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Digital Humanities Questions & Answers » Topic: What's the DH scene like in the Chicago area? en-US Sun, 24 Mar 2019 05:40:18 +0000 <![CDATA[Search]]> q bllestock on "What's the DH scene like in the Chicago area?" Sat, 24 Mar 2012 01:22:04 +0000 bllestock 1578@ <p>Thank you all for the insight and for the many fantastic leads! I plan on seriously beginning my job search in late April-early May (once I've submitted my thesis!), so it's very reassuring to know that there is a wide range of opportunities to pursue a career in DH in Chicago. I hope you won't mind if I pester you all with questions again on this thread when the job search becomes more imminent! </p> Douglas Knox on "What's the DH scene like in the Chicago area?" Fri, 23 Mar 2012 05:34:30 +0000 Douglas Knox 1576@ <p>We shouldn't give you the impression that finding a job in DH in Chicago will be easy, but there are definitely things going on in Chicago, enough to make more of a scene than Chicago has yet realized it could make, I would say. I was at the Newberry for 15 years and thank Arno for the hello, but as it happens I skipped town for St. Louis a few months ago. The Newberry is a wonderful place, and I am happy to talk further if you have questions (knoxdw at gmail), but a good person to contact now at the Newberry would be Jennifer Thom. Jennifer led the project to get the Newberry's card catalog records fully online a decade ago, and among many other things has recently been directing a CLIR-funded project to catalog a superb collection of French pamphlets, which has a fascinating blog record here: <a href="" rel="nofollow"></a>. Jennifer is now Interim Director of Digital Initiatives and Services, and heads a new department that brought on board the Newberry's first digital collections librarian. Links to past projects can be found here: <a href="" rel="nofollow"></a> .</p> <p>The Newberry and the Chicago History Museum have both worked on occasion with Northwestern's Academic and Research Technologies staff, recently through the Advanced Media Production Studio (NUAMPS) led by Harlan Wallach. <a href="" rel="nofollow"></a> Northwestern and Chicago are fortunate to have Martin Mueller as an esteemed senior scholar in digital humanities who has been part of a number of creative projects working with large collections of literary texts.</p> <p>While there are things going on throughout Chicago, institutions tend to have their own gravitational forces. The Chicago Colloquium on Computer Science and Digital Humanities that Steve and Arno both mentioned has been very good in starting to join some parts of the “scene” over the last six years. Illinois Institute of Technology was also an important presence in the Colloquium from the beginning through the leadership of Shlomo Argamon in computer science. IIT has recently built up its presence in DH through Karl Stolley and Stan Ruecker as well. </p> <p>In addition to the Art Institute and Field Museum, the Terra Foundation has an interest in art-history-related projects that sometimes have a digital component, and the Adler Planetarium has a citizen science initiative that has changed how people think about the possibilities of crowdsourcing. </p> <p>Beyond universities and museums, there is a thriving digital/cultural scene in Chicago that combines web design and development, data journalism, and civic technology. Chicago can claim to be the home of both the Django and Rails web development frameworks,, 37signals, the Chicago Tribune News Apps team, Coudal Partners, and Chicago CTO John Tolva, who used to do DH at IBM after studying English literature. Chicago's universities and cultural institutions have not done much at all yet to make the most of all the creative humanities-friendly and digitally savvy energy that is around right now. </p> Arno Bosse on "What's the DH scene like in the Chicago area?" Wed, 21 Mar 2012 19:27:39 +0000 Arno Bosse 1574@ <p>There's quite a lot happening in DH in Chicago in different areas. I'll focus on the UofC since I know it best. </p> <p>The UofC doesn't have a DH Center as such, but its Humanities Computing group, the Oriental Institute and the main university library have undertaken a number of cultural heritage type projects recently such as <a href="" rel="nofollow"></a> or <a href="" rel="nofollow"></a> or <a href="" rel="nofollow"></a> In addition the ARTFL group in Chicago <a href="" rel="nofollow"></a> has for a long time been active at the cutting edge of full text search &amp; analysis. To find out more about the library's activities, contact Charles Blair (, for more about DH projects in the Humanities, Peter Leonard (, for Art History related projects contact Megan Macken (, for ARTFL Mark Olsen ( and for the Oriental Institute, John Sanders ( All are on staff at Chicago - feel free to use my name as reference. I've left out several more DH projects in Music, for example, Romance Languages and Linguistics - but these should get you going and the people above can help point you to more specific areas if you ask. The Franke Institute (<a href="" rel="nofollow"></a>) might be the closest Chicago has to a DH Center qua venue for discussions about interdisciplinary and the like even if no DH work per se takes places there. For a good overview of how the Humanities Division's faculty are approaching the DH and for the names of faculty active in DH see this recent grant proposal and call for post-docs: <a href="" rel="nofollow"></a></p> <p>The UofC was one of the co-founders and continues to be active in the Chicago Colloquium on Digital Humanities and Computer Science (DHCS) as was already mentioned above (for an overview of past papers, see <a href="" rel="nofollow"></a>. It's also active in Project Bamboo, which is a Mellon funded DH infrastructure initiative. Quinn Dombrowski at Chicago can fill you in there. Quinn works for the university's central IT group and has also been quite active in DH recently with NITLE for example and elsewhere ( </p> <p>Besides the institutions mentioned above (of which, as far as I know, only Loyola offers a DH center &amp; program as such), it's also worth mentioning the Art Institute of Chicago and the Field Museum, both of which have active art restoration, analysis &amp; forensic programs, often in collaboration with one of the big universities. Northwestern, in particular, has been active in this area together with the Art Institute. Northwestern and the Newberry in particular have several active DH projects and in-house development. To learn more about activities at the Newberry, drop a line and say hi from me to to Doug Knox (, and for Northwestern, to Claire Stewart ( Finally, IIT also has faculty &amp; graduate students active in DH work, in particular visualization, text analysis &amp; machine learning. </p> on "What's the DH scene like in the Chicago area?" Wed, 21 Mar 2012 15:21:22 +0000 1573@ <p>There's a lot going on among various local institutions, including University of Chicago, the Newberry Library, Northwestern, Loyola, and others. Loyola has a new Center, which sponsors an MA in DH, day conferences, and speakers, as well as interdisciplinary research projects: <a href="" rel="nofollow"></a>. A local Colloquium of some of these institutions sponsors an annual Digital Humanities and Computer Science conference, with hosting rotating around the city. This past year was hosted at Loyola; next year will be at U of Chicago: <a href="" rel="nofollow"></a>. </p> bllestock on "What's the DH scene like in the Chicago area?" Wed, 21 Mar 2012 14:24:38 +0000 bllestock 1571@ <p>I may be moving to the Chicago area this summer (after graduating with my MA from UVa) and would like to continue working in DH. Any insight on the kind of DH work being done in Chicago or on institutions I should consider in my job-hunt would be much appreciated! </p>