Lectures 2014

Monday 14 July 2014, 09:30 - 10:30

Title: Opening Keynote: Community, Community of Practice, and the Methodological Commons Speaker: Ray Siemens (Faculty of Humanities, University of Victoria) Venue:Wolfson College, Lecture Theatre Abstract:

This talk considers notions of community, community of practice, and the methodological commons as it applies to the digital humanities. The Digital Humanities Summer Institute, DHOxSS, and other institutes, as well as the remarkable range and variety of THATCamps, workshops and other training events and meetings taking place around the world — taken together these elaborate a number of emerging models of networked activities at local, regional and national level of great significance to the growth of the DH community, and the principles on which it is founded.

Tuesday 15 July 2014, 09:30 - 10:30

Title: 1A: Restoration and revelation: how digital images are far more than simply photographs in the digital medium Speaker: Julia Craig-McFeely (Faculty of Music, University of Oxford) Venue:Wolfson College, Seminar Room 2 Abstract:

For most users of digital images, these are simply an onscreen version of what used to arrive on glossy card. We are happier about the longevity of the images, which won't (we are pretty sure) fade or discolour. We can make multiple backup copies so that it doesn't matter if we lose the master, and we can share the image with someone else (as long as we have permission to do so). And of course there is the added advantage with high-resolution images that you can zoom in on the screen and see detail that is not visible to the naked eye.

There is however another layer of usage that only a few attempt, and which is particularly pertinent when examining damaged documents. The paper demonstrates some of the results of digital restoration on damaged medieval documents, and discusses some of the practical and ethical issues surrounding digital restoration.


Title: 1B: Creating and Sustaining DH Teams: Scaling from the Smaller to the Larger, from the Individual to the Institution and Beyond Speaker: Lynne Siemens (School of Public Administration, University of Victoria) Venue:Wolfson College, Lecture TheatreAbstract:

Advances in digital resources, tools, and methods are allowing researchers to ask and answer different types of research questions which often result in larger and more complex projects. Given these projects' scale and scope, traditional solitary scholarly practices need to be adapted to include collaborative approaches with colleagues locally, nationally and increasingly internationally. This trend raises questions about the ways to develop the necessary team-related and project management skills and required processes to build and sustain teams and their projects while addressing the many challenges that come with working across disciplines, distance, time and culture/language groups. This talk will begin to address these questions and suggest best practices for Digital Humanities teams to consider in their collaborations.


Title: 1C: Panel -- Scholarly Digital Editing Speakers: Pip Willcox (Bodleian Libraries, University of Oxford) (Chair), Lou Burnard(Lou Burnard Consulting), Eugene Giddens (Department of English, Communication, Film and Media, Anglia Ruskin University), Eleanor Lowe (Department of English and Modern Languages, Oxford Brookes University), Judith Siefring (Bodleian Libraries, University of Oxford), and Ray Siemens (Faculty of Humanities, University of Victoria) Venue:Wolfson College, Buttery Abstract:

This panel discussion will bring together those working in the area of scholarly digital editing to examine how and why such editions should and are being made and what issues and assumptions we bring to the creation of scholarly digital editions.


Wednesday 16 July 2014, 09:30 - 10:30

Title: 2A: If a picture is worth 1000 words what's a medium quality scan worth? Speaker: David Zeitlyn (School of Anthropology and Museum Ethnography, University of Oxford) Venue:Wolfson College, Seminar Room 2 Abstract:

This presentation is based on the practical experience of archiving 46 thousand (plus) images taken by a Cameroonian studio photographer over a 30 years period as part of the British Library ‘Endangered Archive Programme' (EAP). This talk will discuss some of the practical and conceptual issues of working with images collections, looking at how face recognition and pattern matching can help put some order into collections whose scope is too large for an individual to hold in their consciousness. Scaling up means we need technological assistance to explore large collections else we are constrained by human attention spans and memory. Scholarship needs to develop or at least face up to these limitations.


Title: 2B: Obtaining the Unobtainable: The Holy Grail of Seed Funding for Small-Scale Digital Projects Speaker: Emma Goodwin(Faculty of Modern and Medieval Languages, University of Oxford) Venue:Wolfson College, Lecture Theatre Abstract:

Inspired by the successes of Zooniverse's internationally acclaimed digital projects, and the growing appetite among funding bodies to fund collaborative and interdisciplinary projects, today's doctoral students face an exciting challenge. How can a doctoral or early career researcher advance knowledge creation and production through the creative and exciting myriad of opportunities available in Digital Humanities?

