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Penultimate DH Longview Seminar

Adam Crymble18 May 2022

Join us 5-6:30pm Thursday (19 May 2022) via Zoom for our very own Professor Tim Williams (Archaeology), for the next Digital Humanities Longview seminar, which explores digital scholarship and the Silk Road. Professor Williams’ research considers urban archaeology, especially in Roman, Islamic, and Central Asian contexts. He’s the Director of a long-running research project at Merv, Turkmenistan, which has been operating since 2001. This collaboration between the Turkmenistan Ministry of Culture, the Ancient Merv State Park, and the UCL Institute of Archaeology aims to research and conserve the remains of one of the great historic cities of the Silk Roads.

This webinar is open to the public. Registration is free but required: https://stanford.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_Ko_LDqfrRKeigtE5S4Ci2w

The Digital Humanities Longview seminar is a joint seminar series co-hosted by UCLDH, the Center for Spatial and Textual Analysis (Stanford, USA), and the Centre for Digital Humanities (Uppsala, Sweden).

Promotional flier for Tim Williams seminar 2022

 

Vision for Art (VISART) Workshop for interdisciplinary work in Computer Vision and Digital Humanities

Lucy Stagg26 April 2022

The VISion for Art (VISART) workshop is an interdisciplinary workshop held with the European Conference on Computer Vision (ECCV) on a bi-annual basis. The workshop is now on its 6th edition and has had great success over ten years since starting in Florence (2012), with the 2022 edition in Tel Aviv, Israel. The success has led to VISART becoming a staple venue for Computer Vision and Digital Art History & Humanities researchers alike. With the workshop’s ambition to bring the disciplines closer and provide a venue for interdisciplinary communication, it has, since 2018, provided two tracks for both the technological development and the reflection of computer vision techniques applied to the arts. The two tracks are:

1. Computer Vision for Art – technical work (standard ECCV submission, 14 pages excluding references)
2. Uses and Reflection of Computer Vision for Art (Extended abstract, 4 pages, excluding references)

Full details are available at the workshop website: https://visarts.eu

Keynotes

In addition to the technical works presented it regularly attracts names that bridge the disciplines including (but not limited to):

Keynote speakers from across the years of VISART, images from 2022 public institutional profiles and current affiliation logos.

Keynote speakers from across the years of VISART, images from 2022 public institutional profiles and current affiliation logos.

The inclusion of such a varied collection of Keynote speakers has provided a fruitful discussion on the use of technology to investigate visual content. From its style and perception (Aaron Hertzmann, Adobe) to how is the “hard humanities” field of computer image analysis of art changing our understanding of paintings and drawings (David G. Stork).

VISART VI Keynotes

The VISART VI (2022) workshop continues this tradition of high profile keynotes. It will add Prof Béatrice Joyeux-Prunel of the University of Geneva and Prof Ohad Ben-Shahar of Ben Gurion University to this list and the return of Prof John Collomosse of the University of Surrey.

VISART VI Keynotes

VISART VI Keynotes

Prof Béatrice Joyeux-Prunel

Béatrice Joyeux-Prunel is Full Professor at the University of Geneva in Switzerland (Faculté de Lettres – School of Humanities), chair of Digital Humanities. From 2007 to 2019 she was Associate Professor (maître de conférences) in modern and contemporary art at the École normale supérieure in Paris, France (ENS, PSL). She is a former student of ENS (Alumni 1996, Social Sciences and Humanities), and got an Agrégation in History and Geography in 1999. She defended her PhD in 2005 at the université Paris I Panthéon Sorbonne and her Habilitation at Sciences Po Paris in 2015. Joyeux-Prunel’s research encompasses the history of visual globalisation, the global history of the avant-gardes, the digital technologies in contemporary art, and the digital turn in the Humanities. Since 2009 she has founded and managed the Artl@s project on modern and contemporary art globalisation ([https://artlas.huma-num.fr](https://artlas.huma-num.fr/)) and she coedits the open access journal Artlas Bulletin. In 2016 she founded Postdigital ([www.postdigital.ens.fr](https://visarts.eu/www.postdigital.ens.fr)), a research project on digital cultures and imagination. Since 2019 she has led the European Jean Monnet Excellence Center IMAGO, an international center for the study and teaching on visual globalisation. At Geneva university she directs the SNF Project Visual Contagions ([https://visualcontagions.unige.ch](https://visualcontagions.unige.ch/)), a 4 years research project on images in globalisation, which uses computer vision techniques to trace the global circulation of images in printed material over the 20th century.

