Conference chair: Caroline Winter (U Victoria) and Arun Jacob (U Toronto)


Since 2009, the DHSI Conference & Colloquium has been a valued part of the annual Digital Humanities Summer Institute. It offers an opportunity to present diverse, dynamic digital humanities research and projects within an engaging, collegial audience that actively fosters the ethos of the greater DHSI community.


To view presentations and related materials from this event, please see below.

Please note: the present site does not contain a full archive of DHSI events; some presentations and related materials are not represented here. To learn more about the Conference & Colloquium, please visit dhsi.org.


The DHSI Colloquium was founded by Diane Jakacki and Cara Leitch in 2009 as a forum for the DHSI community to share brief, high-impact demonstrations and presentations. It was a graduate-only event until 2011, when it was expanded to include scholars of all levels. Diane passed the torch to James O’Sullivan and Mary Galvin in 2013. 2014 saw the implementation of a poster session, as well as the Colloquium’s first special issue. Lindsey Seatter was appointed as the event’s Program Assistant in 2015. At the close of DHSI 2016, Mary stepped down from her position and Lindsey stepped into the role in her stead. Over the next few years, the Colloquium developed a digital demonstration gallery (run in tandem with the poster session) and instituted a single-stream day conference to support a longer presentation format. In 2018, O’Sullivan  passed his position to Kim O’Donnell, who served as co-chair for one year. Ahead of DHSI 2020, Arun Jacob accepted the position of co-chair alongside Lindsey, and he reprised this role in 2021 alongside Caroline Winter. Caroline has served as chair since 2022.


For a complete listing of past Conference & Colloquium participants, visit our Course Archive!


Conference & Colloquium


Session: 1

Urszula Pawlicka-Deger (King’s C London) @UrszulaDeger “Ethnography of Laboratory in Digital Humanities: Methodological Reflections” (Conference presentation)

View presentation: https://echo360.ca/media/d3b9ab44-8f58-4d6e-8134-d2a7f48ee501/public


View transcript/additional materials: https://dhsi.org/wp-content/uploads/sites/7317/2023/03/CC-PawlickaDeger.pdf


Abstract: In the 1970s, sociologist Bruno Latour stepped inside a neuroendocrinology research laboratory at the Salk Institute in California to seek answers to the questions: What happens inside laboratory walls? How are scientific facts produced in a laboratory? Questions such as these stimulated ethnographic studies of laboratories aimed at understanding scientific work. The study of science and technology through direct observation at the root of where knowledge is produced – in the laboratory – contributed to enhancing the public understanding of the substance of science that is, in fact, a network of complex actors and factors. Is it, therefore, possible to understand how humanities knowledge is produced by stepping inside a laboratory for humanities inquiry and observing research, technical, and administrative teams at work? In this presentation, I will discuss the methodological approaches to conduct the ethnography of laboratory in digital humanities. It will be based on my ethnographic study of King’s Digital Lab – a unique lab made up of research software engineers who work on technical research solutions for conducting digital research in the humanities and social sciences. First, I will reflect on why the study of humanities knowledge creation has been largely unexplored and why it is important to open a Pandora’s box of humanities enquiry. Next, I will discuss the integrative methodology that I have developed and used in my research. By merging various ethnographic methods – a laboratory ethnography developed in science and technology studies, the ethnography of infrastructure in information studies, and digital ethnography in anthropology – I aim to build a new toolset for studying the intertwining of human organisation, infrastructure, and knowledge. I will also consider epistemological and ethical challenges that need to be addressed to reveal and understand the entanglement of technology, practices and culture in knowledge production.


Graham Jensen (he/him, Electronic Textual Cultures Lab) @grahamhjensen, Alyssa Arbuckle (she/her, ETCL/U Victoria) @arbuckle_alyssa), Caroline Winter (she/her, ETCL/U Victoria) @editrixcaroline, Talya Jesperson (she/her, ETCL/U Victoria) @tortalynii), and Ray Siemens (he/him, ETCL/U Victoria) @RayS6 “Fostering Digital Communities of Care: Safety, Security, and Trust in the Canadian Humanities and Social Sciences Commons” (Conference presentation)

View presentation: https://echo360.ca/media/2492db16-a4ab-4569-864f-f0d964686978/public


