“Hooked on a Feeling: Quantifying Emotions in US Politics” — A Mellon Digital Humanities Conversation with Cantay Çalışkan

The Andrew W. Mellon Fellows in the Digital Humanities are pleased to announce their second DigiTalk of the Spring 2022 semester. This session on March 17th at 3 PM will feature a conversation with Cantay Çalışkan, an assistant professor of instruction at the Goergen Institute for Data Science at the University of Rochester.

In this DigiTalk, Dr. Cantay Çalışkan will discuss his innovative quantitative framework for analyzing the emotions of candidates in US presidential debates and the significance of these emotions in determining who holds our nation’s highest office. Using multinomial probabilistic machine learning and deep learning algorithms along with the help of face recognition, speech-to-text conversion, and speaker diarization techniques, Çalışkan has dynamically quantified emotion from 25 presidential debates, illuminating both the theoretical and political importance of emotions and the public’s perception of politicians.

Cantay Çalışkan is an assistant professor of instruction at the Goergen Institute for Data Science at the University of Rochester. He studied political science, computer science, and statistics during his Ph.D., and received his degree from Boston University in 2018. Cantay received his BA from Brandeis University and his MA from Koç University. Before joining the University, he was a visiting assistant professor in the Department of Data Analytics at Denison University and a visiting assistant professor in the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science at Ohio Wesleyan University. His research interests include computational social science, emotion quantification and face/gesture recognition, social media, US Congress, and networks of lobbying.

For more information about this event, visit the RSVP links above and below, or contact mwoehl@ur.rochester.edu.

“Tracing the Lines of Segregation: Building an Antiracist History Curriculum for Rochester” – A Mellon Digital Humanities Conversation with Shane Wiegand

The Andrew W. Mellon Digital Humanities Fellows at the University of Rochester are pleased to invite you to attend our first DigiTalk of the Spring 2022 semester. The session will feature a conversation with Shane Wiegand, teacher at the Rush-Henrietta Central School District, Co-Lead of the Antiracist Curriculum Project, a board member of City Roots Community Land Trust, and adjunct faculty at the URMC School of Medicine and Dentistry.

In this presentation, historian, teacher, and activist Shane Wiegand presents research examining how past federal and local policies segregated the city of Rochester, built wealth for its white citizens, and disenfranchised people of color. He also presents how local civil rights leaders and many others fought back. In discussing these two sides of Rochester’s civil rights struggles, he connects these past policies to the disparity and inequality in Rochester today, and he invites us to learn from and apply the activism of Rochester’s past to its present. To heighten awareness of this underrepresented history and facilitate its use in the classroom, he will showcase the interactive website he is building to host antiracist curriculum, including an interactive map highlighting racial covenants, exclusionary zoning, and sites of historic civil rights events throughout the city. This website owes much to his collaborative efforts with the Rochester Voices Project, faculty at UR and RIT, and the University of Richmond’s American Panorama Project. A discussion and Q&A will follow.

Shane Wiegand is a fourth-grade teacher at the Rush-Henrietta Central School District, Co-Lead of the Antiracist Curriculum Project hosted by the PathStone Foundation, a board member of City Roots Community Land Trust and Connected Communities, and an adjunct faculty member of the URMC School of Medicine and Dentistry. For his work with PathStone, he was named one of Rochester Business Journal’s Forty Under 40 in 2021, a group annually recognized for their exemplary leadership and contributions to the Rochester community. He and his wife live in the Beechwood neighborhood of Rochester.

“Encryption Capitalism” – A Mellon Digital Humanities Conversation with Jeffrey West Kirkwood

The talk addresses a core shift in the relationship between meaning and value that has occurred in the transition from an industrial to an informational economy. It argues that Bitcoin is a paradigmatic technology for understanding the digital economy’s inversion of industrial era concepts and its invention of new forms of surplus. By exploring the proof-of-work system underlying Bitcoin, I will suggest that it is not simply an outlying case of energy wastage in an otherwise streamlined drive to informational efficiency. Rather, the talk will consider how it challenges the efficiency and optimization narrative at the heart of industrial capitalism, creating a horizon of negative consequences that have yet to be fully realized.