Prof John Collomosse

John Collomosse is a Principal Scientist at Adobe Research where he leads the deep learning group. John’s research focuses on representation learning for creative visual search (e.g. sketch, style, pose based search) and for robust image fingerprinting and attribution. He is a part-time full professor at the Centre for Vision Speech and Signal Processing, University of Surrey (UK) where he founded and co-directs the DECaDE multi-disciplinary research centre exploring the intersection of AI and Distributed Ledger Technology. John is part of the Adobe-led content authenticity initiative (CAI) and contributor to the technical work group of the C2PA open standard for digital provenance. He is on the ICT and Digital Economy advisory boards for the UK Science Council EPSRC.

Prof. Ohad Ben-Shahar

Ohad Ben-Shahar is a Professor of Computer Science at the Computer Science department, Ben Gurion University (BGU), Israel. He received his [B.Sc](http://b.sc/). and [M.Sc](http://m.sc/). in Computer Science from the Technicon (Israel Institute of Technology) in 1989 and 1996, respectively, and his M.Phill and PhD From Yale University, CT, USA in 1999 and 2003, respectively. He is a former chair of the Computer Science department and the present head of the School of Brain Sciences and Cognition at BGU. Prof Ben-Shahar’s research area focuses on computational vision, with interests that span all aspects of theoretical, experimental, and applied vision sciences and their relationship to cognitive science as a whole. He is the founding director of the interdisciplinary Computational Vision Laboratory (iCVL), where research involves theoretical computational vision, human perception and visual psychophysics, visual computational neuroscience, animal vision, applied computer vision, and (often biologically inspired) robot vision. He is a principle investigator in numerous research activities, from basic research animal vision projects through applied computer vision, data sciences, and robotics consortia, many of them funded by agencies such as the ISF, NSF, DFG, the National Institute for Psychobiology, The Israeli Innovation Authority, and European frameworks such as FP7 and Horizon 2020.

Call for Papers

The workshop calls for papers on the topics (but not limited to):

  • Art History and Computer Vision
  • 3D reconstruction from visual art or historical sites
  • Multi-modal multimedia systems and human machine interaction
  • Visual Question & Answering (VQA) or Captioning for Art
  • Computer Vision and cultural heritage
  • Big-data analysis of art
  • Security and legal issues in the digital presentation and distribution of cultural information
  • Image and visual representation in art
  • 2D and 3D human pose and gesture estimation in art
  • Multimedia databases and digital libraries for artistic research
  • Interactive 3D media and immersive AR/VR for cultural heritage
  • Approaches for generative art
  • Media content analysis and search
  • Surveillance and Behaviour analysis in Galleries, Libraries, Archives and Museums

Deadlines & Submissions

  • Full & Extended Abstract Paper Submission: 27th May 2022 (23:59 UTC-0)
  • Notification of Acceptance: 30th June 2022
  • Camera-Ready Paper Due: 12th July 2022
  • Workshop: TBA (23-27th October 2022)
  • Submission site: https://cmt3.research.microsoft.com/VISART2022/

Organisers

The VISART VI 2022 edition of the workshop has been organised by:

  • Alessio Del Bue, Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia (IIT)
  • Peter Bell, Philipps-Universität Marburg
  • Leonardo Impett, University of Cambridge
  • Noa Garcia, Osaka University
  • Stuart James, Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia (IIT) & University College London Centre for Digital Humanities (UCL DH)
VISART VI 2022 organisers

VISART VI 2022 organisers

Decoding Digital Humanities London reading group

Lucy Stagg25 February 2022

We’re delighted to help relaunch the Decoding Digital Humanities London reading groupDecoding Digital Humanities London (DDHL) is a bi-weekly reading group for anyone interested in research at the intersection of computational technologies and the humanities.

These gatherings will provide an opportunity to discuss readings, raise awareness of topics at the forefront of research, and spark new questions. DDHL aims to be place for connection for the digital humanities post-graduate community, but welcomes participation from anyone who is interested.

The series was originally set up by staff and students at UCLDH as a series of informal monthly meetings to get together and discuss matters of interest to our discipline. It has now expanded to be a London wide event and is currently organised by students from UCL, Michael Donnay and Anna Mladentseva.

2022 sessions

As part of an effort to make sessions more accessible, 3 sessions will meet virtually (via Zoom), while the other 3 will be in-person at UCL’s Bloomsbury Campus in London. Snacks will be provided for the in-person sessions. All sessions are 6:30-7:30pm London time. Register and get links to the articles for discussion here.