Even for established academics, it is very difficult to attract funding without a proof-of-concept prototype of the planned project and a workable budget which demonstrates value, innovation and alignment with the stated aims of funding bodies. Addressing these and many more aspects is crucial for demonstrating in a funding proposal that new digital approaches can create world-leading research which will be disseminated widely.

Reflecting on the successful funding bids for ‘Crowd-Map-The-Crusades' and the AHRC-funded ‘Promoting Interdisciplinary Engagement in the Digital Humanities', this paper will discuss some ideas about useful strategies which doctoral and early career researchers can use when looking to set up and fund their own small-scale digital projects, including developing concepts into scalable and sustainable models, accessing seed funding, how to access the requisite skills training, and how to engage with international DH networks.


Title: 2C: Panel -- The Future of Data Access and Preservation Speakers: David De Roure (Oxford e-Research Centre, University of Oxford) (Chair), William Kilbride (Digital Preservation Coalition), Christine Madsen (Bodleian Libraries, University of Oxford), Carole L. Palmer (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign), Allen H. Renear (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign), Kenji Takeda (Microsoft) Venue:Wolfson College, Buttery Abstract:

This panel discussion will bring together those working in the area of data access and preservation to discuss the numerous problems and future possibilities of data curation, preservation, and long-term access. Participants will include some of the tutors from the Data Curation and Access workshop as well as other invited guests.


Thursday 17 July 2014, 09:30 - 10:30

Title: 3A: Ancient Lives: Classics and Digital Humanities at Oxford Speaker: James Brusuelas (Faculty of Classics, University of Oxford) Venue:Wolfson College, Buttery Abstract:

Since August 2011, Ancient Lives has recorded well over 1.5 million transcriptions of ancient Greek papyri (over 7 million characters), the work of over 250,00 online collaborators. The result was not simply the creation of big data, but the inception of an entirely different way of conceiving and interfacing ancient digital texts. Put simply, Ancient Lives has created something that has never existed before: a database of unedited Greek texts. We have strings of Greek characters without word division or any modern editorial convention. However, to access and make full use of that data, as texts actually read in antiquity, new algorithmic methods and digital tools that merge machine and human intelligence are required. The purpose of this lecture is to showcase, first, the Ancient Lives' method for data extraction, curating, and producing digital Greek texts from this unique crowd sourced dataset. Then, and perhaps more importantly, to introduce two new Ancient Lives grant funded projects, in which new tools are being developed for the digital editing, data mining, and researching Greek and Coptic fragments through an advanced online interface.


Title: 3B: The Oxford Corpus of Old Japanese Lexicon Speakers: Kerri Russell (Faculty of Oriental Studies, University of Oxford)and Zixi You (Faculty of Oriental Studies, University of Oxford / University of Central Lancashire) Venue:Wolfson College, Seminar Room 2 Abstract:

The Oxford Corpus of Old Japanese (abbreviated OCOJ) is a long-term research project which aims to develop a comprehensive annotated digital corpus of all extant texts in Japanese from the Old Japanese (OJ) period (7th and 8th century AD). The OCOJ was originally developed as a research tool for a project researching the syntax of the OJ language, and is now being further annotated to include literary and historical information.

This talk will introduce the Lexicon, which is, in simplest terms, a searchable and browsable OJ-English and English-OJ dictionary linked to the OCOJ. The Lexicon stores UIDs used for lemmatization in the OCOJ, making it possible to create bidirectional links between the Lexicon and OCOJ. Dictionary-like entries (based on TEI Dictionaries) in the Lexicon contain linguistic information and glosses for each lexical item. In addition, the Lexicon displays statistics, lists of certain word classes, attestations, clause structure patterns, and other information generated from the OCOJ. Storing and displaying data in this way allows users to examine properties of lexical items grouped by various features which gives the researcher another way to examine data.


