eHumanities Group Computational Humanities workshop

Workshop for Computational Humanities project workers


May 30 and 31, 2013


We organized our own retreat for all of the PhDs and postdocs working on the Computational Humanities projects, spending two days in the peaceful and beautiful surroundings of NIAS. We made a first attempt to delineate this emerging field and our individual and collective role in it. We also discussed, with input from Kees Schuyt, how best to manage our data so that it can be re-used by others, and by ourselves in the future. We also touched on some of the other issues raised by the recent report of the KNAW into Responsible research data management and the prevention of scientific misconduct.



The eHumanities group of the KNAW is very pleased to introduce this first residential workshop for the PhDs and postdocs working on the projects funded by the Computational Humanities programme. The agenda for the workshop has been designed to help everyone locate their own work within a broader research landscape, and to respond to the aspirations about the added-value arising from synergies between the projects. Now that all projects are fully staffed, we will come together to discuss areas of mutual interest concerning the Digital Humanities challenges embraced by all projects in their own ways. The design of the programme has been informed by wishes from group members. The programme also touches on more general questions such as what it means to become a researcher in the age of data- and tool-driven team science, what it means to become a digital humanities scholar, how to best embrace the opportunities of digital scholarship, and to consider our ethical obligations as researchers.

The workshop begins now! Please read the programme carefully. Check out what you need to read and prepare in advance. Don’t come unprepared to the workshop – that would not be polite to the organizers, and the other participants. And, the more you put into the workshop, the more you will benefit from it.

30 May

11.00 – arrival and coffee

11.30-13.00 – Introductory session

Bring with you an example of a good PhD you have recently come across. Be prepared to explain why you think it is a ‘good’ PhD. How does this make you think about your own PhD (still to be completed or recently completed)?

13.00-14.00 – lunch

13.30-15.00 – Digital humanities – what’s in a term?


By the end of this session, we’d like to have a map of digital humanities, and how all of you and your projects fit within this map. Read the texts below prior to the meeting. Come prepared with questions and comments about the texts. Use these to come up with a definition of digital humanities (or e-humanities, computational humanities, or some other term – but be prepared to justify your choice of term). Can you identify different strands and developments within digital humanities? Are these associated with particular disciplines or countries?

Texts to read:

–        Willard McCarty (2005) Humanities Computing, Palgrave Macmillan. Introduction, pp.1-19 (attached).

–        Anne Burdick et al (2012) Digital Humanities, The MIT Press. Chapter – Humanities to Digital Humanities, pp.1-26. Available at: (scroll down until you see link to open access edition – which gives you the whole book)

–        Sally Wyatt et al (2013) Introduction to Virtual Knowledge, in Paul Wouters et al (eds) Virtual Knowledge, Experimenting in the Humanities and the Social Sciences. The MIT Press. (Attached)

–        Chunglin Kwa (2011) Alliances between styles: A new model for the interaction between science and technology, in Alfred Nordmann et al (eds) Science Transformed? Debating claims of an epochal break. Pittsburgh University Press.  (to be sent later)  {the reason for asking you to read this is for the short summary of Crombie’s styles of scientific thinking – Crombie’s own work is three long volumes but they are in our library if you’re tempted}

–        Think back on the Thursday afternoon research meetings you have attended. Several reflect on the definition and nature of digital humanities. PPTs and other material can be found on the eHg website (though that does seem to depend on which browser you are using).

15.00-15.30 – coffee & tea

15.30-18.00 – Enhanced Publications


–        Look at the SURF site about Enhanced Publications. SURF has funded several projects in this area, and the website includes details of these.

–        Read the article by Nick Jankowski & Steve Jones (2013) Scholarly publishing and the internet, New Media & Society

–        There are other sites which discuss enhanced publications (EPs), though sometimes calling it something else:

–        What characterizes an enhanced publication? How does it differ from an ordinary book or journal article?

–        Prior to the meeting, think about what an EP of your own PhD could look like. What would you include that cannot be included in a paper book? What would that add to your PhD? What resources would you need to make it happen? Could you do it all yourself, or would you need other skills (from other people or training for yourself)? Come prepared to give a short (5-7 minutes) presentation about your PhD as an EP.

We’re very pleased that Jeroen Sondervan from Amsterdam University Press will join us for this session. He has experience of publishing Enhanced Publications, and will share this with us when you present your ideas.

18.00-18.45 – drinks

18.45  – dinner at NIAS

After dinner, depending on the weather, maybe a walk on the beach or a game of volleyball

31 May

8.45-9.30 – ‘From high heels to weed attics: A syntactic investigation of chick lit and literature’, by Kim Jautze, Corina Koolen, Andreas van Cranenburgh and Hayco de Jong

This is a rehearsal for a conference presentation Kim, Corina and Andreas are giving the following week. The conference format is 25 minutes to present followed by 5 minutes for questions. We will add some extra time to give feedback on their presentation and handling of questions.


9.30-11.00 – Research integrity

Following a number of high profile cases of Dutch researchers most decidedly not behaving with integrity, there is currently much discussion about research ethics and integrity in the Netherlands. We are very lucky that Professor Kees Schuyt is a fellow at NIAS this year. He is the author of the recent KNAW report about Responsible Research Data Management and the Prevention of Scientific Misconduct (and the Dutch version is here). He has kindly agreed to participate in this session and introduce our discussion about what research integrity means for us. Have a look at the table on the next page. Are there any potential ethical issues arising from your own work? Think about this before the workshop starts.

11.00-11.15 – coffee & tea

11.15-12.30 – Preparing for 27 June. As last year (and next), at our last Thursday meeting of this academic year, we will present all of the Computational Humanities projects. We will have three hours, from 14.00-17.00, followed by drinks (and preceded by lunch with members of the Computational Humanities Programme Committee). What kind of programme do we want? How can we best showcase all the good work you have been doing? Do we want to give formal presentations like Kim, Corina & Andrea did earlier in the day? Who will do what? By the end of this session, we should have a draft programme.

12.30-13.00 – Evaluation, final questions

13.00-14.00 – lunch, beach, home