The Pedagogical Value of Postgraduate Involvement in Digital Humanities Departmental Projects

Francesca Giovannetti, Asmita Jain, Ethan Jean-Marie, Paul Kasay, Emma King, Theologis Strikos, Argula Rublack, Kaijie Ying (King's College London)

Digital Classicist London & Institute of Classical Studies seminar 2015

Friday July 3rd at 16:30, in Room 212, 26-29 Drury Lane, King's College London, WC2B 5RL

The SNAP (Standards for Networking Ancient Prosopographies) Project at King’s College London, funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) under the Digital Transformations big data scheme, seeks to act as a centralized portal for the study of ancient prosopographies. It links together dispersed, heterogeneous prosopographical datasets into a single collection. It will model a simple structure using Web and Linked data technologies to represent relationships between databases and to link from references in primary texts to authoritative lists of persons and names. By doing so it particularly addresses the issue of overlapping data between different prosopographical indexes. It has used as its starting point three large datasets from the classical world – the Lexicon of Greek Personal Names, Trismegistos, and the Prosopographia Imperii Romani – and aims to eventually be a comprehensive focal point for prosopographical information about the ancient world.

A team of voluntary postgraduate students from the department of Digital Humanities at King’s College London has been involved in the further development of certain parts of the project, which build upon the skills learnt in the offered Masters Degrees. These include coding tasks with Python, RDF, SPARQL queries and improvements to the final HTML pages as well as administrative tasks such as communicating and negotiating with potential contributors for the expansion of the dataset.

This initiative provides the students with the opportunity to apply these skills to a large scale project beyond the usual scope of the assignments related to the Masters Degrees. It gives the opportunity to experience how a team of digital humanists work towards a common objective. This offers a more well-rounded perspective of how the different components involved in a digital humanities project interact with and mutually support each other. The talk will be analysing the pedagogical value of these initiatives for postgraduate students approaching the work world or continued academic study.


The seminar will be followed by wine and refreshments.