4th Workshop on Visualization for the Digital Humanities

Digital Humanities
Sunday, 20 October 2019 - Vancouver, Canada


We invite contributions for the 2019 Workshop on Visualization for the Digital Humanities. This will be a full-day workshop taking place as part of IEEE VIS 2019 in Vancouver, Canada.

The purpose of this workshop is to propose new research directions in visualization for the digital humanities, to familiarize the visualization research community with the problems faced by digital humanities researchers, and to foster future collaboration between visualization and digital humanities research.

Despite the growing popularity of digital methods for research in the humanities, digital humanists are underserved by academics in visualization, and under-represented in visualization conferences. This is due to a number of factors:

  1. The differences in rhetorics of proof and discovery (and so differences in data culture and use) in the humanities as opposed to other, typically scientific or analytic fields where visualization research is commonly focused.
  2. The difficulty of performing task analysis and evaluation for many humanities questions, that may have no ground truth.
  3. In text visualization specifically, the difference between the needs of digital humanists (who perform close readings and critical engagements with texts) as opposed to more standard text visualization scenarios (e.g. text analytics on datasets for intelligence or social media analysis).

The focus of this workshop is on applied visualization in the digital humanities, as well as highlighting domains in the digital humanities with unmet visualization challenges. These applications and domains include, but are not limited to:

  • Literature
  • Philology and Linguistics
  • Art and Art Criticism
  • Political Science
  • Performance (Music, Dance, Film, and Theatre)
  • Cultural and Historical Studies

We are especially interested in a number of open questions in this space, including:

  • The impact of visual analytics systems on research in the digital humanities:
    • How can interactive visualizations support new questions, and new scales of research, in the DH community?
    • How can we encourage DH scholars to seek out visualizations, or collaboration with visualization researchers?
  • Characteristics of visualization for the digital humanities:
    • How does visualization with a DH focus differ from general research in the visualization community?
    • How do their user groups differ? How can debates in public humanities scholarship inform DH visualization practices?
    • How can we remove obstacles for humanities scholars wanting to use visual analytics approaches for their research?
  • How digital humanities research questions and tasks can push the frontier of visualization research:
    • What challenges are there for developing systems with novelty in both visualization and DH communities?
    • How do we evaluate visualizations where we lack ground truth data?
    • How can we build bridges between salient issues in the humanities (uncertainty, interpretative complexity, critical theoretical approaches) and the conceptual languages of visualization?


Building Trust: Process & Interpretation

We are pleased to announce a call for papers for the 4th Workshop on Visualization for the Digital Humanities, “VIS4DH.” The call is open to all fields of the humanities/social sciences and all branches of visualization. We are particularly interested in papers that bring different disciplines together. The workshop is intended to put different ways of seeing, knowing, articulating, and transforming arguments into dialogue in order to foster and to intensify collaborations between humanities and visualization researchers.

In this year’s workshop, we will explore questions of how to build trust when working at the intersection of visualization and humanities-related fields. There are many ways in which trust plays an important role in these collaborations, including questions around general methodologies, approaches to research questions, data collection, extraction and transformation, visual encodings, as well as interpretation and deriving knowledge. The role of visualization in communication has made it key in collaborations spanning many fields related to the humanities, including the arts, history, social sciences, linguistics, literary studies and beyond. The target of this workshop is to explore ways in which trust can be built, strengthened, and maintained when communicating and transferring methodologies, designing tools and encodings, collecting and curating data, and deriving knowledge.

Some guiding questions for the 2019 workshop:
  • How can we deal with different kinds of uncertainty (in data, methodology, research questions, visual encodings, and interpretation)?
  • How can one make trustworthy visualizations for humanistic research?
  • What does trust mean for different communities and sub-communities?
  • How can trust be established in transdisciplinary projects?
  • How much does trust rely on full understanding of methods, encodings, and other context, especially when collaborating across disciplines?
  • What do humanities researchers need to see and know to be able to trust visualization, as a tool and process?


This workshop is seeking work from scholars in visualization, the humanities, social science, and the arts who use visualization as part of the process of analyzing and interrogating human culture. Submissions will present original research ideas or results as they relate to visualization for the digital humanities. Each submission should clearly state its specific contribution to this growing field of research. Submissions will take the form of short (2-4 page - excluding references) papers, falling into one of two submission types:

  • Short Papers: These submissions are meant to summarize more mature works at the intersection of visualization and humanities research, including case studies, system descriptions, and empirical results. Of special consideration are works that highlight the difficulties (and proposed solutions) of designing visualizations in the context of humanities research and/or applying concepts from humanities research to foster visualization research and design.
  • Position Papers: These submissions are meant to present viewpoints and opinions on the interplay between visualization and the humanities. These positions should be informed by a deep involvement and experience in one (or ideally, both) fields. Position papers should be thought-provoking but also well-supported.

Authors of accepted short and position papers will be invited for a brief research presentation (including time for audience questions).

Submissions should be in two-column IEEE TVCG format. Latex and Word templates are available at: http://junctionpublishing.org/vgtc/Tasks/camera_tvcg.html Submissions will be optionally double blind. Authors wishing to submit their work double-blind should remove author information from the cover page of their submitted document, and take care to avoid identifying information in the submission itself (e.g., references to “our” work). Submissions should be in pdf format, clearly indicating the paper type: short paper, or position paper. Submissions should not exceed four pages of content. Submissions should be submitted via EasyChair (more information available soon) by 5 PM PST, 8 July 2019.


Eric Alexander

Eric Alexander
Carleton College

Catherine DeRose

Catherine DeRose
Yale University

Annette Hautli-Janisz

Annette Hautli-Janisz
University of Konstanz

Uta Hinrichs

Uta Hinrichs
University of St Andrews

Houda Lamqaddam

Houda Lamqaddam
KU Leuven

Bettina Speckmann

Bettina Speckmann
TU Eindhoven

Steering Committee

Mennatallah El-Assady

Mennatallah El-Assady
University of Konstanz /
University of Ontario Institute of Technology

Christopher Collins

Christopher Collins
University of Ontario Institute of Technology

Katharine Coles

Katharine Coles
University of Utah

Daniel Keim

Daniel Keim
University of Konstanz

Program Committee


Contact for any publication-related issues: vis4dh@gmail.com

Important Dates

Submission Deadline: 8th of July, 2019
Notification Deadline: 1st of August, 2019
Camera Ready Submission Deadline (tentative): 15th of August, 2019
IEEE VIS Conference: 20th - 25th of October, 2019
VIS4DH Workshop: 20th of October, 2019