Announcing New ODH Awards (August 2023)

August 25, 2023
Vehicles in Transit in Tokyo by Utagawa Yoshitora (1870), Metropolitan Museum of Art (
Photo caption

Vehicles in Transit in Tokyo by Utagawa Yoshitora (1870), Metropolitan Museum of Art

The Office of Digital Humanities is pleased to announce 33 awards through our Digital Humanities Advancement Grants, Dangers and Opportunities of Technology: Perspectives from the Humanities, and Institutes for Advanced Topics in the Digital Humanities programs. 

These projects are part of a larger slate of 280 awards announced by NEH. The awardees demonstrate the incredibly varied range of topics that the Office of Digital Humanities supports through our grant programs—including the completion of a book on the effects of travel technologies in Japanese society, the facilitation of the study of migration through machine-learning techniques, and an institute that will explore the application of digital methods to the intersection of the humanities and medicine.  

Congratulations to all the award recipients on these exciting projects! 

Digital Humanities Advancement Grants

(13 awards) 

This program is funded in part by the Institute of Museum and Library Services. Projects supported through this partnership are indicated by an asterisk (*) in the list below. Learn more about the DHAG program

Level One Awards 

Level One awards offered up to $75,000 to support small research projects or early stages of larger projects. 

Primary Institution: Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University 

Outright: $74,281 

Project Director(s): Rachel Midura 

Project Title: Early Modern Digital Itineraries: Workshops for a Data-Driven Approach to Premodern Travel 

Project Description: A series of workshops for digital humanities scholars of early modern Europe to establish a professional network of researchers on premodern digital, spatial history and explore how geographical information found in primary sources such as letters and journal can be extracted and mapped to trace the movement of people and goods. 

Primary Institution: University of Michigan, Ann Arbor 

Outright: $75,000 

Project Director(s): Veronica Stanich; Daragh Byrne (co-project director) 

Project Title: Reco(r)ding CripTech: Rendering Artifacts of Process Legible and Accessible in an Online Archive 

Project Description: The planning and prototyping of accessibility features for the Ground Works scholarly journal to develop a series of recommendations for how publishing digital art historical journals can sensitively work with the artistic production of disabled artists. 

Primary Institution: University of Richmond 

Outright: $74,973 
Project Director(s): Yucong Jiang 

Project Title: Prototyping a Digital Tool for Computer-Assisted Annotation and Analysis of Music Performance 

Project Description: The development of tools to automatically align musical performances and scores that will allow users to analyze performances and scores simultaneously and at scale. 

Primary Institution: University of Iowa 

Outright: $75,000 

Project Director(s): Paul Dilley; William Seales (co-project director) 

Project Title: Communicating Revealed Texts: Best Practices for Born-Digital Editions Using Enhanced Imaging 

Project Description: The creation of a working group of scholars using non-invasive imaging methods to analyze ancient manuscripts. 

Level Two Awards 

Level Two awards offer up to $150,000 to support projects that have completed an initial planning phase and are poised to scale up. 

Primary Institution: Klezmer Institute, Inc. 

Outright: $150,000 

Project Director(s): Christina Crowder 

Project Title: The Klezmer Archive Project 

Project Description: The continued development of a digital archive and tools for researching klezmer music. 

Primary Institution: Corporation of Haverford College 

Outright: $148,015 

Project Director(s): Bret Mulligan; Patricia Guardiola (co-project director); Anna Lacy (co-project director) 

Project Title: Bridge Readability Tools for Historical Language Text Analysis and Data-Informed Pedagogy 

Project Description: The further development of The Bridge Readability Tools platform for analyzing and teaching ancient Greek and Latin texts.

Primary Institution: University of Northern Iowa 

Outright: $149,619* 

Project Director(s): Bettina Fabos; John DeGroote (co-project director) 

Project Title: Mainstreet 360°: An Application for Georeferencing and Layering Historical Photos in a Digital Archive 

Project Description: The design and development of a prototype open-source tool for 360° mapping of historical photographs. 

Primary Institution: University of Texas, Austin 

Outright: $148,737 

Project Director(s): Daniel Law; Iyaxel Cojti Ren (co-project director); Mallory Matsumoto (co-project director) 

Project Title: MAYALEX: A Comparative Lexical Database of Early Mayan Languages 

Project Description: The expansion of an existing digital infrastructure for Indo-European languages to include creation of a set of linked online etymological dictionaries for early Mayan languages. 

