Report on the Digital Humanities at Oxford Summer School 2015

Digital Humanities at Oxford Summer School 2015 Report

About

The Digital Humanities at Oxford Summer School (DHOxSS) http://digital.humanities.ox.ac.uk/dhoxss/ is an annual training event at the University of Oxford which took place this year on 20 – 24 July 2015. This year it took place primarily at St Anne’s College, IT Services, and the Oxford e-Research Centre. The DHOxSS offers training to anyone with an interest in the Digital Humanities, including academics at all career stages, students, project managers, and people who work in IT, libraries, and cultural heritage. Delegates follow one of our week-long workshops, supplementing their training with expert guest lectures. Delegates can also join in events each evening. This year the DHOxSS grew significantly. It swelled from 5 workshops in 2014 to 8 workshops in 2015 and this meant the number of delegates and speakers also grew from 107 delegates + 54 speakers in 2014 to 163 delegates + 83 speakers in 2015.

The DHOxSS runs primarily on the goodwill of various units of the University of Oxford donating their time as DHOxSS Directors, Organisational Committee, Workshop Organisers, Speakers, and in the work of the IT Services Events Team. Organisers and Speakers are not financially remunerated for their participation, though travel and accommodation expenses for visiting speakers are covered by the DHOxSS. Speakers and Workshop Organisers are rewarded for their labours through attendance at the DHOxSS welcome reception and sometimes other DHOxSS events. The enterprise as a whole is financially underwritten by IT Services, which also donates multiple FTE worth of staff time spread across part of the time of one of the Directors and staff commitment from those in the IT Services Events Team.

DHOxSS Directors

For the last few years James Cummings (IT Services) has been the overall director of the DHOxSS. However, it has grown to such a size that this year Pip Willcox (Bodleian Libraries) joined him as a co-director. In the planning for DHOxSS 2016 the responsibilities of individual directors is already more distinct as a result of this first year of experience: they oversee discrete areas of the summer school in collaboration with the events team and DHOxSS Organisational Committee.

DHOxSS Organisational Committee

The year-long organisation of the DHOxSS is overseen by an organisational committee consisting of stakeholders from across the collegiate university. After DHOxSS 2014 this committee was intentionally re-structured to give broader representation from more stakeholders and the planning of DHOxSS 2015 bears the fruit of this. The committee for DHOxSS 2015 consisted of:

  • Jacqueline Baker, Oxford University Press
  • James Cummings, Co-Director of DHOxSS, IT Services
  • David De Roure, Wolfson College Digital Cluster
  • Kathryn Eccles, TORCH Digital Humanities Chamption
  • Andrew Fairweather-Tall, Humanities Division
  • Ruth Kirkham, The Oxford Research Centre it the Humanities
  • Eric Meyer, Oxford Internet Institute
  • Kevin Page, Oxford e-Research Centre
  • Pamela Stanworth, IT Services
  • Tara Stubbs, Continuing Education
  • Jessica Suess, Museums & Collections
  • Kathryn Wenczek, IT Services Events Team
  • Pip Willcox, Co-Director of DHOxSS, Bodleian Libraries

Content

Structure of the DHOxSS

Overall the DHOxSS mostly has a fairly regular daily structure of:

  • 9:30-10:30 Additional Plenary Keynotes or Parallel Lectures
  • 10:30-11:00 Break
  • 11:00-12:30 Individual Workshops
  • 12:30-14:00 Lunch and travel time
  • 14:00-16:00 Workshops Continue
  • 16:00-16:30 Break
  • 16:30-17:30 Workshops Continue
  • Evening Events

However, some individual workshops varied the times of breaks slightly from this. Indeed, the TEI workshop was asked to extend its teaching until 13:00 each day when an overcrowding situation in the OeRC atrium became evident at lunchtime. For DHOxSS 2016 this schedule will need to be revised to include more travel time because of the distances between some of the chosen venues.

Additional Plenary or Parallel Lectures

The DHOxSS structure provides an opening and closing plenary keynote on the Monday and Friday of the week. Tuesday through Thursday provides an opportunity for parallel sessions in smaller venues. The DHOxSS 2015 had 3 parallel sessions on these days.