Abstract: The Canadian Humanities and Social Sciences (HSS) Commons is a national-scale, online research commons in both official languages. The Canadian HSS Commons will foster an environment for Canadian HSS researchers to share, access, re-purpose, and develop scholarly projects, publications, educational resources, data, and tools; it will also facilitate member interactions (e.g., through profile building, messaging, and subject interest groups). While this shared space—and the kinds of open, collaborative scholarship it was designed to support—will provide exciting new possibilities for individual scholars and scholarly communities alike, its implementation also raises new questions about how digital knowledge environments can be shaped to safeguard users and their work. At their core, these questions focus on how best to facilitate the high ideals excited by such spaces, especially in building communities of care around areas of inquiry, thoughts, and ideas. Just as quickly, though, addressing such questions shifts the register from accentuating and supporting the positive to protecting from the potentially negative. For example, do virtual commons, like their historical namesakes, need to be wary of resource scarcity, including what critics call “the Tragedy of the Commons”—that is, the threat of failure caused by over-extraction (see, e.g., Hess and Ostrom 2006; Winter et al. 2020)? Similarly, to what extent are the basic tenets of open scholarship predicated on ill-advised expectations regarding access not only to digital resources but to the people that produce them? As Kathleen Fitzpatrick put it following a recent attack by “bad actors” on the Humanities Commons platform, “How do we balance our commitment to ensuring that the Commons is open to anyone—regardless of credentials, memberships, employment status, language, geographical location, and so forth—with our commitment to ensuring that the members of our community are safe and free from harassment?” Finally, how might online research communities proactively work to protect and support marginalized scholars for whom participation in such spaces, as in academia writ large, remains especially fraught (see, e.g., Daniels, Gregory, and McMillan Cottom 2016; Morrison 2018)? This paper addresses such questions vis-à-vis the Canadian HSS Commons, exploring relevant theoretical and practical considerations. Ultimately, it argues that, despite the many challenges involved in working towards a safe, secure, and open digital research commons, this work is an essential aspect of the Canadian HSS Commons’ broader efforts to empower researchers to share knowledge and resources, build community, and find collaborators within and beyond academic institutions. Works Cited Daniels, Jessie, Karen Gregory, and Tressie McMillan Cottom, editors. Digital Sociologies. Policy, 2016. Fitzpatrick, Kathleen. “Community, Safety, and Trust.” Platypus: The Blog of the Humanities Commons Team, Modern Language Association, 21 Jan. 2021, https://team.hcommons.org/2021/01/21/community-safety-and-trust/?shareadraft=baba507_6009a89548ec1. Hess, Charlotte, and Elinor Ostrom. “Introduction: An Overview of the Knowledge Commons.” Understanding Knowledge As a Commons: From Theory to Practice, edited by Hess and Ostrom, MIT P, 2006, pp. 3-26. Morrison, Aimée. “Of, by, and for the Internet: New Media Studies and Public Scholarship.” The Routledge Companion to Media Studies and Digital Humanities, edited by Jentery Sayers, Routledge, 2018, pp. 56-66. Winter, Caroline, Tyler Fontenot, Luis Meneses, Alyssa Arbuckle, Ray Siemens, and the ETCL and INKE Research Groups. “Foundations for the Canadian Humanities and Social Sciences Commons: Exploring the Possibilities of Digital Research Communities.” Pop! Public. Open. Participatory, no. 2, 2020. https://popjournal.ca/issue02/winter.


Session: 2

Sonia Emilia Mihai (U of Bucharest) “Digital Bodies in Interactive Installations: From Mirroring to Pure Symbolization” (Conference presentation)

View presentation: https://echo360.ca/media/e8688c52-9b88-4f1c-9896-e12fd7c8994c/public


View transcript/additional materials: https://dhsi.org/wp-content/uploads/sites/7317/2023/03/CC-EmiliaMihai.pdf


Abstract: In a balance between presentation and representation, the users’ body is incorporated in the interactive artwork, through the interface, in three different stages: from a one-to-one representation, in the case of the mirror-interfaces, to a representation that transforms the body by keeping although a visual characteristic from the biological one, and to a symbolic representation, totally different from the biological body. As the visual identification fades away gradually, we will discuss, for all three types of digital representations, the status of the digital image/body: copy, model, simulacra. Study cases will be performed on digital installations created by Scott Snibbe, Rafael Lozano- Hemmer, Tong Wu, Chris Milk, all seen through the theoretical lens of Deleuze and Baudrillard with an emphasis on the structures collective versus individual self, alienated versus connected self.


Margaret McCurry (New York U) “‘I want to be smart’: Style and Purpose in Keyes’ Flowers for Algernon” (Conference presentation)

View presentation: https://echo360.ca/media/c13255a0-473a-4088-9f5a-c4ab3f86d492/public


View transcript/additional materials: https://dhsi.org/wp-content/uploads/sites/7317/2023/03/CC-McCurry.pdf


Abstract: Daniel Keyes’ Flowers for Algernon is a short novel that concentrates on Charlie, a neurodivergent man with an IQ score of 68. After learning that a group of scientists has found the means to surgically increase IQ, Charlie volunteers to become their first test subject. Over the course of the experiment, Charlie’s IQ rises drastically, and he begins to explore intellectual pursuits and consider philosophical questions. This new perspective gives Charlie the ability to reflect upon his prior memories in a way that reveals the true nature of those around him. Flowers for Algernon is written as a series of journal entries from the first-person perspective of Charlie, whose gradual increase in IQ is reflected in his style of writing. In the beginning of the novel, Charlie’s syntax, spelling, and grammar are erroneous and his vocabulary is limited; but as the novel progresses, his style adheres more strictly to prescriptive rules of grammar, spelling, and syntax. My study employs stylometric analyses to understand the novel’s stylistic fluctuations so as to determine whether these programs are able to distinguish a correlation between Charlie’s style of writing and his IQ level. The results of my study demonstrate that the higher Charlie’s IQ is in a given division of the text, the more prescriptive his spelling, grammar, syntax, sentence complexity, and vocabulary are. Accordingly, authorship attribution tests indicate that Charlie’s entries belong to multiple authors, thereby demonstrating the extent to which his writing changes over the course of the novel as well as confirming one of the novel’s major themes: that the rise in Charlie’s IQ engenders a total transformation of the self. The results of my study lead me to conclude that Daniel Keyes has succeeded in expressing a spectrum of linguistic and thematic style which adheres closely to the fluctuations in Charlie’s intelligence.


