Lauren Tilton

Assistant Professor of Digital Humanities at the University of Richmond. Co-Director of Photogrammar, Distant Viewing, and Participatory Media. Focus on using, developing, and questioning data analysis in order to pursue humanistic inquiry in collaboration with colleagues across the humanities, social sciences, and sciences. Full CV.


Yale University, Ph.D., American Studies

Dissertation: In Local Hands: The Rise of Participatory Media

Yale University, M.Phil., American Studies

Yale University, M.A., American Studies with a Concentration in Public Humanities

University of Virginia, B.A., American Studies


Exploring Humanities Data in R: Exploring Networks, Geospatial Data, Images and Texts. Taylor Arnold and Lauren Tilton. Springer 2015.

`Depth in Deep Learning: Layered, Knowledgeable, and Impenetrable'. Taylor Arnold and Lauren Tilton. ed. Karen Redrobe and Jeff Scheible. Deep Mediations. University of Minnesota Press. 2020.

`What's in a Name? `Labs' in the Digital Humanities'. Taylor Arnold and Lauren Tilton. ed. Anne Mcgrail, Angel David Nieves, and Siobhan Senier Debates in Digital Humanities 2020: Institutions, Infrastructure at the Interstices. University of Minnesota Press. 2020.

Digital Humanities Quarterly. Special Issue: AudioVisual in the Digital Humanities. Co-Editors: Taylor Arnold, Stefania Scagliola, Lauren Tilton, and Jasmijn Van Gorp. 2020.

`Rethinking Resources in Our National Battlefield'. Justin Madron and Lauren Tilton. Collateral Values: The Natural Capital Created by Landscapes of War. Ed. Todd Lookingbill. Springer Nature. Forthcoming 2019.

`Don't Be a Segregationist: Program Films for Everyone'. Elena Rossi-Snook and Lauren Tilton. ed. Marsha Gordon and Allyson Field. Race and Non-Theatrical Film Reader. Duke University Press. Forthcoming - November 2019.

`Race and Place: Dialect and the Construction of Southern Identity in the FWP Slave Narratives'. Lauren Tilton. Current Research in Digital History. 2019.

`Building Pedagogy into Project Development: Making Data Construction Visible in Digital Projects.' Courtney Rivard, Taylor Arnold and Lauren Tilton. Digital Humanities Quarterly. July 2019.

`Visual Style in Two Network Era Sitcoms'. Taylor Arnold, Annie Berke, and Lauren Tilton. Journal of Cultural Analytics. July 2019.

`Distant Viewing'. Taylor Arnold and Lauren Tilton. Digital Scholarship in the Humanities. March 2019. Open Access Verion.

`The Digital Public Humanities: Giving New Arguments and New Ways to Argue'. Jordana Cox and Lauren Tilton. Review of Communication. May 2019. DOI:10.1080/15358593.2019.1598569 Open Access Version.

`New Data, New Histories: The Role of Statistics in DH'. Taylor Arnold and Lauren Tilton. Debates in Digital Humanities 2019. University of Minnesota Press. Open Access Version.

2018 American Quarterly. Special Issue: Digital Humanities. Lead co-editor. October 2018.

`American Studies + Computational Humanities.' Lauren Tilton. American Quarterly. October 2018. DOI: 10.1353/aq.2018.0046 Open Access Version.

>`Digital Projects Review: Tropy.' Lauren Tilton. Journal of American History. June 2018.

'Participatory Archives'. Grace Hale and Lauren Tilton. Archive Journal. Issue 7. 2017.

'Knowledge Creation Through Recommender Systems'. Taylor Arnold, Peter Leonard, and Lauren Tilton. Digital Scholarship in the Humanities. Special Issue on DH2016. 2017.

'Basic Text Professing in R'. Taylor Arnold and Lauren Tilton. Programming Historian. February 19, 2017.

'Uncovering Latent Metadata in the FSA-OWI Photographic Archive'. Taylor Arnold, Stacey Maples, Lauren Tilton and Laura Wexler. Digital Humanities Quarterly. Vol 11 No 2. 2017.

'Preservation First?: Re-Viewing Film Digitization'. Focus issue on Collections in the Digital Age. guest edited by Lauren Tilton and Brent Rogers, edited by Juilee Decker. Roman & Littlefield. August 2016.

'Introduction to Focus Issue: Collections in a Digital Age'. Focus issue on Collections in the Digital Age. guest edited by Lauren Tilton and Brent Rogers, edited by Juilee Decker. Roman & Littlefield. August 2016.

Other Works

Arguing with Digital History working group. 'Digital History and Argument'. White Paper. Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media. 2017.

'"Come Let Us Build A New World Together": The SNCC Digital Gateway'. Teaching with #DigHist. American Historical Association. April 24, 2017.

'"We've been lots of places": Mapping the New Deal'. SouthWritLarge. Issue: Summer 2016.

Grants & Awards

NEH Digital Humanities Advancement Grant, October 2018 - Present

Co-PI. Distant Viewing Toolkit (DVT) for the Cultural Analysis of Moving Images. We are building an open source software library to facilitate the algorithmic production of metadata summaring the content (e.g. people/actors, scenes, objects) and style (e.g. shot angle, shot length, framing) of time-based media. The toolkit is a part of the work of the Distant Viewing Lab, which applies computer vision for the study visual culture.

NEH Digital Projects for the Public, January 2016 - June 2018

Co-PI. Participatory Media interactively engages with and presents participatory community media from the 1960s and 1970s. Through the discovery phase, the project will explore how to provide access to community-made, rare, and often publicly-funded moving images and their related archives; provide a model for community involvement in digital public humanities work, specifically participatory archival, curatorial, and exhibition work; and employ innovative technologies to enable digital participation on multiple levels. The final product of this discovery grant will be design documents that include user interface specifications, technology requirements, and wireframes.

