Institute Lectures

We have the pleasure of hosting five institute lectures at DHSI 2023.

Two will be hosted on campus in the Lam Auditorium (also recorded and made available online) and the other three will be hosted exclusively online. Learn more about each of the lectures in the descriptions below.

Please click here for more info about the program and offerings at DHSI 2023.

On Campus

(will be recorded and made available afterwards)

Andie Silva (CUNY)

Making Space for Affect, Co-Creation, and Care in Digital Humanities Pedagogy

Chair: Jon Bath (U Saskatchewan)

Monday, June 5

2:45 pm – 4:00 pm

MAC A144 (David Lam Auditorium)

As we begin to emerge from a global emergency that continues to challenge how we teach, learn, and build community, digital humanists have an opportunity to model best practices for engaging with digital technologies in the classroom in ways that are both ethical and representative as well as subversive and radical. And what can be more radical than the recent turn to slowing things down, protecting our time, and mutual care? This talk explores the role of intersectional feminism in digital pedagogy and digital humanities training, surveying approaches that disrupt performative representational politics and privilege knowledge co-creation, care, and emotionality as valid forms of humanities inquiry.

Chris Friend (Kean University)

Teaching with Empathy in Physical, Hybrid, and Virtual Spaces

Chair: Paige Morgan (U Delaware)

Friday, June 9

10:30 am – 12:00 pm

MAC A144 (David Lam Auditorium)

What COVID tore down might never have stood.

As classes moved from in-person to online delivery, many teachers lamented the loss of connection in exchange for connectivity; face-to-face sessions in exchange for Zoom meetings. We longed for that special vibe we feel when sharing space with one another. But do we take full advantage of that opportunity even when we are in a room together? How many students and instructors see reviewing shared slide decks as equivalent replacements for class attendance? Beyond Zoom fatigue, how different is a talk given via Zoom from a lecture delivered in a room?

Empathy—the ability to cognitively register or affectively feel the emotions of others—provides a helpful touchstone for assessing our engagement with students. Together, we’ll explore ways to emphasize empathy and hone our attention to be more in-tune with the students in our classes.

Exclusively Online

Gimena del Rio Riande (Instituto de Investigaciones Bibliográficas y Crítica Textual; University of Buenos Aires)

Is there Something Like Open Digital Humanities?

Chair: David Wrisley (New York U Abu Dhabi)

Tuesday, June 13

8:30 am – 9:30 am

These days UNESCO has released open science recommendations and publishing companies are signing open transformative agreements with universities in Europe and North America. Open science is a pragmatic concept that highlights the role of transparent and reproducible research practices, open dissemination of results, and new forms of collaboration, all greatly facilitated by digitization. It comprises ail scientific disciplines and aspects of scholarly practices, including basic and applied sciences, natural and social sciences and the humanities.

However, there are many definitions and ways to open knowledge. For instance, in Latin America, the free, public dissemination of research has long been understood primarily as a public good managed by the academic community. Scielo, the largest open access harvesting platform in the region, was founded in 1997, five years before the first open access declarations of Budapest, Bethesda, and Berlin. Non-commercial, open access publication is widely understood as a key engine of knowledge democratization. In addition to this, conversations on open and free technologies have been part of the regional agenda since the late 90s, when the term “technological sovereignty” was already used by activists who wanted to have more control over the software they used and avoid dependence on equipment suppliers in the Global North.

This talk will discuss some benefits, challenges, and barriers for open digital humanities relating them to technology, standards, recommendations, and multilingualism. It will also bring some Latin American initiatives to explore possible digital humanities approaches to open science.

Edmond Chang (Ohio University)

Alan, Ada, Purna: Why are the Digital Humanities So Straight?

Chair: Sarah-Nelle Jackson (U British Columbia)

Wednesday, June 14

8:30 am – 9:30 am

Building on Tara McPherson’s work on race, critical code studies, and feminist critiques of DH, which is provocatively condensed in her essay “Why Are the Digital Humanities So White?,” this presentation hopes to ask and address, “Why Are the Digital Humanities So Straight?” This talk will use the mediums of code and digital games to challenge the technonormativity of DH. Code in many ways are normative, structured, and deeply protocological even as programmers, developers, makers, and gamers evince its promises of power, universality, play, and agency. This presentation, written in the form of a BASIC program executable as a text adventure game, explores how the binary, algorithmic, and protocological underpinnings of both programming and design constrain and recuperate queerness.

Lai-Tze Fan (University of Waterloo)

Playing an Imitation Game with Apple’s Siri: E.Q, I.Q., and the Gendered Design of Artificial and Automated Intelligence

Chair: Aaron Mauro (Brock U)

Thursday, June 15

8:30 am – 9:30 am

The Turing Test—a thought experiment in which a human and a computer both try to convince an interrogator that they are human—is actually based on another thought experiment by Alan Turing, the Imitation Game—in which a man and woman both try to convince an interrogator that they are a woman. Why is it significant that a theoretical test by which we measure human-like performance was first inspired by an experiment in gendered performance? Today, machines that we increasingly rely on for decision making, including machine learning AI, are described as demonstrating high IQ. Meanwhile, AI systems designed to provide EQ-heavy labour in care, customer service, and comfort are predominantly female presenting. In this talk, Fan will explore how the gendering of AI assistants is just a new method in a long history of abstracting women and their bodies into labouring machines. She argues that AI assistants play a modified Imitation Game, trying to trick users into accepting machine as woman. By exploring industry designers’ research findings, Fan will argue that when testing such AI for their human-like performance, designers are not looking for intelligence, but rather, for efficacy to get menial labour done—with a smile.