Building Digital Humanities Symposium

The building Digital Humanities symposium explored the conditions in wihch Digital Humanities (DH) can flourish at institutional, inter-institutional, national and supra-national level.

Further details (including video links to all presentations on the programme) can be found by visiting the links in the menu to the left of this page.

Across the course of  the symposium, we considered issues such as building networks, infrastructures, research and industry collaborations, public engagement and citizen scholarhips, and career paths for individual researchers.

DH has presented a set of novel ossues and dilemmas for both Humanities scholars and their collaborators, partners and facilitators in venues as diverse as the classroom, the library, industry, IT, government agencies and university research offices.

As DH practices have increasingly challenged the lone scholar model of humanities research and embedded computational technologies at the hart of much cutting-edge scholarship, new challenges have arisen around infrastructure, collaborative models, approaches to scholarly attribution and accrediation, data-sharing, data-preservation, access to data, and appropirate training and career structures.

The choices policy makers, administrators and individual researhers take in response to these challenges have real world consequences, shaping, facilitating, or  impending individual careers, research agendas, or institutional or national initiatives.

The symposium's purpose – the first globally to address these themes directly - was to explore how infrastructures, funding models, reward systems, collaborative partnerships, institutional arrangements and public engagement interact organically to shape the interdisciplinary field of Digital Humanities as a lived, everyday scholarly and personal experience, and how that impacts on the final research, societal and personal outcomes.

The stakeholders and beneficiaries of this discussion extend beyond traditional academia to embrace policy-makers and university administrators; collaborators in industry, publishing and the GLAM sector (Galleries, Libraries, Art Galleries and Museums); and engaged citizens and citizen scholars. Members from all these groups, as well as academics and students, were encouraged to participate in the symposium and engage in our discussions.

The symposium gave particular attention to the challenges of building Digital Humanities in the Global South, where infrastructural and funding challenges are significantly different to the Global North, and to the ethical and practical challenges and opportunities of engaging with Indigenous communities through digital research. These twin themes were addressed both through designated sessions and embedded across the symposium as a whole. A further distinctive feature of the symposium was the collaboration of representatives of the digital publishing industry and academic technologists embedded in universities or commercial organisations.

The symposium took place across a series of thirty sessions spread over a three-week period (6/7 November-25 November), with sessions lasting for ninety minutes to two hours timed for morning and evening in Australia, in order to cater for presenters and audiences around the globe. Panellists for the symposium were selected by invitation by an International Scientific Committee, but all registered participants were able to participate in discussions via a Q and A function.