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Cambridge Digital Humanities


The CDH Learning programme helps Cambridge students, researchers and staff equip themselves with the tools and methods they need to carry on delivering world-class and world-changing research and teaching. CDH Learning runs introductory training courses, organise research-focused advanced workshops, and works with faculties and departments across the University to embed DH methods and approaches into academic practice. During the last academic year hundreds of people registered for the broad range of events in the Learning Programme, including PhD students, researchers from postdoctoral stage to principal investigators on major projects, librarians, archivists, and communications professionals.

The CDH Learning Programme is organised around four themes:

  • The primary aim of Machine Reading the Archive is to help participants develop a deeper understanding of the challenges and possibilities of working with archival data in the digital age, drawing on theory, methods and practice from the humanities, computer science and the archival profession.
  • In a world where massive, networked and distributed datasets play an essential role in communication, social interactions and the economy, Ethics of Big Data, explores the practical and ethical challenges of researching with Big Data. The programme for this theme is developed in collaboration with the Ethics of Big Data research group.
  • Building on the success of collaborative workshops held in previous years, Ways of Machine Seeing draws on insights from art history, film studies, Artificial Intelligence, human-computer interaction and machine vision to examine the interactions between art, culture and technology through a series of workshops and courses.
  • Digital Media in Practice offers opportunities to acquire a wide range of practical skills connected with creating and disseminating digital content in the process of research and scholarly communications. Intensive training is provided in making digital video and audio, along with practical introductory sessions to enable participants to start using social media and blogging platforms.

CDH Learning also organises many standalone events which are unrelated to one specific theme or which cut across several. Many are co-hosted and organised with research projects, departments and faculties. Suggestions for new content in the programme are always welcome.

The CDH Learning programme is divided into three strands: introductory, advanced, and multi-disciplinary.

  • Doing Research in the Digital Age is the introductory strand of CDH Learning. It showcases digital research which is relevant to the disciplines and interests of a wide community of students, researchers and teachers; organises 'taster' sessions in key methods; and provides opportunities to experiment and work with pre-prepared datasets. This strand is primarily aimed at those who want to experiment with and explore new methods to make better-informed decisions about what to include in their methodological toolkit.
  • The Advanced Workshops strand is targeted at a wide range of researchers, from PhD students to academics who are leaders in their field. Many of the workshops are open for registration or application form participants outside the University of Cambridge and over the past year have included many speakers and participants from outside academia, including representatives from creative industries, heritage organisations, the public sector and civil society.
  • The Critical Coding strand offers opportunities to gain experience of collaborative, interdisciplinary work on a design problem. Workshops and courses run through Critical Coding bring together graduate students and researchers from a mix of disciplines, including arts, humanities, social sciences and technology. Participants typically work in pairs or small groups, each with at least one technology student or researcher who provides peer-tutoring in basic programming skills.


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