Loading: Methods and approaches in Digital Humanities

Target group

PhD students in the humanities of the Doctoral School of Arts, Humanities & Law

Organising Committee

This specialist course is organised by the Ghent Centre for Digital Humanities (GhentCDH).
•    Joke Daems (coordination), Ghent Centre for Digital Humanities & Department of Translation, Interpreting and Communication ()
•    Sally Chambers, Ghent Centre for Digital Humanities (sally.chambers@ugent.be)
•    Jasper Schelstraete, Department of Literature (jasper.schelstraete@ugent.be)
•    Gunther Martens, Ghent Centre for Digital Humanities & Department of Literature (gunther.martens@ugent.be)
•    Christophe Verbruggen, Ghent Centre for Digital Humanities & Department of History (christophe.verbruggen@ugent.be)
•    Piraye Hacigüzeller, Ghent Centre for Digital Humanities & Department of Archeology (piraye.haciguzeller@ugent.be)
•    Hans Blomme, Ghent Centre for Digital Humanities & Department of History (hans.blomme@ugent.be)
•    Marianne Van Remoortel, Department of Literature (marianne.vanremoortel@ugent.be)
•    Thorsten Ries, Department of Literature (thorsten.ries@ugent.be)

Topic and Aim

The aim of this specialist course is to make the researchers fully aware of different opportunities, applications and approaches that DH offers. The course will explore a range of digital approaches to research within the arts and humanities, in a bid to familiarise emerging doctoral students with the possibilities digital humanities offers their research. This course is not only intended as a survey of the state of the field. It also aims to promote high quality digital humanities research by creating an interactive forum at which beginning doctoral students will explore the suitability of digital methods for their research. Internationally renowned experts will lead toolbox sessions, highlighting the possibilities of various tools, methodologies and practices for the students’ research. Additionally, an online collaborative bibliography will be established to provide background reading for the programme to which, students will also actively contribute to. Throughout the course, doctoral students will learn how to use a range of social media technologies to improve their scientific communication skills, including capturing their experiences in a guest blog post on the GhentCDH website as well as engaging with the international digital humanities community via Twitter.

Programme - Dates - Venue

31 March 2017 – 31 May 2017, with a final symposium organized by the students in September 2017. The sessions will take place in the Library Lab of the Faculty of Arts and Philosophy Library.
The general sessions will last three hours, the toolbox sessions will last 5 hours.

  • Friday 31 March 2017 - Session 1: Introduction to Digital Humanities

This session will explore the opportunities and challenges of integrating digital Methods into humanities research followed by a Q&A session. Following a lecture on Digital Humanities, the PhD students will go into the introductory session of this specialist course, where the schedule, expectations and learning outcomes of the course will be explained (e.g. Blog posts on the GhentCDH website, Zotero Collaborative Bibliography, Twitter) plus how to connect with the wider DH community (e.g. role of GhentCDH, DARIAH, DH Research Community Flanders, DH Benelux etc.).
Suggested speaker: to be announced
UGent Lecturers: Sally Chambers & Jasper Schelstraete

  • Wednesday 5 April 2017 - Session 2: Digital deconstruction workshop

In this session, students will be expected to give a short presentation (5 minutes each) of their PhD research to the group, e.g. topic of their research, research questions to be addressed, methodologies and resources to be used). Then, using an example (e.g. from a papers presented at the DH Benelux Conference 2016) the session leaders will ‘deconstruct’ the case study into its constituent parts (data, tools, methods) and identify what the role of the digital is in the research project. Finally, doctoral students will be asked in small groups to deconstruct their own research proposals and critically reflect on where their research could benefit from digital input.
UGent lecturers: Sally Chambers & Jasper Schelstraete

  • Wednesday 12 April 2017 - Session 3: Managing a digital humanities project

Students will be introduced to best practices of digital project management and data management. By learning some best practices surrounding data and documentation, students will learn what strategies they can use to make sustainable choices on the technical aspects of their project. Students will put these techniques to use in a first attempt to develop a Data Management Plan (DMP) using the DMPonline environment developed by the Ghent University Library.
UGent lecturers: Sally Chambers, Katrien Deroo, and Myriam Mertens

