DHSI 2022 (Institute Lectures)

Every year, we have the pleasure of hosting institute lectures as part of the Digital Humanities Summer Institute. This speaker series, which now takes place both in person and online, provides DHSI registrants with the opportunity to heear from leading researchers and field experts on a variety of subjects relevant to digital humanities.


Invited Institute Lecturers


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 Institute Lectures, please visit dhsi.org.


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


Presentation Information

The People and the Text, Neglected Indigenous Works, and the Anxieties and Ethics Around Making Indigenous Content Public

Deanna Reder (Simon Fraser U)


Chair: Alix Shield (Simon Fraser U)


Abstract: An amazing array of content by Indigenous authors have either languished in public or private archives or been out of print and inaccessible, and all but forgotten. As part of the work of The People and the Text (TPatT), while we have been able to collect a great deal of neglected work, it might seem that the best next step would be to reference these materials in a database, and when possible, digitize them to make them even more accessible. However, because Indigenous communities have for so long struggled with the history of cultural theft and appropriation of both artifacts and knowledge, TPatT has learned to pause and work through Indigenous Research Ethics. This lecture will use case studies from TPatT to articulate guidelines that have directed our work.


View presentation: https://echo360.ca/media/db547e87-752e-46af-95ee-a201a05ecdaf/public

Is Open Scholarship Possible without Open Infrastructure?

Leslie Chan (UTSC)


Chair: Sarah Severson (U Alberta)


Abstract: Recently, several collaborators and I submitted a chapter proposal in response to a call for submission to a volume on critical infrastructure studies and digital humanities. The editors did not accept our proposal. They cited the high number of submissions and the “word limit” specified by the university press contracted for the volume as the reason. In this talk, I like to reflect on how networked possibilities (the multimodal forms of scholarly artifacts and modes of engagements) are still being dictated by the properties of print and it’s associated academic capital. In the meantime, much of the critical infrastructures necessary for networked open scholarship are increasingly being designed and controlled by a small handful of multinational corporate publishers turned data analytics cartel. The creation of end-to-end knowledge production and evaluation platform and its inscribed logic of data extraction has enormous implications for our aspirations for open scholarship, particularly for early career scholars. We may still be focused on infrastructures as the object of study, but we should be more concerned with how infrastructures govern our labour and scholarly practices and, above all, our autonomy. The talk will provide suggestions on how best to design community governance over infrastructure, instead of being governed by infrastructures not by our design.


View presentation: https://echo360.ca/media/0ab631ca-978a-49a5-b2da-734e5a2f1298/public

On the Responsibility to Implement the Perspective of the People in Focus of (Digital) Projects

Nastasia Herold (U Leipzig) and Thérèse Ottawa (Atikamekw First Nation)


Chair: Randa El Khatib


Abstract: Digital Humanities can be seen as the sum of all attempts to use digital technology in the discourses of the Humanities (cf. Thaller 2017: 13). The Humanities are different disciplines that are engaged in studies of human societies and cultures. With the European colonization, Eurocentric studies on other peoples began almost simultaneously – knowledge (even though when very general and prejudiced) on the Other was an important tool in order to use and assimilate the Indigenous peoples in the colonies. More recent editions of these “studies” or manuscripts annotate almost exclusively old place names or old ethnonyms. The content – the observations and comments on Indigenous life, beliefs and practices – is often taken over as a fact. In point of fact, what is written is always an interpretation of what has been observed, and influenced by the social, ethical and educational background of the author (cf. Becker 1955: 336; Trigger 1989: 3). How can the Digital Humanities contribute to a research culture that involves the perspectives of the people who are subject of the studies in the Humanities? The answer is collaboration and intercultural exchange. No matter on which human community we do research (Indigenous, religious, sexual, etc.) – if we are not part of this community, we have to make sure to collaborate intensely with community members because only their perspective can bring us closer to a potentially valid result. This lecture aims to show how the Digital Humanities can take over a leading role in decolonizing methodologies. The examples we give are the result of a long-lasting collaboration between the Atikamekw First Nation and a German researcher.