Primary Institution: New York University 

Outright: $139,706 

Project Director(s): Sibylle Fischer 

Project Title: Migrants and the State: Unlocking the Potential of A-files for the Histories of U.S. Immigration 

Project Description: The development of open-source machine learning methods for quickly processing historical migrant records. 

Level Three Awards 

Level Three awards offer up to $350,000 in outright funds and an additional $50,000 in matching funds. They support the expansion of mature projects with an established user base and strong dissemination plans. 

Primary Institution: PHAROS: Explore, Connect and Contextualize Art Histories 

Outright: $349,650* 

Project Director(s): Louisa Ruby 

Project Title: Explore, Connect, and Contextualize Art Histories 

Project Description: The creation of a digital research platform and tools for accessing and studying photographic archives spanning a total of 14 collections. 

Primary Institution: Foundation for Advancement in Conservation 

Outright: $349,293 

Project Director(s): Tiffani Emig 

Project Title: STiCH: Collections Tools for Climate Action 

Project Description: The further development of the Sustainability Tools in Cultural Heritage (STiCH) Carbon Calculator, a computational analysis and modeling platform to assist heritage professionals in determining the carbon footprint of the materials used for the preservation and exhibition of cultural resources. 

Primary Institution: Vanderbilt University 

Outright: $348,190 

Project Director(s): Steven Wernke; Yuankai Huo (co-project director); N. Parker VanValkenburgh (co-project director) 

Project Title: GeoPACHA 2.0: Large-Scale Archaeological Imagery Survey Through Human-Machine Teaming 

Project Description: The further development and expansion of an existing platform to enable large-scale artificial intelligence-assisted surveys of archaeological sites. 

Primary Institution: Norman B. Leventhal Map & Education Center  

Outright: $348,641 

Project Director(s): Ian Spangler 

Project Title: Making Open-Source Georeferencing Technology Collections-Ready with the Allmaps Platform 

Project Description: The continued development of the Allmaps georeferencing platform to allow institutions with cartographic collections to better share their resources and for scholars, students, and the public to more successfully engage with these collections. 

Dangers and Opportunities of Technology: Perspectives from the Humanities Grants

(16 awards) 


Primary Institution: University of Chicago 

Outright: $149,815 

Project Director(s): Michele Friedner; Mara Mills (co-project director) 

Project Title: The Global Cochlear Implant: Provincializing "Brain Implants" through Disability Technocultures 

Project Description: A humanistic comparative study of cochlear implant technology as an early form of a neural-computer interface. 

Primary Institution: University of Puget Sound 

Outright: $147,840 

Project Director(s): Ariela Tubert; Justin Tiehen (co-project director) 

Project Title: Robot Existentialism: Artificial Intelligence and the Limits of Rationality 

Project Description: Research and writing a co-authored book on existential philosophy and artificial intelligence. 

Primary Institution: Northeastern University 

Outright: $149,851 

Project Director(s): Ronald Sandler; Clare Palmer (co-project director) 

Project Title: The Ethics of Conservation Biotechnology: A Conceptual Engineering Approach 

Project Description: Research and writing a multi-author volume on the ethics of biotechnology. 

Primary Institution: Wesleyan University 

Outright: $149,563 

Project Director(s): Jennifer Tucker; Stephen Hargarten (co-project director) 

Project Title: Engineering Safety into U.S. Firearms: Inventions, Manufacturers, Outcomes, and Implications, 1750–2010 

Project Description: The historical analysis of how safety mechanisms for firearms have evolved and been marketed to consumers over time. 

Primary Institution: Arizona State University 

Outright: $89,906 

Project Director(s): Sarah Florini; Erica O’Neil (co-project director); Elizabeth Grumbach (co-project director) 

Project Title: Understanding Algorithmic Folk Theories: Tracing Community-Based Knowledge on TikTok  

Project Description: An ethnographic study of social media content creators comparatively analyzing folk theories and current academic theories of algorithmic governance. 

Primary Institution: University of Illinois 

Outright: $149,999 

Project Director(s): Rachel Kuo; Mark Calaguas (co-project director) 

Project Title: Transnational Disinformation Networks and Asian Diasporic Politics 

Project Description: Research and oral history workshops supporting the publication of a book analyzing the circulation of misinformation among Asian and Asian American community digital communication networks. 


Primary Institution: Lewis and Clark College 

Outright: $74,956 

Project Director(s): Jennifer Hubbert 

Project Title: Gun Culture 4.0: Understanding the new Demographics of Gun Ownership in the United States 

Project Description: The humanistic analysis of the changing demographics related to purchasing and owning firearms in the United States.  

