Last month, I had the pleasure of attending the annual conference of the Canadian Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies (CSECS), which was held from October 14–17 in Vancouver, BC. The theme of the conferences was “States of the Book.”
For most of my academic career, I didn’t think much about methodology. I read, I think, I write (and rewrite, rewrite, rewrite). This changed when I took an introductory Digital Humanities course, a survey of digital tools and methods. My biggest takeaway from this course (other than that computers are frustrating) was that methodology affects not only the results of research, but also the way we think about our data and the types of questions we ask. This not a new idea for many scholars, I know, but for those of us used to the read-think-write strategy, it bears thinking about.
I haven’t been to too many conferences yet, but I imagine that blithe comments about necrophilia and incest are relatively rare, and them being met with easy laughter is rarer still. Perhaps I shouldn’t have been surprised that this happened at the conference of the International Gothic Association (IGA), but I didn’t expect the atmosphere to be so lighthearted. That’s not to say that there wasn’t serious scholarship happening; to the contrary, the amount of fascinating research presented on everything from Shakespeare to Supernatural was a little overwhelming.
I had the pleasure of attending the Digital Humanities Summer Institute (DHSI) this year at my home institution, the University of Victoria in Victoria, BC. It was the largest DHSI ever, with over 700 attendees. Previous institutes were one-week events, but this year’s DHSI was three weeks long, including the middle core week of courses, colloquia, and an unconference, and a week of courses before and after. Also new this year was the opportunity for academic accreditation through UVic’s Graduate Certificate in Digital Humanities program. Continue reading Report from DHSI 2015