The Digital Humanities Summer Institute (DHSI) is an annual digital scholarship training institute that takes place at the University of Victoria. Every summer, DHSI brings together faculty, staff, and students from the arts, humanities, library, and archives communities as well as independent scholars and participants from areas beyond. DHSI provides a community-based environment for discussing and learning about new technologies and how they influence teaching, research, creation, and preservation in different disciplines. Around 800-900 participants attend this time of intensive coursework, seminars, and lectures, where participants share ideas and methods as well as develop expertise in advanced technologies.
With an alumni community of 6,600, DHSI’s activities are supported by over 75 partners & sponsors and a growing pedagogical partnership and international training network. It is coordinated by the Canadian Social Knowledge Institute (C-SKI; c-ski.ca) at UVic.
Described by one participant as an event that “combines the best aspects of a skills workshop, international conference, and summer camp,” DHSI prides itself on its friendly, informal, and collegial atmosphere. We invite you to join the DHSI community in Victoria to learn and connect with friends and colleagues, new and old.
What DHSIers Say…
“The instructors were incredibly knowledgeable, appreciative and always willing to help.”
“Great people and vibe! UVic is a great location with excellent facilities and campus. Good mix of work and play.”
“What sets [the DHSI] apart is the energy of presenters, instructors, organizers which quickly rubs off on participants.”
“DHSI provides excellent and badly-needed opportunities to learn essential skills.”
“It is the most energizing week/s of the year. I always learn things I did not know I needed to learn, always meet people that change my life, and always go home energized and motivated to develop research and teaching in novel ways.”
Take a peek at our previous offerings and what we have coming up for this year!
If you are wanting to join us, check out our registration information.
DHSI is made up of several affiliated events, all with a different digital humanities focus in mind.
- Historic Computing Lab Open House
- Conference & Colloquium
- Building Digital Communities in the Humanities and Social Sciences
- Open/Social/Digital Humanities Pedagogy, Training, and Mentorship
- Project Management in the Humanities
- Open, Digital, Collaborative Project Preservation in the Humanities
Historic Computing Lab Open House
Event Chair: John Durno (UVic Libraries)
Visit the Historic Computing Lab at the University of Victoria Libraries to get hands on with our collection of historic computers. A variety of computing systems from the 1980s and 90s are available, including early personal computers by Apple, IBM, Commodore, Atari, NeXT, and more! The Open House will also feature a demo of an innovative Canadian personal computer called a NABU, a “cloud-based” computer from 1983. If you are not able to attend the Open House but would still like to visit the lab, please contact John Durno email@example.com to arrange an alternate time to visit.
Conference & Colloquium
Conference chair: Caroline Winter (U Victoria)
This conference takes place throughout both the on campus and online week of DHSI. Please see the dates below.
Since 2009, the DHSI Conference & Colloquium has been a valued part of the annual Digital Humanities Summer Institute. It offers an opportunity to present diverse, dynamic digital humanities research and projects within an engaging, collegial audience that actively fosters the ethos of the greater DHSI community.
The DHSI Colloquium was founded by Diane Jakacki and Cara Leitch in 2009 as a forum for the DHSI community to share brief, high-impact demonstrations and presentations. It was a graduate-only event until 2011, when it was expanded to include scholars of all levels. Diane passed the torch to James O’Sullivan and Mary Galvin in 2013. 2014 saw the implementation of a poster session, as well as the Colloquium’s first special issue. Lindsey Seatter was appointed as the event’s Program Assistant in 2015. At the close of DHSI 2016, Mary stepped down from her position and Lindsey stepped into the role in her stead. iOver the next few years, the Colloquium developed a digital demonstration gallery (run in tandem with the poster session) and instituted a single-stream day conference to support a longer presentation format. In 2018, O’Sullivan passed his position to Kim O’Donnell, who served as co-chair for one year. Ahead of DHSI 2020, Arun Jacob accepted the position of co-chair alongside Lindsey, and he reprised this role in 2021 alongside Caroline Winter. Caroline has served as chair since 2022.
For a complete listing of past Conference & Colloquium participants, visit our Course Archive!
Caroline Winter (2021-present)
Caroline Winter (she/her) is an Assistant Director of the ETCL and a Mitacs Accelerate / INKE Partnership postdoctoral fellow in open social scholarship. She holds a PhD in English literature from the University of Victoria and is pursuing an MLIS at the University of Alberta’s School of Library and Information Studies. She contributes to the Open Scholarship Policy Observatory, chairs the DHSI Conference and Colloquium, and collaborates on many of the lab’s other activities. To learn more about Caroline and her work, please visit www.carolinewinter.com.
