Bursary Reports 2019
Jenny Dodsworth, School of Geography and the Environment, University of Oxford
Workshop: From Text to Tech
I was delighted to be awarded one of the bursaries to attend this year’s From Text to Tech workshop series at the Oxford Digital Humanities Summer School. Already being a PhD student at Oxford, it is sometimes all too easy for the spectacular surroundings to become overly normal. But during an unusually warm and sunny week in July, Keble College provided a most beautiful backdrop to this exciting programme.
The Text2Tech series was advertised as an introduction to utilising Python Programming for text processing and analysis, with little to no experience necessary. The course ran as a refreshing mix of both lectures and step by step workshops. We were introduced to a variety of interesting concepts and approaches to programming for the humanities- from the basics of regular expressions and data structures in Python to fascinating and sophisticated techniques in stylometry and sentiment analysis. Barbara, Gard and Mariona were great lecturers, providing clear instructions and additional support throughout the workshops. The use of a sticky note ‘traffic light’ system for each student enabled us to subtly access further help when needed.
The additional roundtable discussion on Sustainable Data and Software in Digital Humanities introduced some thoughtful and important questions for academics around how our use of software and data affects issues of robustness and replicability in humanities research. The speakers addressed some interesting and timely questions about funding, ethics and infrastructure of research data and tools.
I would like to thank the organisers of the Summer School and particularly the From Text to Tech workshop for a fascinating and inspiring week. I hope to be back next year!