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

November 20, 12:00-2:00pm

Africa and the Debates in the Digital Humanities

James Yeku, Assistant Professor of African and African-American Studies, University of Kansas

James Yeku received his PhD in English from the University of Saskatchewan in 2018, joining the University of Kansas a year later as an assistant professor of African digital humanities in the Department of African and African American Studies and the Institute for Digital Research in the Humanities. James studies the digital expressions of the literatures and cultures of Africa and the African diaspora and focuses on the African articulations of the digital cultural record.  His interdisciplinary research explores areas such as cultural studies, social media in Africa, as well as online visual culture in Nigeria. James’s journal article “Akpos Don Come Again: Nigerian Cyberpop Hero as Trickster” won the 2017 Abioseh Porter Best Essay Award of the African Literature Association. In addition to several book chapters, James has published his work in the Journal of African Cultural Studies, Research in African Literatures, and Digital Scholarship in the Humanities. James is a member of the editorial board of the Journal of African Cultural Studies and was a research assistant for Allison Muri’s The Grub Street Project , a digital project that visualizes the literary and cultural history of London. His current project Digital Nollywood is a web-based archive of Nollywood film posters that reconstructs the history of the video film in Nigeria.

This forum session will take place virtually. The forum is free to attend, but registration here is required. If you need any additional accommodations to participate in the Forum, please contact Carmen Caswell (

Logos: Exploring Law, Society, and the Power of Rhetoric through Interactive Narrative

John Buterbaugh is a rising third-year student in the college studying political science. Though he’s not a classicist, John has a passion for studying ancient Athens, which he, using a Seidel Scholars Grant, sought to bring to life in an interactive fiction game built in ChoiceScript.

Who I am Is Where I am: Plotting Spatial Demographics in Renaissance Florence

At a time before the advent of a rationalized system of numbered addresses, people in cities understood the places in which they lived their lives as a network of integrated spatial and social relationships between streets, people, institutions, and activities. this was no less true in the case of the first “modern” tax census carried out in Florence, in 1427. Known as the catasto, this massive experiment in developing a demographic portrait of the city required each household to declare where they stood, literally, in relation to the state and their immediate neighbor. By processing these relational stems of address, digital technologies now allow us the ability to build a social map of every Florentine household in the city at a moment when the city precisely at a moment when the city was transforming, experimenting with, and inventing forms of cultural production, economic innovation, and political practices that have had lasting effects on the history of the west. And the visualization of such a map will help us to understand the way in which Florentines understood their collective identity, who they were, as a function of where they were: where they lived, where they worked, where they prayed, and even where they died.