Jeffrey West Kirkwood is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Art History and the Department of Cinema at Binghamton University. He received his PhD from Princeton University and has been a fellow at the Cornell University Society for the Humanities and the International Research Institute for Cultural Technologies and Media Philosophy (IKKM) at the Bauhaus University in Weimar, Germany. His writing has been published in OctoberGrey RoomTexte zur Kunst, Zeitschrift für Medien -und Kulturforschung (ZMK)OSMOSIdiomJacobin, and a number of collected volumes. Most recently, he is the editor of a special issue of Critical Inquiry on “Surplus Data” along with co-editors Patrick Jagoda, Orit Halpern, and Leif Weatherby, and his article on the implications of blockchain technologies is forthcoming in that same issue. In 2018 he co-edited and co-wrote the introduction to the first English-language translation of Ernst Kapp’s Elements of a Philosophy of Technology for the University of Minnesota Press’s Posthumanities series and his book Endless Intervals: Cinema, Psychology, and Semiotechnics around 1900 is also forthcoming with Minnesota in 2022. 

“Biodesign” – A Mellon Digital Humanities Conversation with Orkan Telhan

Telhan’s talk was centered on biological design—an emerging field—that is aiming to bring together different perspectives from design, life sciences, engineering, and the humanities.

Telhan holds a PhD in Design and Computation from MIT’s Department of Architecture. His individual and collaborative work has been exhibited internationally in venues including the Istanbul Biennial, Philadelphia Museum of Art, Milano Design Week, Architectural Association, the New Museum of Contemporary Art, among other places. Telhan is also a co-founder of Biorealize, a biotechnology company specialized in building next generation tools that makes it easier to design biology.

Link to Telhan’s work: https://www.orkantelhan.com/.

He wanted the audience to read: what biodesign means to me.

Being Human, Being Robot: A DigiTalk featuring Andrew John Wit

Tuesday, April 13, 2021, at 3:30pm to 4:45pm via Zoom.

Register for this free event here.

Event Description:

Andrew John Wit is an Associate Professor at the Temple University Tyler School of Art and Architecture, where he leads research in emerging technologies and their relationship to the built environment. He is a co-editor of the book Towards a Robotic Architecture, an associate editor for the journal Construction Robotics, and an elected editor for the International Journal of Architectural Computing. His work has been presented and published in a wide range of international conferences, journals, and galleries. Andrew is also the Co-Founder of WITO* (pronounced we – toe), Laboratory for Intelligent Environments.

In this talk, Andrew will discuss novel tools, methods, and materials that are helping to redefine the design discipline and the built environment. Typically situated either within the arts or engineering, this talk will discuss how the field of architectural design has been transformed through the integration of AI, robotics, mixed reality, and novel composite materials and their relationship to human makers and inhabitants.

Event Video:

Why We Need Digital Collections

Drs. Edwin Klijn, Project Manager, at the Institute for
War, Holocaust and Genocide Studies in Amsterdam,
the Netherlands

Edwin Klijn specializes in electronic publishing, digitalization, web development, automated text recognition, linked data, project management, and the NSB (National Socialist Movement in the Netherlands).

He has published on mass digitization, image banks and the preservation and digitization of photo and audiovisual collections. In addition, he wrote in a personal capacity, together with Robin te Slaa, De NSB. Origin and rise of the National Socialist Movement 1931-1935 (Amsterdam 2009) nominated for the Libris History Prize 2010. The follow-up of this publication will be published in the spring of 2021.

Edwin’s recent projects include: TRIADO, Tribunal Archives as Digital Research Facilities; and War Lives winner of GLAMi Awards 2020 in category: Exhibition or Collection Extension: Web; see for jury report.

For years the raw materials for historians have been analogue collections hidden in vaults of archival institutions. Digitization, linked data and artificial intelligence technology have revolutionized the accessibility of cultural heritage collections, radically changing the work methods of historians. Edwin has been involved in digitization of heritage collections since 2001. He is interested in highlighting some of the new opportunities, but also the challenges of opening up historical collections online for scholars and the general public.  

