It’s 2018, and we’re getting a facelift

This website has not been maintained in a long time, but plenty has been going on behind the scenes. We’re getting a fresh start this summer, so please check back soon to see what’s going on.

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Scott Kleinman helps develop online search tool Serendip-o-matic

During the week of Sunday July 28 – Saturday August 3, 2013, English Professor Scott Kleinman was part of the One Week | One Tool Team that developed the web application Serendip-o-matic. Unlike conventional search tools, this “serendipity engine” takes in your chosen text—such as an article, song lyrics, or a bibliography—then extracts key terms to deliver similar results from the vast online collections of the Digital Public Library of America, Europeana, Trove Australia, and Flickr Commons. Because Serendip-o-matic asks sources to speak for themselves, users can step back and discover connections they never knew existed.

Inspired by both longstanding and cutting-edge models of rapid community development, One Week | One Tool built on the natural collaborative strengths of the digital humanities community to produce something useful for humanities work. The event, hosted by the Center for History and New Media at George Mason University, with support from the National Endowment for the Humanities, brought together a group of twelve digital humanists to conceive and build a working piece of scholarly software in a mere six days.

Comprising designers and developers as well as scholars, teachers, project managers, outreach specialists, and other non-technical participants, the group conceived a tool, outlined a roadmap, developed and disseminated an initial prototype in under a week. After sixteen-hour days of practical design, development, project management, and outreach, Serendip-o-matic was launched with great fanfare. Video of the launch can be viewed on the One Week | One Tool web site.

Professor Kleinman served on the Design/Development team, working on both the back-end framework and the front-end display. Towards the end of the week, he was fixing bugs, adding new code, and formatting the results simultaneously with other collaborators running around in similar frantic activity. He is proud to have contributed to the development of a tool that will provide the humanities community – and the public – with a new way of accessing the cultural heritage in digital form. He looks forward to continuing to develop Serendip-o-matic in the future.

As one early user put it, “Google is for generating needles; Serendip-o-matic is for generating haystacks.” Try it out. Let your sources surprise you.

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Scott Kleinman Awarded NEH Grant to Expand Access to Rare Early Middle English Texts

English professor Scott Kleinman has received a $200,000 Scholarly Editions and Translations grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities. Kleinman will serve as co-principal investigator with his colleague Dorothy Kim from Vassar College on the Archive of Early Middle English, with NEH funding to be awarded over a three-year period.

The Archive of Early Middle English is an ongoing project for Kleinman, Kim, and collaborators at four other universities. This electronic resource will make available to scholars worldwide the texts of original Early Middle English manuscripts (c. 1100–1350), beginning with three volumes whose restricted status at Oxford University’s Bodleian Library makes them currently inaccessible to the vast majority of researchers. Including some of the earliest extant completely English manuscripts, the volumes they have selected for publication are important both as literature and as a key to understanding the evolution of English and its development into a primary literary language in the Middle Ages.

CSUN’s Center for the Digital Humanities will serve as the final project site.

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Naomi Carrington Awarded Fulbright

4Humanities@CSUN Treasurer Naomi Carrington has been awarded a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship to spend nine months in Rwanda. She will be teaching English reading and writing and ESL while implementing two personal side projects. Her first project is to help Rwandans overcome the after effects of the 1994 genocide by offering English pedagogy enrichment courses for teachers who were trained in or only teach in French. The courses will consist of linguistic study, collaboration, pedagogy, and more. Her second project is to join forces with the One Laptop Per Child project, where she will train teachers, develop lesson plans, and help install software in the less urban areas of Rwanda. Naomi’s Books for Africa project has previously been featured as a 4Humanities Minidoc.

[quicktime width=”320″ height=”180″][/quicktime]

When she returns from Africa, Naomi will begin a PhD program in Rhetoric and Composition at the University of Texas, El Paso.

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DHSoCal Research Slam

DH SoCal Research Slam

On 4 May 2013, CSUN will host the first DHSoCal Research Slam, bringing Digital Humanities scholars from across the Southern California to showcase their work. The Research Slam will take place in the Lakeview Terrace Room of the University Student Union at California State University, Northridge (CSUN).

Parking is available in lots G4 or G3 off of Zelzah Ave. Daily parking permits may be purchased from the information kiosk on Zelzah or from dispensers located in lot G3. We are working to obtain parking permits for speakers, and more information on this–along with other logistics–will become available shortly.

