Humanities Center

Digital Humanities Series

Willis Monroe: "Introducing the Database of Religious History"

Wednesday, September 29th, 5:00-6:00 PM


Meeting ID: 854 5670 0855

Passcode: 430736

Dr. Monroe will discuss the features of the Database of Religious History, a major project to record scholarly perspectives on the wide variety of religious groups throughout history. The database is designed to serve as a centralized clearinghouse for scholarly knowledge of the historical record, bringing together a core of quantified, standardized data with qualitative comments, references to crucial resources, and links to on-line text and image databases. The project is based at the University of British Columbia and has recruited academic contributors form around the globe. It has over 500 entries on groups, places, and texts dating from 8,000 BCE onwards and is open-access and accessible at

database of religious history icon

M. Willis Monroe is Managing Editor of the Database of Religious History and a Research Associate in Asian Studies at the University of British Columbia. 

Amanda Henrichs: "Embroidered Tales: Remediating Mary Wroth"

Wednesday October 27th, 5:00-6:00 PM


Meeting ID: 880 9327 8365

Passcode: 122036

Mary Wroth (neé Sidney, a prominent seventeenth-century women writer) is known to modern scholars as highly allusive, and the same scholars have documented many moments of intertextuality between her work and that of her father Robert Sidney and her uncle Philip Sidney. Further, the whole family was close-knit, and Wroth and her aunt Lady Mary Pembroke in particular are known to have had a warm relationship. Yet there have not yet been documented intertextual moments between Wroth and Pembroke. Given everything we know about the Sidney family, this should not be true.

In order to explore this intertextual gap, Dr. Henrichs focuses on two main scholarly methods that roughly correspond to close reading and distant reading. As new kinds of approaches enable new kinds of reading, humanists are faced with new questions, including can computers identify the marked language that close readers would call allusions? In a family that is demonstrably intertextual, and with an author that is especially so but with one surprising gap, can computers find additional moments of intertextuality? How does a shift in method change our understanding of historical intertext? 

This talk will push further on questions of method, incorporating feminist and critical making practices. Building on Lauren Klein and Catherine D’Ignazio’s call to make data visualizations that physicalize data in order to challenge power, Dr. Henrichs suggests that textual remediation calls for a participatory criticism, whether remediation happens through complex computational processes or via needle and thread.

 amanda henrichs


Amanda Henrichs earned her Ph.D. from Indiana University in 2016, and since then has held administrative positions with IU's Institute for Digital Arts and Humanities, as well as the Five College Digital Humanities and Blended Learning initiative. Now a Coordinator of Instructional Design at Holyoke Community College, she most recently held a Visiting Assistant Professor position at Amherst College. Her work has been published in Criticism, The Ben Jonson Journal, and with the Women Writers Project. Her current interests center around supporting equitable online pedagogy, feminist critical making practices, and creative ways to combine historical humanities and cutting-edge technologies. 

This talk is co-sponsored by  meriam library

Art and Social Change

With the 2020-21 theme, Art and Social Change, the Humanities Center seeks to inspire discussion about the ways that art can help us understand the past, engage with current social concerns, and envision the future. Events will highlight interdisciplinary humanities research and creative activity on the impact of the arts on society, locally and internationally. Focusing on intersectional issues of social justice, including systemic racism, sexism, and economic disparity, we will engage scholars, students, and the community in conversation on how art reflects and provokes social change.