DARIAH-EU VCC2 Workshop on Innovative Teaching Methods and Practices in Digital Humanities

workshop / tutorial
  1. 1. Walter Scholger

    Karl-Franzens Universität Graz (University of Graz)

  2. 2. Claire Clivaz

    Université de Lausanne

  3. 3. Toma Tasovac

    Belgrade Center for Digital Humanities

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The growing interest in Digital Humanities has resulted in an increasing number of individual courses, modules and even degrees covering a broad range of topics at the cross-section of humanities and ICT-based methods. Despite numerous efforts to formally train students and researchers in the wide-ranging field of Digital Humanities, "scholarship in this area has tended to focus on research methods, theories and results rather than critical pedagogy and the actual practice of teaching” (Hirsch 2012). The increasing recognition and institutionalization of digital humanities in academic departments seems to have been coupled with the traditional and highly problematic division of labor between research and teaching as two antagonistic activities, of which only the former significantly contributes to the advancement of academic careers, including tenure. For that reason one of the most important questions facing our field today remains whether we can — in both theoretical and practical terms — pursue not only new ways of thinking about the humanities, but also new ways of teaching and interacting with students as part of our core professional activity.

With this workshop, we would like to motivate colleagues with an interest or actual experience in using innovative methodological approaches to teaching Digital Humanities to showcase precedent-setting developments, and encourage the participants - and, consequently, the DH community at large - to share their thoughts and ideas on how the development of a digital pedagogy for digital humanities should proceed. We would like to explore how DH processes and challenges that emerge out of building tools, developing projects and using computational methods to analyze data, influence ways in which to engage students and whether this engagement can, should and does in fact lead to epistemological turns and pedagogical transformations.

The proposed workshop is part of the efforts by the Virtual Competency Centre 2: Research and Education Liaison of the European ESFRI initiative Digital Research Infrastructure for the Arts and Humanities (DARIAH) to promote and support the use of research data and ICT methods and technologies in the Humanities1. The workshop will therefore also highlight the importance of pedagogical considerations in the process of building infrastructures: Unless a great deal of careful thought is given to education and outreach, as well as the integration of digital infrastructures into DH curricula and training activities, digital infrastructures will always run the risk of fossilizing before even gaining momentum.

The co-leaders of DARIAH-EU VCC 2’s task group Training and Education - Claire Clivaz, Walter Scholger and Toma Tasovac - will serve as workshop leaders. The program committee for the selection of presentations is drawn from experts within DARIAH-EU.

The workshop will be divided into two 3 hour sessions:

Session 1 (Practical): Showcases and best practices for teaching DH

In the morning session, participants will have the opportunity to present their ideas and/or actual teaching methods and materials. The contributions presented will be collected through a workshop-specific call and selected by a program committee. Our aim is to attract not only long-time practitioners of DH but also recent adopters with innovative ideas and methods to present a showcase which will motivate other participants to re-use and promote such contributions in their own field, or spark the development of yet more original methods.

Session 2 (Colloquium): Challenges in DH pedagogy

The afternoon session will provide a forum for the participants to discuss the most prominent challenges and issues in (digital) teaching of DH. Drawing on the impressions and ideas presented during the Practical Session, the participants will assess what the main challenges in DH are and agree on specific issues and topics for further discussions which will be taken to breakout sessions moderated by the workshop leaders.

In addition to discussing solutions to common challenges, participants will also enter in a critical discussion of the necessary next steps in promoting DH through digital pedagogy. As a starting point, the workshop leaders will present objectives that were formulated in DARIAH and discuss their value and implementation with the participants. These objectives will be amended and modified by the contributions of the participants to reflect the interests and issues agreed upon by the community (i.e. the workshop participants).


A tangible outcome of the workshop will be the preparation of a report on Digital Teaching Methods and Practices in DH which will document the best-practice examples presented during the workshop, but also the issues - and, hopefully, solutions - raised during the discussions and participant-driven breakout sessions. In addition, the contributions to the workshop will be highlighted on a website that will also serve as a communication channel for the participants after the workshop.

The workshop would also serve as a kick-off for other efforts by DARIAH-EU to promote this topic on a larger scale: A series of national DARIAH workshops organised for promoting DH and especially innovative teaching methods for DH content, tailored to the specific situation in the hosting DARIAH member countries, will be held over the period of two years.

