A blog about the Master Programme in Digital Humanities at Uppsala University

Category: Okategoriserade (Page 2 of 4)

Topic Modeling Workshop with KBLab

National Library of Sweden is organizing a great event on Topic Modeling Workshop. You are warmly welcome!

See detailed information on their webpage and also forwarded as below:

What is topic modeling and how does it work in practice? How do the choices that we make in building such models affect the eventual output? And why is interpretation key to making sense of the results?

Kollage av SOU och dagstidningar.

Over the past decade, topic modeling has become an established method for researchers working with large volumes of data in the social sciences and humanities. Yet despite its proliferation, the approach remains more often feared than practiced – and more often flirted with than well understood.

This workshop at KBLab offers a practically-orientated introduction to the methodology of topic modeling. The first session gives a hands-on tour of making topic models within the widely-used program, R; while the second session explores the process of interpreting such models. Through practical exposure to the mechanics of topic modeling, we provide participants with the skills – and the curiosity – to consider using this approach in their own research projects.

How to participate?

The workshop will be held online via Zoom, in English, and is entirely free of charge. We welcome participants from across the spectrum of the digital social sciences and humanities, and no prior experience of programming is necessary. While open to all, including researchers and Masters students, space will be prioritized for PhD candidates.

Places are limited, so please get in touch if you are interested in taking part!

Workshop with KBlab

Where: Zoom
When: Session 1: Tuesday 9th November, 09.00 – 14.00 (with breaks).
Session 2: Wednesday 10th November, 1 hour discussion groups between 13.00 – 16.00.
How to apply: Send an e-mail to kblabb@kb.se by Friday 29th October.

About KBLab

KBLab is a national infrastructure for data-driven research at the National Library of Sweden (KB). Beyond supporting large-scale analysis of KB’s collections by pioneering research projects in the humanities and social science, we also use the library’s vast data resources to train and release open-source language models that are being used by a wide variety of actors in the public sector and beyond. Read more about KBLab here.

Please contact us if you have any questions about the workshop, or about our work at the lab in general.

Interesting seminars at the deparment and faculty – join!

Teaching Digital Methods in the Humanities and Social Sciences at Center for Digital Humanities Uppsala (CDHU)

Their webpage: https://www.abm.uu.se/cdhu-eng/events-en/event-en/eventdetail-en/?eventId=62720

  • Date: 22 September, 14:15–16:00
  • Location: Zoom
  • Lecturer: Johan Jarlbrink, Fredrik Norén, Thomas Nygren, Kristen Schuster
  • Organiser: CDHU
  • Last day of registration: 9/21/2021 at. 2:00 PM.
  • Contact person: Karl Berglund
  • Sign up for this event
  • Seminarium

Research in the humanities and social sciences are increasingly incorporating digital methods, but integrating such elements in teaching at the BA and MA levels is not always easy. Do all students need to learn some basic statistics? What about technical and more hands-on skills? Are digital methods to be seen as a special branch, to be taught in e.g. the digital humanities? And are there innovative (digital) ways to teach digital methods? This seminar gathers four scholars from different backgrounds to engage in these and related questions.

Presentation 1: Kristen Schuster: “Bridging Research and Practice with Methods and Methodologies”

Presentation 2: Fredrik Norén & Johan Jarlbrink: “Editing a Textbook on Digital Methods”

Presentation 3: Thomas Nygren: “Games for Change: Working (and Playing) with the Public to Collect and Analyze Text”

Kristen Schuster is lecturer in digital curation in the Department of Digital Humanities at King’s College London. One of her core areas of teaching focuses on developing sustainable interdisciplinary research methods.

Fredrik Norén is PhD in media and communication and a senior research assistant at Humlab – the digital humanities center at Umeå University – with a special focus on digital text analysis.

Johan Jarlbrink is associate professor at the Department of Culture and Media Studies, Umeå University, where he is also the director of studies.

Thomas Nygren is associate professor of history and education and senior lecturer at the Department of Education, Uppsala University.

The seminar will be held digitally in Zoom and is open to everyone interested. You do, however, need to register before the event.

Interdisciplinary possibilities, practices and challenges – an exploratory seminar series at Centre for Integrated Research on Culture and Society (CIRCUS)

Their webpage: https://www.humsam.uu.se/circus/evenemang/interdisciplinary-possibilities/


The aim of the seminar series is to expand our collaborative understanding of different aspects of performing interdisciplinary research. The series is meant to be a collectively maintained venue for discussing the practices, challenges, and opportunities with cross-disciplinary research endeavours.


