Announcement DH Event on campus People Speaker Series Summer Research

DH Speaker Series: Jaime Roots and Joey Dickinson

Join us on Wednesday, February 24th, 2021 at 12:30pm to hear from one of the newer members of our community – Prof. Jaime Roots and Joey Dickinson ’22. Prof. Roots is a member of the German Department and spent last summer with Joey Dickinson in the Summer Research Scholars program gathering and visualizing data on gender in German fan fiction. We’ve been talking a lot about data in the humanities this year, and this presentation will be a great example of the ways humanities scholars can use data analysis methods in their work.

Register for the talk at

Not able to make the talk? Sign up for the Chesapeake Digital Humanities Conference and catch Jaime’s presentation on February 25th, 2021!


Coding for Trends: Author and Commenter Posting Trends in an Online Community 

With the advent of the Internet, new means of communication and connectivity have developed. Like never before, individuals are able to join communities of like-minded individuals where they can connect and share their stories and experiences. Here I specifically explore the “Grimms’ Fairy Tales” fan fiction community on Yet despite the many positive advantages presented by advances in technology such as the benefits of forming online communities with likeminded members, sharing stories and experiences quickly and easily with others around the world, the Internet likewise enables (and can often encourage) verbal attacks and discrimination.  

In a world of Internet misogyny where users identifying as men are most often attacked based on their ideas, and those identifying as women based on their personhood or appearance, the “Grimm’s Fairy Tales” fandom on remains a place where women can outwardly express their ideas with few misogynistic attacks. In order to investigate this online community as a relatively safe space for women to express their ideas on topics such as the consent of male advances, I have created multiple data sets and applied data analysis to more objectively interpret trends within the online community. Through this work I have been able to analyze gender distribution among both writers and commenters in the online forum, the distribution of authors and the types of stories they posted online, the correlation between the types of comments posted and gender, as well as the distribution of feminist themes within stories posted online.

Announcement DH Summer Research

Mellon Summer Research Grant Recipients Announcement

We are pleased to announce the recipients of our Mellon Summer Research Grants. These faculty members will work with one or more students on DH research projects during the the summer of 2017. We are thrilled to have such an amazing group of newcomers and veterans and look forward to tracking their progess.

“The Lost Clew Archives at the Institute for Clew Studies: A Digital Research Facility" – Clover Archer, Director of the Staniar Gallery, and MC Greenleaf ’19

“Florence As It Was: the Digital Reconstruction of a Medieval City" – George Bent, The Sidney Gause Childress Professor of Art, Aidan Valente ’19, and Sam Joseph ’19

"The Evolving Language of Conscious Capitalism" – Drew Hess, Associate Professor of Business Administration, and Cassidy Fuller ’18

"The Social Context of Ethical Leadership" – Megan Hess, Assistant Professor of Accounting, and Alex Farley ’19

"Steinheil: Sex, Scandal and Politics in Belle Époque France" – Sarah Horowitz, Associate Professor of History, and Megan Doherty 19

Additionally, we are funding the summer research of the following students:

  • Nathan Brewer ’19 and Skylar Prichard ’19 – "Ancient Graffiti Project" (Benefiel)
  • Arlette Hernandez ’18 – "Quantifying Best American Comics" (Gavalar)
Event on campus Speaker Series Summer Research

DH Speaker Series: Barton Myers on Civil War + DH

Join us for a lunch time talk from Prof. Barton Myers, Associate Professor of History. He’ll report on his summer research experience and share his work on DH methods in Civil War military history.

Wednesday, March 1, 2017
Hillel 101
Lunch provided, please register

Guerrilla Wars: Rethinking Civil War Military History Through the Digital Humanities

Most of the American Civil War’s practitioners of guerrilla warfare were not famous. They were unknowns, nameless and faceless to history. Forgotten. This Digital Humanities session reframes the American Civil War’s military history around these “other” Civil Warriors. Reevaluating Confederate military history from the perspective of the complex but critically important world of Confederate irregular soldiers, specifically the Confederate government’s authorized partisan rangers. Here we see a different war than the one we think we know. Not the great conventional battlefield war, but irregular conflicts, involving raiding “Thunderbolts,” deceptive “Gray Ghosts,” and vigilante outlaws, a collection of wars within a war that is absolutely essential to our study of America’s bloodiest armed conflict. In the session, Prof. Myers will be discussing the research that he and his W&L Mellon-funded, summer, research students conducted in the military history database and the implementation of that work through DH mapping technology.

This event is made possible by a Dean of the College Cohort Grant.

Summer Research

Spotlight on Summer Research

If the humidity is any indication, we are well into summer here at W&L. While we do not hold classes in the summer, a number of students remain in Lexington to conduct research with faculty. To enable this research, we awarded four Summer Research Grants to faculty and students. Congrats to all – we can’t wait to see how your projects grow!

The Ancient Graffiti Project

Perhaps you’ve heard of this project before? Perhaps while reading The Atlantic or browsing Forbes? The Ancient Graffiti Project is one of our long-standing DH projects led by Profs. Rebecca Benefiel and Sara Sprenkle. Students have been integral to this project’s development and this summer is no different. Lillian MacDonald ’19 and Nathan Brewer ’18 joined Prof. Benefiel in Italy for fieldwork in June and have spent the remaining weeks of the summer processing the data they gathered. Alicia Martinez ’18 has been working with Prof. Sprenkle to refresh the APG website and develop new mapping functionality (supported by Lenfest funding). All three students presented their work at the Summer Research Scholars Brown Bag Lunch Series on July 12, 2016.

Visualizing Partisan Rangers During the American Civil War

This fledgling project is led by Barton Myers, Associate Professor of History. With the ultimate goal of visualizing spatial data on the Confederate government’s authorized guerrilla units of partisan rangers, Hannah Austin ’17, John Crum ’17, Zachary Howard ’17, Alex Kirven ’17 are spending their summer gathering data on these guerrilla units from the Fold3 database of historical military records. This project is also supported by the History in the Public Sphere Mellon Grant.

A Thanatography of Robert Devereux, 2nd Earl of Essex

Another long-standing DH project, Prof. Hank Dobin’s timeline and “LifeMap” of the 2nd Earl of Essex continues to grow. Cecilia Weingart ’19 is focusing on gender relations in contemporary novels about Essex as her contribution to the project. Additionally, Prof. Dobin has been working with Jeff Knudson, ITS, and Brandon Walsh, DH Mellon Fellow, to develop a crowdsourcing component to the timeline.

Steinheil: Sex, Scandal and Politics in Belle Époque France

Sarah Horowitz, Associate Professor of History, is joined by Sam Gibson ’17 and Brandon Walsh, DH Mellon Fellow, on this project to study the language of sensationalism in the French press of the early 20th century. Focusing on the Steinheil Affair, the team began by creating clean OCR transcriptions of newspaper articles for topic modeling and other text analysis methods. Sam presented at the Summer Research Scholars Brown Bag Lunch Series on June 29th, 2016, and the entire team will travel to Hamilton College in July to participate in the Institute for Liberal Arts Digital Scholarship. Check out their progress on Github!

This program made possible by a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Announcement Incentive Grants Summer Research

CFP: Winter/Spring Incentive Grants and Summer Research Grants

Attention W&L faculty:

We are currently seeking proposals for two Mellon funding opportunities.

Incentive Grants for Winter/Spring 2016
Have an idea for a DH course project or assignment for next year? We have two levels of incentive grant funding for faculty who want to incorporate DH methodology into their teaching.

Summer Research Grants for Summer 2016
Looking to engage students in your summer research next year? Apply through the standard Lenfest Grant system.

As usual, contact if you have any questions.