Using Digital Humanities Research Tools in the Classroom (DFW-DHC)

“Using Digital Humanities Research Tools in the Classroom”: A Meeting of the Dallas-Fort Worth Area Digital Humanities Colloquium (DFW-DHC)

We tend to think about digital humanities tools in terms of their research capability, and discussions of technology in teaching tend to veer towards learning management systems and the like. On Wednesday, February 27th, we brought together three scholars who use digital humanities research tools to achieve traditional course goals. The conversation focused on the pedagogical possibilities of research tools: How can we use digital humanities tools to reach our own course goals? How can we help our students see the pros and cons of such tools in their analysis of and engagement with course materials?

We were very lucky to have found three people who use these tools in their classes in very different ways, and their presentations really encouraged a rich discussion. Laurel Stvan, Associate Professor of Linguistics, University of Texas at Arlington, described how she uses AntConc, a concordance tool, with her classes (Professor Stvan’s slides are available here). Kim Knight, Assistant Professor of Emerging Media and Communication, University of Texas at Dallas, showed us how the tools she uses with her students encourage the crowdsourcing and collaboration that are real cornerstones of theories of digital humanities work (see her Prezi here). Frank Dufour talked about involving students in the search for the perfect tool to analyze film, and the learning possibilities fostered by a failure to find that perfect tool (two programs he discussed were Lignes de Temps and iAnalysis). The presentations were followed up by a response from Spencer Keralis, Director for Digital Scholarship and Research Associate Professor with the Digital Scholarship Co-Operative at the University of North Texas. Professor Keralis talked about the importance of keeping our pedagogical goals in mind as we introduce any new tool (his slides are available here).

The event drew people from humanities departments as well as libraries from the University of North Texas, the University of Texas at Dallas, the University of Texas at Arlington, and Southern Methodist University. The DFW-DH Colloquium meets a few times a year, and you can find information about it through the Digital Scholarship Co-operative at UNT:

“Using Digital Humanities Research Tools in the Classroom” was organized by Jessica C. Murphy, Assistant Professor of Literary Studies (that’s me), and Michele Rosen, Doctoral Student, Humanities. Delicious snacks were sponsored by Dr. Dennis Kratz, Dean of Arts & Humanities, University of Texas at Dallas.

About Jessica C. Murphy

Associate Prof of Lit Studies at UT Dallas, Author of _Virtuous Necessity: Conduct Literature and the Making of the Virtuous Woman in Early Modern England_ (
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One Response to Using Digital Humanities Research Tools in the Classroom (DFW-DHC)

  1. Katherine C. Mead-Brewer says:

    Great post! Thanks for this! I’m just beginning to learn more about Digital Humanities myself at GWU. I especially appreciated your shout-out to collaboration 🙂 I’m actually working on an article right now that looks at collaborative writing opportunities made possible through the study of digital humanities and what impacts this has/could have on perceptions of ownership/authorship — if you wanna participate, check out my blog:

    Thanks again for this post! I look forward to reading more!

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