Alison Langmead

  • DSAM Graduate Advisor • History of Art and Architecture

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.

Education & Training

  • PhD, Columbia University
  • MLIS, University of California at Los Angeles

Representative Publications

Langmead, Alison. “en-count-er maps: First Response.” Epoiesen: A Journal for Creative Engagement in History and Archaeology, 2017.

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 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.

Langmead, Alison. “The History of Archival Education in America: What's Next?” In Archival Research and Education: Selected Papers from the 2014 AERI Conference, edited by Richard J. Cox, Alison Langmead, and Nora Mattern, 273-314. Sacramento: Litwin Books, 2015.