Digital Soundings: Expanding Digital Networks and Scholarship at UNCW is a seminar series designed to foster and build on interdisciplinary research success at UNCW by providing faculty with opportunities to participate in hands-on workshops, collaborative working groups, and lectures with leading practitioners in the fields of computational text analysis and data visualization. To learn more about the seminar series, please see the information below. Digital Soundings is supported by funding from the UNCW Office of Research and Innovation's Interdisciplinary Research Seminar Series (IRSS) grant program and is co-sponsored by the College of Arts and Sciences and Randall Library. The project team includes co-PIs Kemille Moore, Ashley Knox, Jennifer Lozano, and John Knox and faculty partners Gene Felice, Mark Lammers, Brittany Morago, and Jeremy Tirrell.


Introduction to Data Visualization - Fiene Leunissen (Duke)

Registration for this workshop is closed. 

This workshop will introduce participants to data visualization using Tableau. The workshop will consist of synchronous instructional sessions via Zoom and independent exercises. The workshop is open to all UNCW faculty. No prior knowledge or experience is necessary. Registration is on a first come, first served basis and space is limited. 

Session I - Monday 2/8, 2:00-3:30: This session will focus on the use of data visualization for research in the humanities and will provide an overview of the various steps necessary to conduct data-driven research in the humanities, such as data collection, data cleaning and data organization.

Session II - Monday 2/15, 2:00-3:30: This session will cover the various types of charts that can be produced in Tableau and how to optimize their use. We will address how to add points or polygons to custom images and how to use these as data layers, as well as how to use Tableau’s mapping functions and Mapbox integration.

Session III - Monday 2/22, 2:00-3;30: This session will address the ways in which the previously discussed visualization types can be combined and made to interact with one another in Tableau’s dashboards, allowing data to be further explored or filtered by different users. We will explore how a combination of dashboards can be used to present your data visualizations in a narrative form using Tableau’s storyboard function. Storyboards are ideal for combining data visualizations produced in Tableau with text and other visuals (images, video, etc.) that can easily be made available online or embedded into a project website.

Session IV - Monday 3/1, 2:00-3:30: In this session we will continue with advanced functions in Tableau and conclude with a discussion of the practical applications of these methods for humanities research.

Introduction to Digital Mapping - Jeff Essic and Walt Gurley (NCSU)

Registration for this workshop will open on 3/8/21 and close on 3/19/21.

This workshop will introduce participants to geospatial data and digital mapping using ArcGIS software and ESRI Story Maps. The workshop will consist of synchronous instructional sessions via Zoom and independent exercises. The workshop is open to all UNCW faculty, and no prior knowledge or experience is necessary. Registration will open later this spring.

Session I - 3/29, 2:00-3:30: Introduction to StoryMaps: ArcGIS Story Maps are a publicly accessible format for communicating the results of your research, presenting historical narratives, and crafting place-based stories. In this workshop, you will learn how to design a web-based narrative with map data, text, and multimedia. We’ll discuss best practices and how researchers and instructors are using Story Maps for documenting and presenting work.

Session II - 4/5, 2:00-3:30: Introduction to ArcGIS Online: ArcGIS Online is a cloud-based geographic information system used to map data, share content, and collaborate. This workshop will give you a foundation for getting started with ArcGIS Online’s mapping tools. We’ll plan to cover what ArcGIS Online is, how to add and work with data, perform spatial analyses, geocode addresses, and share the results.

Session III - 4/12, 2:00-3:30: Introduction to Digtial Mapping with Tableau Public: This workshop introduces some of the basic mapping features in Tableau through the exploration of several different geospatial, and non-spatial datasets and file types. We will learn how to create various geospatial visualizations and discuss best practices in geospatial visualization. While this workshop will not provide a broad overview of Tableau, no previous experience with Tableau is required.

Session IV - 4/19, 2:00-3:30: Overview of GIS Resources and Tutorials: Following the introduction of specific tools in the previous sessions, this workshop will provide an overview of GIS resources including data sources, data types, and software. This can be a time to follow up on anything for which participants want to go more in-depth and for the instructors to introduce example projects and demonstrate workflows. Attendees are welcome to think about how their own projects incorporate geospatial elements and come with questions or discussion about the data, tools, and analyses they might use.

Introduction to Computational Text Analysis - Nathan Kelber (JSTOR Labs)

This workshop introduced participants to text analysis with Python using Jupyter Notebooks. The workshop demonstrated methods such as word frequency, significant terms, and topic modeling via JSTOR's recently released Constellate platform. Not sure if computational text analysis is for you? Check out this FAQ resource from JSTOR Labs to learn more about the ways computational text analysis can further your research. If you'd like to view the recorded sessions, please email John Knox at knoxj [at]


Digitized Newspapers, Oceanic Exchanges, and Historical Networks - Paul Fyfe (NCSU)

During the nineteenth century, the international exchanges of newspapers became the precursors of a global information network. How did this network operate? What were its patterns of circulation and distortion? This talk shares a case study from the Oceanic Exchanges project ( to analyze digital newspaper collections across nations and languages. It also flags the importance of data provenance, mixed methods, collaboration, and historical interpretation in large-scale digital scholarship.

The Boundaries of Digital Humanities - Paul Fyfe (NCSU)

This talk considers the boundary trouble of digital humanities—specifically, who recognizes, misrecognizes, or doesn’t recognize the field. These disagreements arise at the moment digital humanities gets defined and institutionalized. A better approach might be to think about DH instead as a “boundary object” in which different groups can work together even in the absence of consensus. In this context, I share lessons learned from my own experiences implementing DH at NC State. Ultimately, seeing DH as a boundary object may help to imagine its institutional success in terms of interdisciplinarity, collaboration, and curricula.

Working Groups

The working groups are designed to foster collaborations that lead to scholarly publications, proposals for external funding, and other forms of scholarship that build on the research activity of faculty in the areas of computational text analysis and data visualization. The groups are informal and will be active throughout the 2020-21 academic year. The groups will be facilitated primarily via Microsoft Teams. If you're interested in participating in a working group, please email John Knox at knoxj [at]