The FAHA institute provides online and in-person education aimed at a broad range of humanities scholars. FAHA courses aim to empower scholars in the humanities by eliminating the “black box” of computational text analysis. Participants will gain a theoretical and practical understanding of text analysis methods, and will learn how to extract content and derive meaning from digital sources, enabling new humanities scholarship.
Participants will be invited to learn through two opportunities:
First, through completion of an online course that provides the theoretical and technical knowledge for scholars to deeply understand humanities analytics; and
Second, through participation in an in-person workshop that will provide guided practice applying the theory and tools from the course to authentic research questions and hypotheses.
The FAHA institute is a collaboration between the Santa Fe Institute (SFI) and Dietrich College at Carnegie Mellon University (CMU).
The FAHA institute is intended primarily for advanced graduate students in the humanities who may have no experience with statistics, computer programming, and/or computer science. Faculty or other humanities professionals, such as librarians or archivists, may also find it of interest.
Enrollment in the online course will be unlimited.
The in-person workshop will be limited to ten participants based on a competitive application process. Completion of the online course is a prerequisite for application to the in-person workshop.
The online course will be launched in summer 2021 (the exact date is not known as this time) and will be available on demand thereafter. Participants are welcome to progress through the material at their own pace.
The first in-person workshop will be held in Santa Fe, New Mexico, in summer 2022; the second workshop in the following year. The workshop will encompass one week of full-time instruction and guided research. Participants are expected to attend the entire workshop. Exact dates will be posted as soon as they are available.
Online Course The online course will comprise two modules. Foundations will impart conceptual skills and computational thinking through a study of the principles behind contemporary artificial intelligence. Applications will employ those skills to develop meaningful accounts of literary, historical, and cultural artifacts. A supplementary online tutorial will introduce the necessary steps to get started with Python programming and Jupyter notebooks.
In-Person Workshop Following successful completion of the online course, participants are eligible for the workshop, during which they will be guided in a self-directed research project employing the tools learned. Invited guest lecturers will provide participants with a breadth of examples of scholarship in the broad domains of information theory and humanities analytics.
David Kinney (SFI) and Simon DeDeo (SFI, CMU) co-direct the FAHA institute and are the lead instructors. Additional contributing faculty from across the humanities will add to the breadth of perspectives and applications covered in the course.
David Kinney studies epistemology, in particular, the selective acquisition of knowledge. His research applies the principles of probability theory to understand the causal structure of systems in scientific contexts, the formation of group beliefs, and the foundations of scientific reasoning. He has taught logic, philosophy of science, and political philosophy, among other subjects. Within the FAHA project, he will leverage his expertise in probability and information theory, helping students without a mathematics background achieve conceptual mastery.
Simon DeDeo leads the Laboratory for Social Minds at CMU’s Department of Social and Decision Science, where his research group makes use of text sources—from French Revolutionary records and Enlightenment-era scientific communication to online conspiracy theorists and Harry Potter fan fiction—to define factors that influence how and when novel ideas emerge and become accepted. He has taught courses on cognitive and social science, large-scale social phenomena, and research methods in informatics and computing. He leads the major data science research practicum for students in the humanities, psychology, and economics at CMU. Within the FAHA project, he will provide expertise in the application of information-theoretic and machine learning techniques to case studies in literature and history.
The online course and in-person workshop are offered at no cost to participants. The FAHA institute is supported by a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities, Office of Digital Humanities, which generously makes the program possible..
Participants will gain a theoretical and practical understanding of the computational tools of humanities analytics, their applications, and the interpretation of their outputs.
Participants will develop skill and confidence in applying these tools to their own research.
Participants will build a peer community within which to explore applications of computational analysis to questions in the humanities.
Participants will diversify the community of humanities analytics scholars.
Diversity, Equity & Inclusion
The FAHA team is committed to offering inclusive educational programs in which all participants feel valued and supported in their learning journey. We believe that human diversity in all of its dimensions is essential to meaningful scientific progress. We believe that open discourse and respectful sharing of broad perspectives is essential for understanding our world and worlds beyond. We work to ensure our educational programs reflect and encourage this diversity and inclusivity, and we welcome you to join us.
The project Foundations and Applications of Cultural Analytics in the Humanities has been made possible in part by a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities: Exploring the human endeavor, under Federal Award ID Number HT-272418-20. Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed on this page do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.