The Network is holding a series of 5 workshops during the course of its funded period, each focusing on a different theme:

Event 1: Capacity Enhancement in DH: Training and Beyond

King’s Digital Lab, King’s College London, 15 Dec 2020

The objectives of the workshop were as follows:

  • Contribute to developing pathways to sustained, effective and widespread capacity-building for DH researchers in the UK and Ireland across disciplines, institutions and career stages.
  • Contribute to define specific pathways for training highly interdisciplinary humanists who are able to work across multiple sectors, including and beyond academia. 
  • Contribute to the broad inclusion of communities beyond individuals based in research-performing organisations, including cultural heritage institutions, the arts and creative industries, and interested citizen scientists. 
  • Provide opportunities for individual researchers to develop their skills and networks, and to contribute to international debates about the future of the field
  • Consider and interrogate critically the concepts of sustainability, inclusivity, training, advocacy and career progression.

The workshop discussions and findings will contribute to a discussion paper outlining capacity gaps in UK / Ireland digital humanities, with reference to the European and global contexts, and training strategies that could be used by a future UK Ireland DH Association to resolve them.

Event 2: Digital Humanities and Advocacy

University of Glasgow, 16th March 2021

The second workshop will focus on Digital Humanities and advocacy: communicating the value and impact of DH in teaching, research, and infrastructure development.

Questions for discussion will include:

Digital Humanities and advocacy: communicating the value and impact of DH in teaching, research, and infrastructure development.

How should a DH Association for the UK and Ireland carry out advocacy? How can we ensure that any Association that emerges has both the authority and representation to speak on behalf of DH communities of practice? What are the entities that need expert input from the DH community, and how can the Association ensure that it informs and shapes policy and other decision making processes?

The aim of this workshop is to discuss the policy areas in which DH interests need to be heard, and discuss some shared, strategic challenges where a united voice of those working in DH is needed. The workshop will explore the key issues that affect DH development in the UK and Ireland that have policy implications, areas where expert opinions and guidance may be needed, and the audiences for these views.

Event 3: Next generation careers in and from Digital Humanities

Oxford Digital Humanities Summer School, 15 July 2021

A key focus for the network is the question of career development in Digital Humanities, and the options that are available to postgraduate students, early career researchers, and aspiring research software engineers (RSEs) in particular. An opening panel session will present the experiences of digital humanists who have gone on to a wide variety of careers, from academia to the creative industries, cultural heritage and the technology sector. This will be followed by an open discussion exploring the kinds of support and guidance that would make a difference to the career paths of Digital Humanities ECRs and RSEs, including industry placements, training, mentoring and advocacy. This conversation will feed in to a discussion paper on next-generation careers in and from Digital Humanities.

Event 4: Who has Access to the Digital Humanities?  Diversity and  Inclusivity in DH in Ireland and the UK

Trinity College Dublin, 22nd October 2021

The Network’s fourth event will explore the state of inclusivity in DH in the UK and Ireland and how we might actively strive to improve from this baseline. Registration for the event is now closed.

One of the dreams of information and communication technologies is that of equitable and open access to information, to services, and to opportunities. We know, of course, that this is only true on the surface, and that technological systems tend to recreate the inequities of the cultures and societies that build them. As such, the dream of the digital humanities as a ‘big tent’ (that is, capacious, broad and inclusive) is also one that we need to constantly query and challenge if the field is to have a claim to being inclusive and diverse.

This is a particularly pressing issue as we explore the potential for a regional DH network to support the use and promotion of DH methods in the UK and Ireland.

Event 5: Constitutional Congress

University of Exeter, Winter 2021

This constitutional congress will include a roadmap for a sustainable, inclusive and valued DH Association for the UK and Ireland. Its output will be a report outlining a proposed structure, governance, funding model and functions of a UK-Ireland DH Association.