Session Topics

Wednesday, 2.3.22 – ONLINE DDHL reading group ‘Playing in the Metaverse: Video Games and the Humanities’

Wednesday, 16.3.22 – IN-PERSON DDHL reading group ‘Racism in AI: Algorithmic Reasoning in Educational Technologies’

Wednesday, 30.3.22 – ONLINE DDHL reading group ‘Digital Queer Witnessing: Archives, Immersion and 3D Technologies’

Wednesday, 27.4.22 – IN-PERSON DDHL reading group ‘Glitch Feminism: Error as Artmaking’

Wednesday, 11.5.22 – ONLINE DDHL Student Dissertation Presentations

Wednesday, 25.5.22 – IN-PERSON DDHL Staff Presentation – Topic TBD

 

Call for presentations: ‘Art and Digital Technology’ show and tell

Lucy Stagg15 November 2021

UCL Centre for Digital Humanities and the UCL Slade School of Fine Art are coordinating a virtual show&tell on Wednesday 16th February, 5-7pm, via Zoom.

people interacting with digital art in Japan

We invite proposals for short presentations from staff and research students whose work involves art and digital technology/media (we welcome any interpretation of this theme).

If you would like to give a 10 minute presentation on your current research/project please email lucy.stagg@ucl.ac.uk by 26th November, giving a brief title or outline of your talk. Registration for the event will open in December, once the schedule of presenters has been finalised.

Photo by note thanun on Unsplash

Long View Seminar – Reflecting on our First Year

Adam Crymble27 July 2021

In a year dominated by a global pandemic and both remote working and teaching, we lost many of the traditional ways that we as scholars could stay connected. One of those, the traditional extra-curricular seminar series that was a coming together space for people at different stages of their career, had to go online. And that’s just where we went.

While elements of the seminar culture have not been easy to replicate online, the shift to virtual did present some opportunities, one of which was to work collaboratively across what would otherwise be prohibitively wide distances. In this case, it was a chance for the UCLDH team to work together with colleagues at Stanford’s CESTA (Center for Spatial and Textual Analysis) to co-host the Digital Humanities Long View seminar during the spring of 2021. It was a chance to share scholarly culture, to build new bridges, and to help postgraduate students get involved in networking and professional development opportunities that were increasingly difficult to arrange during a pandemic.

Logo of the Digital Humanities Longview seminar

Logo of the Digital Humanities Longview Seminar, with a world map showing the location of each of the seminar’s speakers and of the two co-host organisations (Stanford CESTA & UCLDH).

 

The Long View for us was about understanding that research happens in context. About asking questions of how Digital Humanities (DH) got where it is today. Our seminar series explored some of the key socio-historical, political and cultural contexts of DH research as a means of building understandings of how we all ended up here and what that means for the future of the field. It’s been an opportunity for newcomers to understand how the field has developed, and for established practitioners to consider their work as part of a larger movement with competing influences, ambitions, and blindspots.

Having finished our first programme of talks, we’re incredibly pleased with the Long View series. We were grateful to host 11 wonderful speakers from five countries and three different linguistic backgrounds. We had the support of 17 different postgraduate students and early career researchers who acted as respondents to the papers and co-hosted the proceedings. And we had tremendous and engaged audiences from around the world, reaching 650 people across the series.

Some of the talks have been video recorded and remain online on the CESTA website, and we invite you to watch them if you missed them live: https://cestastanford.github.io/schedule.html

And we’re pleased to announce that we plan to continue our collaborative seminar series next year, building upon what we’ve established with our friends at Stanford.

That means we’ll once again be on the lookout for postgraduate students who want to get involved and build both their skills and professional networks. If any UCL postgraduate students or offer holders for 2021-22 would like to represent UCLDH as a postgraduate respondent at next year’s events, please contact Dr Adam Crymble directly for an informal conversation.

Finally, a huge thanks to our speakers, convenors, colleagues, and respondents, who supported this seminar: Ian Milligan (Waterloo), Jessica Marie Johnson (Johns Hopkins), Zephyr Frank, Quinn Dombrowski, Mark Algee-Hewitt (Stanford), Riva Quiroga (Programming Historian), Scott Weingart (Notre Dame), Nickoal Eichmann-Kalwara (Colorado), Amy Earhart (Texas A&M), Valérie Schafer (Luxembourg), Jane Winters (London), Agnieszka Backman, Amanda Wilson Bergado, William Parish, Daniel Bush, Giovanna Ceserani, Laura Stokes, Anna Toledano, Victoria Rahbar, Maciej Kurzynski, Yunxin Li, Lakmali Jayasinghe, Merve Tekgurler, Mae Velloso-Lyons (CESTA); Adam Crymble, Julianne Nyhan, Lucy Stagg, Hannah Smyth, Nenna Orie Chuku, Madeline Tondi, George Cooper, Jin Gao, Malithi Alahappruna, Opher Mansour, Marco Humbel (UCL) and Urszula Pawlicka-Deger (KCL). It has been a wonderful and collegial opportunity and we valued it tremendously.