Anna Mukamal (she/her, Stanford U) @AnnaMukamal, Mark Algee-Hewitt (he/him, Stanford University) @Mark_A_H, Lisa Mendelman (Menlo C) @LisaMendelman, and Kendra Terry (she/her, Adelphi U) @kgmact “TherapyTexts” (Conference presentation)

View presentation: https://echo360.ca/media/79efda3c-d081-45e9-8438-b3379c6eb2a5/public


View transcript/additional materials: https://dhsi.org/wp-content/uploads/sites/7317/2023/03/CC-Mukamal.pdf


Abstract: This collaboration combines methods from computational text analysis, literary studies, and clinical psychology to find points of contact between the therapeutic encounter, understood as a type of discourse, and other, particularly literary, kinds of text. We are interested in what potentially unites psychotherapeutic discourse and literary discourse, as well as the ways in which analytical protocols from literary studies and digital humanities can be productively applied to psychotherapeutic discourse issuing from a clinical setting. How similar are therapeutic encounters portrayed in fictional texts to actual therapy sessions? Which parts of 20th- and 21st-century literature look the most like therapy sessions? Our approach to these questions focuses on parts of speech and features sets that allow us to model the language of the therapeutic encounter in literary spaces. In this presentation, we detail our experiments modelling clinical therapeutic discourse as distinct from literary discourse in a corpus of 9089 American novels written between 1880-2000. We estimate the scale at which a machine learning model can differentiate between therapeutic and literary discourse to be 500 words and we test the ability of a supervised model to accurately predict the membership of segments of our corpus using both: 1) a grammatical feature set made up of parts of speech and 2) a semantic feature set made up of frequent nouns, verbs, adverbs and adjectives. Although our initial models classified a withheld portion of our training sample (at nearly a 100% success rate), in our large corpus, there were many instances when the model predicted a segment was from a therapy session with a high degree of confidence when it was really from a novel. We end by close reading several of these “misclassifications,” asking what it means when novelistic dialogic situations mimic the form, affect, discourse, and grammar of real 21st-century therapy sessions.


Session: 3

Alexandria Morgan (U Miami) @GreyInThisCity “Mapping Afterlives: A Database Remembering Early Modern Women Writers in the Archive” (Conference presentation)

View presentation: https://echo360.ca/media/2401a24b-2567-456f-95df-43a8637405d0/public


View transcript/additional materials: https://dhsi.org/wp-content/uploads/sites/7317/2023/03/CC-Morgan.pdf


Abstract: Writing in 1928, Virginia Woolf famously found the history of women’s writing before the 19th century dismal, consisting merely of Margaret Cavendish, Aphra Behn and Lady Winchelsea. However, due to feminist recovery work since the 1980s, we now know of numerous women who wrote during the early modern period. The implied narrative of much scholarship is that in the years between the early modern period and present, including the early 20th century, these women were eradicated from history My database “Mapping Women Writers: Appearances, Disappearances and Reappearances Across the Archive” questions this narrative by collecting and organizing references to early modern women from digitized journals, books and magazines. I ask when, where, why and how early modern women writers were remembered. In this paper, I will first demonstrate my database, built in MySQL, and my plans for making it available online for research and pedagogy. Secondly, I will explore two case studies of mid-seventeenth century writers: Lucy Hutchinson and Katherine Philips. Hutchinson was primarily known by historians for her Civil War biography of her husband, but I explore the influence of her religious writing on Quakers and an African American Methodist newspaper, as well as her idealized construction as the perfect wife. By contrast, Philips was rediscovered through the publication of her poetry in an influential 1980s anthology of lesbian literature. I uncover previous communities of women and LGBT individuals who reprint her poems or write about Philips, from the late 19th century naming of the town Orinda in California, to gay and lesbian magazines pre and post Stonewall. My database and case studies demonstrate the importance of combining digital tools and traditional humanities research and close reading skills to elucidate not just the lives of early modern women but their afterlives.


Lucia Cardelli (she/her/hers, New York U) “The ‘desert out there’: Queer Intimacy, Homonormativity, and Early Web Geographies” (Lightning talk)

View presentation: https://echo360.ca/media/a8891fe4-da07-48ab-80c8-6b899b3a652a/public


View transcript/additional materials: https://dhsi.org/wp-content/uploads/sites/7317/2023/03/CC-Morgan.pdf


Abstract: Retracing the intertwined development of literary web formations and contemporary homonormativity, my paper reimagines the unique online sphere of the early 2000s by framing it as a dual geography of affective potentiality and normative assimilation. Considering digital intimacy as a crucial component in the construction of present-day gay and queer subjecthood, this presentation will explore the case of the now-defunct online forum Oasis Magazine. Initially founded as a web magazine in 1995 by journalist Jeff Walsh, Oasis was “the longest running peer support and community site for LGBT youth on the internet.” While it began as a “writing community,” it later developed into a space for queer people to connect through their writing, particularly through journaling and poetry. Initially sub-titled “…because it’s a desert out there,” the website shut in 2014, following a decrease in traffic caused by the advent of social media. In the very last forum post written on Oasis before its closure, Walsh writes that “upon launch, [Oasis] had a global audience and showed the power of the Internet to erase geographic borders.” My piece seeks to complicate the forum founder’s construction of Oasis as a borderless queer utopia by questioning the homonormative significance of queer web spaces at the beginning of the 2000s. Presenting it as a precursor to socially networked homonormativity, I argue that Oasis constitutes a potential tool in the study of the formation of queer affective networks on the web. In my paper, I employ the forum as an exemplary, yet exceptional instance of such affective connectivity by contextualizing it within our current historical moment of hyper-saturated structures of Internet affect.


