Open/Social/Digital Humanities Pedagogy, Training, and Mentorship

Conference Chairs: Laura Estill (St Francis Xavier U), Constance Crompton (U Ottawa), and Ray Siemens (U Victoria)

All times are in Pacific Time
Presentation recordings for all aligned events are available to registered participants on the DHSI 2023 group on the Canadian HSS Commons.

Monday, June 12, 10:00am–12:00pm




Laura Estill (St Francis Xavier U), Constance Crompton (U Ottawa), and Ray Siemens (U Victoria)



Panel 1: Tools and Design in the Classroom


Chair: Jessica Otis (George Mason U)



Shu Wan (U Buffalo)
“Twining Assignment in History Classroom”

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Abstract: As an emerging open-source tool for developing interactive writings, Twine ( has been widely utilized by literary scholars in their teaching and research. However, this tool is still unfamiliar to digital historians and history teachers. This essay aims to explore its potential to renew the traditional format of writing assignments and its implication for changing the tedious landscape of traditional history teaching in the following three sections.

The first section primarily explores how to integrate Twine into the design of essay assignments in a modern Asian history course, in which students are assigned to write a fictional dialogue between well-known Asian historical figures and them with concern about historical accuracy. The second section of this essay examines students’ performance. Going through the coding quality and historical accuracy in four assignments, this section contends for the use of Twine in enhancing students’ digital humanities literacy and historical research skills. The last section concludes the reflection on the design and deployment of the Twine-based assignment with possible improvements in adding a “”playground”” section into class and requiring students’ augmentation of interactive components into their writing/coding. In the end, the essay argues for the potential of the open-source and mini-computing tool Twine in training students with both coding and writing skills in humanities.



Katrin Fritsche (Friedrich Schiller U Jena)
“Designing sound and music for digital storytelling: Creation and production with digital and AI-based applications as part of project-based Humanities courses”

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Abstract: Digital storytelling has become an integral part of some Digital Humanities curricula in recent years. The ability to tell stories using multimedia and to create them digitally can be an im-portant field of activity for the later work of humanities students – whether they work in a re-search or cultural institution, as a teacher or a freelance Humanities scholar. When creating a story, in addition to interactive and visually appealing elements, auditory elements are essential characteristics. But story creators face some hurdles due to copyright regulations because existing sounds cannot simply be accessed and reused in their stories. AI-based and digital music production programs offer an opportunity to create sound yourself and use it individually – even if you are not a professional in the field of music or music production.

Possible topics for the use of these applications in Humanities courses with learners are presented in the materials to be submitted, before the concrete usability of AI-based sound generators and the GarageBand software, which can be used freely on Apple devices, are demonstrated. Using a screencast, some of the most important features of the applications are discussed and a plan for structuring a possible lesson is shared. These materials are intended to help teachers to get to know the applications and, to serve as a possible blueprint for structuring and embedding them in the classroom.



Fiannuala Morgan (Australia National U)
“An argument for Large Language Models in Programming Pedagogy in the Digital Humanities”

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Abstract: The field of Digital Humanities has long been grappling with challenges related to accessibility and representation, partially due to perceptions and requirements for technical expertise. To address these barriers to entry, various initiatives have been launched to create a more inclusive environment one of which includes the development of no-code tools that support diverse textual analytical methods. None-the-less, these highly specialised tools can obscure outputs and create misinterpretations, as well as frustrate researchers who are unable to modify the operational pipeline. Researchers have stated that the “”use of off-the-shelf tools and algorithms is no longer sustainable”” and that future DH experts must be capable of using and adapting state-of-the-art methodologies and technologies for DH-specific tasks (Kuhn, 2019). And yet it remains unrealistic to expect students to develop programmatic skills while simultaneously pursuing humanities-based research. In this article, I present a highly provisional case for the value of Large Language Models (Github Copilot and ChatGPT) as tools that facilitate the rapid acquisition of basic programming skills. Based on my own personal experience transitioning from a traditional humanities background to Digital Humanities I consider the value of such technologies within the context of their evident legal and ethical concerns and the ramifications that they hold for the discipline itself.

Kuhn, Jonas. “Computational Text Analysis within the Humanities: How to Combine Working Practices from the Contributing Fields?” Language Resources and Evaluation, vol. 53, no. 4, Dec. 2019, pp. 565–602. Springer Link,



Yanyue Yuan (NYU Shanghai)
“Diversifying the Canon of Design Cases: Reflections on how to Document, Share and Curate Students’ Work”

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Abstract: My previous teaching and research experience revealed how instructors tend to rely on existing design cases that they select themselves, which might reinforce the entrenched view that great designs could only be produced by professional designers. This runs counter to the ethos of design thinking, which aims to extend the practice of design and encourage more people to apply designers’ mindset (e.g. iterative thinking, and rapid prototyping building) to solving problems that one identifies in their daily lives or for the targeted group of users that one care about.

