DRAUGHTS (Digital Research and Understanding in the Guided Humanities Training Symposium)

DRAUGHTS logo DRAUGHTS is a series of 2-hour events for postgraduate students at De Montfort University and its partner institutions in the Midlands Three Cities Consortium: University of Birmingham, Birmingham City University, University of Leicester, Nottingham Trent University and the University of Nottingham.

The events are held on Wednesday afternoons throughout autumn 2017 and spring 2018. They give students the subject-specific digital expertise not available from the generic IT training provided elsewhere in the university. (Students and supervisors can use attendance at DRAUGHTS events as the basis for approved exemptions from the university's generic IT training within their Training Needs Analysis.) Digital expertise in the Humanities cannot properly be acquired in generic classes: it needs to be learnt, practised, and refined using real-world examples of relevant Humanities data, which is what DRAUGHTS provides.


Programme for 2017-18

All events are on Wednesdays at 2.30-4.30pm except where otherwise stated.
(The De Montfort English Research Seminar usually ends at 2pm and its History Research Seminar usually begins at 4.30pm, so DRAUGHTS events normally do not clash with those.) All postgraduate students (taught MA and PhD) are welcome. Free food and drink are provided for all attendees.

Admittance is free but on account of the free food you must register using the 'BOOK YOUR PLACE' link beside each event's description.

BOOK YOUR PLACE
When
Week 3, 18 October 2017, 2.30-4.30pm
Where Gateway House GH4.71
Who Nina Lager Vestberg (Norwegian University of Science and Technology)
What "In the Digital Museum: Photography between Record and Artefact". The ongoing "googlization" of visual and material cultural heritage provides the techno-cultural context of this presentation, which explores the role of photographic images, technologies, and archival cultures in the online mediation of museum objects. Focusing on the pre-eminence of photographic images in the user interface of Digitalt Museum, this presentation discusses both how the resource works as a visual research tool for historians, and what it can reveal to museologists about the practices, preferences and policies of its participating museums.

BOOK YOUR PLACE
When
Week 4, 25 October 2017, 2.30-4.30pm
Where Gateway House GH4.71
Who Kelley Wilder (De Montfort University)
What "Image Formats and Why they Matter". Why do I have to provide a TIFF and what is it anyway? Images come in many formats such as RAW, TIFF, JPEG, PDF and others in a long list. In this session you will be introduced to different image formats, and discuss how they are used (or misused) in research and publication. We will discuss why these image formats matter, and what we can learn from them.

BOOK YOUR PLACE
When
Week 6, 8 November 2017, 2.30-4.30pm
Where Clephan Building CL1.32e
Who Brett Greatley-Hirsch (Leeds University)
What "Measuring Style in Writing". What features distinguish writers from one another, and what insights might be gleaned from analysis of these features? This session will introduce you to the fundamental principles and methods of computational stylistics, an interdisciplinary field that employs statistical and computational methods to identify, quantify, and classify linguistic patterns in texts across various authors, genres, and historical periods.

BOOK YOUR PLACE
When
Week 6, 8 November 2017, 4.30-6.30pm
Where Clephan Building 0.31
Who Paul Brown (De Montfort University)
What "Hands-On Letter-Press Printing, Part One". To enable graduate students to get a feel for how books were made in the hand-press era (from the 15th century to the 20th), this is the first of two sessions in which students will set movable type using the method invented by Johannes Gutenberg, impose their type into pages, and then print from it using the CTS's hand-operated Albion printing press. By the end of this session, you will be experienced in the art of 'compositing': the setting of type for a literary-historical text by hand.

BOOK YOUR PLACE
When
Week 7, 15 November 2017, 2.30-4.30pm
Where Gateway House GH4.71
Who Katharine Short (De Montfort University) and Natalie Hayton (De Montfort University)
What "Archival Classification". Why do archives use long alphanumeric such as 'CLC/B/207/ST08/01/001' for their collections? What can such a string mean and why it is the way we organize knowledge? This session will explore the theories and practice behind archival cataloguing and indexing in the digital age, enabling researchers to become adept at finding the materials they need. Equally, the same techniques can help researchers organize their own material.

BOOK YOUR PLACE
When
Week 7, 15 November 2017, 4.30-6.30pm
Where Clephan Building 0.31
Who Paul Brown (De Montfort University)
What "Hands-On Letter-Press Printing, Part Two". Having set the type we want to print in Part One, now we'll print it on hand-made paper.

BOOK YOUR PLACE
When
Week 8, 22 November 2017, 2.30-4.30pm
Where Gateway House GH4.71
Who Kelley Wilder (De Montfort University)
What "What is Data? Personal Data Management and Future Proofing". Everyone talks about data these days, but what do they mean when they talk about it? For the Arts and Humanities is not so clear how this word applies, but we are nonetheless asked very often to think about "open data". This session will tackle the concept of data for Arts and Humanities in a workshop atmosphere where we will try to make some very woolly concepts clear, and think about ways of future-proofing our research data.

BOOK YOUR PLACE
When
Week 9, 29 November 2017, 2.30-4.30pm
Where Clephan CL1.32e
Who Paul Brown (De Montfort University)
What "Doing Something Useful in Microsoft Excel for Textual Scholarship". A surprising amount of analysis of language can be done using nothing more than a spreadsheet. This session assumes no past experience in creating spreadsheets and offers a gentle introduction to the sorting and filtering of textual data and then--and this is the biggest step anyone ever takes with a spreadsheet--the writing of a formula to do some kind of calculation on the data. The examples will all be based on textual data, and the only maths we will rely on are the basic arithmetic operations that Lewis Carroll's Mock Turtle called "Ambition, Distraction, Uglification, and Derision".

