with source materials in ways that yield new findings, while also building community and sharing information. 

Stanford scholars harness new technologies through an array of digital humanities initiatives:

Center for Spatial and Textual Analysis (CESTA)

CESTA is an internationally renowned digital humanities center located in Wallenberg Hall on Stanford’s campus. There, humanities scholars collaborate with qualified professional staff in an open research space that brings together interdisciplinary research teams made up of seasoned researchers, graduate students, and postdoctoral scholars who collaborate on projects with the necessary software and hardware tools. CESTA also offers opportunities for fellows and affiliates of the Stanford Humanities Center to pursue digital humanities projects, to participate in workshops and training sessions, and to publish the results of their work online.

The Center for Interdisciplinary Digital Research (CIDR)

CIDR is a team of humanists and social scientists within Stanford University Libraries who promote digital scholarship by developing new tools and methods and integrating technology and information resources. Their expertise in data discovery, data creation, data management, and analytical tools supports the generation and dissemination of new knowledge. CIDR enables digital research and teaching to encourage and inspire innovative scholarship throughout the University.

The Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics (CCRMA)

CCRMA is a multi-disciplinary facility housed on Stanford’s campus in the Knoll where composers and researchers work together using computer-based technology both as an artistic medium and as a research tool. CCRMA collaborates across such disciplines as music, electrical engineering, computer science, art, and drama. The center offers academic courses, seminars, small interest group meetings, summer workshops, and colloquia. Concerts featuring computer-generated music also occur several times each year.

The Digital Humanities Focal Group (DHFG)

Part of Stanford’s Division of Literatures, Cultures, and Languages (DLCL), DHFG promotes digital research on underrepresented literatures and cultures to counteract the English-language dominance of much work in the field. Through lectures, workshops, curriculum, and the development of digital humanities research projects, DHFG promotes faculty and graduate research in the digital humanities— especially those eligible for grant-funded opportunities. Faculty and graduate students share work in progress, discuss the state of the field, and identify important research that should be shared within the DLCL and related academic communities.