Workshop and List Sign Up

Sign up here for reminders about an upcoming workshop or to get advanced access to the files and software to be covered at an event. You can also request to be added to the list for future announcements.

Upcoming Workshops:

Social Media Workshop: Creative and Critical Applications

11/1, 1–5pm, Clemens 128


[Workshop Files Coming Soon]

Digital Exhibit and Portfolio Workshop

11/10, 2–5pm, Clemens 128


[Workshop Files Coming Soon]

Past Workshops:

GIS and the Humanities: A Basic Introduction to ArcMap

Sunday, April 3, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Led by Emily Holt

You may never have considered how Geographic Information Systems – or GIS – can support your research as a humanist, but manipulating spatial data has lots of applications for understanding humanistic questions.

For example:

You’re interested in the diffusion of a new coinage and have access to a lot of searchable text that might contain the word. Once you’ve identified instances of the word’s use, you can track down when and where the works containing the word were written. GIS can help you analyze the word’s chronological and geographical distribution, allowing you to examine the spatial aspects of language diffusion and reconstruct lived networks of intertextuality.


You’re interested in how medieval mapmakers understood space. You have scans of several medieval maps, but don’t know how to explore the ways space is represented and distorted. GIS can allow you to overlay medieval maps on a base map of the physical world and analyze variables like viewsheds (what people can see when standing in a particular place), least-cost-paths (the easiest route to get from one place to another in terms of energy), and travel time estimates for different routes.

This workshop will provide a basic introduction to ArcMap, one of the most widely used GIS programs, for humanists who want to explore how GIS can enhance their research. The workshop will cover introductory skills such as making maps using ArcMap’s existing base maps, importing map images into ArcMap, georeferencing imported images, creating points on maps and assigning meaning to them, altering the visual representation of points to convey meaning, adding north arrows and scale bars, and exporting a finished map. Materials to work with will be provided, but you are encouraged to bring your own materials if you already have some. Maps should be in JPEG or Bitmap format (pdfs cannot be imported directly into ArcMap). Tables or lists of data should be in an Excel spreadsheet. If you already know some coordinates you want to use, make sure you know what coordinate system they were taken in. If you have multiple sets of data – like a map plus some points you’ve pulled off Google Earth – make sure they’re in the same coordinate system.

Emily Holt ( is a CAORC/Mellon Mediterranean Regional Research Fellow, 2015-2016 at the Museum National d’Histoire Naturelle, Paris and a Research Assistant Professor, State University of New York at Buffalo.


Redshift and Portalmetal

Monday, March 21, from 11:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m

Led by micha cárdenas

UB’s Committee on Digital Scholarship and Cultures and the Techne Institute for Arts and Emerging Technologies is pleased to invite interested students to Redshift and Portalmetal, a hands-on creative workshop with artist and scholar micha cárdenas. cárdenas, a media scholar and performance artist, will work with students to create an interactive online game that explores imagined futures in a post-apocalyptic landscape. Students with interests in games studies and design, creative and alternative forms of story-telling, devised performance, postcolonial studies, or science fiction are all encouraged to take part. This event is also co-sponsored by PLASMA and the Humanities Institute Performance Research Workshop.

About Redshift and Portalmetal: Redshift and Portalmetal asks: as climate change forces us to travel to the stars and build new homes and families, how do we build on this land? The story uses space travel as a lens through which to understand the experience and politics of migration and settlement, and points to possibilities of post-digital, post-media, and decolonial approaches to communication. We will consider how our daily survival strategies as gendered, racialized, and medicalized people give us unique skills and abilities to imagine futures beyond the apocalypses we are living, and make them real. After a discussion of the gendered, racial, colonial politics of apocalyptic science fiction narratives, participants will be guided through the creation of their own narratives, using writing and movement exercises. To develop their stories, participants will describe who has survived, what was the apocalypse and what skills this character used to survive. The workshop combines elements of Theatre of the Oppressed and contemporary dance with writing prompts, allowing participants to combine their ideas in the Scalar e-publishing platform to create an interactive online game. Scalar is an e-book software designed to make born digital, non-linear, multi-media, multi-modal publishing more accessible to scholars and artists. The project takes the form of an online, interactive game, including film, performance and poetry.

About micha cárdenas: micha cárdenas is an artist/theorist who creates and studies trans of color movement in digital media, where movement includes migration, performance and mobility. cárdenas earned a PhD from the University of Southern California in Media Arts + Practice, where she was a Provost Fellow. cárdenas is a member of the artist collective Electronic Disturbance Theater 2.0. cárdenas’s solo and collaborative work has been seen in museums, galleries, biennials, keynotes, community and public spaces around the world. Her co-authored book, The Transreal: Political Aesthetics of Crossing Realities, was published by Atropos Press in 2012.

Digital Scholarship Week Workshops

Clemens Hall, rm. 128

10am-2pm (lunch provided both days)

Saturday, 3/5: Reconstructing Historical Structures

Participants will learn how to import the data from real world spatial scans into a game engine for visualization, interaction, and simulation. Methods and tools to be covered include:

Reconstructing Surfaces in MeshLab

Adding Textures and Shading in Blender

Creating Terrains and Objects in Unreal


 Sunday, 3/6: Editing and Analyzing Texts for Research

Led by the Marianne Moore Digital Archive’s Technical Director, Nikolaus Wasmoen, participants in this workshop will explore technologies related to Cristanne Miller’s Tuesday talk about the archive. Topics to be covered include:

Encoding Texts for Research Purposes and Scholarly Editions

Using Metadata to Enrich Texts and other Humanities Collections

Practice using Digital Editing tools, including those being developed by UB’s Center for Unified Biometrics (CUBS) for the MMDA