GVU Center Brown Bag Seminar Series - Humanities Data Visualization

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Lauren Klein, Yanni Loukissas, Carl DiSalvo
Georgia Institute of Technology


Humanities Data Visualization: Prototyping the Field


Humanities Data Visualization, a GVU-sponsored workshop held at Georgia Tech in March 2016, brought together leading humanities scholars with visualization designers and researchers to explore a range of meanings of humanities “data,” and to prototype new methods for their visual display. The goal was to encourage these otherwise unlikely collaborators to imagine new forms and platforms capable of portraying the humanistic dimensions of culturally significant data-- an increasingly important challenge in the fields of digital humanities and information visualization alike.

This talk will report on the outcomes of the workshop, and begin to trace the contours of the emerging area of research we might call humanities data visualization. We will provide examples of the range of data that humanities scholars employ in their work, the challenges of their content and structure, and the variety of research questions they can help to explore. Through these examples, we hope to prompt an expanded conversation about data visualization and its possibilities— and limits--for humanities research.


Lauren Klein is an Assistant Professor in the School of Literature, Media, and Communication at Georgia Tech, where she also directs the Digital Humanities Lab. Her research interests include early American literature, food studies, media studies, and the digital humanities. She is at work on two book projects: the first on the relation between eating and aesthetics in the early American archive, and the second that provides a cultural history of data visualization from the eighteenth century to the present day. Her writing has appeared in American Quarterly, American Literature, and Early American Literature. Her digital humanities projects have been supported by grants from the Mellon Foundation and the National Endowment for the Humanities. With Matthew K. Gold, she edits Debates in the Digital Humanities (Univ. of Minnesota Press), a hybrid print/digital publication stream that explores debates in the field as they emerge. The next volume in the series, Debates in the Digital Humanities 2016, is forthcoming in print and online in March 2016.


Yanni Loukissas is an Assistant Professor of Digital Media in the School of Literature, Media, and Communication at Georgia Tech. His research draws together information design and information studies. He is a contributor to Simulation and its Discontents (MIT Press, 2009) and the author of Co-Designers: Cultures of Computer Simulation in Architecture (Routledge, 2012). Before coming to Georgia Tech, he was a lecturer at the Harvard Graduate School of Design, where he co-coordinated the Program in Art, Design and the Public Domain. He was also a principal at metaLAB, a research project of the Harvard Berkman Center for Internet and Society. He has taught at Cornell, MIT, and the School of the Museum of Fine Arts. Originally trained as an architect at Cornell University, he subsequently received a Master of Science and a PhD in Design and Computation at MIT. While at MIT, he worked with the Initiative on Technology and Self and the Media Lab. He also completed postdoctoral work at the MIT Program in Science, Technology and Society.


Carl DiSalvo is an Associate Professor in the Digital Media Program in the School of Literature, Media, and Communication at the Georgia Institute of Technology. In 2008 he established The Public Design Workshop, which is a design research studio that explores socially-engaged design practices and civic media. His work draws together science and technology studies, the humanities, and design research to analyze the social and political qualities of design and prototype experimental systems and services.


The GVU Center Brown Bag Seminar Series is free and features guest speakers presenting on topics related to the use of computing technology in everyday living. Lunch is provided at 11:30 a.m. and the talks begin at 12 p.m. Join us weekly or watch video replays at gvu.gatech.edu. Keep the conversation going on social media with #gvubb.



  • Workflow Status:Published
  • Created By:Joshua Preston
  • Created:04/14/2016
  • Modified By:Fletcher Moore
  • Modified:04/13/2017