  • Wednesday 19 April 2017 - Toolbox session 1: Geo-Humanities

Students will be introduced to the tools, methods and concepts needed to manage, visualise and analyse geo-spatial information. Basics of geographical information systems software (QGIS) applications and web mapping will be focused on.
Suggested speaker: Armin Volkmann, Junior Research Group Leader, Digital Humanities and Cultural Heritage, Heidelberg University
UGent lecturers: Piraye Hacigüzeller & Hans Blomme

  • Wednesday 3 May 2017 - Toolbox session 2: Digital Text Analysis

Students will be introduced to the tools, methods and approaches needed to undertake academic research using digital textual analysis. Topics such as stylometry, topic modelling and named-entity recognition, and methodologies such as distant reading will be covered.
Suggested speaker: to be announced.
UGent lecturers: Joke Daems & Gunther Martens

  • Wednesday 10 May 2017 - Toolbox session 3: Digital Heritage and Culture

Students will be introduced to the tools, methods and approaches needed to undertake academic research in the area of digital heritage and culture. This session will focus on a) the impact of digitisation on cultural heritage, b) the (re)use of digital sources including born-digital sources (such as web-archives) for digital humanities research and c) the new types of literacies we need to work with (digital) cultural heritage. This session will involve a guided tour of Ghent’s new public library and Digital Innovation Centre, De Krook.   
UGent lecturers: Sally Chambers & Kris Rutten

  • Wednesday 17 May 2017 - Toolbox session 4: Serious gaming

Students will be introduced to the tools, methods, and approaches needed to undertake high-quality academic research on digital games and associated phenomena.
UGent lecturers: Jasper Schelstraete & Tobi Smethurst

  • Wednesday 31 May 2017 - Session 4: Digital reconstruction workshop

Starting from the constituent elements of their research (as identified in the ‘digital deconstruction workshop’), together with a) the digital methods and tools introduced during the ‘Toolbox’ sessions and b) the student’s own reading and contributions to the collaborative bibliography, in small groups students will ‘reconstruct’ their PhD, identifying what role they would like ‘the digital’ to play in their research.  
UGent lecturers: Sally Chambers & Jasper Schelstraete

  • Session 5: Digital Humanities Doctoral Symposium (September 2017- date to be determined)

As a didactic exercise, the doctoral students will co-organise a digital humanities doctoral symposium to present their conclusions about the applicability of digital humanities for their own doctoral research. They will act as both organisation and programme committee in liaison with the Scientific Committee of this specialist course. Attention will be paid to the (digital) scholarly communication around the symposium ensuring a wide attendance from colleagues in both Ghent University, other universities in Flanders and Belgium.

Learning objectives

The overall aim of this specialist course is to introduce doctoral students to the range of opportunities, applications and approaches that digital humanities can offer for facilitating and enhancing their research. By the end of this specialist course, doctoral students will be able to:
● Demonstrate a broad understanding of the diverse field of digital humanities
● Critically assess whether and in what ways, digital humanities tools, methods and approaches could be beneficial for their PhD research
● Improve their scholarly communication skills using web-based tools, such as blogs and twitter
● Co-organise a doctoral symposium on digital humanities
● Present their conclusions about the applicability of digital humanities for their own doctoral research at the doctoral symposium

Evaluation criteria (Doctoral Training Programme)

By the end of the specialist course, participants will be expected:
● To actively participate in each of the 5 ‘introduction to digital humanities’ sessions plus 3 of the specialist ‘digital toolbox’ sessions
● To contribute at least three resources to the collaborative digital humanities bibliography
● To publish at least one blog post (of ca. 500 words) to communicate about their scholarly experiences with digital humanities
● To have used twitter for scholarly communication about their PhD research and / or digital humanities
● To have actively contributed to the co-organisation of the doctoral symposium
● To have presented their conclusions on the applicability of digital humanities for their PhD research at the doctoral symposium

Number of participants

Maximum 20

Registration

Please follow this link: https://webapps.ugent.be/eventManager/events/approachesandmethodsdigitalhumanities

Language

The language of this course is English

Registration fee

Free of charge for members of the Doctoral School of Arts, Humanities and Law of Ghent University and Doctoral Students at all Belgian universities