 

Sino-French Forum, Cultural Heritage and Digital Humanities

Simon Mahony17 November 2019

Just for a change, in October I was invited to speak at an event in Paris. This was organised by the University of Wuhan (as part of their International Sino-French Week) and I’École Nationale des Chartes and hosted at I’Université Paris Diderot: 4e Session de la Semaine Académique à l’étranger de l’Université de Wuhan .

I’École Nationale des Chartes

I’École Nationale des Chartes

There were several events on different days and in different locations. Ours was ‘Cultural Heritage and Digital Humanities: A comparative approach through research projects’. This was a truly international event with speakers there from Wuhan University,  I’École Nationale des Chartes, other Chinese and Paris institutions, the British Library and UCL. The theme allowed me to showcase some of the high-profile and innovative cultural heritage imaging conducted by UCLDH both in our digitisation suite and beyond: ‘Non-invasive and Non-destructive Computational Imaging of Cultural Heritage’.

Conference group photo

Mandatory conference group photo

The session was spread over two days, featuring imaging applied to bamboo slips, Dunhuang Mural Images, Watermarks in Medieval and Modern Western paper, digital recordkeeping, astronomic documents and much more. It was particularly pleasing to see the work of some of the French PhD students showcased; mapping, geolocation, cinema and historic Paris featured highly.

Greeted by the Dean of School of Information Management, Wuhan University

Greeted by the Dean of the School of Information Management, Wuhan University

Book publishing and the Beijing Book Fair

Simon Mahony11 September 2019

Another trip to Beijing and another experience. This time the invitation was from Beijing Normal University (BNU) to be guest speak at their international academic symposium: “The Belt and Road” Academic Publishing symposium: Bridging East and West. This was organised jointly by the School of Journalism and Communication of BNU and the Oxford International Centre for Publishing at Oxford Brooks University.

Beijing Normal University

Beijing Normal University

One thing that I found particularly interesting was from the Chinese scholars and their emphasis on the importance of the study of Chinese ‘classics’ and particularly of old rare manuscripts (a view that I share when it comes to our own culture). This was in the context of the origins of the print industry with firstly the invention of Publishing Material ‘paper’ followed by Publishing Technology ‘printing’ and, of course, its export to the rest of the world pushing forward the ‘world civilisation’ through what they termed as the ‘Chinese Book Road’ as part of the wider ‘Belt and Road’ strategy.

School of Journalism and Communication of BNU

The School of Journalism and Communication of BNU

There were other talks about the state and future of international cooperation in academic publishing. The symposium acknowledged the language barrier in academic publishing and the symposium was also the launch event of two edited volumes of academic publishing articles translated from English to Chinese – they sit in my office alongside many other publications that I, for want of language skills, am not able to read.

My talk featured UCL Press and the Open Agenda covering, albeit briefly, Access, Publishing, Education and Data.

Simon's talk at Beijing Normal University

Simon’s talk at Beijing Normal University Publishing Symposium

As always, I was very well looked after by my hosts with an extremely able student on the Master’s Publishing programme at BNU, making sure that I did not get lost. I was unfortunately not able to stay to attend the Beijing Book Fair which followed due to work commitments, but I did manage to round off the trip with a visit to the really excellent and highly recommended, China Printing Museum.

The Printing Museum, Beijing

The China Printing Museum, Beijing

Facilitating digital art for UCL Raw Materials: Plastics, using 3D modelling and photogrammetry

Lucy Stagg9 September 2019

UCLDH Deputy Director, Prof Tim Weyrich, has been providing technological support to facilitate an artist residency programme, part of the UCL Raw Materials: Plastics Knowledge Exchange project led by PI Katherine Curran, funded through UCL Innovation & Enterprise. The project is a collaboration with Bow Arts Trust in east London, the Institute of Making, the Slade School of Fine Art and the UCL Department of Art History.

The artist in residence, Frances Scott, uses digital and analogue film processes to create her artworks. This summer, her work has been part of an exhibition at Bow Arts and an extensive programme of community projects in East London around Raw Materials: Plastics.

Furthermore, Frances’ film PHX [X is for Xylonite] has been selected to be screened at the 57th New York Film Festival on 6th October 2019.

Frances Scott explores the history and usage of plastic in this imaginative essay film. Using three-dimensional animations, distorted vocal recordings, and the words of Roland Barthes, she connects the founding of the first plastics factory in 1866 and the development of cellulose nitrate, a key element in the creation of film stock.

