The Department of English and The Center for Digital Humanities and Culture are pleased to announce a 3-part colloquium series. The series is organized by English Literature and Criticism Ph.D. student Chih-Lung “Jeff” Kung and English Department faculty member Dr. Mike Sell.

Faculty, staff, and students are invited to explore video games as an important part of our contemporary culture and as a “playful text,” a form of art that uses narrative, metaphor, character, dialogue, and allusions to other literary texts to create powerful experiences and high-impact statements about who we are and who we might be.

April 15th, 3:30 pm – 4:30 pm: Stabley Library Room 201

PROFESSOR MIKE SELL explores the ideological dimensions of game design, whiteness, and the pleasures of the first-person shooter in BIOSHOCK INFINITE. Regarded as one of the best releases of 2013, the game has been celebrated for its head-on confrontation with racism, imperialism, and the myth of Manifest Destiny, but also criticized for its deeply flawed story and design. A question-and-answer session will follow.

April 17th, 5:00 pm – 6:00 pm, Stabley Library, Room 201.

Join PHD CANDIDATE BRANDON GALM as he roams RockStar Games’ RED DEAD REDEMPTION armed with ECOCRITICAL THEORY. This highly celebrated open-world game takes place in a Wild West landscape undergoing radical social, political, and environmental change. The player must not only decide exactly how “civilized” they will act but, just as importantly, how many animals she will kill and how many plants she will cut down. A question-and-answer session will follow.

April 22nd, 3:30 pm – 4:30 pm, Stabley Library, Room 201.

PH.D. CANDIDATE CHIH-LUNG “JEFF” KUNG will lead a workshop play-session and discussion of AARON REED’S MAYBE MAKE SOME CHANGE, an award-winning, web-based, interactive fiction based on the MAYWAND DISTRICT KILLINGS IN AFGHANISTAN. He will explore various ways maybe make some change challenges the conventions of INTERACTIVE FICTION (A.K.A. TEXT-ADVENTURE) to critique the War on Terror and focus our attention on the ways we think about U.S. soldiers’ experiences in the war. A question-and-answer session will follow.

Questions? Contact Professor Mike Sell at

Markdown, Not Markup

The Center for Digital Humanities and Culture is pleased to announce the fifth of its ongoing workshops for the Open Source Toolkit. Students, staff, and faculty are invited to join us to learn about using the web shorthand called Markdown to easily publish and share documents for the web. The workshop takes place on Monday, April 7 from 12:15-1:15 p.m. in Stabley Library 201.

Markdown is a simple, easy to learn way to creating documents for the web without the complexity of HTML getting in the way of the writing workflow. Markdown also allows you to avoid using web editors or messy conversions such as those produced by tools like MS Word. Whether you write for a blog or Moodle, Markdown is for you.

Not only is Markdown a handy time-saver for daily work, it is also flexible and secure. Using Markdown allows you to write in any environment you choose -- a web browser, a text editor, even your phone or tablet; it also reflects some core open-source values of accessibility and portability. Unlike the documents you might have created in Wordperfect, Pagemaker, MacWrite or Wordstar, files you create and save in Markdown will always be readable. In addition, Markdown also shines in its flexibility: documents can be easily converted to HTML for the web, docs, PDFs, and even slideshows.

Workshop leader undergraduate Annie Lin, assisted by Dr. Kenneth Sherwood, will provide a practical introduction to using Markdown that will leave participants fluent in this new, simple language and able to apply it to a variety of applications. This interactive workshop will provide an opportunity for hands-on experimentation and provide participants with the Open Source toolkit to produce their own websites and Markdown documents.

Slideshow, PDF, Web page, MD source.

Additional information about the workshop series is available on the Center for Digital Humanities and Culture website. Questions also may be directed to the DHC by e-mail at

Toolkit Workshops

The DHC Toolkit project has two dimensions. It offers members of the IUP community both a means of easy access to open-source applications. Often, transformative tools such as Audacity, Zotero, or Sigil Ebooks are not readily available to average users. But providing the tools alone is not sufficient; we also want to help users learn how to begin using them.