The series has several running themes where you can choose to follow all of the seminars or follow a theme of your choice.

  • Practices and skills: seminars designed to discuss various skill-sets and practices specific to working in interdisciplinary contexts. Topics include collaborative writing, seminar cultures, publishing strategies, developing research ideas and grant applications etc.
  • Career: seminaries designed for early-career researchers who are already working across disciplines or who are interested in initiating interdisciplinary research. Topics include careers paths, challenges in switching disciplines, professional identity and self-imagery etc.
  • Leadership: seminars designed for principal investigators, project leaders and participants in interdisciplinary collaborative projects. Topics include challenges and practices in leading a cross-disciplinary research group, designing and developing group cohesion etc.

Seminars Autumn 2021 at CIRCUS

Welcome to CIRCUS’ seminar series on interdisciplinary possibilities, practices and challenges. We are planning to host the first seminar of the semester on Zoom. The link to the Zoom room will be sent to registered participants. The second seminar in November will be held at the Old Observatory, restrictions permitted. That means that we will have a limited number of seats. More information on how to register will follow in September.

September 28, 13:15-15:00: Leadership – Lessons from Editing Cross-Disciplinary Scholarly Collections (in English)
This seminar centres on the practice of putting together edited collections that bring together scholars from a few or several different disciplines. The edited collection is sometimes being frowned upon in terms of merits. Yet, the collaborative practice of making a cross-disciplinary edited volume can provide many valuable results and lessons. It can be important for fostering new and inspiring conversations and research trajectories. Moreover, the editorial crafting of something concrete and held together like an edited volume provides ample valuable lessons for leading other inter- or multi- disciplinary scholarly endeavours. The seminar will thus provide several insights into the editorial craft and why it may be something worthwhile to try for your own development as well as for broader scholarly benefits. We will also look at how lessons learned from such practices can be valuable when being in other cross-disciplinary situations.

November 26, 13:15-15:00: Career – Academic Housekeeping and its Effect on Interdisciplinary Early-Career Development (in English).
This seminar deals with the theme of academic housekeeping, that is, important but ‘menial’ tasks that keep a research environment strong but that are not necessarily credited as formal academic merits. Examples include reading manuscripts for colleagues, organising social events, emotional mentoring of peers, and taking part in committees on equality and work environment issues. Taking the time to perform academic housework can have negative effects on a person’s career advancement in academic cultures of ‘publish or perish’ where only certain valuable contributions are counted. If you work in an interdisciplinary research setting the issue of uncounted valuable contributions might be further alleviated given the time and effort required to negotiate and administer cross-cutting collaborations. In this seminar, we discuss who performs academic housekeeping in our research environments with a focus on its effect on early-career development and in particular if or how interdisciplinary oriented scholars are particularly affected. We will look at current research on the allocation of academic housekeeping and discuss ways to increase solidarity between staff and how to turn academic housekeeping into visible labour.

Please join and share!

A new term has started!

Welcome everyone!

We started the autumn term about a month ago and it was nice seeing all of you. Special welcome to our first year students at the program of Digital Humanities. It is also great that the second year students have already charged new energy and some have started planning the thesis project. It feels nice to be at site in Uppsala and to meet in person. Wish everyone of us will have a fruitful autumn term 2022!

Deadline Approaching Fast

This week is the final week to apply to the program for those of you from outside of Sweden! Friday the 15th is the last day to apply and the last day to rank your courses if you want to study on the masters level in Sweden.

To apply to the program you need to meet these requirements

Academic requirements
A Bachelor’s degree, equivalent to a Swedish Kandidatexamen, from an internationally recognised university. The main field of study must be within the humanities or the social sciences.

Language requirements
All applicants need to verify English language proficiency that corresponds to English studies at upper secondary (high school) level in Sweden (“English 6”). This can be done in a number of ways, including through an internationally recognised test such as TOEFL or IELTS, or through previous upper secondary (high school) or university studies.

The minimum test scores are:

  • IELTS: an overall mark of 6.5 and no section below 5.5
  • TOEFL: Paper-based: Score of 4.5 (scale 1–6) in written test and a total score of 575. Internet-based: Score of 20 (scale 0–30) in written test and a total score of 90
  • Cambridge: CAE, CPE

Selection process:

Students are selected based on a statement of purpose and a summary of a previous thesis or other academic text. Please upload the statement of purpose and the summary in a single document (as your programme-specific document) together with your application to the programme. The text should not exceed 800 words.

Tuition fee-paying students and non-paying students are admitted on the same grounds but in different selection groups.