The film includes animated 3D models of objects from UCL Institute for Sustainable Heritage’s Historic Plastic Reference Collection, made using photogrammetry and laser scanning techniques, and hand-processed 16mm film footage of data collected from ISH laboratory equipment.

Digital Humanities China, Spring networking

Simon Mahony21 May 2019

The long Easter break once again enabled the opportunity for travel, supported by the UCL Global Engagement fund, to build on and extend our UCLDH China networks. Flying to Shanghai always means a visit to CAA, Shanghai Institute of Design and to see what is new there.

China Academy of Art, Shanghai Institute of Design

China Academy of Art, Shanghai Institute of Design

My first major speaking event was at the University of Wuhan, missing the flower festival but also the crowds, to deliver talks to undergraduate and postgraduate students at their Digital Humanities centre (the first in mainland China), based in their School of Information Management, a member of the iSchools Consortium. The topics requested were combining research and teaching in our Connected Curriculum and cultural influences on digital design.

Connecting the Curriculum

Connecting the Curriculum lecture at Wuhan

Traveling back to Shanghai enabled a visit to the outstanding DH research team at the Shanghai Library, which is both a public and research library. They are part of the Institute of Scientific & Technical Information of Shanghai and so combine the functions and expertise of the library, special collections, and research institute. They have a broad range of research interests and are always open to new possibilities and opportunities to hear about our UCLDH research projects.

Shanghai Library

Shanghai Library

Networking is about building on established relationships, but it is also about making new ones. One such new contact at this trip was made when I was invited to visit and speak at the University of Zhejiang, Hangzhou (which happens to be in my favourite Chinese city). They have a small but active DH group based in the School of Humanities and are attempting to develop a DH pathway for doctoral students. I was given a tour of their special collections, introduced to examples of Chinese book binding, and their tranquil rooftop Research Centre for Buddhist and Daoist Culture. As this was my first visit, I gave an overview of DH research and teaching and how that fits into a wider and more global context.

Simon delivering a lecture

DH research and teaching lecture at Zhejiang University

Being at Hangzhou, I took the opportunity for a short train journey (not so short in UK terms but certainly quick on the high-speed rail) and a first visit to the University of Nottingham Ningbo China. We have had many students from UNNC on the MA/MSc DH programme; the meeting and lecture was arranged up by an alumna returning there after graduation to work at her UG and hometown institution. The campus is relatively small, very compact and very green with buildings mirroring their UK namesake. A research paper delivered this time on all things open: Open Access, Open Publishing, and Open Data. In our area of interest, they have a well-resourced and equipped Technology Centre with a Mixed Reality (Visualisation and AI) Lab with impressive tech projects in development.

 

Nottingham Ningbo campus

Nottingham Ningbo campus

Final stop for this trip was the University of Nanjing to take part in their seminar ‘Rethinking Digital Humanities Through Comparative Insights’, with a range of speakers from several institutions in China, the USA and me from the UK.

Nanjing University Poster

Nanjing University Poster

Networking, building connections and creating partnerships are important aspects of our work. Digital Humanities is a fast-growing and vibrant field in mainland China and I am very pleased to have been supported by the UCL Global Engagement fund which has allowed me to build up these networks. Chinese institutions are always very welcoming, great hosts and often have funds to support visitors. What is difficult for them is paying money outside the country for things like air flights. The GEO funding I have received has covered my air fare but also importantly has allowed me to employ Chinese graduate students to add translations to my presentation slides (you can see examples above) and lecture materials to develop some of them into bilingual teaching materials that are released as Open Educational Resources (OERs) on the new UCL OER Repository that supports agendas such as the Connected Curriculum and Open Science.

I have more trips coming up over the Summer months and look forward to further developing these networks.

Ethics and Digital History IHR presentation

Lucy Stagg26 February 2019

UCLDH deputy director Julianne Nyhan gave a presentation at the Institute of Historical Research Digital History Seminar on Ethics and Digital History.

Dr Nyhan drew on her oral history research to reflect on the ethical aspects of using oral history methodologies to research the ‘hidden’ histories of Digital Humanities. Among other questions she asked: who ‘owns’ oral history interviews and transcripts? What are the implications of being an ‘insider’ of the (academic) community one is seeking to research? What about the ethical issues that can occur ‘downstream’ of oral history research, for example, the use of contingent labour to provide research assistance and interview transcription?

Also on the panel were: Sharon Webb (University of Sussex); Kelly Foster (public historian); Kathryn Eccles (Oxford Internet Institute)

You can watch a recording of the panel on Youtube