Megan Perram (U Alberta) “Click Me: Multilinear Cyberliterature as Illness Narrative for Womxn with Hyperandrogenism” (Conference presentation)

View presentation: https://echo360.ca/media/807aba7a-dea5-4470-983e-cfa53be8b684/public


View transcript/additional materials: https://dhsi.org/wp-content/uploads/sites/7317/2023/03/CC-Perram.pdf


Abstract: In The Wounded Storyteller, Arthur Frank wrote that major illness has the potential to disrupt the planned destination of our life, and that through the practice of illness narrative the capacity for telling our story is reclaimed. During times of global uncertainty, finding methods to cope with illness digitally has become especially vital. This project evaluates how literary hypertext can be used as an avenue for womxn (inclusive to trans, nonbinary, and femme identities) with hyperandrogenism to write illness narratives that construct positive relationships between their identities and the world. Literary hypertext is a form of digital story writing that calls on the reader to participate in the narrative’s unfolding by selecting hyperlink options which branch the narrative into nonlinear directions. Hyperandrogenism is a medical condition characterized by “excessive” levels of male hormones such as testosterone which, when identified in the female body, are associated with “masculinizing” symptoms. The condition has been employed as a justification to call into question which bodily signifiers and hormonal nuances quantify biological sex. Due to experiences of perceived subjugation in the medical encounter, some womxn with hyperandrogenism are turning to online illness narratives to write their “abject” bodies into a budding corporeal politic. Through an online story-writing module and hypertext tutorial, 10 participants with hyperandrogenism have written their own stories based on their illness experience. This research will lead to the concrete realization of a novel pathway to inform therapeutic approaches for emotional well-being related to gendered illness.


Session: 4

Bernardo Bueno (he/him, Pontifical Catholic U of Rio Grande do Sul) @buenopiano “We Cyberteachers and our Digital Humanities” (Conference presentation)

View presentation: https://echo360.ca/media/ec4b1e25-988f-4bb4-9327-ec1c3f33a271/public


View transcript/additional materials: https://dhsi.org/wp-content/uploads/sites/7317/2023/03/CC-Bueno.pdf


Abstract: In 2019, I told my wife that in the future everyone would have a dedicated room to work remotely and attend online classes. Remember in Back to the Future II, when Marty answers a call from his boss on a big screen? It’s going to be something like that, I said. She laughed, I laughed, we had a good time. And then, 2020 happened. I bought a new webcam, built a new desk with my bare hands and decorated the wall with cool leaflets from my trip to Japan. Over a few months, I learned to speak to a camera as if it were a room full of wide-eyed students, created a YouTube channel, helped my colleagues to set up their Zoom accounts (and play with backgrounds), questioned my sanity (frequently), recorded hours and hours of podcasts and, during meetings with colleagues, we despaired together because of the absurdity of it all. I might as well find a way to connect permanently to the machine, so my back wouldn’t hurt so much. All that applies to students too: they suffered (suffer) their share of upgrading (we are all cybermen now). My point here is this: never before the Digital Humanities were so needed and validated. I once said during a conference that in the future we could just drop the “Digital” and call it simply “Humanities” since everything would be digital somehow. Turns out I’m good at predicting the future but bad at setting timeframes. Finally, this presentation is: a) a personal account of how we established digital classes in my university, b) the story of how we set up our very first Digital Humanities Lab during the pandemic and c) a reflection on the things we lost and gained along the way (in pedagogical, technological and emotional terms).


Stefano Morello (Graduate Center CUNY) @steomor “In and For the Public University: Building DH Communities of Practice at CUNY” (Conference presentation)

View presentation: https://echo360.ca/media/8365c660-084a-458f-9e6c-a48623dbdd88/public


View transcript/additional materials: https://dhsi.org/wp-content/uploads/sites/7317/2023/03/CC-Morello.pdf


Abstract: In my presentation, I reflect on my experience as a digital humanist at the City University of New York (CUNY) to refute the misconception that the point of intersection of humanities and computation is dependent on robust technological infrastructure and, therefore, outside of the reach of (usually underfunded) public institutions. On the contrary, my tenure as a graduate student in English and as a Digital Fellow at the Graduate Center – CUNY’s principal doctoral-granting institution – suggest that the development of DH communities of practice can be an especially valuable asset for public universities, due to the waterfall effect they can produce for both the academic and the local community. I support my claim by presenting evidence of second and third-order effects of the Graduate Center’s institutional DH culture by briefly introducing three community-oriented projects that both rely on and engage critically with technology: the Digital Humanities Research Institute (DHRI), an intensive and foundational approach to learning technical skills in service of humanities teaching and learning; the CUNY Distance Learning Archive (CDLA), a GC class project; and QC Voices, a structured initiative established at one of the four-year CUNY colleges.


