Wednesday, 27 Jan 2021

From Engagement to Retreat? Historians and Digital Preservation 1968-2003
Speaker: Ian Milligan (University of Waterloo)
Venue: UCL DH, Online, via Zoom, 17:00 GMT (09:00 PST): View the talk & read a recap
Chair: Adam Crymble
UCL Respondent: Hannah Smyth
Stanford Respondent: Agnieszka Backman

Tuesday, 9 Feb 2021

Digital Humanities Against Enclosure
Speaker: Jessica Johnson (Johns Hopkins University)
Venue: CESTA, Online, via Zoom, 12:00 PST (20:00 GMT)
Chair: Giovanna Ceserani
UCL Respondent: Nenna Orie Chuku
Stanford Respondent: Anna Toledano

Tuesday, 23 Feb 2021

Digital Humanities and Spatial History: Atlantic World Stories

The paper describes and discusses a series of DH projects that have developed at CESTA and have addressed major issues in the history of the Atlantic World, including slavery and the experience of enslaved and freed persons in particular.

Speaker: Zephyr Frank (Stanford University)
Venue: CESTA, Online, via Zoom, 12:00 PST (20:00 GMT): View the talk & read a recap
Chair: Laura Stokes
UCL Respondent: Madeline Tondi
Stanford Respondent: William Parish

Wednesday, 10 Mar 2021

Multilingual Publishing in Digital Humanities
Speaker: Riva Quiroga (Programming Historian)
Venue: UCL DH, Online, via Zoom, 13:00 GMT (05:00 PST): View the talk & read a recap
Chair: Adam Crymble
UCL Respondent: George Cooper
Stanford Respondent: Victoria Rahbar

Tuesday, 13 Apr 2021

Humanités numériques, цифровые гуманитарные науки, デジタル・ヒューマニティーズ: Histories and Futures of Linguistic Diversity in DH

International, interdisciplinary spaces are inevitably sites of tension, where differences in linguistic and cultural norms run deeper than they initially appear. Establishing and maintaining a set of norms for a community to operate despite these differences requires ongoing dialogue within that community. This talk will reflect on language as one longstanding axis of diversity within digital humanities as it is carried out at the international level, as well as within different national contexts. This context will inform a frank discussion of the ways in which a general obliviousness towards languages commonly found in Anglophone countries has negatively impacted Anglophone scholars' research, pedagogy, and engagement with the broader field of DH. The talk will conclude with actionable steps that scholars, particularly in Anglophone countries, can take towards embracing language as an important axis of diversity.

Speaker: Quinn Dombrowski (Stanford University)
Venue: CESTA, Online, via Zoom, 12:00 PST (20:00 GMT): View the talk & read a recap
Chair: Agnieszka Backman
UCL Respondent: Jin Gao
Stanford Respondent: Maciej Kurzynski

Tuesday, 27 Apr 2021

A Look Backwards Through the Index of Digital Humanities Conferences
Speakers: Scott Weingart (Carnegie Mellon University), Nickoal Eichmann-Kalwara (University of Colorado, Boulder)
Venue: UCL DH, Online, via Zoom, 17:00 GMT (09:00 PST): Read a recap
Chair: Laura Stokes
UCL Respondent: TBD
Stanford Respondent: Yunxin Li

Wednesday, 12 May 2021

Complicating the whiteness of Digital Humanities: The Deep History of Black DH

While projects focused on Black culture, texts and artifacts are not as rare as they once were there remains a lack of understanding of the rich and deep histories of Black DH and its impact on the field. Sharon Leon’s foundation chapter, “Complicating a ‘Great Man’ Narrative of Digital History in the United States,” serves as a model of the necessary documentation that scholars must compile of alternative histories of digital humanities. Accordingly, this talk will document a deep dig into the ecology of digital humanities, centering Black DH work in the field. Among the scholars’ work discussed will be Abduhl Alkalimat, creator of e-black studies, Bryan Carter, Virtual Harlem, Marilyn Miller Thomas-Houston, iBlack Studies and co-editor of the multi-media journal Fire!!, Ronald Bailey, who developed and and Afro Publishing without Walls, and Maryemma Graham, History of Black writing. An ongoing project, I am conducting interviews with such foundational Black dh scholars to better understand their contributions to the field.

