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DH2015 – Digital humanities

4 July 2015
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Conference: DH2015 Global digital humanities: the annual conference of the alliance of digital humanities organizations

Held at the University of Western Sydney – South Parramatta, 29 June to 3 July 2015

This was the first time this international conference had been held in Australia, and I attended as someone nearly completely new to the area of digital humanities.

The conference was an excellent introduction to digital humanities. I had expected to see new things in corpus linguistics, but I did not: instead, however, I was able to experience striking presentations derived from many different data sources. In conversation with well-established digital humanities researchers, it was suggested that you couldn’t be doing digital humanities if you weren’t doing something ‘cool’ — which surely raises the bar high for new entrants and reduces the chance of methodological maturity?

Two themes came into accidental prominence during the conference:

  1. Indigenous digital humanities — designed as a feature in the program, the impact of Australian Indigenous culture was particularly strong on the international and particularly the North American attendees. An immersive 3D recreation of Indigenous life on the banks of the Parramatta River pre-European contact was presented by UWS researchers within the exhibition area, literally embodying the ‘utopian core’ at the heart of the digital humanities project, according to Jensen (2014).
  2. The inclusion or exclusion of women and speakers of languages other than English from the conference program and organisation. This started as a tweet (on why the keynotes and panels had been all male) and turned into a whole stream of conversation within the conference.

Relevance to the study

(I will describe the Pelagios workshop in a separate post. )

The third keynote, The Robot Apocalypse, was highly relevant to the study: presented by Genevieve Bell, of Intel, it looked at events in the history of machines and their depicted relationships with humanity.

Tools which may be of use in the study include Heurist.

An interesting corpus of French text messages could also be a good data source: it is unannotated.

References

Jensen, K. E. (2014). Linguistics and the digital humanities: (computational) corpus linguistics. MedieKultur, 57, 115–134.

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