Claudia von Vacano (UC Berkeley D-Lab) @CvonVacano, Evan Muzzall (UC Berkeley D-Lab), and Adam G. Anderson (UC Berkeley D-Lab) “The UC Berkeley Cultural Analytics Learning Institute for Digital Humanities” (Conference presentation)

View presentation: https://echo360.ca/media/9578c4ff-e09a-464f-9048-7bc65c119b1c/public


View transcript/additional materials: https://dhsi.org/wp-content/uploads/sites/7317/2023/03/CC-vonVacano.pdf


Abstract: The digital and data revolutions have transformed our world. In our digital humanities program, the Cultural Analytics Learning Institute for Digital Humanities (CALI-DH; https://summerdigitalhumanities.berkeley.edu/), you will explore questions about art and culture using digital tools. By pairing computational methods and domain specialization you can better understand complex phenomena and cultures and how computational analysis influences what you see. CALI-DH Online will guide you through the entire process of identifying relevant cultural artifacts and archives, curating your own subsets of data, conducting advanced research, and communicating your findings. These materials will be part of your professional portfolio and will advance your employment opportunities. As you learn about the major data sources for the arts and humanities, you will also learn to parse through these sources instantly using text analysis, how to analyze and vividly present your research in visual formats, and how to design dynamic and interactive projects on digital platforms. Above all, you will learn how to employ these cutting-edge techniques to investigate subjects in the humanities in new and fascinating ways. All projects begin with a research question, project, or dataset that you are interested in. These sources could stem from different types of media such as museum artifacts, library catalogs and books, open-source images and video, sound, etc. From there, we will teach you how to define primary and secondary sources of the information and metadata to structure it so that you can learn to produce different types of analyses and visualizations for the quantification of information in the form of graphing and mapping the relationships and broader dissemination of information to your audience. As a result, not only are you helping create our community of practice, but you will also learn to collaborate with others and contribute to new bodies of knowledge.


Session: 5

Luis Meneses (U Victoria) @ldmm “Viva la Revolución: Identifying Relevant Topics in Ecuadorian Presidential Speeches from 2007–2021” (Lightning talk)

View presentation: https://echo360.ca/media/35b28030-2b44-48c3-84fb-b620b6d37bf9/public


Abstract: Ecuador is currently in a state of political transition. Rafael Correa was the president for 12 years and was succeeded by Lenin Moreno, a member of his political party and one of his former Vice Presidents. Moreno has tried to distance himself from Correa with different policies on journalism, freedom of speech and tackling corruption. However, the political undercurrent of Moreno’s government has been mostly the same as the previous one. In this presentation, I propose to continue the exploratory analysis that I have presented in previous years at the DHSI Conference and & Colloquium. I propose to identify the common topics in Ecuadorian Presidential speeches from fourteen years (2007 – 2021) by drawing inferences over different periods of time using topic modeling. As the Ecuadorian Presidents in those years, I will specifically be addressing how far apart are the political ideologies of Correa and Moreno. My exploratory analysis has yielded two results: it has outlined 2 document clusters that are clearly delimited with multiple intersecting topics and have shown that increasing the topic modeling iterations increases the prominence of the overlap between the topics. Some of the political discourses in the document corpus that I will be analyzing in this presentation have been taken offline. Thus, the contribution of this presentation is to explore sensitive situations where a document corpus is not readily available; and these situations are becoming increasingly relevant in political scenarios. The goals of this presentation are to engage in an exploratory analysis of the document corpus, identify the common trends among the sets of discourses, and emphasize the strengths of our field, while addressing how my research questions fit into the interdisciplinary conversation of the digital humanities.


Elena Mattei (U Verona) @ElenaMattei10 “Multimodal Corpus Analysis of Tourism Discourse on Social Media and Websites” (Lightning talk)

View presentation: https://echo360.ca/media/09f069af-2370-4043-9567-2359ac6d039d/public


Abstract: Humanities are currently undergoing a series of changes in terms of methodology and resources that are enabling scholars to investigate social and cultural phenomena from a quantitative perspective. This process not only allows researchers to provide replicable results which can support reliable interpretations, but it sheds light on new aspects of communication that could not be accessed before, thereby leading to novel understandings of human society. This contribution aims to present the research objects and methodological tools devised to analyse – both quantitatively and qualitatively – the orchestration and role of tourism multimodal persuasive narratives in conveying positive attitudes towards destinations to prospective customers. To achieve this objective, six Instagram and website sub-corpora consisting of texts and images and pertaining to three popular travel agencies were built; successively, their semiotic features were categorised and statistically measured through specifically designed analytical and technological devices. In particular, this presentation will introduce a complex tagging system that enabled the labelling of semiotic visual affordances and the measurement of the degree of occurrence and co-occurrence of specific variables according to the channel. Therefore, this procedure also allowed for the discovery of channel-related generic differences in the construction of promotional discourse for a tailored audience and purpose. A Software designed for the creation of annotation systems and the analysis of hundreds of images will also be introduced. Language corpora, on the other hand, are being investigated and will be compared with visual datasets and findings through corpus tools combined with Transitivity and Appraisal theories from Systemic Functional Linguistics. This procedure will be outlined through the presentation of a multimodal comparative table which was adapted to tourism discourse and photography. The main aim of the current project is thus to provide a richer and faithful understanding of contemporary tourism discourse in the field of English for Specific Purposes.


Katherine Hoovestol (she/her, U Georgia) @kthoov “Exporting Shame: A Case Study in the Potential Benefits of Industrial Elasticity Regarding Media Piracy as Illustrated through the Hybrid Success of the Norwegian Web Series SKAM” (Conference presentation)

View presentation: https://echo360.ca/media/2985400b-7067-4d45-bb57-32d517474403/public


Abstract: While piracy has become a widely researched topic within the humanities and social sciences, this subject remains stagnant within the context of the entertainment industry. The current industrial perception that piracy leads to loss of profit and/or success is inadequate in an age of post-digital distribution, as it does not account for the different kinds of ownership corporations and prosumers seek. Using the rise of the Norwegian web series SKAM as a case study, we can understand how these two kinds of desired ownership – the corporation’s financial and the fan’s affective – can simultaneously be met through a more elastic perception of media piracy on the part of the corporate entity. Through using data from social listening tools and databases such as Tumblr’s Fandometrics and Twitter’s API, this paper represents this information as an interactive Tableau area chart overlaid onto a timeline of SKAM’s professional ascent in the transnational media space. These types of data visualization allow us to see the corporate decisions and achievements regarding the series alongside fan activity and to see the interrelation of corporate interests and fan labor. We can expand this one example of piracy leading to success and fulfillment for both the financial players and fan laborers to a larger conversation that proposes a more interdisciplinary and nuanced approach to understanding piracy and its consequences on an industrial level.


