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Florida Humanities Council Digital Humanities Lecture Series: Home

Tools and Techniques for Exploration in the Digital Humanities 

January 14, 1:30 p.m., Zoom

  • Amy Giroux, PhD, is the Associate Director of the Center for Humanities and Digital Research at the University of Central Florida (UCF) and a Digital Historian for the National Cemetery Administration, part of the Department of Veterans Affairs.
  • Bruce Janz, PhD, is Professor of Humanities and Co-Director of UCF's Center for Humanities and Digital Research.
  • Mike Shier, PhD, is part of the core faculty in the Texts and Technology PhD program at UCF. He also serves as the Publications Coordinator/Research Specialist at UCF' Center of Humanities and Digital Research.

The field of Digital Humanities (DH) is broad, and the applied tools are as diverse as the projects in which they are used. The Center for Humanities and Digital Research at the University of Central Florida creates and supports a variety of DH projects. These include text-based corpora such as Samuel Johnson's Dictionary, mixed reality projects such as ELLE, the EndLess LEarner, mapping projects such as the Veterans Legacy Program, as well as digital and physical publication projects like journals and chapbooks. This session will highlight the tools used in these and more, from Zooniverse, Leaflet, Twitter scrapers, Orange, and the Adobe Creative Suite to show how they can assist with preserving historical sources and enhance analysis. 

View recording here.


Designing Digital Projects to Connect with Local Communities and Diverse Constituencies

February 11,1:30 p.m., Zoom

  • Laura Heffernan, PhD,  is an Associate Professor of English and Director of the UNF Digital Humanities Institute (2019-2021).
  • Tru Leverette, PhD, is an Associate Professor of English and Director of the UNF Africana Studies Program.
  • Constanza López, PhD, is an Associate Professor of Spanish and founder of Voces y Caras, a digital oral history project that seeks to uncover and preserve the hidden voices of Spanish speakers in African, Europe, and the Americas.  
  • Clayton McCarl, PhD, is an Associate Professor of Spanish and Digital Humanities. He also currently serves as the Director of the International Studies Program at UNF. 

This presentation considers approaches to designing digital projects that create connections between campuses and communities through processes of cultural heritage preservation. The focus, in particular, is on using digital methodologies as tools for engaging with the histories of marginalized groups in Florida. Dr. Heffernan, Dr. Leverette, Dr. López, and Dr. McCarl will discuss three projects based at the University of North Florida: Editing the Eartha MM White Collection (, the Viola Muse Digital Edition (, and Voces y Caras: Hispanic Communities of North Florida ( The first two are publishing online the papers of women who represent key figures in the African American history of Jacksonville. Voces y Caras is a digital oral history project that gathers the personal stories of Hispanic residents of North Florida. All of these projects have involved students as key collaborators, with 22 students working on the Eartha MM White project since 2016, 21 currently participating in the Viola Muse project (Summer 2021), and nearly 200 having contributed to Voces y Caras since 2012. 

The presentation will be followed by a hands-on workshop that will be designed to help members of the IRSC community envision ways to deploy similar methods at their institution. The UNF faculty will lead a training session on the basics of digital editing, collaborative oral history, and the construction of online archives using Omeka.

View panel here.

View practical considerations discussion here.


History, Heritage, and Culture: Digital Storytelling for All

February 25, Talk: 12:30-1:45 p.m.; Workshop: 2-3 p.m. 

In person: V125, The Institute for Academic Excellence, Massey Campus, Fort Pierce and Zoom. 

  • Todd Taylor, PhD, is a Distinguished Professor of English at UNC, Chapel Hill and the Director and Founder of the Creative Campus Faculty Development Institute. 

Dr. Taylor will present a low-lift, high-impact approach for everyone to leverage digital technologies for storytelling of history, heritage, culture, and community. He will provide an intellectual background for understanding how communication is continually changing as a result of digital technologies. The attendees and workshop participants will take away strategies for creating and sharing histories using a digital humanities framework that includes students and faculty, artists and historians, young folks and old, campus and community members, and especially those who might have been historically excluded from public storytelling.

