History of Art and Architecture

Alison Langmead

Clinical Associate Professor and Director, Visual Media Workshop; Associate Professor, School of Information Sciences

Area of Specialization

Digital and Material Culture

Biography

Constellation(s): Temporalities, Mobility/Exchange, Visual Knowledge

Alison Langmead holds a joint faculty appointment between the Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences and the School of Computing and Information at the University of Pittsburgh. She teaches and researches in the field of the digital humanities, focusing especially on applying digital methods mindfully within the context of visual and material culture studies.

For the Department of Art History and Architecture, Alison serves as the Director of the Visual Media Workshop (VMW). The mission of the VMW is to develop and encourage the creation of innovative methods for producing, disseminating, and preserving the academic work using digital technologies as a fundamental component of our scholarly toolkit. To achieve these objectives, she directs a technologically-focused environment of collaboration and creativity where students and faculty from a number of departments across the University come together to work on projects that apply digital methods and techniques with focus and intention.

For the School of Computing and Information (SCI), Alison researches the relationship between the historical practice of information management and digital computing, both as a historical narrative and also as a complex, changing process in contemporary America. This research, plus all of the theories, concepts, and models that she teaches at SCI, are put into daily practice in her work directing the VMW.

In terms of teaching, Alison teaches courses in digital preservation and the digital humanities, especially, but not exclusively, at the graduate level.

Alison is also the principal contact for the DHRX: Digital Humanities Research at Pitt initiative, which represents a transdisciplinary network of scholars here at the University of Pittsburgh who use digital methods to study the ways in which humans interact with their environments, whether social or cultural, natural or human-created.

Digital Projects

Itinera
Technical Director and Lead Project Manager
Initial design, 2012; alpha prototype, 2013-2014; beta prototype, 2015-present

The Socio-Technical Sustainability Roadmap
Principal Investigator
Draft and design 2015; production and testing 2017-2018; dissemination 2017-present

Decomposing Bodies
Technical Director and Lead Project Manager
Early design, 2014; data collection/initial analysis, 2014-2017; publication phase, 2016-present

Education Details

PhD, Columbia University

MLIS, University of California at Los Angeles

Selected Publications

Berg-Fulton, Tracey, Alison Langmead, Thomas Lombardi, David Newbury, and Christopher Nygren. “A Role-Based Model for Successful Collaboration in Digital Art History.” International Journal for Digital Art History 3 (2018): 152-80. 

Langmead, Alison. “Art and Architectural History and the Performative, Mindful Practice of the Digital Humanities." The Journal of Interactive Technology & Pedagogy 12 (February 12, 2018).

Armstrong, Christopher Drew, Lily Brewer, Jennifer Donnelly, Alison Langmead, and Vibeka McGyver. Itinera’s Displacements: A Roundtable.” Journal18, Special Issue “Coordinates” 5 (Spring 2018).

Langmead, Alison, Paul Rodriguez, Sandeep Puthanveetil Satheesan, and Alan Craig. “Extracting Meaningful Data from Decomposing Bodies.” In Proceedings of Practice and Experience in Advanced Research Computing 2017, New Orleans, Louisiana, July 9-13, 2017 (PEARC17). Awarded Best Paper in the “Accelerating Discovery in Scholarly Research” Track.

Birnbaum, David J. and Alison Langmead. “Task-Driven Programming Pedagogy in the Digital Humanities.” In New Directions for Computing Education: Embedding Computing across Disciplines, edited by Samuel B. Fee, Amanda M. Holland-Minkley, and Tom Lombardi, 63-85. New York: Springer, 2017.

Langmead, Alison, Jessica M. Otis, Christopher N. Warren, Scott B. Weingart, and Lisa D. Zilinksi. “Towards Interoperable Network Ontologies for the Digital Humanities.” International Journal of Humanities and Computing 10, no. 1 (2016): 22-35.

Cox, Richard, Alison Langmead, and Nora Mattern, eds. Archival Research and Education: Selected Papers from the 2014 AERI Conference. Sacramento: Litwin Books, 2015.