Primary Institution: San Francisco State University Foundation Inc. 

Outright: $74,879 

Project Director(s): Mihaela Mihailova 

Project Title: Synthetic Creativity: Deepfakes in Contemporary Media 

Project Description: Independent research into the aesthetics, application, dissemination, and ontological status of deepfakes across media contexts, including digital artworks, social activism, museum exhibits, and film and television. 

Primary Institution: University of California, Santa Barbara 

Outright: $74,470 

Project Director(s): Kate McDonald 

Project Title: The Rickshaw and the Railroad: Human-Powered Transport in the Age of the Machine 

Project Description: Research and writing leading to a scholarly monograph about the modern history of transportation technology in Japan. 

Primary Institution: University of Pittsburgh 

Outright: $66,329 

Project Director(s): Alison Langmead 

Project Title: Teaching Art History with AI 

Project Description: A series of convenings among college and university educators and the development of open educational resources concerning the pedagogical use of computational image generation technologies in art history, visual culture, and media studies. 

Primary Institution: University of Southern California 

Outright: $70,625 

Project Director(s): Ciruce Movahedi-Lankarani 

Project Title: Energy Technologies, Development, and the Environment in Modern Iran, 1935–2005 

Project Description: Research and writing leading to a scholarly monograph about the modern history of the use of natural gas in Iran. 

Primary Institution: University of California, Irvine 

Outright: $75,000 

Project Director(s): Bo Ruberg 

Project Title: Live Streaming Identity: Opportunities and Challenges for LGBTQ Communities 

Project Description: Research and development of a scholarly monograph examining the cultural tensions surrounding LGBTQ live streaming. 

Primary Institution: William Marsh Rice University 

Outright: $75,000 

Project Director(s): Kirsten Ostherr 

Project Title: The Visual History of Computational Health 

Project Description: Research and development of a scholarly monograph on the history of the computational approaches to healthcare, 1960s–2000s. 

Primary Institution: Syracuse University 

Outright: $73,670 

Project Director(s): Johannes Himmelreich 

Project Title: Good Decisions: Data Science as a Moral Practice 

Project Description: Research and writing a co-authored book on ethical considerations for the practice of data science. 

Primary Institution: Rector and Visitors of the University of Virginia 

Outright: $75,000 

Project Director(s): Zachary Irving 

Project Title: The Spontaneity Deficit: Dangers and Opportunities of the Age of Distraction 

Project Description: Research and writing a book on the ethical impact of distraction by digital technology. 

Primary Institution: Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University 

Outright: $75,000 

Project Director(s): Fernanda Ribeiro Rosa 

Project Title: Digital Inequalities in Latin America: The Effects of Code and Infrastructure in Indigenous Access to the Internet 

Project Description: Research and development of an open access monograph analyzing internet infrastructure and digital access in Latin American Indigenous communities. 

Institutes for Advanced Topics in the Digital Humanities Grants

(4 awards) 

Primary Institution: George Mason University  

Outright: $240,787 

Project Director(s): Jessica Otis; Ashley Sanders (co-project director)  

Project Title: Mathematical Humanists 

Project Description: A series of in-person, online, and asynchronous professional development workshops to be hosted by George Mason University and the University of California, Los Angeles, on statistics, graphs and networks, linear algebra, and discrete mathematics methods that inform computational humanities methodologies such as network analysis, and text mining and analysis. 

Primary Institution: Brown University 

Outright: $168,647 

Project Director(s): Allison Levy 

Project Title: Born-Digital Scholarly Publishing: Resources and Roadmaps 

Project Description: A three-week hybrid summer institute to train participants in born-digital scholarly publishing methods. 

Primary Institution: University of California, San Francisco 

Outright: $249,995 

Project Director(s): Kathryn Stine; Polina Ilieva (co-project director) 

Project Title: Advancing Digital Health Humanities Institute 

Project Description: An institute exploring various computational methods for ethically working with large-scale collections of digitized and born-digital archival health science materials records for humanistic scholarship. 

Primary Institution: CUNY Research Foundation, Graduate School and University Center 

Outright: $250,000 

Project Director(s): Matthew Gold; Krystyna Michael (co-project director) 

Project Title: Open Education Publishing Institute: Collaborative Knowledge and Social Justice 

Project Description: A three-day, residential institute followed by a series of virtual sessions on best practices for the development of digital open educational resources for use in the humanities classroom for 15 participants. The institute will be hosted at the CUNY Graduate Center.