Category > Upcoming Talks & Events

“Rediscovering the Humanities: Humanities Advocacy in the Digital Age.” Experimental Humanities program, Bard College. 6 November 2014.

  • Abstract: How can liberal arts colleges, teachers, and students make the case for the value of the humanities to the public today? Starting with the example of the 4Humanities.org advocacy initiative that he co-founded, Alan Liu will discuss strategies of communicating the values of the humanities in today’s society. A special emphasis of the talk is the promise of new digital technologies for public engagement in the humanities.


“Practice and Theory of ‘Distant Reading': An Introductory Workshop on Digital Humanities Methods.” Experimental Humanities program, Bard College. 7 November 2014.

  • Web site for workshop with detailed agenda and resources.
  • Abstract: In this hands-on workshop and discussion, Alan Liu will introduce some commonly used analytical tools in the digital humanities–e.g.,
    • Google Books Ngram viewer & the Bookworm tool for exploring Hathi Trust texts;
    • Voyeur Tools, AntConc, and similar text-analysis tools;
    • Topic modeling tools;
    • Social network analysis tools;
    • Visualization tools.

    Participants will then try their hand at one or more tools, aiming not for mastery or even competence but just to capture an interesting “souvenir,” e.g., a screenshot. (For the purposes of the workshop, even failed attempts can produce an interesting souvenir.)

    Alan Liu will then lead a broader discussion based on the souvenirs about the opportunities and limitations of digital humanities methods. The largest question that the workshop will open to view is: how do digital humanities methods signal today’s changing ideas about the human world?

“[TBD]” Mellon Research Initiative in Digital Cultures, University of California, Davis. 3 March 2015.


“Against the Cultural Singularity: Toward a Critical Digital Humanities.” ‘History and Theory of New Media” lecture series, Berkeley Center for New Media, University of California, Berkeley. 5 March 2015.