Lidar and Landscapes: Remote Sensing Data in Digital Humanities

Thomas Garrison, Assistant Professor of Anthropology, Ithaca College

12–2 PM, December 6, 2019
Douglass Commons
Community Room, 401
University of Rochester, River Campus

Thomas Garrison is an archaeologist at Ithaca College who uses LiDAR – a laser-based remote sensing technology – to uncover lost Mayan cities beneath the jungle canopies of Guatemala. By digitally removing the forest cover, Garrison has ‘excavated’ more than 60,000 ruins, revealing massive habitations and changing our understanding of how the Maya lived, built, and altered the landscape. His work has repeatedly appeared in National Geographic, which has funded some of his fieldwork. He’ll discuss his interdisciplinary and multinational project and its place within the digital humanities.

Please share this invitation with colleagues, students, and collaborators. Lunch will be provided. We look forward to seeing you! 

From Aerith to Zelda: Preserving the History of Women in Video Games

Please join us for a discussion with Shannon Symonds, Curator for Electronic Games and Co-chair of the Women in Games initiative. 

12-2PM, October 29, 2019
Douglass Commons
Community Room, 407
University of Rochester River Campus

Note: This event will take place at Douglass Commons  instead of Rush Rhees Library, which is our usual venue.

Shannon Symonds is Curator for Electronic Games and Co-chair of the Women in Games initiative at The Strong museum, home to the International Center for the History of Electronic Games and the World Video Game Hall of Fame. She will be discussing the museum’s game collection and what it takes to collect, preserve, interpret, and exhibit more than 60,000 objects related to the history of the gaming industry. Special emphasis will be placed on the museum’s growing collection of items related to the contributions women have made to electronic games, and the vital role it serves to video game scholars and historians.

Please share this invitation with colleagues, students, and collaborators. Lunch will be provided. We look forward to seeing you!

The Virtual Cary Archive: Exploring Special Collections Using Virtual Reality

Join us for an interactive discussion on virtual reality and its uses in exploring special collections with Stephen Galbraith (Curator, Cary Graphic Arts Collection, RIT) and Shaun Foster (Associate Professor of 3D Digital Design, RIT). 12-1PM, December 7, 2018 Rossell Hope Robbins Library 416 Rush Rhees Library University of Rochester River Campus The Virtual Cary Collection is a digital humanities collaboration between RIT’s Cary Graphic Arts Collection and Department of 3D Digital Design. The project, an interactive 3D rendering of the Cary Collection, explores how VR can be used to promote access and discovery in libraries, archives, and museums. It investigates the research and teaching possibilities that are created when digitized artifacts are presented in a VR environment. RIT Professor Shaun Foster and Curator Steven Galbraith will discuss the project, its origins and long-term goals, and the technology used. Participants will be invited to experience the Virtual Cary Collection.

It’s the Ethos, not the Tech: Pedagogical Principles for the Digital Age

Jayne Lammers, Warner School of Education

12-1PM, November 6, 2018
Humanities Center, Conference Room D

Please join us for a roundtable discussion on digital methodologies and the ethics of pedagogy and classroom practice with Jayne Lammers, Associate Professor, Director of Secondary English Teacher Preparation, and Associate Director in the Center for Learning in the Digital Age (LiDA) at the Warner School of Education.

In this Digital Humanities Lunch, our guest offers ideas for us to consider about pedagogy in the digital age. Drawn from her research to understand young people’s digital literacy practices in informal spaces, such as Fanfiction.net and other online forums, Lammers will share guiding principles for designing engaging, collaborative learning experiences that focus on the ethos of online spaces, not the particular tools/technologies. We invite you to join in the conversation and think together about how you might be able to apply these principles in your own teaching.