Our workshop series continues in the months of April and May, with introductions to Markdown (HTML editing), Libreoffice (office without Microsoft), and GIMP (photoshopping without photoshop).

Photograph by Dan Weinstein, Audacity workshop led by student Adam Colton

Casting Your Voice with Audacity - DHC Open Source Toolkit Workshop

The Center for Digital Humanities and Culture is pleased to announce the fourth of its ongoing workshops for the Open Source Toolkit. This week the topic is creating audio podcasts with Audacity.

The workshop takes place on Monday, March 24 from 12:15-1:15 p.m. in Stabley Library 201.

Audacity is a feature-rich, open source audio editing program. It is commonly used in the podcasting community as an alternative to paid software like GarageBand and Adobe Audition. Audacity includes the necessary recording and post-processing tools one needs to produce professional quality audio. Examples of such features include adding audio effects, recording multiple tracks from a number of inputs, normalizing levels, converting audio formats, and a multitude of other functions that enhance audio production. Even though Audacity is capable of professional quality audio, novice users will find it user friendly.

Workshop leader and doctoral student Adam Colton will provide a live demonstration of some of the most commonly used features of Audacity for editing podcasts. This interactive workshops will provide an opportunity for hands-on experimentation and provide participants with the Open Source toolkit to produce their own podcasts.

Zotero, an Intelligent Tool for Research: DHC Open Source Toolkit Workshop Series

This coming Monday, February 24, from 12:15–1:15 p.m. in Stabley Library 201, the Center for Digital Humanities and Culture will present the second workshop in its Open Source Toolkit workshop series.

This time the topic is Zotero, an intelligent and social tool for gathering, annotating, and sharing digital research materials. All interested members of the IUP community are invited to attend this free workshop to discover all that this remarkable open source research tool can do.

Workshop - Software Freedom - Feb 10

Monday, Feb 10, 2014 - 12:15-1:15pm
Stabley 201

This workshop introduces participants to the DHC toolkit and explores the rationale for adopting open-source software solutions. Participant will ease into the open-source world using plugins for open browsers (Firefox / Chrome). There will be an opportunity for Questions/Answers and hands-on experimentation.

Presentation Slide Show

Schedule for the other six workshops.

Open Source Toolkit

Overview - The Open Source Toolkit

Empowering digital teachers and learners through access to open-source software

Through the Open Source Toolkit, the DHC exposes the university community to software freedom. The project benefits the community by

  • demonstrating the uses of open source
  • providing workshops for new users
  • fostering a supportive peer community
  • giving people agency in their digital work

Beginning in the Spring 2014 semester, the DHC is offering a series of free, informal workshops on selected open-source tools. DHC members will introduce the tools, demonstrate their application, and assist new users.

Toolkit Project Page

Workshop Schedule

Toolkit Support Forum

Latest Open Source News

Temp Portable Firefox Installation. Temp Chromium Installation

DHC Recognizes IUP Students as HASTAC Scholars

The Center for Digital Humanities and Culture is pleased to recognize three IUP graduate students who have been named 2014 HASTAC Scholars. Adam Colton, Matthew Corran, and Wesley Dunning will participate in this network during the 2013-2014 academic year, under the local sponsorship of the IUP DHC. As HASTAC scholars, they will develop their graduate research projects in concert with fellow scholars from across the US and the world.

Sherwood Leads Workshop for Faculty, Library Archivists, and Grads at U Cincinnati

Kenneth Sherwood, Associate Professor of English and DHC Co-director, led a day-long workshop for the Elliston Project Digital Archive at the University of Cincinnati on 5 October, 2013. The workshop introduced UC faculty, library staff, and graduate students to theories and strategy for teaching with poetry audio.