Arun Jacob (2019-2021)
Arun Jacob (he/him; @arungapatchka) is a Ph.D. student in the Faculty of Information at the University of Toronto concentrating in Media, Technology and Culture. His research interests include examining the evolving meaning of innovation in North American media, technology and culture post-World-War II to the beginning of the twenty-first century.
Lindsey Seatter (2016-2020)
Lindsey Seatter (she/her; @lindseyseatter) holds a PhD in English from U Victoria and is a Faculty Member at Kwantlen Polytechnic U, where she teaches literature and composition. Broadly, Seatter’s research focuses on the British Romantic period, women’s writing, and Digital Humanities. Her SSHRC-funded dissertation explored the evolution of Jane Austen’s narrative style across her manuscript and print works. Seatter has given presentations at national and international conferences on female literary networks, reading Jane Austen with computers, expanding the Romantic literary canon (#Bigger6), and digital pedagogy. In addition to her teaching, Seatter is the Managing Editor of IDEAH, an Associate Director of DHSI, and an Associated Researcher with the ETCL.
Kim O’Donnell (2018-2019)
Kim O’Donnell (@kkodonnell) is a research grants facilitator at Simon Fraser University (SFU). She holds a PhD inEnglish from SFU, where she was a Digital Fellow at SFU Library’s Digital Humanities Innovation Lab (DHIL). Her doctoral work looked at representations of fainting men in late-Victorian literature to explore the connections between the non-conscious body, novel form, and posthumanism. At the DHIL, she assisted DH researchers, delivers workshops on digital tools, supports communications and events, and manages social media.
James O’Sullivan (2013-2018)
James O’Sullivan (@jamescosullivan) is the Digital Humanities Research Associate at the University of Sheffield’s Humanities Research Institute. Previous to this he held a faculty position at Pennsylvania State University. James holds a Ph.D. in Digital Arts & Humanities, as well as advanced degrees in computing, literary, and cultural studies. In 2014, James was shortlisted for the Fortier Prize, while also receiving an Honorable Mention in the CSDH/SCHN Ian Lancashire Award. He is also a published poet, and the founder of New Binary Press. Further information on James and his work can be found at http://josullivan.org.
Mary Galvin (2013-2016)
Mary Galvin (@galvinmary) is a researcher with the School of Applied Psychology at University College Cork (UCC). She holds a PhD from UCC, and her research involves an experience centered design inquiry into the patient and caregiver relationship, in the context of dementia. It explores the potential of designing familiar objects to support personhood and interaction within dementia care, where these concepts are at their most vulnerable. She was a finalist in the Higher Education Authority of Ireland’s 2013 ‘Making an Impact’ Competition, and has been the recipient of a number of competitive bursaries. See http://marygalvin.org for more.
Diane Jakacki (2009-2013)
Diane K. Jakacki (@dianejakacki) is the Digital Scholarship Coordinator at Bucknell University. Her research interests include Digital Humanities applications for early modern drama, literature and popular culture, and digital pedagogy theory and praxis. Her current research focuses on sixteenth-century English touring theatre troupes. At Bucknell she collaborates with faculty and students on several regional digital/public humanities projects within Pennsylvania. Publications include a digital edition of King Henry VIII or All is True, essays on A Game at Chess and The Spanish Tragedy and research projects associated with the Records of Early English Drama and the Map of Early Modern London. She is an Assistant Director of and instructor at the Digital Humanities Summer Institute, serves on the digital advisory boards for the Map of Early Modern London, Internet Shakespeare Editions, Records of Early English Drama, and the Iter Gateway to the Middle Ages and Renaissance.
Building Digital Communities in the Humanities and Social Sciences
Event chair: Graham Jensen (UVic)
Building Digital Communities in the Humanities and Social Sciences provides academic researchers, information professionals, administrators, students, and members of the interested public with the opportunity to explore how digital research commons can transform scholarly communication, publication, and collaboration.
Featured speakers will discuss related issues, such as how digital research commons—and research infrastructure more generally—can help advance open, social scholarship in ways that speak to the needs of our communities.
Participants will also gain hands-on experience and training on the not-for-profit, academic-run Canadian Humanities and Social Sciences Commons (hsscommons.ca). This digital research commons is a hub for open social scholarship, combining elements of social network sites, tools and platforms for collaboration, and institutional repositories to serve the linguistically, geographically, and culturally diverse community of HSS researchers in Canada and beyond.
