Digital Humanities Forum

A forum on the past, present, and future of digital humanities research at the University of Chicago and around the world.

Our Next Forum

April 19, 1pm: Regenstein Library 122


Peter K. Bol, Carswell Professor of EALC, Harvard University and Jeffrey Tharsen, Associate Director of Technology, Forum for Digital Culture, University of Chicago


AI as UI: MARKUS and GPT-4 for Chinese Historical Analysis (CBDB)


The China Biographical Database Project (CBDB, online at takes as its stated goal “to include all significant biographical material from China’s historical record and to make the contents available free of charge, without restriction, for academic use.”  Despite its extensive and valuable contents, the CBDB has generally only been available to those who can manipulate it as a database (either in Access or SQLite) or via its programmatic API.  Since 2015, the MARKUS project ( has been working to create lookup and filtering tools and make the CBDB data available via its text auto-tagger. Recent work has now led to the CBDB database becoming available as a backend in OpenAI’s web-based GPT user interface, via which users can use “natural language queries” to explore the data, generate charts and graphs, and even auto-generate code in a wide variety of programming languages (e.g. Python, HTML, Javascript) to produce advanced visualizations like dashboards and networks, animated maps and a wide range of data analytical representations.

If you need any assistance to participate in the Forum, please contact Carmen Caswell (

Digital China: Big Tech and the State

Join the Stigler Center for a conversation with Ling Chen (Johns Hopkins University) and Matt Sheehan (Carnegie Endowment for International Peace), moderated by Lingling Wei (The Wall Street Journal).

RCC Series: Dynamic and Interactive Plotting in Python

Plotting data in Python can be a beautiful, interactive experience! Modern plots include hover points, or info boxes that provide the user with a deeper understanding of the plots and the data behind them. We can also use Python to animate our results to show trends over time. This workshop will focus on libraries such as Bokeh to build colorful, dramatic graphical displays of your data.

Digital Technologies for Humanists

Join faculty, students, and University staff in discussing the tools and support resources for scholars working at the nexus of the humanities, the social sciences, and technology, as well as presentations from current projects.