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Regular version of the site

Dinara Gagarina at First Conference of European Association for Digital Humanities

From 7th to 9th December 2018, the first conference of EADH, the European Association for Digital Humanities, was held in Ireland. One of the participants was Dinara Gagarina, head of the HSE-Perm’s Department of Humanities. Dinara shared her impressions of the event.

The topic of the conference was “Data in digital humanities”. During the course of the three days of the event, more than 130 reports were presented on the transformation, visualization, modeling and analysis of humanitarian data; data and metadata, new approaches to the description of historical and cultural sites and humanities; data analytics in literary studies, history and other fields of natural language processing; the ratio of processed and unprocessed humanitarian data, and the relationship between information, archives, documents and data.

Dinara Gagarina
Department of Humanities (Perm): Head of Department

The conference was attended by about 200 people, although, according to Øyvind Eide, chairman of EADH, the organizers initially only expected to see between 100 and 120 participants.

The conference was held at the National University of Ireland in Galway - NUI Galway. This is a research university founded 170 years ago and currently has approximately 17,000 students. It has a huge campus with endless green lawns and modern art sculptures, and is made up of both new and historic buildings, each of which has its own name: the conference was held in the Arts Millennium and Arts and Science buildings.

The university is proud to be in the top 1% of universities in the world according to the QS rankings. At NUI Galway, ideas on environmental friendliness are actively promoted: for example, there were no printed programmes or plastic cups at the conference.

In my report “Introduction to Digital Humanities: Course Based on Data Types,” I presented the results of a pedagogical study of various design options for a review course on digital humanities and their testing. We have already run this course, entitled “Concepts and Approaches of Digital Humanities”, twice as an elective at HSE-Perm, and I’ve also delivered it at Perm State University and the Baltic Federal University.

During the two days preceding the conference, workshops were held on working with various types of humanitarian data. I participated in a workshop on the development of projects based on biographical data using the methods of Open Innovation (OI) and Design Thinking (DT). It was both interesting and useful.

EADH - European Association for Digital Humanities - unites digital humanities in Europe. It covers the whole range of areas that study, develop and apply digital methods and technologies in history, cultural studies, linguistics, philology, musicology and other humanities. EADH also supports the formation of interest groups within the digital humanities sphere by region, language, methods, and other criteria.

The association’s history stretches back to 1973, when it was called ALLC - the Association for Literary and Linguistic Computing and supported the application of IT in the study of language and literature. The new name of the association was adopted in 2012 due to a significant expansion in the scope of its activities.

EADH includes several associated regional organizations, including Russian DH Russia, Italian AIUCD, Czech CZDHI, Scandinavian DHN, and DHd, which brings together German-speaking countries.

Although EADH has supported the organization of conferences, seminars and summer schools on digital humanities in various countries for many years, the conference held in Ireland was the first direct conference of the association. The next such conference will be held in two years, in a yet to be determined location. In addition to the European and national conferences in this field, an international conference on digital humanities has been held annually since 1989. The venue of these conferences rotates between continents. DH 2019 will be held in Utrecht, before that, it was most recently held in Mexico City (2018), Montreal (2017), Krakow (2016), and Sydney (2015). There has been a steady increase in interest in the event: for example, more than 900 applications were submitted for the conference in Utrecht (in comparison, there were 650 applicants for the Krakow conference). All these conferences are peer reviewed, and reports are selected rigorously.

I would like to take this opportunity to remind you that from next year the undergraduate programme in history at HSE-Perm will be overhauled, and curriculum will include significant digital and media components. From 2020, we also plan to open a Master’s programme in Digital Humanities at HSE-Perm.