GCDI is Here for You!

GCDI is Here for You!

*Note that this blog post is revised and updated every semester, typically in early September or February. Links in this post may be outdated. For up to date information, please check the most recent “Welcome to GCDI”/”What is GCDI?”/”GCDI is Here For You!” post.*

Greetings Digital GC – Welcome back!

As you’re transitioning (back) into the academic year, take a moment to review the GC Digital Intiative’s (GCDI) programming and opportunities. We have an exciting list of workshops, events and grant opportunities on our calendar and a slew of online resources to support your work this semester and going forward. In fact, our recently redesigned website was planned with your access to our programming and resources in mind, so please, go, check it out now! You can also come visit us in person! We have an Open House NEXT WEEK where you can meet and chat with the Fellows, get tour of what we have to offer, and learn how you can be more involved with GCDI’s community. The variety of our offerings mean we have something for everyone – from a week-long skill introduction at the GC Digital Research Institute, to a smaller group setting at our Office Hours, to one-on-one consultations for faculty to our ongoing working groups – even if you idea of the perfect software is a paperback edition. Our offerings are open to scholars at all levels of digital experience, including students at all stages of graduate research, as well as faculty and staff. Whether you are digitally driven, curious, or defiant, we are prepared to help.

You can also continue reading here – below we’ve highlighted a number of upcoming events and opportunities that may interest you. We also encourage you to join the GCDI Group on the Commons for regular updates, follow us on Twitter (@Digital_Fellows, @cunygcdi), tune in to your department listservs. It’s always good to know what’s going on with the GCDI, because you, yes you, are the #digitalGC.

Assistance with your digital project

Office Hours

Have a question about your digital project? Looking for more information on where to get started learning a new technology, skill, or research method? Drop by our Office Hours, no appointment necessary. Dates and times are forthcoming, beginning at the end of September. Check our calendar for updates on dates and times.

Open House

We host an Open House at the GC Digital Scholarship Lab at the beginning of each semester to introduce folks to the various resources GC Digital Initiatives has to offer and to assist individuals with questions related to their digital project. Our Fall 2019 Open House will be next Wednesday, 9/4/19 from 1pm – 7pm in the Digital Scholarship Lab, Rom 7414.

Special Interest Groups

We have several groups for people with more specific interests, who seek other scholars working with similar methods and tools. These interdisciplinary student groups share resources, advice and opportunities online through the CUNY Academic Commons and meet in the GC Digital Scholarship Lab (room 7414).

These groups in include the Python Users’ Group (PUG), the GIS/Mapping Working Group, the Digital Archives Reserach Collective (DARC) Digitales Humanidades (DH in Spanish), and Sound Studies and Methods Working Group. No experience is needed to join; only an interest in the central topic and community.

We also have more general groups for those interested in digital scholarship and research more generally. In addition to GCDI’s own group, there is the CUNY DHI and NYCDH – a CUNY-wide and NYC-wide digital humanities group, respectively.

Visit our Participate page to learn more about each of these groups!


The GCDI offers hands-on workshops on digital research tools for people of all skill levels. Free and open to all. Bring your own computer, or borrow one.

This semester we are offering 6 workshops across 6 weeks in September and October. These include:

Tools for the Digital Humanities
September 11 @ 6:30 pm8:30 pm
Room 9207

Intro to Mapping
September 17 @ 6:30 pm8:30 pm
Room C201

Intro to Python
September 25 @ 6:30 pm8:30 pm
Room C205

Create an Engaging Online Multimedia Narrative
October 2 @ 6:30 pm8:30 pm
Room 9207

Intro to Omeka
October 15 @ 6:30 pm8:30 pm
Room 9206

Spots are limited, so:
1) Be sure to RSVP when you know you want to attend and;
2) If you realize you can’t make it, please cancel your RSVP so someone else can attend!

Join us during office hours or faculty consultations for follow-up support!

Other Opportunities

GCDI hosts events pertinent to current trends in digital scholarship that we believe will appeal across a number of disciplines. Each year, we host a CUNY Digital Humanities Initiative (DHI) event to spotlight the many projects underway across CUNY, doc-a-thons and editathons, and an always abundant End-of-Year Showcase to present the work of Provost’s Digital Innovation Grant winners and Digital Praxis Seminar final projects. During the winter break, the Digital Fellows host the GC Digital Research Institute, a week-long course in digital research methods at the Graduate Center.

