Digital Humanities Research Hub seminar 2020-2021

6 May 2021 | Locating a National Collection through Audience Research
Gethin Rees and Valeria Vitale (British Library)

Locating a National Collection (LaNC) aims to help cultural heritage organisations to use location data—such as where objects were made and used or the places they depict and describe—to connect collections and engage audiences. Location-based interfaces such as web maps offer opportunities to open up collections to new audiences and uses. This presentation explores how LaNC is using audience research methods including surveys and focus groups to inform geospatial data structures and interface design.
Catch up on the session now.

20 May 2021 | Editorial Transformations and Minimal Computing at the Melville Electronic Library
Christopher Ohge (SAS)

The Melville Electronic Library was established in 2009 after receiving a digital humanities start-up grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities, and then received additional NEH scholarly editions grants until 2017. But when the project had exhausted its grant funding, it still had much editorial work to do, so the editorial team worked with its technical partners to transform the entire project into a static site using minimal computing principles. This seminar will outline the transformations undertaken by the project, and how the minimal approach revealed the affordances of sustainable computing for humanities projects.
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3 June: 2021 | Teaching Digital Approaches to Cultural Heritage as an International Collaboration
Gabriel Bodard (SAS)

For the past several years I have been teaching two modules on digital approaches to the ancient world for SAS students and the London intercollegiate classics MA programme. One of these modules focuses on text and language (“Classics” proper) and the other on Cultural Heritage, a mix of imaging, geographical information, and other approaches to the study of historical material culture. This second module, which is titled “Digital Approaches to Cultural Heritage,” uses the collaborative and international Sunoikisis Digital Classics programme, which enables us to bring a range of perspectives and expertise into both the design and the delivery of content. This presentation will discuss the mix of technical, practical, and theoretical approaches that students engage with in this programme, and the invaluable contributions from scholars and practitioners in archaeology, heritage institutions, art law and other fields, that have brought to the syllabus topics around intellectual property, ethics, questions of representation, cultural norms and sensitivities, and debates around restitution and repatriation of heritage in the digital realm.
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17 June 2021 | “Stop, collaborate and listen”: Lessons on interdisciplinary collaboration from the Living with Machines Project
Ruth Ahnert (QMUL)

The Living with Machines project, based at The Alan Turing Institute, brings together historians, data scientists, curators and library professionals, computational linguists, and digital humanists, to examine the human impact of the coming of the machine age (c.1780-1920). This paper will discuss what it is like collaborating on such an unusually large and interdisciplinary project. It will discuss in particular the challenges of creating a shared vision and programme of research that respects the different research and work cultures of its members, and their expectations about how to work, what constitutes a meaningful outcome, and how that should be disseminated.
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1 July 2021 | Researching Social Media in the Digital Humanities
Naomi Wells (SAS), Rhiannon Lewis (SAS) & Nayana Dhavan (KCL).

Social media research is often associated with (new) media and communications studies, which have to a large extent laid the theoretical and methodological foundations for such research. Recent years have, however, seen an increasing interest from those working within DH, as reflected in conferences and publications in the field. This is connected to the growth of the field of internet history and the consolidation of born-digital archives in the museums and heritage sector. It is also a result of the increasing need for those who study contemporary cultural practices and texts in the humanities to address the undeniable role of social media in contemporary life. While there have been attempts to explore the intersections between media studies and digital humanities (see e.g. Sayers 2020), critical questions remain about what digital humanists bring to the study of social media and how social media research connects with more established approaches within DH. Including short presentations on current social media research in DH, this seminar will invite discussion on these ongoing questions concerning the role of social media research in the field.
Catch up on the session now.