While crowdsourcing design cases has been implicit in my course design since a few years ago, I was challenged to further explore how I can better engage students in in-class discussions and assignments when switching to online teaching. In this presentation, I will share some of the tools and methods that I tried in my Design Thinking course, from pragmatic usage of online whiteboards (jamboard, and google site) at the very beginning to how my reflective practice of my teaching led me to think about the value of these students’ selection of design cases. I will share some of my initial thoughts how this ongoing effort of crowdsourcing design cases from students can serve different purposes: as documentation of students’ work for review and reflection within the course frame, as an open-access resource to be shared to a wider audience, and as educational and research practise to curate the sources for further categorization, analysis, interpretation, and critique.



Panel 2: The Search for Founding Black Mothers


Chair: Gretchen Rudham (Morgan State U)

Presentation and Discussion Participants:

Gretchen Rudham (Morgan State U)

Candice Logan-Washington (Morgan State U)

Kendrick Kenney II (Notre Dame of Maryland U)

Cortnie Belser (CUNY Graduate Center)

Victoria Moten (Morgan State U)

Nicholas Kennedy (Solvang, CA)

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Abstract: The Search for Founding Black Mothers is a Digital Humanities (DH) project that was born as an NEH Summer Institute held at Morgan State University, and continues to grow into a documentary film. The Search is a reclamation project for the erased and omitted stories of Founding Black Mothers. The project aims to tell the fuller narratives of Founding Black Mothers, while navigating and naming erasure, misrecognition, disfigurement, dismissal, and decoys. The Search is a pedagogical tool and an approach to embedding Digital Humanities in K-12 classrooms. Educators will speak to the process of learning and joining The Search and implementing The Search in their classrooms. Topics covered will include individual experiences with DH pedagogy, trans-disciplinary structure of the journey, as well as strategies for planning, implementation, and assessment. Curricular projects and resources will be shared, along with lessons learned and implications for approaching DH as reclamation.

Project Directors Dr. Gretchen Rudham and Dr. Candice Logan-Washington from Morgan State University
Kendrick Kenney II, Assistant Dean of the School of Arts, Sciences, and Business at Notre Dame of Maryland University
Select educators from the NEH Summer Institute





Panel 3: People


Chair: John Maxwell (Simon Fraser U)

Sarah Whitcomb Laiola and Anna Mukamal (Coastal Carolina U)
“Critical-Making Focused Undergraduate Digital Humanities Programming: The Case of “Digital Culture and Design” at Coastal Carolina University”

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Abstract: Forthcoming



Katherine Knowles (Michigan State U)
“From Student to Teacher: Learning then Implementing DH Pedagogical Practices”

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Abstract: In Spring 2022, I enrolled in Kristen Mapes’s and Matt Handelman’s course DH861: Digital Humanities Pedagogy at Michigan State University. This was the first time the class was taught, and it was designed with DH Graduate Certificate students in mind. Throughout the semester, we read and discussed a number of texts on topics ranging from computational thinking to postcolonial DH to reframing failure. For the final project, we were asked to create a syllabus and the related assignments for a DH-centered undergraduate course. We developed and revised these projects throughout the semester and presented them to our peers in the final weeks of class. I was then able to utilize this pedagogy-centered project immediately in my own course, “IAH 207: Redefining Renaissance,” which ran in summer term 2022. In this general education humanities course, I asked my students to complete small exercises rooted in DH pedagogy as well as produce a final digital project in the form of a website, multimedia poster, or podcast accompanied by a reflection. In this paper, I analyze the process of translating what I learned in DH861 as a graduate student into the pedagogical practices I implemented when teaching my own undergraduate course. I review the assignments and assessment practices for the course both through my own reflections and via the anonymous student feedback that I solicited at mid-term and received through end of semester reviews. Finally, I map out a plan for how I might adjust my approach to DH-centered pedagogy in future courses.



Hannah Huber (U of the South)
“Un-editing African American Autobiography: A Literary History Approach to Creating a Digital Edition in the Classroom”

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Abstract: This paper presentation will reflect on the class I am currently teaching, which centers on creating a digital edition of an autobiographical manuscript in our University Archives. Ely Green was a biracial man who came of age at the turn of the twentieth century on and around the domain of the University of the South in Sewanee, Tennessee. Near the end of his life, Green entrusted his manuscript to two white historians at Sewanee. Since 1966, four editions of Green’s story have appeared, none of them exactly what Green wrote. My class seeks to “unedit” Green’s autobiography by publishing a digital edition of the first section of the handwritten manuscript.

Student work on the project involves digital archiving and TEI-XML encoding, alongside critical thought regarding print history and authorship. Students first learn about the theory and literary history of African American autobiography to better understand Green’s story as a sweeping, firsthand account of the region’s race relations during post-Reconstruction and Jim Crow. This attention to cultural history, as well as literary form and genre, prepares students for decisions about what should constitute a faithful transcription of Green’s handwriting. In my presentation, I will discuss this process, elaborating on the choices we made in our editorial approach, and detailing how we implemented that plan in the schema for encoding and publishing the edition. I will also discuss how I structured course assignments and the ways in which I approached assessment of students’ work on the project.