Speaker: Amy Earhart (Texas A&M University)
Venue: UCL DH, Online, via Zoom, 17:00 GMT (09:00 PST): Recording forthcoming
Chair: Julianne Nyhan
UCL Respondent: Malithi Alahappruna
Stanford Respondent: Lakmali Jayasinghe

Wednesday, 26 May 2021

Web Archives Long View

This research seminar aims to explicitly consider that research happens in context. This presentation proposes to address the topic of born-digital heritage and in particular of web archives in context. It aims to question the past, present and future paths of research based on the plethora of born-digital sources that developed from the mid-1990s. Analysis of web archives requires both taking into account the very shaping of these archives - e.g. web archiving in context - and placing research on these web archives in context, from the early studies of the 2000s which focused on the nature of web archives themselves and the methods for studying them to current research that takes them as sources for exploring digital cultures. Thus, the first two parts of our presentation, devoted respectively to the history of web archiving and of web archives in research, will explore the multiple contextual elements at work. These may be related to the Web itself and its evolution, to institutional policies, or to crawling and analysis tools, and understanding them is crucial for addressing the current and future challenges that will arise for researchers, whether they concern transnational approaches, ethical issues or a claim for enhanced contextualization. In conclusion we will broaden the question to digital humanities, and consider why web archive studies have remained relatively marginalised in digital humanities discourse.

Speakers: Valérie Schafer (University of Luxembourg), Jane Winters (School of Advanced Study, University of London)
Venue: UCL DH, Online, via Zoom, 17:00 GMT (09:00 PST): Recap forthcoming
Chair: Giovanna Ceserani
UCL Respondent: Opher Mansour
Stanford Respondent: Merve Tekgurler

Wednesday, 9 June 2021

Uncovering Digital History’s Forgotten Roots: the Work of the Association for History and Computing

This talk has two parts. It will first attempt to frame what a history of digital history might look like, by focusing on hybridity as a key characteristic of historical research, seen as some form of integrating newly emerging tools, technologies, materials, and/or practices in historical research, and mapped and qualified according to the main phases of historical research. My main argument here is that, in order to ground our current ‘digital’ practices and learn from past experiences and expertise, we need an answer to the question: what were, and are, the continuities and ruptures in the use and uptake of new technologies in historical research, and in the debates that accompanied them?

The paper will then proceed to outline what groundwork is necessary to explore digital history’s forgotten roots: a basic overview of the field’s different spatio-temporal trajectories and the networks of computing historians in the pre-PC and early PC period. A key focal point for such a reconstruction are the DH conferences that took place in the 1960s and 1970s, either as singular events or strands of bigger conferences such as the International Congress of Historical Sciences in Moscow in 1970, and later those that were organised under the aegis of the Association for History and Computing (AHC, 1987-2001) and its national member organisations. By studying which scholars attended and where they came from, and by linking that to the topics and methods that were discussed, it will be possible to chart, over time, shifting geographical, topical and methodological developments.

In the second part of my paper, I will provide the first results of a concrete case study which is part of this broader endeavour, namely a web archaeology of the old AHC website and H-NET Discussion List for History and Computing (now: H-DigitalHistory).

Speaker: Gerben Zaagsma (University of Luxembourg)
This talk has been canceled.
Chair: Julianne Nyhan
UCL Respondent: Marco Humbel
Stanford Respondent: TBD

Tuesday, 22 June 2021

Laboratory Life in the Humanities: Computation, Criticism, and Collaboration

The Digital Humanities have profoundly altered the way that humanities scholars work, research, and teach. While the introduction of computational methods, from GIS, to Digital Archives, to Text Mining, have opened up new fields to practitioners, these fields have also changed the social fabric of the humanities. Although the myth of the lone scholar, toiling away in their office, or in the archives, remains deeply embedded in the psyche of the discipline, the growing influence of the Digital Humanities has begun to offer scholars other opportunities for research work and teaching. Not only are our new methods collaborative by nature, they are often collaborative by necessity, frequently requiring us to work in teams that can leverage different experience and skills towards a set of research goals. In this talk, I want to explore the ramifications of this shift in research practice, focusing on the sociology of the humanities lab, as distinct from both the science laboratory, and the traditional practices of History, Classics, Philosophy, Cultural Studies, and Literary Study. How has the collaborative nature of our work altered the kinds of research that we can produce? How has interdisciplinary cooperation challenged ideas of evidence, method and results in the humanities? How has the collaborative model of research changed our pedagogy? What new kinds of equality, and inequality, between faculty, staff and students, has this change enabled? And what does it mean to work collaborative in fields whose institutional structures persist in disincentivizing collaboration? Drawing on my own experience working at, and directing, the Stanford Literary Lab, an ongoing collaborative research group that is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year, I want to focus on the outstanding questions that we are only now beginning to address around this radical shift in the humanities.

Speaker: Mark Algee-Hewitt (Stanford University)
Venue: CESTA, Online, via Zoom, 12:00 PST (20:00 GMT): View the talk
Chair: Agnieszka Backman
UCL Respondent: Urszula Pawlicka-Deger (King’s College London)
Stanford Respondent: Mae Velloso-Lyons