BOOK YOUR PLACE
When
Week 10, 6 December 2017, 2.30-4.30pm
Where Clephan CL1.32e
Who Gabriel Egan (De Montfort University) and Paul Brown (De Montfort University)
What "Humanities Text Markup using eXtensible Markup Language (XML)". Vast amounts of textual data are now available to Humanities scholars and almost all of it is encoded in XML. This introductory session will show you what XML is and why it is the world's preferred markup language. By the end of the session, you will be able to recognize XML encoding, begin to use tools that allow you extract useful information from documents encoded in XML, and know whether you want to put materials that you create into XML encoding.

BOOK YOUR PLACE
When
Week 15, 10 January 2018, 2.30-4.30pm
Where Gateway House GH4.71
Who Jonathan Hope (Strathclyde University)
What "Digital Methods in Language Study". More detail TBC

BOOK YOUR PLACE
When
Week 16, 17 January 2018, 2.30-4.30pm
Where Clephan CL1.32e
Who Gabriel Egan (De Montfort University)
What "Searching For and Counting Things in Texts". A list of the 10 most common nouns appearing in Homer's The Iliad is topped by man, ship, god, and heart in that order; for the complete works of Shakespeare it is lord, man, sir, and love. Computers can so quickly create such lists of words abstracted from literary and historical texts that new kinds of analyses can be undertaken by investigators examining the lists and adapting the software to pursue ever more subtle patterns that emerge when one takes a 'distant' rather than a 'close' approach to reading. By the end of this session you will have a sense of why scholars analyse texts in this way, what new insights it can bring, and how to get started in this kind of work yourself.

BOOK YOUR PLACE
When
Week 17, 24 January 2018, 2.30-4.30pm
Where Clephan CL1.32e
Who Mike Stout (De Montfort University) and Gabriel Egan (De Montfort University)
What "Using Statistics to Avoid Your Own Gaffes and Spot Other People's". Suppose you find in one town's archives the baptism and marriage records for what seems like an unusual name -- can you tell how likely it is that they are for the same person? What if two apparently independent documents share the same apparently unusual linguistic expression -- can it be a coincidence? This session is about how statistics can help us decide what is coincidence and what is historically meaningful. By the end of the session you will be able to avoid fallacious reasoning in your own arguments about historical likelihood and spot it in the work of others. Absolutely no prior ability with mathematics is assumed for this session.

BOOK YOUR PLACE
When
Week 18, 31 January 2018, 2.30-4.30pm
Where Gateway House GH4.71
Who Rebecca Mason (doctoral student, Glasgow University)
What "The History Research Student's Perspective". Students trained in the traditional Humanities techniques for historical research can have a hard time making the transition to new digital techniques. Rebecca Mason will give an account of her own work as a student researching legal records involving early modern Scottish women, and how the data she was collecting from the archive became increasingly difficult to store and make sense of using traditional techniques. Her talk will give a research student's perspective on developing one's own database to answer one's own research questions, without having any background at all in digital techniques.

BOOK YOUR PLACE
When
Week 21, 21 February 2018, 2.30-4.30pm
Where Clephan CL1.32e
Who Paul Brown (De Montfort University) and Gabriel Egan (De Montfort University)
What "Programming for the Humanist, Part One". Sometimes there just isn't an existing bit of software to do what one wants to do with one's research materials, and the best solution is to write a program oneself. This hands-on session and the two that follow it will show that this is no longer an impractical suggestion for the unaided Humanities scholar. Using the easy-to-learn and popular programming language Python, the session will take some common Humanities tasks and show how a few lines of non-frightening Python code can do work that would otherwise take you many hours or even days. By the end of the session, you will know enough Python to tackle some everyday problems in Humanities research.

BOOK YOUR PLACE
When
Week 22, 28 February 2018, 2.30-4.30pm
Where Clephan CL1.32e
Who Paul Brown (De Montfort University) and Gabriel Egan (De Montfort University)
What "Programming for the Humanist, Part Two". We learn a bit more Python and tackle slightly more complex problems. Participants will be encouraged to bring their own 'challenges' to the session to see if we can collectively develop solutions to them.

BOOK YOUR PLACE
When
Week 23, 7 March 2018, 2.30-4.30pm
Where Clephan CL1.32e
Who Paul Brown (De Montfort University) and Gabriel Egan (De Montfort University)
What "Programming for the Humanist, Part Three". Yet more Python and trickier problems. Again, participants will be encouraged to bring their own 'challenges' to the session to see if we can collectively develop solutions to them.

BOOK YOUR PLACE
When
Week 29, 18 April 2018, 2.30-4.30pm
Where Clephan CL1.32e
Who Tim Hitchcock (Sussex University)
What "Working with the Old Bailey Online and the Digital Panopticon". This session will explore the advanced search and statistics functions of the Old Bailey Online to illustrate both the pitfalls and possibilities the site offers. It will also introduce participants to the Digital Panopticon, which allows users to trace the experiences of hundreds of thousands of men and women, who were tried at the Old Bailey, and either imprisoned or transported to Australia.