CFP for Digital Methods for Military History, an NEH Institute for Advanced Topics in the Digital Humanities

Abby Mullen's picture
Summer Program
January 24, 2020
Subject Fields: 
American History / Studies, Contemporary History, Digital Humanities, Diplomacy and International Relations, Military History

Call for Participants for Digital Methods for Military History, an NEH Institute for Advanced Topics in the Digital Humanities

Digital humanities has become an important part of the historical profession. Scholars have increasingly used the power of digital tools and digital analysis in opening new windows into the past.

Some subfields have been quicker to embrace digital scholarship than others. Military history is an ideal place for digital work because of the substantial amount of data available for analysis. But the subfield has seen comparatively few innovative digital projects. This lack of adoption of digital tools has two possible causes: (1) some structural and philosophical resistance to digital scholarship within military history; and (2) many military historians’ lack of familiarity with digital tools and a lack of training to use those tools in their work.

To address both parts of the issue, the Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media will host a two-week Institute for Advanced Topics in the Digital Humanities from July 20 to July 31, 2020. The sessions will feature discussions about overcoming barriers to digital scholarship within the field of military history, and hands-on opportunities to examine data sets and explore digital visualization and digital mapping that are ideally suited to the work that military historians do.

This institute, in connection with the NEH’s Standing Together initiative, will specifically focus on the opportunities and needs of military history. During the two weeks of the institute, we will

  • Investigate how digital history has been able to widen the scope of historical inquiry, and how military history has benefited from this wider scope;
  • Teach participants how to create and customize humanities data sets from the vast amount of data that exists on military history;
  • Teach participants then how to ask questions of the data sets they have created and how to find the answers using digital tools;
  • Teach participants about two particular digital methods—visualizations and mapping—that we believe fit well into the military history framework; and
  • Train participants in how to manage a digital project from start to finish, including instruction on how to find funding, how to allot personnel resources; and how (and when) to publish their work on the Internet.

This institute is specifically designed to accommodate military historians from many professional spaces, including academics, service historians, cultural heritage professionals, and others.

Institute information

  • Location: George Mason University’s Arlington campus (easily accessible via DC metro system)
  • Dates: July 20-31, 2020
  • Funding: Thanks to the generosity of the NEH, we are able to offer every participant funding to cover travel to the institute as well as lodging and meals during the institute.
  • Childcare: Though we don’t have childcare subsidies, we are happy to help you find age-appropriate childcare in the northern Virginia area. (In other words, don’t let childcare be a barrier to applying!)

Call for participants

If you meet the following criteria, we welcome your application to this institute:

  • You identify as a military historian, broadly construed;
  • You are interested in digital tools and methods but have little to no formal training;
  • You have a particular project in mind, as well as access to the sources for that project.

We will prioritize applications from these groups:

  • Historians in contingent positions;
  • Historians within government agencies;
  • Historians from traditionally underrepresented groups in military history;
  • Historians whose projects best fit with our emphases on data curation, visualizations, and mapping.

How to apply

  • Application deadline: January 24, 2020
  • Application materials
    • CV
    • Two- to three-paragraph statement explaining why you want to come to this institute and the specific project you have in mind. You need not have done any work on the project yet beyond simply thinking about it, but you should have a set of sources in mind for your project and a way to access those sources.
  • Application process: Send your application materials to Dr. Abby Mullen, project director, at, by January 24, 2020.


If you have questions, check out our website or email Abby Mullen, project director, at

Contact Info: 

Project Director Abby Mullen


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