He will introduce participants to Adobe Spark, which is a free, web-based application for novice digital storytelling. The session will showcase for inspiration a wide array of digital storytellers across many modes and disciplines, and it will leave attendees with an easy-to-follow demonstration for beginning to tell and share their story.

View recording here. 


Storytelling with Maps to Understand Community Challenges

April 8th, 1:30 p.m., Zoom

  • Sonia Stephens, PhD, is an Assistant Professor of English at UCF, where she received her PhD in Texts and Technology. 

This talk will explore how communities can harness mapping tools (e.g., Google Maps, StoryMaps) to better center the individual stories of people facing community challenges. Many of today’s challenges are place-based, such as economic struggles and environmental issues. Interactive spatial tools give digital humanities researchers and creators rich possibilities for archiving, connecting, and contextualizing individuals’ stories that are linked to local concerns. For example, creators can use mapping tools to interpret and share the lived experiences and concerns of local groups when faced with a problem that has a place-based component. Sea level rise is one such issue that has relevance for people living in coastal Florida. In this presentation, I will describe how I worked with a colleague–Dan Richards at Old Dominion University–to gather personal narratives from coastal residents in Florida and Virginia. We then combined the narratives with dynamic maps and discussions about the potential threats from sea level rise along the coast. Our resulting project, called “SLR Stories” (, tells an interactive story that adds a human element to what can be “dry” scientific information about risk. I will then discuss how storytelling with maps can be used to share a diverse group of voices and viewpoints about community issues, and focus on some of the best practices that creators should keep in mind for design and development of interactive mapping stories, such as emphasizing usability and thinking about your editorial stance. 

View recording here. 


Writing CC Students Into the Digital Landscape

April 15, location V125

1:30: Lecture

3:00: Workshop

  • Anne B. McGrail, PhD, is an early proponent of bringing the digital humanities to community colleges. She teaches English at Lane Community College.

Community college (CC) teaching is close to advocacy work, and teaching CC students about digital humanities methods must always begin with practice, with our students, and with the conditions of their lives. In my talk, “Writing CC Students into the Digital Landscape,” I explore how to design successful digital pedagogy in open-access community colleges.  I discuss how I have adapted digital humanities methods for community-college students: Beginning with the role that precarity plays in our students’ lives, I outline a frame for how I teach digital humanities with these CC contexts in mind. The frame I use has evolved from several sources over several years: a learning theory approach informed by David Perkins; an equity lens informed by scholars examining privilege and middle-class assumptions about learning; an approach to helping students cope with cognitive dissonance and threshold concepts; and a way of teaching in a room (including a Zoom room) with varying preparation and “college knowledge.”  

The “whole game” approach I have adapted for digital humanities at the CC helps students see the “hidden game” of the digital landscape. I encourage them to leverage the social and collaborative aspects of digital life, and help them develop information literacy for a changing information landscape. In my presentation, I discuss the equity framework that I use, including responses to working-class time orientation and belonging uncertainty. I share how to design assignments that advance CC student understanding of digital humanities without catapulting underprepared students into self-doubt.  By anticipating self-doubt, students avoid cognitive dissonance and master important threshold concepts for digital humanities practice. 

I will discuss various strategies to ensure successful digital humanities participation at the CC level: assignment design and scaffolding, spacious deadlines and cycles of reward/grades, digital engagement through You Tube, Zoom conferences and discussion boards, and flexible, low-stakes tasks that build students’ literacies in reading and in written and digital compositions. The result is that students apply principles of data visualization, crowdsourced annotation; they develop ethical principles for representing themselves and others online, and they create “synthetic selfies” that help them to see the gaze through non-human eyes.  

View recording here. 


Funding for this lecture series was provided through a grant from Florida Humanities with funds from the National Endowment for the Humanities. Any views, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed on this website or in any lectures do not necessarily represent those of Florida Humanities or the National Endowment for the Humanities.