Summer DH

Support for Ph.D. Students in the Humanities Pursuing Digital Projects

The Program

Summer DH -- the Summer Graduate Fellowship in Digital Humanities -- supports a small interdisciplinary cohort of Cornell graduate students who together investigate approaches to digital scholarship through collaborative workshops, readings, discussion, and co-working on independent projects. The fellowship is a project of the Digital CoLab at Olin Library, and sponsored by Cornell University Library and the Society for Humanities.

Time and location

The 2023 fellowship program will take place over six weeks, June 5 – July 14, 2023, in person at Olin Library. Meetings will be held on about three weekdays per week, 10am – noon, excluding holidays.

Eligibility

Current Cornell Ph.D. students working in the humanities are invited to apply. The cohort size is expected to be six to eight students. Fellows are selected for their potential to benefit from the program, and their willingness and commitment to create a collaborative learning environment. There are no technical prerequisites.

Requirements

  • Status as a Cornell Ph.D. student in a humanities or closely related discipline.

  • Desire to explore digital approaches to research and teaching through workshops, readings, and discussions.

  • Commitment to contribute to a supportive, interdisciplinary summer learning community.

  • Commitment to building an independent digital project related to your research or pedagogy.

  • Residence in the Ithaca area during the six weeks of the fellowship period.

The program provides:

  • Small-group tutorials on digital scholarship tools, skills, and approaches, tailored to participants’ interests and prior experiences.

  • Orienting readings and discussions.

  • An introduction to practical aspects of developing, implementing, and managing complex digital humanities projects, ranging from technical considerations to broader scholarly impact.

  • Ongoing guidance and technical support for participants developing their own digital projects.

  • A stipend of $2000.

New structure for 2023

The format of the 2023 program is a bit different from previous years. Based on the nature of their proposed independent projects, fellows will join one of two sub-cohorts, each focused on a different type of humanities data. Some of the summer’s workshops and discussions will include the entire group of fellows; others will separate the sub-cohorts to allow each to focus on more specialized topics relevant to their work.

The 2023 sub-cohorts will organize around two of the following three types of humanities data. The two categories with the most interest among applicants will be prioritized for the Summer DH curriculum:

  1. Digital Objects. Build a website to showcase and interpret a collection of digital objects. Projects may include digital collections or digital exhibits for research, pedagogy, and/or public engagement. Fellows will examine issues related to: metadata, user design and experience, digital curation, and more.* 

  2. Tabular Data. Create and use a tabular dataset to answer a specific question or conduct exploratory analysis. Projects may include mapping, data visualization, data storytelling, network analysis, or other forms of interaction or analysis. (Tabular data is any kind of data that is structured in a spreadsheet – it may include numbers, categories, and/or free text.) Fellows will examine issues related to data cleaning, processing, and arrangement, and various techniques for ethical and rigorous data exploration and visualization.

  3. Textual Data. Use a large collection of texts (also known as a corpus) to answer a specific question or conduct exploratory analysis. Projects may include topic modeling, sentiment analysis, clustering, named entity recognition, or other computational methods. Fellows will examine issues related to cleaning and processing unstructured textual data, learning Python for text analysis, ethics of distant reading, and more.

*Note that we will not cover digitization itself – e.g. photographing objects – during the summer program. If you would like support for digitizing a collection, see the Cornell University Library Grants Program for Digital Collections.

How to apply

Application occurs in two steps

  1. By March 1: Express interest using this form. If you’re thinking about applying, let’s chat briefly first. We’d like to learn a bit about the data or project you have in mind, and help you figure out how to best scope it. This is also a good chance for you to ask questions. If you’re trying to untangle a couple of different ideas, let’s discuss! A small bit of planning now can help a lot down the road. Please express interest as soon as possible. Meetings will be available January 23 – March 20.

    The interest form asks for the following:

    • Your name, Cornell NetID, home department, how many years you have completed in your PhD program, and whether you have taken your A exams

    • A brief description of a potential independent DH project you would like to work on. What data will the project use? What are the project’s goals? It’s fine if your idea is not completely worked out yet. Tell us what you have in mind so far. (3–5 sentences)

    • Your preferred time frames and modalities for arranging a meeting, either by video or in person

  2. By April 1: Submit an application. The application form will be available early in 2023.