Event chair: Chris Tanasescu (UCLouvain)
All those connected to DHSI and its 2023 edition are invited to be part of the virtual EPoetry event #GraphPoem by MARGENTO by contributing text files or weblinks to a collectively assembled dataset and/or run a script plotting the latter into a real-time evolving network.
The Graph Poem is an ongoing transnational project combining natural language processing and graph theory-based approaches to poetry, with academic, DH-literary, and performative outputs.
When DHSI registration opens, participants will be able to sign up for GraphPoem and will receive an account giving them access to the data and the code.
#GraphPoem will have two main components viewable to anybody accessing the following online venues at the time of the event: a livestreamed performance on Margento’s Facebook page and the bot @GraphPoem tweeting text-nodes selected from the evolving graph by a network analysis algorithm and fed into the performance.
Open/Social/Digital Humanities Pedagogy, Training, and Mentorship
Conference chairs: Laura Estill (St. Francis Xavier U) and Ray Siemens (UVic), and Constance Crompton (U Ottawa)
Open/Social/Digital Humanities Pedagogy, Training, and Mentorship encourages engagement of pertinent issues relating to pedagogy, training, and mentorship in the humanities from a digital, open, and/or social perspective.
The event’s format will involve pre-recorded presentations (from five-minute lightning talks to full twenty-minute conference papers), which participants can view in advance of shared online discussion.
Project Management in the Humanities
Conference chair: Lynne Siemens (UVic)
Project management is a tool that has long been associated with business. Its use in the academy is increasing as projects grow beyond the scope of a single researcher. Funding agencies are encouraging this trend by requesting detailed and realistic work plans as part of grant applications. However, challenges exist for the application of project management to research projects. For example, research goals may be articulated but the methodology to accomplish them is not well understood. This is further complicated by the fact that researchers see the application of these tools as rigid management approaches, perhaps not suited for the academy.
Having said this, due to increasingly collaborative interdisciplinary projects, many humanities scholars find themselves as “instant” or “accidental” managers. They are leading teams of researchers from a variety of disciplines, research assistants, librarians and others, as well as managing financial and other resources. This is something for which they are often not prepared due to a lack of training in this area.
Open, Digital, Collaborative Project Preservation in the Humanities
Conference chair: Luis Meneses (Vancouver Island U)
Open digital collaborative scholarship in the Arts and Humanities is significant for facilitating public access to and engagement with research, and as a mechanism of growing the digital scholarly infrastructure. But the path to adopting open, collaborative, digital scholarship has been challenging, not least of all due to questions of economic stability, infrastructure, access, understanding, implementation, and engagement.
The advent of online technologies has provided Arts and Humanities researchers with greater opportunities to collaborate and create different projects. These projects are computationally robust and require a significant amount of collaboration, which brings together different types of expertise to collaborate on equal terms rather than a model where some sets of expertise are in service to others.
The convenience and familiarity of computational methods can make us forget (or overlook) that there is a certain fragility associated with our online tools. Kathleen Fitzpatrick has argued that many online projects in the digital humanities have an implied planned obsolesce—which means that they will degrade over time once they cease to receive updates in their content and software libraries (Planned Obsolescence, NYU Press, 2011). In turn, this planned obsolescence threatens the completeness and the sustainability of our research outputs in the Arts and Humanities over time, presenting a complex problem made more complex when environments are not static objects but rather dynamic collaborative spaces.
Past Affiliated Events
Right to Left
Conference chairs: David Joseph Wrisley (NYU Abu Dhabi) and Kasra Ghorbaninejad (UVic)
The Right to Left (RTL) conference focuses on research and pedagogy related to the past, present and future of languages which are written from right to left, as well as their multilingual, multiscript and multidirectional cultural contexts. While these languages have posed technical challenges to computing, they have also become the object of increasing attention in global digital culture. RTL aims to encourage digital research in and about right-to-left language cultures, providing a frame for thinking beyond the left-to-right-centric assumptions of contemporary computing.
The RTL conference welcomes contributions from researchers, developers and independent scholars working on research and pedagogy of any living or historical RTL language, including, but not limited to, Arabic, Azeri, Hebrew, Kurdish, Ottoman, Persian, Syriac or Urdu. We are particularly interested in engagement and dialogue with societies in which those are spoken or read today.This raises questions for exploration with regard to the application of project management in the humanities generally and digital humanities more specifically that are addressed in this conference.