Dates and Deadlines

Dates and deadlines on the horizon for this Fall 2018 semester:

  • The 18th annual CUNY IT Conference at John Jay will be on December 5th to 6th. Find more information about the conference here.
  • Provost’s Digital Innovation Grant applications will be available soon! The deadline is set for Friday October 18, 2019.
  • This year’s CUNY Digital Humanities Initiative (DHI) lightning talks event is set for the evening of October 30th. Keep a look out for the invitation to present earlier that month. The event is a great opportunity to network among other DH-oriented folks who are based at CUNY.
  • A call for applications for the GC Digital Research Institute (DRI) will go out in November, and will be held January 21st – 24th. This is a 4-day intensive course where participants learn core digital research skills (including the command line, git, python, databases, and mapping) while connecting with peers in an interdisciplinary, supportive environment. View the full set of curricula from our last GC Digital Research Institute here.

CUNY and GC Resources

Manifold Scholarship

As CUNY students, you have the edge on Manifold, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation-funded collaboration with the GC, University of Minnesota Press, and Cast Iron Coding. CUNY hosts its own instance of the open-source platform with opportunities for publishing teaching editions of public domain texts (like The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass), teaching handbooks (Teach@CUNY Handbook), journal publishing and peer review, and Open Educational Resources. Manifold is a web application that allows administrators to create a library of projects containing texts and resources. Each text in a project can be read and annotated using Manifold’s reader. To read more about the project, its development, and the university presses using it: follow Manifold on GitHub and Twitter, join the Building Manifold Development Blog, join the Manifold Community Slack channel, and visit the Manifold website for current documentation. You can also contact Manifold Co-PI Matthew K. Gold or Manifold Digital Fellow Jojo Karlin.

CUNY Academic Commons

As a CUNY student, you are eligible for an account on the CUNY Academic Commons. The Commons is a CUNY-generated platform for building websites, connecting with peers, creating and joining groups, collaborating on papers, and learning about various spaces at the GC and beyond. If you’re new to CUNY, check out the Commons Basics guide. Not only are you welcome to create your own sites (for free!) using the WordPress framework, but you are also encouraged to take advantage of group capabilities to share files, host private discussion forums for special interest groups, and link up across groups. With the new invitation system, teaching on the Commons is easier than ever. Check out this blog post by Stephen Real of the Commons team. For updates, follow the CUNY Academic Commons on Twitter.

GC Resources and Centers

Among the other acronyms you might see associated with GCDI are some amazing partners — the Teaching and Learning Center (TLC), the Interactive Technology and Pedagogy (ITP) certificate program, the Futures Initiative, the Center for the Humanities, and the New Media Lab. The GC Library also offers great workshops, this nifty digital tools guide, and consultation with Data and Digital Projects Librarian Steve Zweibel. The in-house Journal of Interactive Technology and Pedagogy also provides great articles and tool tips for incorporating digital methods in your teaching.

We encourage you to consult the Commons events calendar for all workshops.

GCDI Online Resources

Resources for rooms with windows

If you’re not physically at the GC, there are still GCDI resources you can use! These tutorials, handouts, and reflections can be extremely helpful as you consider new projects and methods. Please visit the Digital Resource Guide for materials by Digital Fellows old and new, and check out the Digital Fellows’ Tagging the Tower blog for additional reflections and ideas.

Things like:

Which Digital Tool Should I Use? By Hannah Aizenman

An Introduction to Programming Paradigms by Patrick Smyth

Establishing an Academic Digital Identity: WordPress 1 by Patrick Sweeney

Intro to Mapping with QGIS by Javier Otero Peña

An Anthropologist’s Visit to DHSI to Learn About Sound by Kelsey Chatlosh

How do I solve [insert problem here] with Python? By Rachel Rakov

and the entire curriculum of the GC Digital Research Institute AND the Digital Humanities Research Institute.

Other resources cover such topics as:

  • data and databases
  • design
  • mapping
  • programming (including python)
  • project management
  • projects
  • sound recording, sharing, and analysis
  • text analysis
  • web development

Please, don’t hesitate to contact the Digital Fellows with questions!

With best wishes for a productive semester,

your Digital Fellows,

Filipa, Javier, Kristen, Olivia, Rafa, Stefano, Natalie, Di, Connor, and Param

Note that this is an updated post from one originally written by Digital Fellow Jojo Karlin for the past spring 2018 semester here and updated by Kelsey Chatlosh in Fall 2018. Hand-drawn images or “Jojo Doodles” above and below are also by Jojo Karlin.

Kristen Hackett is a PhD candidate in environmental psychology program and a GC Digital Fellow at The Graduate Center, CUNY. She is also a member of the executive committee of the Justice For All Coalition. Her scholarship and activism focus on housing and community development. Learn more at http://kristenhackett.info.
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