About The Conference


Dear Colleague,

The ninth annual meeting of the Chicago Colloquium on Digital Humanities and Computer Science (DHCS) will be hosted by Northwestern University on October 23-24, 2014.

This is a call for papers on just about anything that plausibly stays within the intersection of DH and CS. A submission for a paper or poster should include an abstract of ~750 words and a minimal bio. Send it to martinmueller@northwestern.edu by August 1, 2014. We expect to notify you of accepted submissions by late August.

The DHCS Colloquium has been a lively regional conference (with non-trivial bi-coastal and overseas sprinkling), rotating since 2006 among the University of Chicago (where it began), DePaul, IIT, Loyola, and Northwestern.  At the first Colloquium Greg Crane asked his memorable question “What to do with a million books?” Here are some highlights that I remember across the years:

  • An NLP programmer at Los Alamos talking about the ways security clearances prevented CIA analysts and technical folks from talking to each other.
  • A demonstration that if you replaced all content words in Arabic texts and focused just on stop words you could determine with a high degree of certainty the geographical origin of a given piece of writing.
  • A visualization of phrases like “the king’s daughter” in a sizable corpus, telling you much about who owned what.
  • A social network analysis of Alexander the Great and his entourage.
  • An amazingly successful extraction of verbal parallels from very noisy data.
  • Did you know that Jane Austen was a game theorist before her time and that her characters were either skillful or clueless practitioners of this art?

And so forth. Given my own interests, I tend to remember  “Text as Data” stuff, but there was much else about archaeology, art, music, history, and social or political life. You  can browse through some of the older programs at http://lucian.uchicago.edu/blogs/dhcs/.

Looking back over the almost ten years of the DHCS Colloquium, I also remember that some of the most interesting papers have come from graduate students. While the DHCS Colloquium is not a graduate student conference per se, we will look with particular interest at paper and poster submissions by  graduate students.

This year’s colloquium will partly overlap and share some programming with the annual members meeting and conference of the Text Encoding Initiative, which will be hosted by Northwestern University, October 22-24. The details of shared programming remain to be worked out, but there will be a shared plenary session on Thursday afternoon.  ”Text as Data” will look at its topic  from various technical perspectives and range across the humanities and social sciences. Speakers will include David Smith (Northeastern University), Michael Sperberg-McQueen (BlackMesa Technologies), and others.

Topics of special interest to both the TEI and DHCS conferences include research projects that make special use of the digital “affordances” created by the Hathi Trust, the Hathi Trust Research Center, and the TEI-encoded texts created by the Text Creation Partnership (TCP) from books on Early English Books Online (EEBO).

Visitors to the DHCS Colloquium may be interested in the four post-conference TEI workshops offered on Saturday , October, 25, which offer general and hands-on introductions to a variety of text and music encoding issues.

We look forward to receiving many and interesting submissions. As in previous years, the program committee will consist of members from past and current host institutions.

With best wishes for a good summer from myself and the program committee

Martin Mueller
Chair, Program Committee DHCS 2014
Professor emeritus of English and Classics
Northwestern University