ACLS Digital Extension, August 2016 - June 2018

Co-Director. Photogrammar: Listening and Seeing America’s Documentary Record will enhance two areas of the web-based digital and public humanities platform for organizing, searching, and visualizing the 170,000 photographs from 1935 to 1945 created by the United States Farm Security Administration and Office of War Information. Photogrammar will place the collection in the larger federal effort to document America during the era by creating links across archives. We will incorporate the Federal Writers Project and bring together over 4,000 life histories from UNC and the Library of Congress. Photogrammar will expand knowledge about photographers by adding oral histories (over 20 hours) that were conducted by the Smithsonian’s Archives of American Art and rebuilding the photographer’s film rolls. Co-wrote grant.

NEH Digital Start-Up Grant, January 2012 - August 2015

Co-Director. Photogrammar is an interactive visualization platform for the Farm Security Administration-Office of War Information (FSA-OWI) collection, an archive of 170,000 photographs created by the federal government between 1935 and 1943, and is funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities. Photogrammar offers new ways for publics to access the FSA-OWI archive through mapping, browse features (including by data, photographer and county), faceted searches and image analysis. Co-wrote grant.

HASTAC Scholar, 2013 - 2015

The Humanities, Arts, Science and Technology Alliance and Collaboratory (HASTAC) is a community that explores the intersections of the arts, technology, humanities and the sciences with a focus on the research, teaching and learning in the digital age. As a HASTAC Scholar, I am engaging with the community on the topic of digital, public humanities.

Council on Library and Information Resources Mellon Fellowship, Sept. 2013 - 2014

One of 17 out of 442 applicant to receive the fellowship, which is funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. The grant provides a year of funding in order to conduct primary research in original sources, with an emphasis on projects that use little studied sources and use the research in creative and innovative ways.

Rockefeller Archive Center Grants-In-Aid Award, 2014

Research grant for archival work at the Rockefeller Archive Center.

Public Scholar Award, May 2013

Administered by the Yale University Graduate School of Arts & Sciences, the award recognizes research with a public focus. It was given based on my work on Photogrammar.

Mellon THATCamp Fellowship, December 2011

Awarded the fellowship to attend The Humanities and Technology Camp (THATCamp) at the 2012 American Historical Association Annual Conference in Chicago.

Public & Digital Humanities

Distant Viewing, August 2016 - Present

Co-PI. Distant Viewing theorizes, utilizes and develops techniques in computer vision to analyze moving image culture on a large scale. One sub-project (Distant TV) analyzes how visual space is used by characters over a set of fourteen sitcoms from the Network Era of American Television (1952-1985), modeling a new mode of cultural analysis within TV studies.

Participatory Media Project, August 2014 - Present

Co-PI. Designing and developing a project for community films from the 1960s and 1970s using open access standards such as open linked data and open source software. Users will be able to explore films through curated exhibitions and faceted searching.

Photogrammar, October 2010 - Present

Co-Director. Collaborate with a team of scholars, technologists and librarians to design and develop Photogrammar, which maps 170,000 photos from the Farm Security Administration-Office of War Information Collection. An open source and open access project, the platform will be available to the public online and users will be able to access the photos through an interactive map, a browse function and faceted searching online. Working with the team and users to develop futures features.

New England Public Humanities Symposium, July 2014 - April 2015

Co-Organizer and Website Developer. Organized a three-day symposium that facilitated the development of a consortium to grow and support public humanities across New England with eight peer institutions of higher education. Designed and developed the symposium website. Resulted in the creation of the New England Public Humanities Consortium.

Instructional Innovation Internships Program, Summer 2013 - Summer 2014

Intern. signing and building the Digital Humanities (DH) Working Group website, including identifying key content such as lists of courses and workshops that support DH research and pedagogy. Administered by Yale Instructional Technology Group, the program develops and supports the creation of digital teaching resources.

The American Yawp, Summer 2013 - Present

Digital Content Advisory Board. Online, open-source American history textbook.

National World War II Museum, June 2009 - June 2010

Virtual Classroom Coordinator. Develop and conduct Virtual Field Trips and teacher workshops via videoconferencing and webcasting. Research and advise the Museum on the use of appropriate educational technologies.

Selected Presentations

`Visual Turn in Digital Humanities'. Lauren Tilton. Digital Humanities and the Visual World | Digital Scholarship on the Front Range. October 2019.

`State(s) of the Field' and `Race and Place: Dialect and the Construction of Southern Identity in the FWP Ex-Slave Narratives'. Lauren Tilton. Current Research in Digital History. March 2019.

`Towards a Visual Turn in (Digital) History'. Lauren Tilton. Quantitative Analysis and the Digital Turn in Historical Studies, Fields Institute. February 2019.

`Seeing the Nation: Documentary, Digital Humanities, and the Construction of Social History'. Ball State University. February 2019.

`Digital Public Humanities: Giving New Arguments and New Ways to Argue'. Middlebury College. October 2018.

`Voice of a Nation'. UNC-Chapel Hill. August 2018.

`Locating Place Names at Scale: Using Natural Language Processing to Identify Geographical Information'. Digital Humanities 2018. June 2018.

`Distant Viewing with Deep Learning: An Introduction to Analyzing Large Corpora of Images'. Carnegie Mellon University. May 2018.

`Archival Collections, Digital Humanities, and The Possibilities'. University of Miami. April 2018.

`Photography, Data Analysis, and Its Possibilities'. Stanford University. March 2017.