Imperiia Studio Sessions

Because digital scholarship is a deeply human endeavor.

Is the Studio for you?

Do your ears perk up when you hear the words “digital scholarship”? 

Maybe that is because you are wondering what it means. In a nutshell, it means that you work with data and/or have made some attempt to integrate computational methods into your analytical process. For some people it means using R or Python. For others it means migrating from a spreadsheet to a database environment. For some people it means conducting spatial analysis. For others it means annotating visual materials.

Do you need to be coding-fluent or an expert of some kind?

Absolutely not. No matter what your digital fluency and no matter where you fall on the spectrum from first year student to senior fellow, you are most welcome to join the Studio. Although we won't teach tools in studio, I will keep everyone up-to-date on workshops, training sessions, and events on campus and beyond.

Do you need to be a Harvard affiliate?

No. The Studio is open to digital scholars near and far. We will meet via Zoom, at least for now.

What is the format?

We meet weekly on Thursdays at 12:00 Eastern Time. We will take turns workshopping ideas and problems, discussing workflows and strategies, presenting works-in-progress, and doing what we can to move each other's work forward. The first meeting of each month will be devoted to an in-studio collaborative project related to forests. We will mix in occasional talks by invited speakers over the course of the year as well.

How will a hodgepodge of humanists and social scientists working on different time periods and different regions find common ground?

In addition to sharing methodological interests, we will organize many of our meetings around data and design—two topic areas that no digital scholar can live without.

As if that weren't enough, we have a theme for the 2021–2022 academic year. The first session of each month will be set aside for collaboration on an in-studio project related to forests

Do you have to attend each week?

No. Come as often as you like. If you decide to participate in the Forests project, attendance at those sessions is strongly encouraged. During weeks when many participants are swamped with other work, the Studio will function as an open office hour.

How do you sign up?

Fill in this form. You will receive additional information and the Zoom link.

Questions? Email Dr. O'Neill at

Upcoming Meetings

November 4: Forest Project (1)

Kelly will open the session with some remarks about the intersection of forests, maps, and data. The second half will be an open discussion of goals & agenda-setting for our collaborative project.

November 11: Does data ever end?

Without data, there would be no digital scholarship. But are we confident that we know what is—and is not—data? Who produces it and why? What methods do we—or should we—use to document the process of data production? This week we'll dive into these questions and workshop some of the challenges arising from our own specific projects. Participants are encouraged to read: 

November 18: What does "good" digital scholarship look like?

We will come back to this question again and again, but let's start by focusing on the ways in which works of digital scholarship deal with static visual material - with photographs and paintings and posters and charts and maps. We will sample the spectrum of practices, which includes curation, content analysis, feature extraction, and storytelling. And while we are at it, why not ground ourselves in one of the most iconic visualizations of all time (and a very modern project aimed at repairing and recreating it)?

November 25: No meeting (Thanksgiving)

December 2: Forest Project (2)

December 9: The Missing Data Problem

December 16: Gingerbread and Maps

December 23: No meeting (winter break)

January 6: No meeting (winter break)