Invited Talks

“Successful Interdisciplinary Collaboration in the Digital Humanities.” Invited plenary presentation offered alongside Thomas Lombardi. 2018 CADRE (Coalition for Advancing Digital Research and Education) Conference, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, Oklahoma, April 2018.

“Art and Architectural History and the Performative, Mindful Practice of the Digital Humanities.” Digital Dialogues Talk, Maryland Institute for Technology in the Humanities, University of Maryland, College Park, Maryland, February 2018.

Itinera: People, Objects, and Sites.”  Digital Provenance Symposium, Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, November 2017.

“What is Curiosity and Can It Be Learned?" Invited panel presentation for the “Year of the Humanities in the University” initiative, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, November 2015.

Academic Presentations

“Forms of Equivalence: Bertillonnage and the History of Information Management.” Paper presented with Josh Ellenbogen at Digital Frontiers 2018, University of Kansas Institute for Digital Research in the Humanities, Lawrence, Kansas, October 2018.

“What Do We Want Digital History to Look Like Now?” Panel presentation at the 132nd Annual Meeting of the American Historical Association, Washington, D.C., January 2018.

“A Socio-Technical Digital Preservation Roadmap.” Paper presented with Aisling Quigley at the 2017 NDSA Digital Preservation Conference, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, October 2017.

“A Role-Based Model for Successful Collaboration in the Digital Humanities.” Paper presented with David Newbury and Christopher Nygren at the 2017 Keystone Digital Humanities Conference, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, July 2017.

“Extracting Meaningful Data from Decomposing Bodies.” Paper presented with Paul Rodriguez and Alan Craig at Practice and Experience in Advanced Research Computing (PEARC) 2017, New Orleans, LA, July 2017.

“Ubiquitous Computing and Surveillance Culture."  Half-day symposium organized and produced for the Year of the Humanities at the University of Pittsburgh, University of Pittsburgh, April 2016. 

“Computational Visual Aesthetics.” Full-day symposium co-organized and produced for the Year of the Humanities at the University of Pittsburgh, University of Pittsburgh, November 2015. 

Curatorial Work

Lead Curator, Data (after)Lives: The Persistence of Encoded Identity, University Art Gallery, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, September 9-October 14, 2016.

Selected Awards

“Workshops on Sustainability for Digital Projects.” Institutes for Advanced Topics in the Digital Humanities Grant, Office of Digital Humanities, National Endowment for the Humanities ($215,380), October 2018-September 2019.
Role: Principal Investigator

“Art History + Network Science: A Getty Advanced Workshop.” Digital Art History Grant,  J. Paul Getty Foundation ($223,000.00), April 2018-August 2020.    
Role: Lead Principal Investigator with Co-PIs Anne Helmreich, Getty Research Institute and Scott Weingart, Carnegie Mellon University

 

“Information Ecosystems: Creating Data (and Absence) From the Quantitative to the Digital Age.” Sawyer Seminar Grant, The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation ($225,000), September 2019-June 2021.
Role: Principal Investigator with Co-PIs Michael Colaresi, Michael Dietrich, Melanie Hughes, Ruth Mostern, Lara Putnam, Annette Vee, and Randall Walsh, University of Pittsburgh

 

“The ‘Morelli Machine:’ A Proposal Testing a Critical, Algorithmic Approach to Art History.” Extreme Science and Engineering Discovery Environment (XSEDE) Extended Collaborative Support Service Grant, UIUC National Center for Supercomputing Applications (Grant #TG-ART170002; 50,000 computing SUs/500TB storage), October 2017-July 2019.
Role: Co-PI with Christopher Nygren, University of Pittsburgh

 

“Sustaining MedArt: The Impact of Socio-Technical Factors on Digital Preservation Strategies.” Research and Development Grant (Tier I), Division of Preservation and Access, National Endowment for the Humanities ($78,348.00), May 2016-August 2017. 
Role: Principal Investigator 

 

“Decomposing Bodies.” Extreme Science and Engineering Discovery Environment (XSEDE) Extended Collaborative Support Service Grant, UIUC National Center for Supercomputing Applications (Grant #HUA150001P; 70,000 computing SUs/3TB storage), May 2015-May 2017.
Role: Principal Investigator