So what are you waiting for?

Apply to the Master program in Digital Humanities at Uppsala University today through this link!

New year and new opportunities

Next week a new academic year for the Masters program in Digital Humanities starts. The first year students at the program start their first course Introduction to Digital Humanities. During the course they will be welcomed by Olle Sköld, who is coordinator for the program.

The first year students will take part in education in a online environment .Image by Bonnie Taylor from Pixabay

The programs first year will initially be held in a digital environment using digital tools, as a way to adapt to the current conditions during the ongoing covid-19-pandemic. This will mean new challenges for learning for both students and teachers, as we can really try to see the potential in a Zoom-based learning environment.

During the first course the 1st year students will learn the foundation of what Digital Humanities are. The course also introduces the digital tools used in humanistic research and the historical development of digital humanities. The contemporary position and characteristics of digital humanities will be studied through significant projects, research and research praxis in the field.

To learn more about the upcoming courses on the program, you can search through the posts on this blog or be on the lookout for new posts over the coming months.

Choices, internships and information science

For the second year students, many whom have been previously introduced on this blog, their third semester offers many opportunities to customize their program after their own interest. Some students have chosen their own elective courses during the spring. With subjects ranging from machine learning to linguistics to english literature, the students have the opportunity to choose their own direction within the masters program in Digital Humanities based on the courses found at Uppsala University.

Others have take a different route and instead chosen to deepen their knowledge in Library- and Information science through courses offered at the Department of ALM. These students will next week start the course Information Management and Information Structures. The purpose of that course is to study information systems and information structures with a point of departure in various theoretical perspectives.

Students will study how knowledge-intensive organisations manage various types of analogue and digital documents and how they manage their internal and external communication. The course will be headed by guest researcher Nadzeya Charapan and researcher Lisa Börjesson.

The students will attend an internship during some point during the third semester of the program. Image by StockSnap from Pixabay

During the third semester the second year students will also do an internship at a work place of their choosing. More information about this will hopefully be published on this blog in the future, when the students are able to share their experience. The ongoing covid-19 pandemic poses new challenges for work places, but we hope our students get a satisfying internship experience under safe conditions.

In-Depth: Information Mediation and User Perspectives in the Digital Era

Last week I got the opportunity to sit down with Ina-Maria Jansson over Zoom, Phd-student and course coordinator for the course Information Mediation and User Perspectives in the Digital Era, that ended a few weeks ago.

Ina-Maria before preparing a lecture during the course

What is your research background and how did you find Digital Humanities as an educational and research subject?

With a background in archival science and collection management I did find the actual step over to digital humanities less of a step and more of a gradual fade of shifting focus from analogue materials and collections to digital ones.  To be honest, I am not sure myself if I actually am a Digital Humanist; more like a humanist interested in the digital conditions of information.

How do you use digital tools or digital methods in your own research?

My main use of digital methods is to find different clever ways to collect and organize my source material. Some examples are different user generated content and metadata from online platforms, like digital photographs, user comments and online forum posts. I harvest material from digital platforms and have used Python to collect textual content. A future goal, besides finishing my thesis, is to level up my Python skills, but also to become more successful in implementing digital analysis methods.

What was for you the most successful or meaningful part of the course?

It is hard to single out a specific part. For me, the most valuable have been to follow the students’ progress throughout the course and learn how their understanding of digital information environments have developed, but also how they have learnt more about what Information Science is and why this field is interesting from a digital humanities perspective. I am still disappointed that the whole course had to take place online so that I never had the chance to meet the students in real life, but I also realize I am not the only university teacher with that feeling this weird spring semester.

From a seminar during the course Photo: Ina-Maria Jansson

What would you say is the core of the course?

I believe that knowledge of the impact of information infrastructures on information accessibility as well as creation, presentation, dissemination and use of information are necessary for a digital humanist. Therefore, I hope the students will take with them a developed understanding of the importance of studying information within the frames of information science. In other words, I want them to gain insight of how putting information in the center of studies can help reveal interesting truths about contemporary society and understand why it looks like it does and why things work as they do.

Read this blog post to learn about a seminar and presentation about critical evaluation of interactive digital platforms that the students had during the course.

In-depth: Digital Cultural Heritage

Last week the course Digital Cultural Heritage ended. I got the opportunity to ask a few questions to the course coordinator Nadzeya Charapan, about the course and her own academic background.

Nadzeya is a guest doctoral student from Vilnius University, Faculty of Communication

What is your research background and how did you find Digital Cultural Heritage as an educational and research subject?

