Budapest, Hungary

Cultures of Dissent in Eastern Europe (1945-1989): Research Approaches in the Digital Humanities

online course
when 18 January 2021 - 26 February 2021
language English
duration 6 weeks
credits 2 EC
fee EUR 150

This 6-week online course in digital humanities research methods from early January through mid-February 2021 aims to develop a strong cohort of scholars of East European cultures of dissent who are fluent with the concepts and practices of digital history, and interested in carrying out larger-scale, possibly collaborative projects in the future.

Our goal is to find new ways of leveraging technology to strengthen research networks and incubate collaborative scholarship as the first step in a larger project: to develop a stand-alone training module that could support future self-guided interactions for specialists in this area. Eventually, such a resource would allow researchers with intersecting interests in Cold War-era cultures of dissent to learn about digital approaches to the field, broader conceptual problems in digital history, and then specific, skill-based techniques to integrate their own sources and collections of materials into a network of related projects.

Course leader

Jessie Labov, Center for Media, Data and Society, Central European University/Academic and Institutional Development, McDaniel College Budapest Budapest, Hungary
Piotr Wciślik, Digital Humanities Centre at the Institute of Literary Research of the Polish

Target group

We expect to have about 20-25 participants. Our target audience is:
1) the participants in the COST Action,
2) students, scholars, archivists, and even activists with an interest in the intersection of Cold War history, opposition culture, and digital humanities.
3) enrolled students and employees of the Open Society University Network institutions as well as students from CIVICA universities.

Ideally, our participants would be evenly divided between these two groups. We see this SUN course as an opportunity to widen our network, to bring in relevant people we have not previously identified, and to offer a new set of skills and knowledge to the CEU community.

No prior knowledge of any computational methods, or even data-driven approaches to research are expected from the participants. However, we will be targeting scholars, librarians/archivists, and art and cultural heritage curators, who can bring first-hand knowledge of the main research area.

Participants will be expected to have either:
a) carried out a medium- to large-scale research project on a related topic; OR
b) have a clearly articulated interest in adding a digital component to their research design; OR
c) worked extensively as an archivist or curator with materials related to this topic

Course aim

Course Format
As a very first step towards that goal, we offer a 6-week online course from early January through mid-February 2021.

Week 1 - Intensive, interactive, synchronous meetings
The first week will feature short, interactive documentaries containing both overviews of the field of digital history and skill-based demo sessions. Participants will be responsible for working through the first part of each lesson on their own. As a follow-up, we will hold live, synchronous ‘teach-in’ meetings in which faculty will elaborate on some of the points provided in the lesson, as well as answer specific questions. Participants are expected to spend the afternoon working individually or in small groups online through applications of each instance.

Week 2-6 – mostly self-guided learning supplemented by one-on-one tutorials and one weekly group meeting on Fridays
After the first, intensive week of the course, we will turn to a more self-guided mode, and participants will start to experiment/test drive both the demo datasets and their own datasets through different methods, using different tools (breakout sessions continued). Faculty will be available for one-on-one support, guidance, and feedback as needed in a tutorial structure. Each Friday, we will meet as a group synchronously to report on steps taken, show progress, troubleshoot issues that are coming up across projects (feedback sessions).

On the last Friday of the course, in mid-February, participants will present their projects via synchronous videoconference.

This format will be well suited to incubate DH projects, creating space, in addition to acquiring new skills, for employing these skills in supervised tinkering with data.

The size of the cohort will be 20-25, with a 1:3 faculty/student ratio, and different faculty responsible for various aspects of the course.

All material produced for this course and/or a sustainable stand-alone module will be made available via open access platforms and repositories, and all datasets (which do not consist of private, personal, or protected data) will be shared as well.

Credits info

2 EC
CEU Summer University awards a certificate of attendance upon successful completion of the course. In order to gain this certificate, participants will be expected to attend and actively participate in all classes and complete assignments required by the course.

Fee info

EUR 150: payable until December 18, 2020


About scholarship opportunities please visit the Financial information page on the course website.