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November 15, 2023

Call for Lessons (English edition)

Alex Wermer-Colan and Anisa Hawes

The English edition of Programming Historian seeks proposals for new original lessons or translations to be considered for publication in 2024.

Submissions Open: 15 November 2023
Submissions Close: 31 January 2024 (extended deadline)

What is a Programming Historian lesson?

A Programming Historian lesson is a learn-by-doing resource that empowers readers to develop new, practical knowledge of a computational method or digital tool. Our aim is for readers to be able to apply what they learn to acquire, transform, analyse, visualise, or sustain data in their own research.

Successful lessons centre real datasets and sample code that readers can handle and experiment with. These elements are supported by reflections on methodological decision-making as well as considerations of adaptations to methods or alternative tool options – this is what makes a Programming Historian lesson distinct from software documentation.

Our lessons are aimed at humanities and social science researchers, but are also read by self-learners with other interests. We encourage our authors to write as though they are explaining their method to a colleague or peer, to make lessons as accessible as possible.

What are the benefits of writing a Programming Historian lesson?

Our lessons support readers who want to learn new skills, but the act of writing is also beneficial to authors. Writing to explain a methodology or tool to others deepens your own understanding and knowledge. It empowers your development as a critical, intentional and considered researcher, and is an opportunity to hone your technical writing skills. We encourage you to write about a method or tool that you know well, and that you have applied, adapted or advanced in your own research.

Ideas for Proposal Topics

Programming Historian’s English edition is inviting proposals to fill gaps in our lesson directory. Please explore our journal to discover what’s already available, and consider what you might be able to add.

If the method or approach you’re interested in writing a lesson about is already represented by the Spanish, French, or Portuguese editions of Programming Historian, we welcome proposals to translate those existing, original lessons into English. Please review our Translation Concordance map to identify options for your translation. In this call, proposals for translations will be prioritised for publication.

We’re also keen to extend our offer to learners, and invite proposals which focus on methodological approaches, digital techniques and tools including, but not limited to:

How to Submit a Proposal

Remember, you can either:

If you have an idea, please send us a proposal by January 31st, 2024 (extended deadline).

We’ve set up a Google Form which you can submit directly online. There’s also a plain-text version which you can send to us by email, if you prefer. The form has twelve questions. Please answer all those which apply.

There is space for you to tell us about the research case study you’d like to centre within your lesson, and for you to explain how you came to use this method or tool as part of your work within the humanities.

Our questions encourage you to think carefully about how your choices of software, programming languages and datasets can support our commitment to openness.

We will also ask you to outline any technical prerequisites and potential limitations of access to this method or tool because our global readership work with different operating systems and have varying computational resources.

It is important to us that our lessons can be translated for use in multilingual research-contexts, so we’ll invite you to consider how your method or tool could be applied or adapted for use with non-English-language data.

At the end of the form, you have the option to provide links to sample code or to a draft extract of your lesson if you’d like to.

In keeping with our commitment to diversity and equal access within digital humanities, we encourage proposals from women, members of minority groups, LGBTQ+ members, and peoples from the Global South. With this call, we strongly encourage the participation of Anglophone and multilingual communities beyond North America.


If you’d like to ask any questions, please write to the Managing Editor of Programming Historian in English, Alex Wermer-Colan or to our Publishing Manager, Anisa Hawes.

Some background about Programming Historian

Launched in 2012, Programming Historian offers more than 200 novice-friendly, multilingual peer-reviewed lessons that help humanists learn a wide range of digital tools, techniques, and workflows to facilitate their research. In recent years, our interdisciplinary publication has expanded to include Spanish, French, and Portuguese editions. Our journals are Diamond Open Access and in that spirit: authors retain copyright, never pay any fees to publish with us, all content is peer-reviewed, and access is always free for readers.

We’re a volunteer-led initiative, supported by the Board of the charity ProgHist Ltd, a small team of publishing staff, and a global community of contributors. We’re funded by a growing network of organisations across Europe, Canada, North America and Latin America who have invested in our success by subscribing to our Institutional Partner Programme.

About the authors

Alex Wermer-Colan is the Digital Scholarship Coordinator at Temple University Libraries' Loretta C. Duckworth Scholars Studio.

Anisa Hawes, Programming Historian, Publishing Manager.