Digital Humanities Institute – Beirut 2017

DHI-Beirut will take place 10-12 March 2017 in Beirut at the American University of Beirut. Digital humanities training will sit at the center of the event, with a selection of parallel courses on offer, lasting either a half day, one or two full days (approximately 5 hours of instruction per day).   Courses will be offered by a combination of local and consortial instructors as well as invited international guests.

Below are a list of confirmed workshops.  Our selection of workshops was based on a comprehensive needs assessment across our mailing lists.  We hope to see courses that did not get as much response offered in later versions of DHIB. 

Registration will begin soon and will end January 15th.  Priority registration is free and available to all AUB community members and all AMICAL institutions (including local members Hagazian and LAU).  There may be space for others interested in DHIB 2017, but this will be subject to registration availability and there will a nominal fee for attendance.

Long Workshops (10 hours, Friday and Saturday)

1 Introduction to Optical Character Recognition for Arabic (Al Ashkar, Ghannam) – FULL

This workshop address Optical Character Recognition, by which a computer can take a scanned text and turn it into digital text file.  It will address specific problems related to Arabic.

2 Podcasting/Sound Production (Fox)

This workshop will deal with open source environments for the processing and dissemination of digital sound. Tools used might include Audacity, an open source tool for audio editing; SoundCloud, a space to upload and share audio; equipment needed to produce podcasts; producing podcasts for teaching; having students produce podcasts for assessment; identifying podcasts that can augment teaching material.  Outline of the course.

3 Introduction to Omeka (Rahme)

This workshop will provide an introduction to the digital exhibit and archiving environment called Omeka.  It will introduce the idea of metadata & digital item collections.

4 Introduction to Python for Humanists (Aude) – FULL

This workshop is an introduction to programming for data analysis and visualization that requires no previous programming background. It will start by introducing the fundamental concepts of programming. After that, our emphasis will be shifted toward writing programs to analyze data.

5 Building a web-enabled database-driven DH project using Drupal (Dannaoui/Chammas)

Drupal is an open-source content management system.  This course will discuss how its varied functionality can be used to build a collective digital humanities project from scratch.

6 Fundamentals of a Digital Repository Technology Stack

This workshop will explore different modes and platforms for the creation of a digital repository as well as metadata standards. Potential tools to be discussed are Blacklight, Islandora, Dspace, Solr and Fedora.   CANCELLED

Short Workshops (5 hours, Friday or Saturday)

7 Introduction to Plain Text, Markdown and Pandoc (Grallert) – FULL 

This workshop will introduce the idea of writing and publishing workflows based on the principles of accessibility, simplicity, sustainability, and credibility. We will learn how to separate content and form using plain text, a simple syntax for designating different functional units of the texts (markdown and its derivatives), and pandoc in order to convert the plain text files to a multitude of output formats (such as .docx, PDF or a website). The goal is to remove the middlemen—be they technical or entrepreneurial—between authors, readers, and the library-cum-archive and to (re)claim some of the means of (academic) production. After a short introduction of concepts, the course will focus on acquiring practical skills and the set-up of workflows on participants’ computers. Previous knowledge of mark-up languages or the terminal is not required. To speed things up, I recommend that participants install the following software beforehand:

Text editor: you can use the ones included with your OS, but I’d recommend NotePad++ for Windows and Sublime Text for Mac.   Outline of the course.

Mapping for the Digital Humanities (Wrisley) – FULL

This workshop will focus on representing information with visually appealing maps. It discusses the basics of modeling location-based cultural phenomena, visualization in digital mapping environments, particularly low-barrier ones such as Carto. Participants will create datasets, and/or they can bring their own data.  Outline of the course.

Introduction to Digital Editing  (Turska)

This workshop will provide a hands-on introduction to TEI-based encoding and publishing of digital editions. We’ll start with crash course in fundamentals of XML and core TEI elements, then follow up creating an online edition with TEI Publisher and eXist database. Participants are encouraged to bring their own materials, in text form or TEI.

10 Digital Pedagogy in the Regional Context  (Bali/Aboulmagd)

This workshop focuses on issues of hybrid identities & empowerment in digital environments for educators/learners outside of the US/UK and critical approaches to the implementation of educational technology. We will explore challenges,opportunities and complexity of learning online across national and cultural boundaries, sharing and eliciting case studies.

The hands-on component of the workshop will involve exploration of tools and practices that can make digital pedagogy more inclusive, including sensitivity to poor/unstable infrastructure and learner diversity. Participants will be invited to share their own experiences and preferred tools.  We will end the workshop with a collaborative document outlining recommended practices for inclusive networked learning.

11 Game Design (Hawat)

This hands on session will focus on game design and its potential relationship to research in the humanities.  This session will begin by looking at and analyzing some of the most successful independent games and gamification attempts, followed by a small group play session of one of these indie games. This will be followed by a discussion on the experience and theory behind the game and game design in general, before launching into hands on approach to developing an interactive video game (Using Unity or Construct 2, depending on the Operating system, skill level and preference of the people enrolled).


Mini Workshops (2.5 hours, Sunday)

12 Methods of Crowd Transcription (Muehlhaeusler) 

This workshop will introduce From the Page, a platform for collective, asynchronous digital text creation from digitized manuscripts by groups of people. Participants will have the opportunity to try their hands at transcribing text in Arabic or French, to interlink segments of texts, and to add editorial comments. The workshop will provide an opportunity to introduce and talk about other crowdsourced projects, such as the Michigan Islamic Manuscripts project, or the Chester Beatty Islamic Seals Database. CANCELLED

13 Introduction to WikiMedia 

This workshop offers an introduction to the open knowledge sharing communities of WikiMedia and provides hands on with various modes of interaction and authoring in those communities.  CANCELLED

14 A Day in the Life of the Digital Research Project (Hawat, Rahme)

This short session will focus on day to day issues in digital project execution and management.  Potential issues for discussion by members of the Linguistic Landscapes of Beirut project include data wrangling, uncertainty, modeling, decision making, implementation, sustainability.  This digital project launched at AUB is the recipient of an AMICAL small grant for digital scholarship.

15 Textual Analysis with Voyant Tools  (Fayed, Jarkas)

This short session is an introduction to Voyant Tools, a web-based text reading and analysis environment that facilitates reading and interpretive practices for digital humanities students and scholars as well as for the general public. Voyant Tools has recently been translated into Arabic by Jarkas/Wrisley.

16 Introduction to Sketchup (Wrisley)

This short hands on session will introduce the easy-to-use software package Sketchup for the modeling of 3d content.  We will also look in different repositories (Thingiverse, 3duniverse, 3dwarehouse and Yeggi) for the kinds of 3d cultural heritage content is available for the Arab World and discuss ideas for future content creation.

17 Introduction to Timelines (Jarkas)

This short hands-on session will introduce participants to easy-to-use platforms that allow for the creation of timelines.  We will look into applications of such timelines to classroom pedagogy and the development of student critical skills, with relevant examples.  CANCELLED