Digital Humanities Abu Dhabi (10-12 April 2017) will feature a selection of 3 hour hands on workshops on timely topics in digital research in the humanities.  These workshops are free and open to all conference participants, as well as students, faculty and researchers.  No prior technical knowledge is required for these workshops, unless indicated.  Participants should bring a laptop.  A tablet or pad is not sufficient for Digital Humanities work.


Workshop seats are limited. Each workshop lasts 3 hours.  You may only take one workshop per day.

Workshops taking place Monday, 10 April 2017, 2-5pm include:

An Introduction to the Text Encoding Initiative and Web Publication” (A6 009) Antonio Rojas-Castro (Cologne Center for eHumanities, @RojasCastroA):  This workshop will provide a brief introduction to the encoding of scholarly texts according to the Text Encoding Initiative (P5). After covering some key-concepts such as markup and modeling, participants will encode a short archival document in English with the main information required to identify the text and to represent its basic structure.  The aim is the creation of a well formed and valid TEI XML file. This workshop will also provide some insights into the process of publishing such a file online.  No prior knowledge is required.  Exercise materials available here.

Introduction to Web Data APIs”  (A6 001-002) Craig Protzel (NYU Abu Dhabi, @craigprotzel):  In this hands-on workshop, participants will explore the expansive world of Web Data APIs. We’ll begin by discussing the fundamentals of API design, syntax, and structure. We will then step through how web URLs and javascript libraries can be used to query data and populate it on a web page. We’ll finish the workshop by making our own web application that creatively visualizes the data on our own web pages. Please make sure you have a laptop with a Text Editor (i.e. Sublime Text or Atom) installed. Some experience with web development (i.e. HTML, CSS, and javascript) is preferred but not necessary.

CANCELLED Game Design and Narrative” (A6 003) Mario Hawat (AU Beirut, @kyraneth): This session is designed for people who have played games, but have never thought about how they are conceptualized.  We will begin by looking at and analyzing some of the most iimportant independent narrative/choice based indie games, followed by a short group play session. This will be followed by a discussion on the experience and theory behind the game, before launching into a hands on approach to developing and designing an interactive 2d video game (with Construct 2). No experience is necessary; familiarity with games is preferred. CANCELLED 

Regular Expressions for the Digital Humanities (A6 010) Maxim Romanov (Leipzig U, @maximromanov): Regular expressions are a mini-language for describing search patterns. Wildcards on steroids, regular expressions will allow one to find a string of any complexity as long as one can identify its “regularity” and express it with the regular expression mini-language. Regular expressions are particularly great for working with Arabic text, as one can easily write a search string that will find a particular word with all possible suffixes and prefixes (or excluding some of the or all of them); one can write a search string to find all words that fit into a particular morphological pattern (for example, all words of the *mafʿūl* or *faʿʿāla* patterns); or something as complex as spelled out date statements in historical texts (see, Our hands-on workshop will introduce you to the basics of regular expressions, while practice exercises will give you an opportunity to feel the power of this valuable tool.

Workshop taking place Tuesday, 11 April 2017, 11am-1pm:

Document Image Analysis (A6 009) Alicia Fornes (Computer Vision Center, AU Barcelona, @AliciaFornes): This workshop will introduce the typical document image analysis techniques for handwriting recognition, document classification, writer identification, information spotting and retrieval, etc. The overview will especially focus on handwritten documents, both textual and graphical (e.g. music scores). This workshop presupposes some background in programming languages and machine learning.

Workshops taking place Wednesday, 12 April 2017 2-5pm include:

Digital Tools for the Writing Classroom (A6 009) Rana al-Ghazzi (AU Beirut), Najla Jarkas (AU of Beirut, @NajlaJarkas1) and Rayane Fayed (AU of Beirut, @rfayed1):  In this workshop, we will introduce low-barrier digital tools (such as timeline.js, Voyant Tools, Palladio) and how they can supplement the critical writing process.  This workshop is designed for instructors in writing and core classes.

Digital Humanities Approaches to Visual and Material Culture  (A6 001-002) Kimon Keramidas (NYU New York, @kimonizer): FULL – NO SPACES LEFT The translation of the power of computing to the study of humanities materials based in text and numbers was a relatively easy transition from work previously done in the social and natural sciences. But as the digital humanities has made inroads in the study of visual and material raise scholars have had to reconcile questions of scale, three-dimensionality, and even the mediation of presence. This workshop will consider tools that are trained on addressing these questions and can be used to study, analyze, and publish about a wide variety cultural objects from across the spectrum of visual and material culture. From Prezi to Omeka to photogrammetry we will discuss how digital tools can be used to reconsider visual and material objects of study in interesting new ways while keeping in mind how limited these tools remain in representing these complex materials in the digital medium.

Fiction in Computer Programming (A6 010) Pierre Depaz (NYU Abu Dhabi): In this workshop, participants will learn about the possibilities of using code as primary source for literary and semantic analysis. When so much of our work today relies on code, close-reading of non-executed code can shed a new light on how our digital systems hold a personality and a subjectivity of their own.

Introduction to Plain Text, Markdown and Pandoc (A6 003) Till Grallert (Orient Institut Beirut, @tillgrallert):  This workshop will introduce the idea of writing and publishing workflows based on the principles of accessibility, simplicity, sustainability, and credibility. We will learn how to separate content and form using plain text, a simple syntax for designating different functional units of the texts (markdown and its derivatives), and pandoc in order to convert the plain text files to a multitude of output formats (such as .docx, PDF or a website). The goal is to remove the middlemen—be they technical or entrepreneurial—between authors, readers, and the library-cum-archive and to (re)claim some of the means of (academic) production. After a short introduction of concepts, the course will focus on acquiring practical skills and the set-up of workflows on participants’ computers. Previous knowledge of mark-up languages or the terminal is not required. To speed things up, I recommend that participants install a text editor beforehand. You can use the ones included with your OS, but I’d recommend NotePad++ for Windows and Sublime Text for Mac.