Anticipated offerings for the coming offering include the following. Please choose one of the following week-long courses. Our fees for this year's DHSI are available here.

Important Notes:
- A DHSI course runs daily for the duration of the week, so only once course can be taken at a time.
- If you are unsure of which course would be best suited to your strengths and interests, please contact the DHSI coordinator.
- In order to be eligible for a tuition scholarship, you must complete the scholarship application and receive your acceptance before registering for a course. We regret that we are unable to offer tuition reimbursements to participants who register before receiving the results of their scholarship application.

Fundamentals / Introductory Courses

Courses in this section are introductory and hands-on in nature. Students in these courses should have a basic knowledge of computing tools and methods.

  1. Text Encoding Fundamentals and their Application

    Julia Flanders, Constance Crompton, and Melanie Chernyk

    For those new to the field, this is an introduction to the theory and practice of encoding electronic texts for the humanities. This workshop is designed for individuals who are contemplating embarking on a text-encoding project, or for those who would like to better understand the philosophy, theory, and practicalities of encoding in XML (Extensible Markup Language) using the Text Encoding Initiative (TEI) Guidelines.


    Digitisation Fundamentals and their Application

    Robin Davies and Michael Nixon

    For those new to the digitization field, this offering conveys skills necessary to bring real-world objects — text, image, sound, video — into a digital space, and then employ digital tools to further explore and strengthen those objects. Participants are encouraged to incorporate their own interests and materials into the workshops and lab activities of the course, and will build a personalized online document to house their newly digitized media. Assuming only basic computing competency, a hands-on format will quickly introduce participants to digitization project planning and management, data storage requirements, archival standards, and best practices in digitization and distribution.

Tools & Methods / Intermediate Courses

Courses in this section are aimed at students who have completed the relevant fundamentals course at the DHSI or otherwise have similar foundational experience with digital humanities tools and methods.

  1. Introduction to XSLT for Digital Humanists

    Syd Bauman and Martin Holmes

    XSLT is the power tool of the XML world. It is a computer programming language intended to transform one XML document (e.g., in TEI) to another XML document (e.g., in XHTML); furthermore, it is expressed in XML itself. For digital humanists familiar with XML languages like TEI, EAD, METS, MODS, or DocBook, and XHTML, SVG, KML, or MathML, XSLT makes it possible to transform, manipulate, and publish your data in extraordinarily flexible ways. This hands-on course will introduce participants to the essential concepts of XSLT in a digital humanities context, dealing with real-world textual data. Participants will explore the basic capacities of XSLT for TEI-to-TEI and TEI-to-XHTML transformations, writing basic transforms of their own.

    Prerequisites: Text Encoding Fundamentals and their Application or equivalent. That is, fluency in XML and TEI is assumed. Familiarity with XHTML very helpful. Familiarity with CSS or JavaScript helpful.

  2. Multimedia: Design for Visual, Auditory, and Interactive Electronic Environments

    Aimée Morrison

    This offering highlights design issues as they relate to work with static and non-static image, textual, and auditory materials, as well as interactive media, particularly with regard to how such materials can be leveraged across social media platforms for teaching, research, and promotional purposes. Instruction will be a combination of lecture format and demonstration, with hands-on exercises and a large project component derived from student materials.


    Geographical Information Systems in the Digital Humanities

    Ian Gregory

    The course offers an introduction to the theory and practice of using Geographical Information Systems (GIS) to research the past. It will be primarily based on using the ArcGIS software package, the use of Google Earth to disseminate humanities data will also be explored. The course will be relevant to historians, historical geographers, demographers, and others with an interest in the geographies of the past. Quantitative and qualitative approaches will both be explored. We would welcome attendees bringing their own data so that we can explore how to get it into GIS form and what can then be done with it. (There may be a small additional charge for software for this course.)

  4. Physical Computing and Desktop Fabrication for Humanists

    William J. Turkel

    This course is a hands-on introduction to desktop rapid fabrication and physical computing for humanists. It is appropriate for undergraduate and graduate students as well as faculty. The first part of the course will involve building a 3D MakerBot printer from a kit, debugging it, and then using it to print small objects in plastic. The second part of the course will involve learning to build simple interactive and tangible devices that use the open source Arduino microcontroller and basic electronic sensors and actuators. There will be a modest materials fee (approximately $75) so that each student can take home his or her Arduino kit at the end of the course. Students will need to provide their own laptops. All software for the course is free and open source.

