Digital Humanities Symposium


Thursday, 28 November 2019, 02:00 pm — Saturday, 30 November 2019, 12:15 pm

Location: New Space, Newcastle

Dr Marie-Laure Vuaille-Barcan, Dr Rebecca Beirne and Dr Erin McCarthy are delighted to invite you to attend ‘Digital research across the humanities’, a three-day symposium to be held at the University of Newcastle, Australia from the 28th to the 30th of November 2019 (NewSpace campus, Newcastle City). View the symposium blog for more information. Register here.

The Symposium is made up of three parts:

Thursday 28th November

2pm - 5pm, Room XG1, New Space

A hands on beginners workshop on leading stylometry tool Stylo, led by its creator Associate Professor Jan Rybicki from Jagiellonian University in Kraków, Poland.

This half-day workshop will introduce participants to the field of stylometry. The participants will be acquainted with Stylo, a package for the statistical programming environment R co-written by the instructor. This package is a way to avoid R’s steep learning curve so that humanists can easily perform advanced quantitative analyses of texts. While Stylo has its own built-in visualization tools, the workshop will also introduce Gephi, a piece of network analysis software. Time-permitting, the participants will be also challenged to perform their first own analyses on their own collections of texts or on those provided for them. No programming skills are required!

Participants are required to use their own laptops (and have access to install software). If you do not have a laptop and wish to borrow one during the workshop, please indicate this on the registration form (we have a very small number of these). If you want to get a head start before the workshop you may download and install R and Gephi (and check if they are functioning correctly on your computer). Check the symposium blog for downloads.

Friday 29th November

9am - 4pm, Room X402, New Space

A day of scholarly papers presenting current and exciting digital humanities projects. External academics from Deakin, Western Sydney University and the University of Adelaide will present their research alongside some of the University of Newcastle's Centre for 21st Century Humanities members  including:

Saturday 30th November

Room XG1, New Space

A public event consisting of the following talks:

10.00 - 10.45am Professor Ray Siemens - "Why Wikipedia?"

As we’re looking for details, facts, and figures about people, places, or things, over a billion of us around the world tend to “google it” -- and one of the first search engine returns we get is a reference to Wikipedia, which about a half billion people use worldwide. Why is that? Is the information useful and trustworthy? Who made it, and why? And how does Wikipedia do what they do? This talk will take a brief look at some of the who, what, when, where, and why of this much-used international resource.

10.45am - 11.30am Associate Professor Jan Rybicki - "Authors, Translators and Algorithms"

Stylometry, or statistical analysis of variations in literary language, counts words and/or other linguistic features in texts, and is very good at grouping those texts by their authors, by chronology, by literary genre... Things become a little more complicated when stylometry deals with translated texts, and the stylometrist never knows what to expect: will the texts still group by their original authors, or perhaps by translators; will the translated texts exhibit similarity by original chronology, or by that of translation? This presentation will illustrate these phenomena with several case studies.

11.30am - 12.30pm Dr Gillian Arrighi - "Virtual Reality Recreation of the Victoria Theatre"

This demonstration will allow participants to immerse themselves in a historic recreation of the glory of New South Wale’s oldest surviving heritage theatre in its heyday.