Holly Cecil (she/her, U of Victoria) and Erin Campbell (she/her, University of Victoria) “Life Stories: Digitizing Art Exhibitions in the Pandemic” (Conference presentation)

View presentation: https://echo360.ca/media/f7de8e1e-cf9f-4026-820d-d06ed3cd5d5d/public


View transcript/additional materials: https://dhsi.org/wp-content/uploads/sites/7317/2023/03/CC-Cecil.pdf


Abstract: What happens to art exhibitions when a global pandemic limits in-gallery public engagement? The Life Stories exhibition opened at the University of Victoria Legacy Art Gallery (downtown Victoria) on December 2, 2020 (running until April 3, 2021), showcasing almost 100 artworks from the University Art Collection that reflect life stages and related rituals. The exhibition explores how art shapes our life stories, our sense of self and our relationships, as we journey through the life stages: Beginnings, Childhood, Coming of Age, Maturity, Later Life, and Passages. Paintings, drawings, photographs, textiles, ceramics, and furnishings evoke the plurality of experiences across the life course. The COVID-19 pandemic lockdown in March 2020 imposed a new twist on Life Stories. As curators, we had planned from the outset an online ‘twin’ to the physical exhibition, developed on the Omeka platform to showcase the exhibition artworks, object biographies, and several short films. This digital exhibition suddenly filled the bill when the pandemic delayed the in-gallery exhibition and eliminated installations allowing hands-on visitor interactivity. Launching in advance of the physical exhibition, the Life Stories website stimulated educational engagement, including an Anthropology of Sound course whose students developed individual soundscapes in response to artworks (now streaming on the website). Further visitor immersion includes 360-degree gallery views, allowing a virtual walk through each of the life stages, a ten-minute curators’ tour, and an interactive guestbook. This 20-minute pre-recorded DHSI conference presentation includes a curators’ tour through both the in-gallery and digital exhibitions, with additional insights into some of the discoveries and challenges encountered by Lead Curator Dr. Erin Campbell and Digital Curator Holly Cecil. Preview the exhibition website at https://lifestories.uvic.ca/. The Life Stories digital exhibition is currently nominated for the international 2020 Digital Humanities Awards, under “Best Use of DH for Public Engagement.” http://dhawards.org/dhawards2020/voting/


Session: 6

Michael A. Tueller (he/him, Arizona State U) @MikeTueller “Hylas: A Metrical Search Tool for Greek and Latin Poetry” (Conference presentation)

View presentation: https://echo360.ca/media/b97f4187-5f94-4a18-9c4e-4e14d3ea89e9/public


View transcript/additional materials: https://dhsi.org/wp-content/uploads/sites/7317/2023/03/CC-Tueller.pdf


Abstract: Hylas is a tool (hylas.org), developed in Python, that can algorithmically scan Greek and Latin poetry and allow the user to search for metrical patterns in a corpus of more than 200,000 lines. In my paper, I outline its most significant uses and then discuss the development of the project through three stages. It has long been speculated that ancient poets used meter to allude to and compete with, one another. Hylas enables researchers to find any given metrical pattern, and also to discover new metrical “laws”—the restrictions some poets adopted to increase the degree of difficulty of their poetic achievements. The first phase of this project used a rules-based algorithm. In fact, however, even the most complex rules-based scansion algorithm has difficulty rising above 98% accuracy for even the most restrictive meters: there are simply too many adjustments and exceptions. The second phase of the project abandoned the rules model, and instead employed a simplified supervised learning technique: trained by the correctly scanned parts of the corpus from phase 1, along with human referee, the algorithm assigned percentages to all known Greek and Latin poetic syllables along two axes: first, when two syllables combine, and second, whether a given syllable counts as long or short. This has brought the code, at least according to repeated spot-checks, to 100% accuracy for two of the most prominent meters. Looking toward more complex meters, I am currently developing an improved word dictionary that assigns more accurate starting values to vowels and consonants, along with some grammatical information, which will assist in judging word-breaks (depending on grammar, some breaks between words do not “count”). As word-breaks are an important—but not always well delineated—area of metrical study, this has the potential to increase the usefulness of the tool significantly.


