(Opening Address, Digital Humanities 2010)
Digital Humanities 2010, King’s College London, 7-10 July, 2010.
Members of the VeRSI team attended the Digital Humanities Conference at King’s College London (7-10 July); the annual conference of the Association of Digital Humanities Organisations. The conference in its various guises has been running for 22 years or 37 years if the first conference of the Association for Literary and Linguistic Computing is incorporated. This year’s Digital Humanities Conference was significant as two of the elder statesman of the field, Professors Harold Short and Willard McCarty are both retiring. Professor Short has been head of the Centre for Computing in the Humanities at King’s for many years and received a long, standing ovation from the 400 plus delegates at the Conference dinner. Professor McCarty is one of the strongest critical voices in the field and has built a thriving Doctoral programme in Digital Humanities at King’s and has published widely on the application of computing technology to the understanding of human culture.
This year’s conference also included pre-conference workshops on various applied subjects such as text-mining for Classicists, text analysis, peer reviewing of digital work, and even how to design a Digital Humanities Lab. Also before the conference, a THATCamp was held; an informal user-generated ‘unconference’ about humanities and technology. Subjects such as what is computing analysis for an historian, geography in text, and even a manifesto for the Digital Humanities were robustly discussed (a ThatCamp will be held in Canberra, 28-29 August 2010 http://thatcampcanberra.org )
The main conference includes papers on the Text Encoding Initiative (TEI) and various encoding techniques, Music Encoding within Musicology, Digitisation in Japan, and a number of papers on the state of the field in various regions of the world. The conference was well-recorded including the lively closing plenary by Dr Melissa Terras from University College London’s Centre for Digital Humanities about the state of the field online ( http://www.arts-humanities.net/video/dh2010_keynote_melissa_terras_present_not_voting_digital_humanities_panopticon