DH Colloquia

SADiLaR organizes monthly Digital Humanities colloquia. These typically take place on Wednesdays (in the middle of the month) from 10:00 to 11:00 SAST. During these DH colloquia a wide variety of topics are discussed, mostly on content related to Digital Humanities, sometimes focusing more on the techniques or methodologies used, sometimes focusing more on the applications or application areas.

The DH colloquia are part of Escalator’s Explorer track. You can find more information on Escalator here: https://escalator.sadilar.org/, on Escalator’s championship programme here: https://escalator.sadilar.org/champions/overview/, and on the Explorer track within Escalator’s championship programme here: https://escalator.sadilar.org/champions/explorer/. Also check out the other tracks within the Escalator championship programme as there may be tracks directly related to your interests. If you want to be a member of the Digital Humanities community, you may also want to consider joining the DHCSSza Slack. This page will provide more information on how to join (this is also free): https://escalator.sadilar.org/connect/.

If you have suggestions for speakers at the DH colloquium (or if you want to speak yourself), or if you want to provide feedback, please do not hesitate to contact Prof Menno van Zaanen: menno.vanzaanen@nwu.ac.za.


Title: “Are they human or are they data?” Digital archives and the creation of humanising stories

Our “archive fever” has given rise to the creation of digitised archives of non-public records, including prison and medical case files. In the United Kingdom, the Wellcome Collection has digitised the medical case files for several nineteenth-century lunatic asylums (psychiatric hospitals). The case files are available for online viewing and allows a global audience to scrutinise scandalous stories of suffering, as well as to gawk at sensational photographs of patients in the throes of mental anguish. The Wellcome’s digitised content has a Creative Commons (CC BY 4.0) licence that allows users to share or adapt the material “for any purpose”. To this end, the suffering of others, their misery and melancholy, as well as their secrets and stories are freely at our disposal for our own gain. The material can be used for many “purposes”. For example, the public may peer upon the private lives of others to satisfy morbid curiosities or ‘peeping Tom’ motives, the media may look upon the images as source material for the opening sequence of a horror film, and politicians may disseminate the material as propaganda for right-wing interests. For academics, the material has been mined for big data. Scholars in digital humanities have successfully and commendably used the digitised archives to explore nutrition and health, mortality rates, as well as the prevalence of illnesses and the efficacy of various treatments. In this paper, I call for scholars who work with digital archives to move beyond the analysis of big data, to include the analysis of individual lives. Armed with the methodologies from the arts and humanities, we are equipped to see the person and not a unit of data. We can explore their records to present a respectful and affirmative telling of their life stories. Potentially, such a telling may restore their humanity.

Speaker: Rory du Plessis

Maciej Ogrodniczuk
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Johannes Sibeko
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Burgert Senekal
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Amandla Ngwendu and Jacques De Wet
Building the IsiXhosa Intellectual Traditions Digital Archive: Challenges & Solutions
19 July 2023
Karolina Rudnicka
Can Grammarly and ChatGPT accelerate language change? AI-powered technologies and their impact on the English language: wordiness vs. conciseness
16 August 2023
Geesje van den Berg and Lebo Mudau
Postgraduate student involvement as co-developers of sustainable OER
14 June 2023
Barbara McGillivray
Publishing data papers in the humanities: my experience from the Journal of Open Humanities Data
17 May 2023
Imke van Heerden
Making Strange: Co-Creating Afrikaans Poetry with a Boutique Language Model
12 April 2023
Hiwa Asadpour and Arash Amani
An NLP method in the corpus analysis of Central Kurdish definiteness marker
15 March 2023
Elsabé Taljard, Danie Prinsloo, and Michelle Goosen
Creating electronic resources for African languages: challenges and opportunities
15 February 2023
Thea Pitman and Janet C.E. Watson
CELCE: Playing Green Games: micha cárdenas’s Sin Sol / No Sun
25 January 2023
Annemi Conradie
How to hang paintings on digital walls: processes and challenges of translating a physical art exhibition into a virtual showcase on the Kunstmatrix platform
16 November 2022
Yliana Rodríguez and Luis Chiruzzo
Considering language varieties and language contact in Natural Language Processing and Machine Translation: the case of Guarani
12 October 2022
Gordon Matthew
Measuring the impact of subtitles on cognive load
14 September 2022
Sibonelo Dlamini
Cross-lingual transfer learning
17 August 2022
Anelda van der Walt and Anne Treasure
The ESCALATOR programme – a big vision for growing digital and computational skills and community in Humanities & Social Sciences
20 July 2022
Franziska Pannach
A short introduction to Digital Folkloristics
15 June 2022
Maria Keet
Natural Language Generation for Agglutinating African Languages – A brief overview
18 May 2022
Amanda du Preez
Thinking Through Images: Approaching Aby Warburg and the Digital Arts and Humanities
4 May 2022
Emmanuel Ngué Um
When Ideologies we live by stand at odds with Digital Humanities collaboration
16 March 2022
Vanessa McBride
Big data, astronomy for development, and cross disciplinary collaboration
16 February 2022
Peter van Kranenburg
Computational Modelling in Musicology: The case of Medieval Chant
19 January 2022
Martin Benjamin
Towards valid linguistic measurement: The Kam4D Linguistic Knowledge Graph: Putting Smurfs, Ducks, Lemurs, and Party Terms to the Service of African Languages
17 November 2021
Karien van den Berg
Towards valid linguistic measurement: what digital humanities can bring to the forensic linguistic table and vice versa
13 October 2021
Marissa Griesel
Creating linguistic resources for use in digital humanities: notes from one proudly South African adventure
15 September 2021
Lizabé Lambrechts
Digital humanities and the archive: Looking at the challenges of taking the Hidden Years Music Archive online
11 August 2021
Vanessa Joosen
Constructing Age for Young Readers – A Digital Approach
14 July 2021
Iris Hendrickx
Getting to know people by automatic text analysis of talks and tweets
9 June 2021
Tunde Opeibi
Digital Humanities and African Scholarship: Exploring Opportunities, Embracing Challenges
19 May 2021
Barbara Bordalejo
A Historical Perspective on Digital Editions
14 April 2021
Viktor Schlegel
Deep learning for natural language processing
17 March 2021
Rachel Hendery
Digital Humanities approaches to digitising, repatriating and exploring an historical Australian colonial archive
17 February 2021
Umamaheswara Rao Garapati
Language Technology, a Bridge Spanning the Linguistic Divergence
20 January 2021
Ayodele James Akinola
Resources, scholarship and DH practice: Reflections on resilience and coping strategies of an African scholar
18 November 2020
Presentation Part 1
Presentation Part 2
Martin Bekker
Everything I knew about protests was wrong
21 October 2020