  5. Digital Pedagogy in the Humanities

    Katherine D. Harris, Diane Jakacki, and Jentery Sayers

    Intended for teaching faculty, instructors, librarians, and graduate students, this course provides a "best practices" approach to using digital humanities tools and processes in humanities courses for the purposes of communication, collaboration and facility of research. The course will unfold along two parallel tracks, [1] an overview of how best to incorporate DH tools into a given syllabus --- how to harness DH tools to support larger pedagogical objectives, set goals, and manage expectations, and [2] a practical examination of a variety of DH tools, from those serving the needs of a particular course (e.g., "home-built" digital editions, wikis, blogs, websites, GIS/Google Maps, and content management systems such as Moodle) to more general purpose, web 2.0 tools (e.g., Zotero, Prezi, Twitter, YouTube, and Dipity). Across the five days of DHSI, the course will move from a theoretical to a practical framework. It will be tool- and method-centric, and we will be invested in experimenting with an array of options (e.g., actually building model wikis or blogs, as well as live demo'ing approaches such as peer evaluation through a Twitter backchannel). Participants are asked to bring their own computers, together with at least one sample syllabus (for a course already taught or to be taught), which will be used as the basis for much of the work we do as the week progresses. By the course's conclusion, participants should leave with (at a minimum) an existing syllabus revised to better meet their own expectations of digital pedagogy in the humanities.

  6. Creating Digital Humanities Projects for the Mobile Environment

    Dene Grigar, Brett Oppegaard, John Barber, and Will Luers

    A growing area of interest in the digital humanities is the mobile environment, especially projects that take advantage of the affordances of smart phones and tablets. This course, derived from the Mobile Tech Research Initiative of The Creative Media & Digital Culture Program at Washington State University Vancouver (, is aimed at assisting participants to: 1) conceptualize the space and special features of mobile devices; 2) develop the architecture, design, and multimedia content production for a mobile project; and 3) understand the coding and programming requirements for mobile devices. By the end of the course, participants will have the information they need for creating projects for the mobile environment and will have completed steps toward the development of their own projects. Please visit the course homepage.

  7. Designing RESTful APIs (Application Programming Interfaces)

    Neal Audenaert

    This class is intended to help digital humanities scholars, students, project managers, and staff at libraries, archives, and museums develop a better understanding of what Web-based APIs are and how to engage in the design and implementation process in an informed manner. Assuming no prior knowledge of programming or software design, the course offers a basis to make decisions about when developing an API may add value to a digital project, and to work closely with technical staff to make ensure that the API is designed in a way that meets the project's need and to be in a position to provide critical design review of the API designs. This is a project-based class, the main instructional content delivered as a tutorial, working through the development of a simple API (most likely for interacting with digital facsimiles). In addition to this tutorial project, 50% of class time will be devoted to hands on work designing an API for a realistic (though small-scale) example project. Class members will work in small groups (3-4 people) on exercise projects, and participants may propose their own projects for the course. The class will also survey APIs for existing products and services, such as Google Maps, YAHOO! Query Language, OAI-PMH or Zotero, and will discuss (at a high level) multiple data representation formats such as Atom, HTML, JSON, RDF with particular attention being given to JSON.

  8. Digital Humanities Databases

    Harvey Quamen, Jon Bath, Matt Bouchard

    Databases are the driving engine behind a large number of classic and cutting-edge digital humanities applications. DH tasks -- such as wielding enormous GIS maps, aggregating the social media of wikis and blogs, building large archival repositories and even generating the semantic web -- all depend on some form of database. This course will introduce the inner workings of databases and demonstrate hands-on work with participants' own data sets to learn more about concepts like data normalization, relational table design, Structured Query Language (SQL), and effective long-term data management. Students need no prior experience with databases or programming.

  9. Augmented Reality: An Introduction

    Markus Wust

    The workshop serves as a theoretical and practical introduction to Augmented Reality (AR), intended for participants who have not actively worked with AR but are interested in exploring how it might be applied to their areas of endeavour. While we have been exposed to depictions of Augmented Reality through literature, TV and movies for many years, the emergence of mobile platforms such as the Apple iPhone or Android-based smartphones have brought many of these seemingly futuristic ideas closer to becoming part of our every-day reality. This is a hands-on workshop: after a broad theoretical introduction to AR and a demonstration and discussion of various approaches to augmenting reality, participants will work on a small AR project of their choosing (e.g., a tour of the University of Victoria campus), either individually or in small groups. Although basic HTML and CSS skills would be a plus and helpful for the creation of more complex projects, they are not prerequisites for the course; participants will want to bring a mobile device (e.g., iPhone or Android-based smartphones) capable of running the Layar Augmented Reality Browser for the purposes of viewing and testing their project.