Decolonizing Digital Networks: Women of Color, Feminism, Open Access, and What It Means to be Woke

Lisa Nakamura, Professor of American Cultures, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor

Thursday, October 19, 2017, 1pm
Gamble Room, Rush Rhees Library 361

Lisa Nakamura is the Gwendolyn Calvert Baker Collegiate Professor in the Department of American Cultures at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. She is one of the leading scholars in the field of critical digital media studies/digital humanities. From coining the concept of “cybertype” as distinctive ways that the internet propagates, disseminates, and commodifies images of race and racism, to locating the internet as a privileged and extremely rich site for the creation and distribution of hegemonic and counterhegemonic visual images of racialized bodies, Nakamura has significantly contributed to the theory of racial formation in digital cultures. Her publications include Race After the Internet (2011, co-edited with Peter Chow-White) and Digitizing Race: Visual Cultures of the Internet (2007).

Playing with Digital Histories in the R-CADE

James J. Brown, Jr., Assistant Professor of English and Director of the Digital Studies Center, Rutgers University-Camden
Robert A. Emmons, Jr., Assistant Professor of Fine Arts and Associate Director of the Digital Studies Center, Rutgers University-Camden

Friday, September 22, 2017, 12pm
Humanities Center, Conference Room D

In 2014, Robert Emmons and Jim Brown launched the Rutgers-Camden Archive of Digital Ephemera (R-CADE), a collection of digital artifacts made available for research and creative activities. Scholars are free to take apart, dissect, and repurpose artifacts in the R-CADE as they attempt to understand their historical and cultural significance. While the R-CADE does not preserve in the sense of keeping objects in their “original” condition, the archive is in fact an exercise in the preservation of digital culture. The R-CADE has expanded and changed in the intervening three years, and this presentation will discuss the genesis of the project, its theoretical underpinnings, and how the annual R-CADE Symposium has grown. Emmons and Brown will share some of the work that has emerged from the R-CADE and will discuss some of the project’s future directions.


How To Decolonize the Digital Humanities: Or A Practical Guide

Dorothy Kim, Assistant Professor of English, Vassar College

Friday, April 14, 2017, 1pm
Gamble Room, Rush Rhees Library

Responding to digital humanities’ issues with openness, race, disability, LGBTQ, feminist, and other kinds of non-normative bodies in the field, Dorothy Kim will outline a set of practical steps to #decolonizeDH, or to make it less white, heteropatriarchal, male, and ableist. She asks what are the field, departmental, and institutional steps to #decolonizeDH? What are the considerations that must be addressed in terms of politics, local action, education, and resistance?

Co-Sponsored by the Central New York Humanities Corridor, from an award by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Department of Art & Art History, Department of English, Department of Modern Languages & Cultures, Film & Media Studies, Graduate Program in Visual and Cultural Studies, the Digital Scholarship Lab, and the Andrew W. Mellon Fellowship in the Digital Humanities at the University of Rochester.

Building the Sibley Watson Digital Archive

Joe Easterly, Digital Humanities Librarian, University of Rochester
Margie Searl, Research Curator, Memorial Art Gallery
Lu Harper, Art Librarian, Memorial Art Gallery

Friday, December 2nd, 2016, 1 pm
Morey Hall Room 321

Please join us for an in-depth discussion of a new digital project due to be launched by early December: the Sibley Watson Digital Archive, a collaborative project begun in 2014 between the University of Rochester, the Memorial Art Gallery, and the George Eastman Museum.

This archive is a scalable, extensible, standards-based framework for publishing family papers and related photographic material that exposes and unites hidden collections from multiple institutions, in a curated online environment allowing for multiple access points, and documenting the history of multiple generations of Rochester’s Sibley and Watson families. These families’ contributions to American culture and science are manifold: best known are Hiram Sibley and Don Alonzo Watson, who were instrumental in founding Western Union in the 1850s. Sibley’s daughter Emily Sibley and Watson’s son James Sibley Watson became husband and wife, and were responsible for the founding and later expansion of Rochester’s Memorial Art Gallery. Their son James Sibley Watson, Jr. was a radiologist, an important amateur filmmaker, and the publisher of one of the 20th century’s major literary journals, The Dial.