My academic background is in communication and heritage studies. Right now, I’m completing my doctoral research about the nature of visitor-museum encounters and visitor experiences in open-air museums in Sweden, Lithuania, and Belarus. Given the emerging shift towards visitor empowerment in the cultural sector and urge for participation, digital technologies provide enormous affordances for the co-creation of meaningful experiences and enhancement of memory institutions as an important facilitator of social and economic value generation. Embracing digital technologies in cultural heritage enhances the revitalization of cultural heritage by bringing innovation to tradition, enlarging accessibility and fostering new meanings. Drawing on this perspective, the underpinning idea of the course was to introduce students to the fast-developing digital cultural heritage sector and inspire them for further professional development in the domain.

How do you use digital tools or digital methods in your own research? 

Considering my intrinsic research in visitor experience, in my recent research (7th Estonian Digital Humanities Conference (Estonia), link to the abstract), I address the issue of complementarity and the complexity of visitor experience, discussing the relationship between the physical and digital facets of the visitor experience of the cultural heritage site, discovered during the VR and AR entanglements.  

Since most of my previous research is based on participatory observations and qualitative methods, I broadly applied qualitative research methodologies, inviting netnography and online surveys. Hence, I’m familiar with metadata analysis and visualization tools (for example, Palladio, Google Fusion Tables), text mining methods (for example, Voyant), and Phyton.

Nadzeya also emphases that the focus of her course was not instrumental but rather conceptual. In the planning of the first of semester, a more practical focus was placed on the final course called Digital Implementations in Heritage.

A group presentation from some of the students at the end of the course

What would you say was the most successful or meaningful part of the course?

Inspired by the principles of experiential learning, the academic activities of the course combined study visits to museums and cultural heritage sites (Gamla Uppsala Museum, the National Museum, Digital Archive), where students had an opportunity to explore the sites, meet and partake in discussions with the experts from Nordic Countries (for example, Dr. Karin Glasemann from the National Museum (Sweden) and Merete Sanderhoff from the SMK (Denmark)), and also learn about the history and culture of Sweden.  This practice-oriented approach has facilitated further interest in the subject and highlighted the demand in the DH skills and competencies, and introduced potential career avenues.

What would you say is the core of the course?

The core of the course was to frame the understanding of the legal, social and ethical considerations of digital cultural heritage, related to participation, contextualization, open access policies, and intellectual property rights. Despite the ubiquitous role of digitization for humanities, the course introduced a critical perspective on the production, preservation, and dissemination of digital cultural heritage.

The second step of the first semester

The students of the DH-masterprogramme is now done with their first introductory course as they are settling in to the cosier Swedish autumn weather.

Today the second course on the program starts. It’s called Tools and Methods: Critical Encounters and is a practically oriented course coordinated by Matts Lindström. The course introduces and studies a selection of tools and methods used in the digital humanities.

Autumn is coming to Sweden

The course will be include both seminars and lab sessions, where the students will be able to develop a critical and historicising approach to new methods in the humanities.

During the coming weeks of this blog you will be able to get a sneak-peak at one of the Lab sessions and also hear Matts Linström himself speak about the course.

Karl Berglund: Reading From a Distance

Hi, I split my time between being a researcher in literature (currently in the project “From Close Reading to Distant Reading”) and a digital scholarship librarian, where I support researchers who want to deploy digital methods in their research.
My own research has from start been focused on large-scale patterns and systematic studies of (Swedish) literature. My thesis quantitatively mapped the boom in contemporary Swedish crime fiction in the 21st century, both concerning publishing patterns, marketing and literary content. After my dissertation I have moved towards computational approaches to literary analysis.
This makes me an odd bird in my own discipline, where most people are engaged in close readings and qualitative studies of different kinds. But with the rapidly growing digitised (and born-digital) literary text collections, the methodical monoculture is slowly starting to be challenged. The digital methods makes other kinds of patterns visible, new kinds of analysis possible, different kinds of research questions relevant to pose.
My course at the program is dedicated to exactly this: distant readings, to use the influential term coined by Franco Moretti. I will try to show you and critically discuss – both theoretically/conceptually and methodically/practically – how one can engage in computational literary analysis (and also: text mining within the humanities more broadly). The course depart from both readymade software and basic programming, and will cover topics such as pre-processing, concordances, collocations, and topic modeling. The ambition is to provide you with some quite hands-on skills and tools for further explorations in this vivid area of the humanities.
Karl Berglund
Researcher at the Department of Literature
Digital Scholarship Librarian at the University Library
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