Sur la responsabilité de mettre en œuvre la perspective des personnes au centre des projets (numériques) Les humanités numériques peuvent être vues comme la somme de toutes les tentatives d’utilisation du numérique dans les discours des humanités (cf. Thaller 2017 : 13). Les sciences humaines sont différentes disciplines qui étudient les sociétés et les cultures humaines. Avec la colonisation européenne, les études eurocentriques sur les autres peuples ont commencé presque simultanément – la connaissance (même si elle était très générale et préjugée) de l’Autre était un outil important pour utiliser et assimiler les peuples autochtones dans les colonies. Les éditions plus récentes de ces « études » ou manuscrits annotent presque exclusivement d’anciens noms de lieux ou d’anciens ethnonymes. Le contenu – les observations et les commentaires sur la vie, les croyances et les pratiques autochtones – est souvent considéré comme un fait. En effet, ce qui est écrit est toujours une interprétation de ce qui a été observé, et influencé par le parcours social, éthique et scolaire de l’auteur (cf. Becker 1955 : 336 ; Trigger 1989 : 3). Comment les humanités numériques peuvent-elles contribuer à une culture de la recherche qui implique les perspectives des personnes qui font l’objet des études en humanités ? La réponse est la collaboration et l’échange interculturel. Peu importe sur quelle communauté humaine nous faisons des recherches (autochtone, religieuse, sexuelle, etc.) – si nous ne faisons pas partie de cette communauté, nous devons nous assurer de collaborer intensément avec les membres de la communauté car seul leur point de vue peut nous rapprocher d’un résultat potentiellement valide. Cette conférence vise à montrer comment les humanités numériques peuvent prendre une place prépondérante dans la décolonisation des méthodologies. Les exemples que nous donnons sont le fruit d’une collaboration de longue date entre la Première Nation Atikamekw et une chercheuse allemande.


View presentation: https://echo360.ca/media/15586e36-8e9e-4ad4-928f-dc2aa04f5002/public

Making Room: How the Book Materially Changed to Accommodate the Digital

Élika Ortega Guzman (U Colorado, Boulder)


Chair: Julia Polyck-O’Neill (York U)


Abstract: Contrary to predictions of the demise of the book, we now inhabit a complex media ecology where intersections between print and digital abound. Looking at the current landscape of the book, however, tells us little about how we got here and about the specific instances where writers, publishers, and readers negotiated the incorporation of digital media into bound codices. In this lecture, I will share my research examining literary examples from Latin America and the U.S. in which authors expanded their writing beyond the bounds of the codex to include digital applications and publishers made room for digital media within the print book. I will discuss how hybrid practices such as this have fostered a reconsideration of the wholeness of the codex as a physical object and a literary work, even to the point where laws have been modified to impose or exempt taxes on books including digital media. Ultimately, these examples carry the physical and material marks left by digital technologies on the print codex and demonstrate how the print book has been as susceptible to the same rapid innovation impetus most often associated with digital technologies.


View presentation: https://echo360.ca/media/d5b9c675-2e25-4c8c-a001-e8fa5686d98d/public

Community Engaged Research at a Distance

Rachel Hendery (Western Sydney U)


Chair: Graham Jensen (UVic)


Abstract: Over the last couple of years, many of us have had to radically reshape our ideas of how collaboration, community engagement, research groups or labs might look and function when people cannot physically come together, or when it is only rarely possible. Many of the tools, methods, and approaches already used in Digital Humanities were already designed to enable collaboration and connection at a distance, of course, but for many of us these were only part of a workflow that also included important face-to-face elements. In particular, engaged research with non-academic stakeholders, pre-COVID projects in my lab, usually built on months or years of face-to-face conversations, meetings, workshops, visits, before we got to the stage of feeling we had sufficient shared goals and understandings of each other’s context to work successfully in digitally-mediated forms. In the last two years our lab, Intergener8, has had to reimagine itself as a wholly digital, entirely remote and distributed entity. There are types of projects and stages of research for which this poses no difficulty, and in fact which are the kinds of work that a lab or research group conceptualised from the start as virtual would have been naturally drawn to. This includes, for example, our work on text analysis, analysis of software, experiments with AI, serious games, visualisation of data from existing, near-complete projects, etc. However, our lab was primarily intended as the digital, somewhat experimental, arm of a research centre focusing on collaborative research with community members and non-academic partner organisations. In this talk, I will therefore survey the various stages and elements of such projects that we found were not so easily adaptable to our new, fully digital, fully remote context. I will talk about various approaches we have tried over the past two years, what has worked, what hasn’t, and what we will take with us even if we do return to more face-to-face collaborative research in the future.


View presentation: https://echo360.ca/media/833b732b-e2da-43d7-9697-6201489f548a/public