Sarah Ketchley (U Washington) @SarahKetchley and Emma Fritzberg (U Washington) “From Diary to Digital Edition: Reimagining Accounts of 19th Century Nile Travel and Archaeology” (Conference presentation)

View presentation: https://echo360.ca/media/fa7dc168-1f1f-49fd-b589-a490356fa607/public


View transcript/additional materials: https://dhsi.org/wp-content/uploads/sites/7317/2023/03/CC-Ketchley.pdf


Abstract: The Emma B. Andrews Diary Project began a decade ago, in 2011, with the goals of transcribing and encoding the journals kept by the companion of an early excavator in Egypt’s Valley of the Kings. Dating between 1889 and 1913, these diaries offer important and unique insights into the disciplinary development of Egyptology, as well as providing a comprehensive record of society and travel in Egypt during the so-called ‘Golden Age’. From the outset, our project team has comprised of an interdisciplinary group of faculty and students, with a range of experience and skill sets. Our broad publication goals include making the volumes available online in an accessible and engaging format for an audience of scholars, students and the public. In doing so, we also aim to provide the background context about people, places, antiquities, boats, etc. necessary to understand what’s going on and to make connections. Our growing biographical database currently lists over 800 people, so this context is essential to fully understand who Emma interacted with. We have refined the tools/processes we use (particularly over the past year, with the shift to virtual work), while also documenting our workflow for future projects using other related document sets. One of the bedrock tools for automating markup is the student-developed ‘Historical Markup Tool’, which converts plain text diary entries to valid XML-TEI files and captures the names of people and places. This output is checked over by our tagging interns, who work collaboratively in GitHub. These XML files are the basis of our digital edition which we are building using TEI Publisher, which is an open source “toolbox” for building document readers. Our presentation will discuss our team’s collaborative working processes and documentation protocols and will describe the main components of our reader document views and the backend eXist XML database storing our files.


Session: 8

Joshua Ortiz Baco (U of Texas at Austin) @jgob “A Social Network Model of the Leningrad Jazz Festival Series (1967–1993)” (Lightning talk)

View presentation: https://echo360.ca/media/79afc64a-a79f-4abe-a6e7-99d75dbff109/public


View transcript/additional materials: https://dhsi.org/wp-content/uploads/sites/7317/2023/03/CC-OrtizBaco.pdf


Abstract: Beyond the coverage of daily events, immigrant U.S. periodicals of the 19th century shaped a multilingual public sphere during historically defining moments in the development of legal personhood, political institutions, and sites of national memory. Despite their pivotal role, the limited recovery of non-English archival sources from this period of the U.S. has negatively impacted the digital cultural record, in which the proliferation of digitized Anglo periodicals perpetuates the misperception that there were few immigrant periodicals or that their cultural or historical contributions did not merit preservation. My project, Unearthing Brazilian, Cuban, and Puerto Rican Abolitionism in 19th Century US Press, addresses these challenges by digitally recreating and contextualizing the networks of the Cuban, Puerto Rican, and Brazilian abolitionist press. As a case study, I use two periodicals – one published in Portuguese and another in Spanish — that were produced by the same publishing company in order to understand how immigrant newspapers established a transnational and multilingual public sphere that drew from and contributed to debates on race and multiracial nationhood. My analysis of these two periodicals also demonstrates how archival practices have at times segregated cultural productions into national or ethnic categories that obscure the different dynamics in which immigrant newspapers operated. Through a combination of close and distant reading, this project proposes that geographic and network visualizations of the textual borrowing and editorial practices of immigrant newspapers allow for a greater understanding of how immigrant communities learned from each other, influenced debates at home, and imagined their intellectual production beyond the limits of the nation.


Melanie Conroy (she/her, U of Memphis) @MelanieConroy1 “Visualizing Literary Networks: 3,000 Writers and their Connections” (Lightning talk)

View presentation: https://echo360.ca/media/51e62695-f3f2-4a84-8334-6e2788caf912/public


Abstract: Network visualization often focuses on large datasets, yet many humanities datasets are smaller, curated ones that may not be best visualized using the techniques common in the sciences and social sciences. In this presentation, I will review network formats that can be used for smaller datasets. The sample data is drawn from my project, Nineteenth-Century Networks, and includes demographic, publishing, and network data for more than 3,000 people active in Parisian literary circles. It contains 137 literary gatherings from salons to dinners to literary societies and clubs. These people are coded for various demographic characteristics, including gender, nationality, profession, social status, etc. Using network visualizations (more specifically the software packages Palladio and Gephi), I identify connections and patterns between groups, as well as individuals who are particularly important to the Parisian literary sphere. I consider ways of weighting membership and participation that can make charts and graphs of the literary networks more useful for researchers to determine the participation of a particular individual: weighting by number or circulation of books, by salon and academy participation, by number of social connections, etc. I also examine how color can be used to display the relative importance of people of various social classes and professions, and how supernodes can be removed to reveal the relative importance of less-documented figures within the network, limiting the ego-bias of networks around a particular individual. While these methods are directly applicable to the visualization of relations within and between literary groups, they can be adapted for use in other humanities disciplines and for other research questions related to social networks.


Session: 9

Anna Ivanov (she/her, Harvard U) @annalivanov “Beyond Grey Expectations: Seeing Chekhov in Color” (Conference presentation)

View presentation: https://echo360.ca/media/8e6279b7-0231-42bc-93c6-c333b4735862/public


Abstract: Anton Chekhov is known as a master of detail. Scholars, though, disagree about how to interpret these details, with some pushing for careful analysis of each as a purposefully inserted element with deep meaning, while others advocate for the idea that they are completely random. This discrepancy means that Chekhov’s work is an ideal testing ground for ideas about data. This project aims to follow both paths of scholarship: to look at each detail, but on a large scale across Chekhov’s entire oeuvre. The larger scale of this small data allows for each detail to matter, whether it was randomly inserted or not, without weighing any data point as overly significant. For this project, the details in question are colors. For too long, we have accepted aphorisms about Chekhov’s greyness or dullness without interrogating their implications. Through new digital approaches, this project investigates these assumptions, presents a visualization and analysis of color in Chekhov’s œuvre, and challenges the role of inherited stereotypes in our engagement with literature. This presentation focuses on the first volume of Chekhov’s stories, drawing attention to the particular usage of color in this volume through visualization and literary analysis. The project also addresses the implications of the methodology used, advocating for the use of data humanism and for finding a use for both big data and close reading. The companion website, chekhovcolor.weebly.com, will be the basis for the presentation.