Panel 4: Libraries and Publishing


Chair: Bridget Moynihan (INKE and Libraries and Archives Canada [BAC-LAC])

Helene Williams (U Washington)
“Training MLIS Students in DH: Hands-On Consultation Project”

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Abstract: Librarians have a range of roles when it comes to digital humanities work, from content acquisitions/digitization to technology advisor to full-on collaborator with disciplinary researchers. Often, they need to know more than researchers do, in terms of the array of content and technology available. At the same time they often do not need deep disciplinary knowledge but rather a general understanding of humanities research methods, as well as familiarity with different tools but not high-level expertise. The final assignment in LIS529, Digital Humanities Librarianship, attempts to engage students in both the content and technology aspects, by asking them to find a DH project that has been abandoned or left incomplete, or which could otherwise use some assistance. They insert themselves as the librarian for the project, imagining what they could provide the author/researcher, to make their project more complete, relevant, and accessible. In doing this, they explore what context and content is available that could be added to the extant site. They also envision what technology or tools would be useful. Their deliverable is a proposal for how they would assist the researcher; it could take the form of a prototype of a rebuilt site, a timeline, map, information visualization using extant and new content, an accessibility assessment, a bibliography of digital content to consider adding, or whatever is appropriate for the project at hand. I will share the assignment, a bibliography of readings from the syllabus, and some of the final products showcasing DH from a would-be librarian’s perspective.



Kath Burton (Taylor and Francis)
“Publicly Engaged Publishing: An Open Educational Resource”

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Abstract: In this video, we introduce an open educational resource on publishing publicly engaged projects in the humanities ( The OER outlines the challenges faced by practitioners of values-based scholarship in publishing their work, and notes the special role of MLIS students and librarians in supporting the design, implementation and preservation of digital and publicly engaged projects in the humanities. The resource includes video interviews with public humanities practitioners and advocates, and highlights the strategies of some successful projects, alongside an exercise on how to analyze the publishing possibilities of such projects. Drawing on the pedagogical and mentoring practices of publicly engaged scholars and emphasising the importance of the messy process of engaged scholarship, OER authors Kath Burton, Bonnie Russell, and Catherine Cocks describe how the interconnected practices of digital and publicly engaged scholarship support a move towards a more values-based approach to humanities research, publishing, and engagement.

Alongside rich examples of engaged scholarship projects and model publishing practices, the video concludes by introducing the HuMetricsHSS Framework and Values Sorter ( as a tool for establishing a foundation for values-based scholarly communication practices in the humanities. The video will provide insights into what is meant by publicly engaged scholarship, the challenges and model practices of publishing such scholarship, including building trust with community partners, and developing and using a values framework to help navigate those challenges.



Sena Crow, Lauren Ray, and Elliott Stevens (U Washington)
“Making Light, Platform-Specific Accessibility Guides for the Pressbooks and Manifold Publishing Platforms”

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Abstract: In the fall of 2022, we worked to support a Digital Humanities project in an English class about monsters. Students authored essays and published them in an openly licensed book using the Pressbooks platform. The book included not just the students’ writing but also digital materials including images, streaming video, and infographics.

As librarians who support Digital Humanities and Open Pedagogy, we provided students guidance via in-class workshops on Creative Commons licensing, their rights and responsibilities as authors, and the Pressbooks platform. While it was fun to cheer on their work at the end of the quarter, we were concerned to see a number of accessibility issues, especially related to lack of alt text, inaccessible JPGs and PDFs, and un-captioned videos.

We decided we needed to make light, platform specific accessibility guides for two Libraries-supported publishing platforms, Pressbooks and Manifold, that could be incorporated into our consultations with teachers and class visits with students. Existing accessibility documentation is often overlooked by students who may be using other tools in conjunction with these platforms and completing their assignments in a 10 week quarter. The guides we made are intended to direct students and instructors in creating accessible open publications but will also stand on their own for platform users by providing context that goes beyond the “accessibility checklist.” We’ll share examples of how we have previously addressed accessibility with students in courses we support, challenges around teaching accessibility, and how we envision these guides improving that.



Margaret Vail and Kaitlin Fuller (St Francis Xavier U)
“Embracing Uncertainty: Reflections on preparing for and running a workshop on ChatGPT!”

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Abstract: There is a lot of discussion about ChatGPT in higher education and libraries are no exception to this discourse. To continue the conversations and create opportunities for exploration, we designed a workshop for librarians and library staff who would like to get more familiar with ChatGPT and its potential application, benefits and limitations in a library setting. Using the principles of backward design with a learner centered approach, this workshop was structured to consider the situational factors of the participants, focus on learning outcomes, and create activities to allow for inquiry. This presentation will discuss our approaches to planning the workshop, the activities used, and our reflections on designing a workshop for colleagues for a tool we are just learning about.



Closing Remarks


Laura Estill, Constance Crompton