The Digital Humanities Research Initiative (DHRI) at Western Sydney University, (formerly known as the Digital Humanities Research Group (DHRG)) was founded in 2013 to build on the University's substantial digital research capacity and enhance existing research and stimulate new collaborative activities. The Initiative is based in the School of Humanities and Communication Arts, with strong links to the Institute for Culture and Society, the MARCS Institute, and the School of Computing, Engineering and Mathematics.
The DHRI acts as a conduit to facilitate connections between schools, institutes, centres and other research concentrations at Western and, more recently, to play a parallel role in curriculum development.
The DHRI's members have diverse disciplinary and interdisciplinary backgrounds and are deeply engaged in frontier digital work in the arts, humanities, and social sciences. The Initiative also provides its members and the wider University community with expertise on digital standards, context, openness, theory and methodological considerations from its network of researchers and scholar-technicians.
The DHRI has particular specialist strengths in:
- Building immersive humanities experiences using emerging digital technologies;
- Deploying multilingual and multicultural engagement strategies;
- Researching the shift from traditional materialist cultural heritage towards digital cultural heritage and new discovery mechanisms;
- Developing online historical narratives in comparative First Peoples' history that embed rich structured data about people, places, events and resources, and mix stories and data in new ways that help us deal with the politics of identity;
- Research methods that combine fundamental and experimental efforts to understand the transformational impact of print over time and space in relation to cultural and social revolution.