Digital Humanities Month at UCL

By Sarah Davenport, on 4 April 2013

April is Digital Humanities Month at UCL!  Along with the DH Project Starter Workshop and the event for UCL undergraduates, we are holding a series of talks. All are welcome and there will be a drinks reception after each talk. Please note that registration is required as places are limited.

Friday 12th April, 5.30pm, G31 Foster Court

“Contexts, Toward Building the Social Edition”

Ray Siemens, University of Victoria

This talk explores, via narrative and example, research contexts toward the social scholarly edition, among them notions of Big Humanities and Humanities 2.0, the nature of impact in and beyond academic environments, and engaging extended community through work anchored in an academic research agenda.  A prime example will be the social edition of the Devonshire Manuscript (BL Add 17492)

Register here

Tuesday 16th April, 5.30pm, G31 Foster Court

“The Gates of Hell: History and Definition of Digital | Humanities | Computing”

Edward Vanhoutte, Centre for Scholarly Editing and Document Studies, Royal Academy of Dutch Language and Literature

The origins of the Digital Humanities dating back to the late 1940′s are quite well known, or so it seems. In The Gates of Hell, Edward Vanhoutte recounts the story of the use of computational techniques through history and frames its early history within the context of failure from the part of war technology. He will show how the use of the computer for electronic text analysis developed into Humanities Computing and how the schism with Computational Linguistics occurred. He will argue that these historical insights are important for our current thinking about where the Digital Humanities come from, what they are, and where they should head to. Vanhoutte will use Auguste Rodin’s sculpture La porte de l’Enfer or The Gates of Hell as a metaphor throughout the lecture.

Register here

Thursday 18th April, 5.30pm, G31 Foster Court

“Exploring Enlightenment: Text Mining the 18th-Century Republic of Letters”

Glenn Roe, Faculty of Medieval and Modern Languages, University of Oxford

The challenge of ‘Big Data’ in the Humanities has led in recent years to a host of innovative technological and algorithmic approaches to the growing digital human record. These techniques—from data mining to distant reading—can offer students and scholars new perspectives on the exploration and visualisation of increasingly intractable data sets in the human and social sciences; perspectives that would have previously been unimaginable. The danger, however, in these kinds of ‘macro-analyses’, is that scholars find themselves increasingly disconnected from the raw materials of their research, engaging with massive collections of texts in ways that are neither intuitive nor transparent, and that provide few opportunities to apply traditional modes of close reading to these new resources. In this talk, I will outline some of my previous work using data mining and machine learning techniques to explore large data sets drawn primarily from the French Enlightenment period. Building upon these past experiences, I will then present my current research project at Oxford, which uses sequence alignment algorithms to identify intertextual relationships between authors and texts in the 18th-century “Republic of Letters.” By reintroducing the notion of (inter)textuality into algorithmic and data-driven methods of macro-anlalysis we can perhaps bridge the gap between distant and close readings, by way of an intermediary mode of scholarship I term ‘directed’ or ‘scalable’ reading.

Register here

Wednesday 24th April, 5.30pm, G31 Foster Court

“Public support for the UK Digital Humanities: looking back and forwards”

David Robey, Oxford e-Research Centre

The UK has swung in a few years from leading the world in its infrastructure for the Digital Humanities to providing almost nothing in this respect. This talk, by the former Director of the AHRC ICT in Arts and Humanities Research Programme, will discuss some of the reasons for this change, and the issues, needs and prospects for a Digital Humanities infrastructure in the future.

Register here

Digital Humanities Project Starter Workshop

By Sarah Davenport, on 26 February 2013

Thursday 25 April & Friday 26 April 2013

Forms part of UCL’s Digital Humanities Month, April 2013, supported by the Grand Challenge of Cultural Interaction

- £5,000 project starter prize for the best cross-disciplinary digital humanities project

- Only 12-16 places are available

- Open to all disciplines across UCL. You don’t have to be a humanities researcher or a computer scientist to apply

- Apply by 9am, Monday, 25th March 2013

Who can pitch the best project, and win seed funding (£5,000) to undertake a new project at the juncture of computing and the humanities? This is your opportunity to spend one and a half days working in cross-disciplinary project groups to formulate research proposals which will be judged by an expert panel.

This innovative workshop, led by a professional facilitator, will aim to stimulate new thinking about digital humanities and to catalyse collaborations across UCL with researchers who work in disparate subject areas.

Please see the Intercultural Interaction website for further details and information on how to apply.

News about further Digital Humanities Month events to follow.  Watch this space!