During their talk, Joe Easterly, Margie Searl and Lu Harper will be discussing the challenges and rewards of collaborating on digital projects where the materials are spread across multiple institutions, as well as content specific to the archive, such as travel at the turn of the 20th century, and the role the Sibley Watson family played in the development of University of Rochester and its community.

Making Interdisciplinarity Work: Developing an Undergraduate Digital Humanities Program at a Technical Institute

Dr. Tamar Carroll, Dr. Lisa Hermsen, Dr. Rebecca Scales of Rochester Institute of Technology

Friday, September 23rd, 2016, 12:00pm
Gamble Room

This fall, undergraduates at the Rochester Institute of Technology were offered a new major in the College of Liberal Arts: Digital Humanities and Social Sciences. RIT is among a rising contingent of institutions addressing the call for the integration of new technologies into humanistic and social scientific research. Reflecting the interdisciplinary nature of the field, RIT’s new major gathers faculty from the Golisano College of Computing, the College of Imaging Arts and Sciences, and the College of Liberal Arts.

Video Games and Learning

Kristina Textor, Warner School of Education
Friday, February 5th, 2016, 12:00pm
321 Morey Hall

Textor delivered a talk on ‘Video Games and Learning’, in which she argued for the pedagogical value of video games. During a fellowship at the National Museum of Play in 2014, she researched ways for games to develop players’ understanding of gender roles. Her more recent work at the University of Rochester has included the creation of events reaching out to students and faculty from all departments, promoting the interdisciplinary potential of video game research.

The Changing Face of the Library

Kyle Parry, Mantra Roy, and Marie L. Turner
Friday, November 20, 2015, 12:00 pm
321 Morey Hall

In May of this year, the University of Rochester River Campus Libraries announced their award of a $100,672 Officer’s Grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to support a pilot program: The Digital Humanities Institute for Mid-Career Librarians. This training initiative demonstrates the university’s growing investment in advancing interdisciplinary scholarly practices in a technology-rich environment and developing the leadership necessary for next-generation digital scholarship.

On November 20, we welcome new faces in Rush Rhees whose work reflects the library’s mission to support digital humanistic study. Our presenters include Kyle Parry, CLIR Postdoctoral Fellow in Data Curation for Visual Studies; Mantra Roy, Humanities Outreach Librarian; and Marie L. Turner, Director of Rossell Hope Robbins Library and Koller-Collins Center for English Studies.

Virtually Preserving the Buffalo State Asylum

Lisa Hermsen and Shaun Foster
Friday, September 18, 2015, 12:00 pm
Gamble Room (#361) of Rush Rhees Library

Our presenters on September 18 were Lisa Hermsen (Professor and Caroline Werner Gannett Endowed Chair of English) and Shaun Foster (Assistant Professor of 3D Digital Design) of the Rochester Institute of Technology. Hermsen, Foster, and a team of RIT students are building a complete 3D rendering of the former Buffalo State Asylum for the Insane, one of the largest and best examples of a “Kirkbride Plan” asylum in the nation, as it appeared in the late nineteenth century. Their DH project brings H.H. Richardson and Frederick Law Olmsted’s architecture to life as a fully accessible, participatory, and “restored” virtual complex. For more info about the project, visit: http://buffaloasylum3d.weebly.com.

No Data, No Change: Measuring Justice One County at a Time

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A Digital Humanities Lunch with Measures for Justice
Keturah Bixby (Data Wrangler)
Hillary Livingston (Research Fellow)

Wednesday, March 6, 2019 | 12-2PM
VISTA Collaboratory, Carlson Library
University of Rochester River Campus

Measures For Justice (MFJ) is an independent non-profit organization that collects data from criminal justice agencies across the U.S. to measure the performance of local criminal justice. If you are interested in the real world applications of data, MFJ provides a roadmap with our criminal justice work. Collaboration between research and technology allowed us to create an interactive public data website, bringing transparency to criminal justice data and informing decision makers across the system. Working with multi-source raw data presents many challenges, but the methodology and tools we built allow us to standardize data and present it in a clear and contextualized manner for a wide range of audiences to utilize. Come discuss the trials and successes of working with criminal justice data, and how to take your research from academic projects to systemic impact.