Photo of Shawn Graham

Shawn Graham

Associate Professor - Roman economics and social networks; Digital media for researching Archaeology and History; Computational Creativity

Degrees:BA Hons (Wilfrid Laurier University); MA, PhD (University of Reading, UK)
Phone:613-520-2600 x 2842
Office:406 Paterson Hall

Shawn Graham trained in Roman archaeology but has become over the years a digital archaeologist and digital humanist. In 2016 he won a Provost’s Fellowship in Teaching Award and was designated a Carleton University Teaching Fellow. He recently won a SSHRC Insight Grant for a project called ‘The Bone Trade: Studying the Online Trade in Human Remains with Machine Learning and Neural Networks’. The project website is at He has funding to support MA students on that project and would be delighted to hear from prospective students.

He keeps an open lab notebook of his research and experiments in digital history and archaeology at his research blog,

He is founder and editor of the open access journal, Epoiesen: A Journal for Creative Engagement in History and Archaeology.

His teaching explores historical methods and digital history at all levels, including seminars in the collaborative MA Digital Humanities program (see for instance as well as in the MA Public History program.

He was a faculty member at the NEH funded Institute on Digital Archaeology Method and Practice at Michigan State University. His sessions focussed on augmented reality for archaeology, and how to fail productively in digital work:

(in the video below, start at the 4 min mark:)

Trailer for his graduate seminar in digital history (and here’s the syllabus):

Trailer for his undergraduate critical making in digital history course (and here’s the syllabus):

He  wrote  ‘The Historian’s Macroscope‘, a handbook to big data in digital history, for undergraduates with Ian Milligian (Waterloo) and Scott Weingart (Carnegie Mellon). The open access version of the book, along with supplementary materials, may be viewed at  

Dr. Graham’s github code repository is here.

And he also designed a board game about ancient Rome:

Research & Supervision Interests

  • Computational Creativity for History & Archaeology
  • Machine Learning
  • Open Access Pedagogies
  • Digital Public History & Archaeology (especially landscape)

Current Graduate Students

Sabrina Schoch, Cristina Woods, Hollis Peirce, Shawn Anctil.

He is pleased to consult with graduate students of any stripe concerning the digital aspects of their work.

Honours and Awards

2019 Archaeological Institute of America, Award for Outstanding Work in Digital Archaeology for the Open Digital Archaeology Textbook Environment
2016 Provost’s Fellowship in Teaching Award
2013   Desire2Learn Innovation Award in Teaching and Learning, Society for Teaching and Learning in Higher Education
2012 Educational Development Centre Carleton University Excellence in Teaching with Technology Award
2010 Leadership Award, Grand Canyon University
2006 1st Digital Humanities Workshop Awardee, University Nebraska Lincoln
2005-6 1st Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Roman Archaeology, University of Manitoba
2004-9: Member of the Institute of Field Archaeologists, UK
2003-11: Register of Professional Archaeologists, North America

Current Digital Projects

Select Publications

2018 Huffer, D. and S. Graham. Fleshing out the Bones: Studying the Human Remains Trade with Tensorflow and Inception, Journal of Computer Applications in Archaeology 1(1). DOI 10.5334/jcaa.8.

2017 Huffer, D., and S. Graham. The Insta-Dead: The rhetoric of the human remains trade on Instagram Internet Archaeology 45.5

2016 The Sound of Data. The Programming Historian.

2015 Graham, Milligan, and Weingart. Exploring Big Historical Data: The Historian’s Macroscope London: Imperial College Press.

2015 ‘The Equifinality of Archaeological Networks: an Agent-Based Exploratory Lab Approach‘ Journal of Archaeological Method and Theory 22.1 248-274.

2014  ‘Rolling Your Own: On Modding Commercial Games for Educational Goals’ in K. Kee (ed.) Pastplay: Teaching and Learning History with Technology. (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press). 214-254.

2014    K. Kee and S. Graham, ‘Teaching history in an age of pervasive computing: the case for games in the high school and undergraduate classroom’ in Kevin Kee (ed) Pastplay: Teaching and Learning History with Technology. (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press).  337-366.

2013 Graham, S. and I. Milligan. ‘Review of MALLET, produced by Andrew Kachites McCallumJournal of Digital Humanities 2.1.

2013  Graham, S., G. Massie, Nadine Feuerherm. ‘The HeritageCrowd Project: A Case Study in Crowdsourcing Public History’ in Jack Dougherty and Kristen Nawrotzki (eds.) Writing History in the Digital Age. (Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan Press). 222-232.

2013  ‘The Wikiblitz: A Wikipedia Editing Assignment in a First Year Undergraduate Class’ in Jack Dougherty and Kristen Nawrotzki (eds.) Writing History in the Digital Age. (Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan Press).  75-85.

2012 Arya, A., P. Hartwick, S. Graham, N. Nowlan. “Collaborating through Space and Time in Educational Virtual Environments: 3 Case Studies.Journal of Interactive Technology and Pedagogy 2.

2012 Graham, S., S. Weingart, I. Milligan. ‘Getting started with Topic Modeling’ in W. Turkel and A. Crymble (eds) The Programming Historian 2.

Recent Graduate Supervisions

Matt Dodds, History MA, on data mining the Old Bailey Online.

Danny Guay-Bellanger, Public History MA, on video game preservation.

Rob Blades, Public History MA, on soundscapes and memory in Pembroke Ontario.

Peter Holdsworth, Public History MA, on social networks analysis, public memory, and commemoration.

Undergraduate Supervisions

Ryan Pickering 2015/16 The Historical Consciousness of Dwarf Fortress

Hollis Peirce, Entangled with Books:Two Moments In the Evolution of Accessibility and the Notion of Universal Design blog. 2014/15

Allison Smith, Digital history and Black History in Canada  2013/14

Zack Battist, Feasting in the Bronze Age & Social Networks Analysis  2012/2013