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Early Modern Digital Itineraries

Data-Driven Approaches to Premodern Travel

Open Call for Workshop Participants & Application Form

The Early Modern Digital Itineraries (EmDigIt) Project advances new collaborative and data-driven approaches to premodern travel. With the support of a Digital Humanities Advancement grant from the Office of Digital Humanities of the National Endowment for the Humanities, we will be hosting three (3) virtual workshops on Zoom over the course of Spring 2024 as well as an in-person conference in the Washington D.C. area, August 5th, 2024.

We seek interested participants at work on premodern travel studies and with an interest in data-driven approaches. Researchers of any institutional affiliation or career stage (including current PhD students) are encouraged to apply. Prior digital humanities experience or involvement with spatial historical projects a plus, but not required. Participants will receive a stipend towards lodging and travel for the August 2024 in-person one-day conference hosted at the Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media at George Mason University.

The deadline for application is October 1st, 2023.

The extended deadline for application is October 8th, 2023

What is EmDigIt?

Early Modern Digital Itineraries builds out from a database of itinerary books intended for travelers and published between about 1500-1750. These workshops seek to pilot a model for development of the database and eventual tool through collaboration with interested researchers at work on any premodern geography. Our goal is for EmDigIt to provide a shared base for training, exploration, and networking among scholars. See here for more.

What would participation entail?

Participants will attend three virtual workshops in Spring 2024, to be scheduled based upon group availabilities and time-zones.

Workshop 1 in January/February 2024 (precise date to be determined based on participant input): Introductions. Presentation of EmDigIt dataset and survey of available tools for spatial, premodern analysis.

Workshop 2 in March/April 2024 (TBD): Project updates from PI and student research assistants. Hands-on workshop in data exploration. Discussion and formation of research collaborations.

Workshop 3 in May/June 2024 (TBD): Lightning round presentations of progress on research questions to be presented in August workshop. Feedback and discussion.

Between the first and third meetings, participants will correspond independently with Dr. Midura and the student research assistants and/or advisory board members to refine research questions and identify the data that will be most useful to them. Participants are encouraged to work collaboratively, and co-authorship of presentations will be welcomed. We will work in turn to develop the data and produce targeted data subsets to use for your queries.

Workshop 4 will take place in-person on August 5th, to coincide with the Association for Digital Humanities Organization’s annual conference hosted by GMU on August 6th-9th. Participants will present on the outcome of their research using the EmDigIt data in 90-minute panels. A final roundtable will bring all participants together for a discussion and initial formulation of a collaborative, public white paper. Further opportunities for publication may be available depending on participant interest.

I am a graduate student/faculty member/independent scholar at work on non-European/pre-1500/post-1750 material, should I apply?

We aim for a diverse cohort of participants whose work can expand and extend the applications of the Early Modern Digital Itineraries data. This absolutely includes those whose questions and background cover different temporal or geographic bounds. Researchers at any career stage with an interest in data-driven approaches to historical travel are encouraged to apply. We are especially interested in bringing scholars involved in other, related spatial history collaborations using premodern data to explore linking data.

Still not sure? Feel free to e-mail Dr. Midura at with any questions or to receive further information and updates.