Workshop Leaders
Claire Clivaz [email: claire.clivaz@unil.ch / Tel. +41 692 2714]

is an Assistant-Professor in New Testament and Early Christianity and member of the board of the Laboratory of Digital Humanities and Cultures (Ladhul) of the University of Lausanne. She is in charge for the French part of Switzerland of a pilot project for a future Swiss DH center, under the lead of the DHLab Basel and with Bern University, and leads a DH seminar for PhD students and post-doc researchers, in collaboration with the DHLab EPFL. She is a member of the EADH committee and the DHSI board.

Walter Scholger [eMail: walter.scholger@uni-graz.at / Tel: +43 316 380 2292]

is the deputy head of the Centre for Information Modelling - Austrian Centre for Digital Humanities at the University of Graz (Austria). His main research areas are (digital) IPR and copyright issues, and the development of curricula and training modules for Digital Humanities contents.

Toma Tasovac [email: ttasovac@humanistika.org / Tel. +381 66 9373250]

is the director of the Belgrade Centre for Digital Humanities. He works on complex architectures in electronic lexicography, digital editions, and integration of digital libraries and language resources. He is equally active in the field of new media education, regularly teaching seminars and workshops in Germany, Eastern Europe, the Caucasus and Central Asia.

Organisational Matters

The workshop is conceived as a full-day workshop, distributed into two separate sessions as outlined above. If at all possible, we would ask to hold this workshop on July 7, since a meeting of the French-speaking DH community has been confirmed for July 8.


The target audience are peers with an interest in digital pedagogy, primarily Early Stage Researchers/Teachers who are recent adopters of Digital Humanities methods and/or in the process of designing new lectures with DH content.

We expect up to 40 participants and would limit the number of attendees to that amount, since the second half of the workshop will feature discussions and audience-driven breakout sessions.

Technical requirements

We expect participants and presenters to bring their own devices, but we will require a strong wi-fi connection to handle simultaneous access to the internet by the workshop’s participants and sufficient access to power supply. For the presentations, we will require a data projector and a large canvas.

Workshop-specific Call

A call for contributions showcasing innovative teaching methods and/or concepts will be distributed through relevant mailing lists and the DARIAH communication infrastructure to reach a broad audience. The call would be issued immediately after acceptance of the contribution (March 18) and would be open for a period of roughly 3 weeks, up to April 4. Notifications regarding the acceptance of proposals and details on the presentation framework will be sent out by April 28.

We will ask for abstracts of up to 500 words, detailing contributions of 5-15 minutes. The length allocated to each contribution will be decided by the program committee, depending on the number of contributions and the strength of the proposal.

Upon acceptance, contributors will have the opportunity to distribute material (presentation slides, videos, ...) to the participants via the dedicated workshop website in order to give them a chance to contextualize their contribution beyond the scope of their allocated presentation time.

Program Committee

Agiati Benardou (Greece)
Marianne Huang (Denmark)
Anne Joly (France)
Matt Munson (Germany)
Kristoffer Nielbo (Denmark)
Johanna Puhl (Germany)
Stefania Scagliola (Netherlands)
Susan Schreibman (Ireland)
Manfred Thaller (Germany)
see http://dariah.eu/activities/research­and­education.html

Helen Beetham, Rhona Sharpe (ed.), Rethinking Pedagogy for a Digital Age: Designing for 21st Century Learning, New York, Routledge, 2013.

Stephen Brier, Where’s the Pedagogy? The Role of Teaching and Learning in the Digital Humanities, in: Matthew K. Gold (ed.), Debates in the Digital Humanities, Minneapolis, University of Minnesota Press, 2012, http://dhdebates.gc.cuny.edu/debates/text/8.

Brett Hirsch (ed.), Digital Humanities Pedagogy : Practices, Principles and Politics, Open Book Publishers, 2012, http://www.openbookpublishers.com/reader/161.

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Conference Info


ADHO - 2014
"Digital Cultural Empowerment"

Hosted at École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), Université de Lausanne

Lausanne, Switzerland

July 7, 2014 - July 12, 2014

377 works by 898 authors indexed

XML available from https://github.com/elliewix/DHAnalysis (needs to replace plaintext)

Conference website: https://web.archive.org/web/20161227182033/https://dh2014.org/program/

Attendance: 750 delegates according to Nyhan 2016

Series: ADHO (9)

Organizers: ADHO

  • Keywords: None
  • Language: English
  • Topics: None