Martina Vodola (Catholic U of the Sacred Heart) @mvodolaDHSI “Electronic Literature and its Italian Scenario” (Conference presentation)

View presentation: https://echo360.ca/media/7a973758-4cfb-42d8-b703-22e150412b13/public


View transcript/additional materials: https://dhsi.org/wp-content/uploads/sites/7317/2023/03/CC-Vodola.pdf


Abstract: Electronic Literature (EL) is an interesting literary phenomenon shaped by the introduction of computers, that have drawn human creativity into a world mediated by digital technology and devices. International (even global) by nature, EL quickly acquired local features reflecting the culture, heritage and languages of individual countries. My purpose is to survey the Italian side of the electronic literary experience, as reflected by the main Italian works, movements, and artists. A description of the various contexts for this new kind of literature will also be provided. Starting from a few Italian electronic projects – which I will briefly analyze – I will show how these works are related to Italian literary tradition, highlighting potential continuities and breakpoints with previous literary works. Hence I will take into account how EL fits into the contemporary Italian landscape and what social and cultural conditions may encourage or deter this new literature, trying to recognize a possible scenario of EL in Italy.


Minato Sakamoto (Duke U) “Piano Is Chinese” (Conference presentation)

View presentation: https://echo360.ca/media/5b38e8a4-40aa-4230-bf76-d87e40668399/public


Abstract: As a scholarly artwork that largely falls into the burgeoning academic field “sound studies,” my sound documentary Piano Is Chinese uses field recording soundtracks and an essay to document piano sound in Guangzhou, China. In the last few decades, an increasing number of Chinese musicians came to appear in the global classical music scene. Conventional analyses of this phenomenon either attribute it to “transcendentality” of Western classical music or associate it with China’s modernization. Complicating such assimilationist, colonialist approaches, the documentary focuses on the specific context surrounding Chinese adaptation and appropriation of the piano and sees the instrument as a field where a complex circulation of Chinese values, ideas, and materials happens. In the conference, I will present an essay summary and soundtrack excerpts to explain how the cooperation of the written and digital portions helps us understand our racialized misconception of “Chinese” music. The summary will point out similarities between the sociocultural circumstances surrounding art music in contemporary China and in nineteenth-century Europe. The comparison of two geographically and temporally different situations will reveal Western classical music’s ability to realize various values of Chinese people and their Communist government. Next, I will examine the critical status of the piano in Chinese reception of Western classical music to explain why “Piano Is Chinese.” The soundtrack excerpts will feature children’s piano schools in Guangzhou. Listeners will hear the piano’s mediation of meanings beyond the musical – Chinese family structure, education system, the rhythm of their urban life, twentieth-century Chinese Communist history, and China’s non-straightforward relation to capitalism and the West.


Youngmin Kim (Dongguk U/Hangzhou Normal U) @yk4147 “Poetics of Zooming in World Literature and Digital Humanities” (Conference presentation)

View presentation: https://echo360.ca/media/96586f7d-5e4d-478c-946c-d95ca1313643/public


View transcript/additional materials: https://dhsi.org/wp-content/uploads/sites/7317/2023/03/CC-Kim.pdf


Abstract: When one tries to explicate the literary understanding of a foreign text in the field of comparative literature, an issue of how to cross across the literary space emerges. Nirvana Tanoukhi provokes her trailblazing “scale” question in her 2008 essay, “The Scale of World Literature”: “why dedicate a discipline to the task of charting zones, paths, and crossroads obscured by strict adherence to ‘national traditions’—when logically, comparison depends for its existence on the entrenchment of nation-based geography?” Tanoukhi initiates “comparison’s cartographic commitment (and its poetics of distance)” as “a possible key to the recent disciplinary revival of the concept of world literature” (599), arguing that the very concept of scale transforms from metaphorical literary space toward the concrete “materiality of literary landscapes” (600). She relates Neil Smith’s carthographic, methodological, geographic scales to literary mapping, and articulates the distance between two adjacent neighborhoods dually by differentiating places qualitatively and demarcating boundaries quantitatively (603), appropriating the concept of scale and distance. What happens since then is that Digital Humanities has provided the threshold to examine the spatial premises of comparison in a different context of a phenomenology of scale for literary scholars to grasp the actually existing landscapes of literature, relating the “micro-scale” of local phenomena with the “macro-scale” of global phenomena. Franco Moretti and his Stanford Literary Lab team, for example, has already in 2011 demonstrated these potential interrelations of scale and world literature in terms of visualization in their Pamphlet 2, “Network Theory, Plot Analysis” appeared in New Left Review 68 (March-April 2011). The purpose of this presentation is to provide a critique of this network patterns visualization by tracing the multiple spatial/temporal orientation of the recent literary studies in terms of the poetics of zooming.


Session: 10

Marisa Hicks-Alcaraz (she/her, Claremont Graduate U) @ArchivistXicanx and Jon Heggestad (he/him, Stony Brook U) @jonheggestad “‘Aimlessly Playing Around’: Reframing Graduate Student Work in DH” (Conference presentation)