Here is the schedule:

10:00-10:20 Introduction
10:20-10:40 Guided Resource Inquiries: Integrating Archives into Learning and Information Literacy Objectives using Document-Based Questions
Steve Kutay & Ellen Jarosz (CSUN)
10:40-11:00 A Database of Ancient Magic
Jacob Ferrari, Belen Gutierrez, and Miriam Posner (UCLA)
11:00-11:20 Social Media Selves: A Comparison of Interaction Patterns & Emotional Displays on Tumblr and Facebook

Jacob Ferrari & Iman Salehian (UCLA)
11:20-11:40 Exploring the Use of Digital Tools in the Study of Hip-Hop Lyrical Expression
Anthony Ratcliff (CSUN)
11:40-12:00 Affective Networks in Ensemble Character Dramas: Learning from Fans
Alston D’Silva (UC Santa Barbara)
12:00-1:00 Lunch
1:00-2:00 Teaching Digital Humanities
Jana Remy (Chapman University), Liz Losh (UC San Diego), Miriam Posner (UCLA), Jacqueline Wernimont (Scripps College)
2:00-3:00 Poster PresentationsChapman ePortfolios for Promotion & Tenure
Jana Remy (Chapman University)

Lexomics for Text Analysis
Scott Kleinman (CSUN)

Now What? Text Mining Patient Pain Narratives
Adam Swenson (CSUN)

4Humanities Minidocs
Kristin Cornelius and Melissa Filbeck (CSUN)

Digital Service Learning: Connecting Jane Austen Studies and Civic Engagement Online
Stephanie Harper and Danielle Spratt (CSUN)

Making a Face: Gender, Race, and Avatar Technologies
Amanda Phillips (UC Santa Barbara)

3:00-4:00 Breakout SessionsPoster sessions will segue into breakout sessions for those who wish to discuss opportunities for collaboration, engage in hacking, or drink a lot of coffee.
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Harry Potter on 4Humanities@CSUN Minidocs

With the recent purchase of a documentary backpack system, 4Humanities@CSUN has begun producing a series of Minidocs that will help bring exciting work of the Humanities at CSUN and elsewhere to the attention of the public.

The first Minidoc in the series, filmed and edited by Kristin Cornelius, is an account of Professor Ranita Chatterjee’s senior seminar workshop on Harry Potter, which created a cross-generational discussion about the Harry Potter series and similar works between students and children.

We now have a Minidoc gallery available on this site.

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Student Project Showcase

Students at CSUN are engaged in an amazing variety of projects employing digital media in the exploration of the various Humanities disciplines. The Center for the Digital Humanities would like to showcase some examples of this student work. The projects below were submitted by instructors and chosen by the Director of the Center for the Digital Humanities. The First-Year Feature and Undergraduate Showcase were the idea of Kristin Cornelius, President of 4Humanities@CSUN, the local chapter of 4Humanities. They form part of CSUN’s contribution to the outreach efforts of the 4Humanities initiative. (See also the Humanities Showcase on the 4Humanities site.)

First-Year Feature

First-year students at CSUN take writing courses that increasingly ask them to apply their understanding of rhetoric to visual and digital media in creating effective presentations of their research, ideas, and arguments. Featured below are two project blogs from the “stretch” composition course. Both demonstrate the students’ use of their learning about rhetoric to advance the health and well-being of society at large.

The Big Golden Arches Not So Fast, Food
"Eat Fast, Die Young" Project "Not So Fast, Food" Project
(and Jose Segura’s preface)

Undergraduate Showcase

The 2011-2012 academic year featured CSUN’s first-ever senior seminar on the Digital Humanities. We wanted to feature an outstanding project by Tara Ekmekci, Kendra Kohler, and Sinead Coleman, which explored the development of the detective novel using a number of digital methods. Details can be found on Tara Ekmekci’s blog. Scroll up through the blog entries to follow their progress, or go straight to their XtraNormal video encounter between Edgar Allan Poe, Wilkie Collins, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (the latter two played by a Leonardo da Vinci character because XtraNormal’s limitations on free accounts):

Graduate Showcase

Deforming Havelok, written by Kim Lewis, Melissa Palazzo, Jose Escobedo, Melissa Filbeck, and Natasha Deniston applies the cutting-edge technique known as topic modeling to examine the themes and stylistic patterns of the thirteenth-century poem Havelok the Dane.

"Deforming Havelok" Project


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CDH Student Fellow Kristin Cornelius wins Kairos Award

CDH Student Fellow Kristin Cornelius has won the Kairos award for Graduate Students and Adjuncts for Teaching. The $500 award is given by Kairos: A Journal of Rhetoric, Technology, and Pedagogy to graduate students and/or adjuncts in the field of computers and writing based upon service, scholarship, and teaching.

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March 27, 2012 – Day of Digital Humanities

March 27, 2012 is the annual Day of Digital Humanities (now re-named Day of DH). For those of you who don’t know what this is, Day of DH is a collective blogging experiment in which Digital Humanists around the world blog their day’s activities. If you would like to read what digital humanists are doing around the world, you can browse the blogs at Scott Kleinman, the CDH Director, will be blogging at

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“Visualizing The Quixote: A digital humanities archive for teaching and research”

Anyone interested in the creation of digital archives may want to hear Professor Eduardo Urbina of Texas A & M, who will be giving the keynote talk at the Cervantes conference on campus on Saturday, April 21, 2012. Professor Urbina’s title is “Visualizing The Quixote: A digital humanities archive for teaching and research”. The talk will take place in the Whitsett Room, Sierra Hall 451, from 2:00-3:00 pm.

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