Archive for: GCDSL

Commons In A Box


Screen Shot CBox 2013-03-17 at 4.26.27 PMCommons In A Box (CBOX) is a free software project aimed at turning the infrastructure that successfully powers the CUNY Academic Commons into a free, distributable, easy-to-install package. Commons In A Box is a project of the City University of New York and the Graduate Center, CUNY and is made possible by a generous grant from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.

Screen Shot 2013-03-17 at 4.35.48 PMCBOX takes the complexity out of creating a Commons site, helping organizations create a space where their members can discuss issues, collaborate on projects, and share their work.  Recently, the MLA utilized CBOX for the for their new MLA Commons which hopes to establish a thriving online community amongst its already large and diverse organization.

If you or someone in your organization wants to explore the idea of using this powerful tool, head over to the CBOX website and have a look!



Professor Lev Manovich and his Software Studies team have created ImagePlot, a free software tool that offers new ways of visualizing images and video.


“Mondrian vs. Rothko” (above) demonstrates how image plots can be used to compare multiple data sets. In this case, the goal is to compare a similar number of paintings by Piet Mondrian and Mark Rothko (produced over comparable time periods of 13 years) along particular visual dimensions.

The left image plot shows 128 paintings by Mondrian; the right shows 151 paintings by Rothko. The paintings are organized according to their brightness mean (X-axis) and saturation mean (Y-axis). These measurements were obtained with digital image processing software.

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Debates in the Digital Humanities


Under the direction of Matthew K. Gold, and in collaboration with designer Mark Abrams and developer Zachary Davis, Digital Fellow Micki Kaufman is working on the interactive, social reading platform for Gold’s edited collection, Debates in the Digital Humanities. Published in print by the University of Minnesota Press in 2012, the site extends these debates and discussions as an open access webtext that allows users not only to annotate and highlight the text, but also to share those points of interest with the broader digital humanities community. The site has been cited as an innovative model for future of the book in a digital format.


Debates in the Digital Humanities brings together leading figures in the field to explore its theories, methods, and practices and to clarify its multiple possibilities and tensions. Published in January 2013, the open-access edition of Debates in the Digital Humanities marked not just the opening up of the printed text, but also the debut of a custom-built social reading platform. Going beyond the basic task of making the contents of the printed edition accessible, the OA platform makes the text interactive, with key features that allow readers to interact with the text by marking passages as interesting and adding terms to a crowdsourced index.


Debates in the Digital Humanities is being expanded twice in 2013 so that the collection will remain current and continue to track new debates in the field. For more on the OA Expanded edition, please see our related post on the News page and please stay tuned for a forthcoming CFP.



Selfiecity, a project by Graduate Center faculty member Lev Manovich, investigates the style of self-portraits (selfies) in five cities across the world using a mix of theoretic, artistic and quantitative methods.

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The site includes findings about the demographics of people taking selfies, including their poses and expressions. It also includes rich media visualizations (imageplots) that assemble thousands of photos to reveal interesting patterns. The interactive selfiexploratory allows you to navigate the whole set of 3200 photos.

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Finally, the Theory and Reflection section features essays that discuss selfies in the history of photography, the functions of images in social media, and the methods and dataset.”

DH Box


DH Box is a laboratory in the cloud that can be deployed quickly and easily. It can be simply accessed from any computer as long as you’ve got an internet connection and some contextual knowledge.

Ready-to-go configurations of Omeka, NLTK, IPython, R Studio, and Mallet are included in the DH Box platform. Through this praxis-friendly environment, professors and students have instant classroom access to a cadre of gold-standard DH tools. Professors will be able to launch a DH computer lab in just a few minutes.

The DH Box team includes developer Steven Zweibel; Digital Fellows Patrick Smyth, Evan Misshula, and Micki Kaufman; Academic Advisors Matthew K. Gold of The Graduate Center, CUNY and Dennis Tenen of Columbia University. Project alumni include Cailean Cooney, Harlan Kellaway, and Gioia Stevens of the 2013-2014 Digital Praxis Seminar at the GC.

This open source, collaborative project has been supported by The Graduate Center, CUNY, Amazon Web Services, and Hunter College.

Social Paper



Social Paper (SP) is a networked writing platform in development at The Graduate Center, CUNY with the generous support of a 2014 NEH Digital Start-Up Grant.

Social Paper will be an online writing environment where students, at any point in the writing process, can publicize their work for feedback from a select group of peers. By tagging their writing with the names of other users, topics, or courses, they can elicit feedback from an interested audience. This online space will enable graduate students to build upon and share their academic writing across classes, disciplines, and semesters. Activity feeds will surface within the network the work and interests of its individual members, helping to break open the black box of graduate education to the graduate student community itself.

The project team includes Digital Fellow Erin Glass (a doctoral student in English), doctoral student Jennifer Stoops (Urban Education), and project director Matthew K. Gold.

For more information about SP or to get in touch, please visit the website.

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