Seminars & Consultations / Advanced Courses

These offerings are more seminar-style and consultative in nature.

  1. Issues in Large Project Planning and Management

    Lynne Siemens

    This seminar will cover the basics of project management from project definition to project review upon completion. Topics such as budget setting and controls, risk management, critical path scheduling, software tools, and related Internet resources will also be discussed. Material will be covered through lectures, discussions, case studies, and presentations. By the end of the course, participants will be able to implement the course concepts and tools in their projects.

  2. Digital Editions

    Matt Huculak

    This seminar is designed for individuals and groups who are interested in creating a digital edition. Topics covered will include planning and project management, workflow and labour issues, and tools available for edition creation. We will be working with the Islandora Digital Humanities Sprout, an environment specifically created for digital humanities edition creation. We will cover both text and image-based editions and will chart the process of ingesting images/text online through the final publication of an edition on the web. Over the course of the week, we will work through the practical implementation of a small-scale digital edition. Knowledge of TEI is recommended but not mandatory. The seminar is open to everyone, although preference will be given to participants of the Editing Modernism in Canada Project.

  3. Out-of-the-Box Text Analysis for the Digital Humanities

    David Hoover

    This class will focus on using digital tools to enhance and deepen traditional ways of reading and analyzing texts. We will explore ways of answering questions about authorship, textual style, and meaning; we will also raise, and begin to answer, important new kinds of questions about texts. The first sessions will analyze some prepared text corpora for guided investigation as a group using some standard software packages; automated methods that are freely available on the web will also be provided. This will allow participants to continue the work they have begun in the class on their own. In later sessions, participants will use these tools (and perhaps others, depending on their interests) to explore texts of their own choosing. The backgrounds and experiences of the participants will undoubtedly differ; therefore, we will aim for an intensely collegial and collaborative atmosphere, so as to capitalize on these differences. Most of the tools and methods work across different languages, though there may be some problems with transliterated and accented languages. Most also require texts of substantial size (preferably 2000 words or more). Students who have (groups of) texts in mind that they would like to work on in the class are encouraged to contact the instructor before enrolling to discuss any potential problems or questions.

  4. Understanding the Pre-Digital Book

    Helene Cazes, Adriaan Van der Weel, Erik Kwakkel, and Erin Kelly, with Ray Siemens

    This seminar is aimed at literary scholars, historians, archivists, librarians, booklovers, and others -- whether or not they have a digital humanities project in mind -- who wish to learn more about book culture in history and contexts from the medieval through early modern periods. Each class session will combine intensive lectures with individual and small group hands-on work with items from UVic's special collections to focus on the circumstances of production and the continuous reception of objects that were "unique reproductions" (manuscripts) and "repetitive reproductions" (printed books). By providing an overview of textual creation, transmission, and conservation, this seminar will offer digital humanists an introduction to the methodologies and reference tools (historical, codicological, and contemporary) necessary to understand a book in its original contexts and thus to make informed encoding decisions. All will receive a toolkit that enables them to analyze and describe archival materials, facsimiles, and editions in a variety of ways and thus will leave the class ready to read, understand, and produce a bibliographical entry that could accompany a digital edition. Consultations on the bibliographical issues related to individual projects will be available; students who have a particular book (or type of book) they would like to work on are encouraged to contact the instructor before enrolling.

  5. Online Tools for Literary Analysis

    Susan Brown and Stan Ruecker

    Much work in the digital humanities and beyond has focused on the digitization of literary texts, and we are now approaching a situation in which not only are most of the key texts available digitally, at least in rudimentary form, but the prospect of large corpora invites new kinds of analysis and new types of scholarly interest. Much energy is now being directed at the development of more accessible tools for the investigation of literary texts and cultural history in a digital environment. This seminar will explore existing and potential modes of engaging in literary analysis digitally as a means of providing contexts for and making connections among texts, authors, and other related phenomena, with an emphasis on tools that are relatively accessible and easy to use. Our seminar will include both a critical consideration of and hands-on engagement with a range of existing tools and methods available for the analysis of textual materials, including the Orlando Project's published and experimental interfaces; other tools explored will depend on participants' interests, but will include such tools as MONK; ManyEyes; JiTR; Voyeur; Zotero; TimeLine; Wordhoard; and Mandala. No markup or coding experience is necessary for participation in this seminar. Students will have an opportunity to embark on a set of analyses or a project that reflects their particular interests, as well as being invited to participate in the evaluation of particular tools.

Contact info: P: 250-472-5401 F: 250-472-5681