Title: 3C: Electrifying the 'Via Lucis': communication technologies and republics of letters, past, present and future Speaker: Howard Hotson (Faculty of History, University of Oxford) Venue:Wolfson College, Lecture Theatre Abstract:

In his Latin treatise, "Via Lucis (The Way of Light)", the great Moravian pedagogue and pansophist, Jan Amos Comenius (1592-1670), offered an account of the whole of human history conceived as the gradual spread of communication. Organised in terms of the six days of creation, his narrative culminates in the expectation of a dawning seventh day of rest, in which a universal college will use universal communication to gather universal books as the basis for universal education. The most important product of Comenius's brief stay in England during the winter and spring of 1641-2, the plan's prospects were dashed by the outbreak of the civil wars the following summer. Instead of settling down in England to create his universal college, Comenius continued his wanderings, exchanging as he moved across the face of northern Europe an endless series of letters, pansophic schemes and utopian blueprints with a whole generation of intellectual refugees likewise displaced by the wars ranging simultaneously from the Baltic via central Europe to the British Isles. Amidst this constant flux, the "Via Lucis" remained unpublished until 1668, when it appeared with a dedication to the newly founded Royal Society, which Comenius regarded as the fulfilment of the proposal he had penned a quarter century earlier.

Comenius illustrates in striking fashion a connection between the terms of our subtitle. Crises both create diasporas and increase the urgency of communication amongst them, while simultaneously rendering that communication far more difficult both for contemporaries to conduct and for historians to reconstruct. In the seventeenth-century case, the problem of reconstructing the movement of letters exchanged between a mid-century generation of intellectuals who were themselves constantly on the move is one which the age of print has proved unable to solve. Reconstruction of the international republic of letters created by the early modern revolution in epistolary communication can, however, be assisted by the consolidation of a new international scholarly community facilitated by the ongoing revolution in digital communications. Having indicated out the nature of the problem with reference to Comenius, this talk will also outline a new COST networking project designed to address this problem: http://www.cost.eu/domains_actions/isch/Actions/IS1310.


Thursday 17 July 2014, 18:15 - 19:30

Title: TORCH Open Lecture: Ukiyo-e to Emoji: Museums in the Digital Age Speaker: Martin Roth (Victoria and Albert Museum)Venue:Lecture Theatre 2, Andrew Wiles Building (Mathematical Institute), Radcliffe Observatory Quarter, Woodstock RoadAbstract:

Martin Roth, director of the Victoria and Albert Museum, has agreed to give the annual TORCH (The Oxford Research Centre in the Humanities) open lecture at the DHOxSS 2014. This free public lecture will be on the evening of Thursday 17 July 2014 at a venue to be confirmed. Delegates from DHOxSS 2014 should reserve a place when registering for DHOxSS. There is no additional charge for this event.

The Victoria and Albert Museum was founded during the tumult of the Industrial Revolution; a period of intense technological and social change. Today brings another such turning point, as we grapple with the consequences of the digital revolution. How are advances in digital design and media changing museum practice? And what curatorial principles remain the same, little changed from 19th century? The V&A holds a rich collection of ‘Ukiyo-e' - popular representations of everyday Japanese life from the 18th-19th centuries. Radical changes and fundamental continuities are both in evidence when, today, curators consider collecting ‘emojis', emoticons with distinctive features reflecting contemporary Japanese culture. Martin Roth, Director of the V&A and, formerly, Director General of Dresden State Museums, will consider these questions and more in a lecture mapping the future of museums in the digital age.

More information is available from: http://www.torch.ox.ac.uk/martinroth.


Friday 18 July 2014, 09:30 - 10:30

Title: Closing Keynote: Beyond Digital Humanities: Skills, Application and Collaboration Speaker: Melissa Terras (Department of Information Studies, University College London) Venue:Wolfson College, Lecture Theatre Abstract:

The skill set now routinely linked to those active in Digital Humanities is changing, as the community expands from a text based focus to one that embraces different types of media and techniques, including geospatial methods, image processing, and 3D modelling. Much of the work done in Digital Humanities can also be seen in other sectors: for example there is an increasingly active Museum Technology sector, which is embracing similar techniques to understand, share, and analyse the cultural and historical record. In a world where the application of technology is increasingly pervasive across all aspects of culture, heritage, and research in general: where does that leave Digital Humanities? What does DH "own", and what space does it inhabit? How applicable are the skills now taught, and how can Digital Humanists work in collaboration across various sectors to best utilise and respond to the changing information environment? This talk looks at the role of Digital Humanities in both academia and beyond.