Monday 20 July 2015, 09:30-10:30

Tuesday 21 July 2015, 09:30-10:30

Wednesday 22 July 2015, 09:30-10:30

Thursday 23 July 2015, 09:30-10:30

Friday 24 July 2015, 09:30-10:30

Workshops

This year the DHOxSS grew from 5 parallel workshops to 8 workshops each running in parallel over the course of the week. This sudden growth and corresponding need for additional venues did pose an additional administrative burden and a greater degree of logistics.

All workshops at DHOxSS run for the full 5 days. Delegates chose a single workshop and stayed with that workshop for the entire week. Workshop organisers were responsible for designing and running the program of the workshop, providing the necessary information about it, liaising with the speakers, and ensuring it runs smoothly. Organisers also often were speakers on that workshop. A call for workshops issued in 2014 resulted in the committee approving the following workshops for DHOxSS 2015:

An Introduction to Digital Humanities
Crowdsourcing for Academic, Library and Museum Environments
Digital Approaches in Medieval and Renaissance Studies
Digital Musicology
From Text to Tech
Humanities Data: Curation, Analysis, Access, and Reuse
Leveraging the Text Encoding Initiative
Linked Data for the Humanities

Each workshop is given its own colour which carries through on the website, in the printed booklet, and in the lanyard that delegates on that workshop are given. This makes it blindingly obvious if delegates are trying to switch from one workshop to another. This is something which is not allowed for both pedagogical and administrative reasons, and incurs an administration fee and needs the express approval of the workshop organiser.

dhoxss2015-workshops.png

The Introduction to Digital Humanities workshop was organised by Pip Willcox (Bodleian Libraries) and was our most popular workshop strand. It is a mostly lecture-based survey of a large number of Digital Humanities topics and those speaking on it are often appearing in other workshops as well.  This year speakers included: Alfie Abdul-Rahman (Oxford e-Research Centre, University of Oxford), James Cummings (IT Services, University of Oxford), David De Roure (Oxford e-Research Centre, University of Oxford), J. Stephen Downie (Graduate School of Library and Information Science, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign), Kathryn Eccles (Oxford Internet Institute and TORCH, University of Oxford), Alexandra Franklin (Bodleian Libraries, University of Oxford), Christopher Green (Institute of Archaeology, University of Oxford), David Howell (Bodleian Libraries, University of Oxford), Matthew Kimberley (Bodleian Libraries, University of Oxford), Ruth Kirkham (Oxford e-Research Centre, University of Oxford), James Loxley (University of Edinburgh), Eric Meyer (Oxford Internet Institute, University of Oxford), Kevin Page (Oxford e-Research Centre, University of Oxford), Meriel Patrick (IT Services, University of Oxford), Megan Senseney (Graduate School of Library and Information Science, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign), Judith Siefring (Bodleian Libraries, University of Oxford), Ségolène Tarte (Oxford e-Research Centre, University of Oxford), Andrea K. Thomer (Graduate School of Library and Information Science, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign), Pip Willcox (Bodleian Libraries, University of Oxford), and James Wilson (IT Services, University of Oxford)

The Crowdsourcing for Academic, Library and Museum Environments workshop was organised by Victoria Van Hyning (Zooniverse, University of Oxford) and Sarah De Haas (Google). It gave participants an in-depth exposure to the full workflow of crowdsourcing and making use of the aggregate data. Speakers on this workshop included: Philip Brohan (Met Office Hadley Centre), Sarah De Haas (Google), Shreenath Regunathan (Google),  and Victoria Van Hyning (Zooniverse, University of Oxford).

The Digital Approaches in Medieval and Renaissance Studies workshop was organised by Judith Siefring (Bodleian Libraries). This workshop explored various innovative approaches in the field in use at Oxford. This included both image and text-based materials, and delegates had the opportunity to view original artifacts from the age of manuscripts and early print. Speakers on this workshop included: James Cummings (IT Services, University of Oxford), Geri Della Rocca De Candal (Faculty of Medieval and Modern Languages, University of Oxford), David De Roure (Oxford e-Research Centre, University of Oxford), Cristina Dondi (Faculty of History, University of Oxford), Iain Emsley (Oxford e-Research Centre, University of Oxford), Alexandra Franklin (Bodleian Libraries, University of Oxford), Matthew Holford (Bodleian Libraries, University of Oxford), David Howell (Bodleian Libraries, University of Oxford), Eleanor Lowe (Department of English and Modern Languages, Oxford Brookes University), Matilde Malaspina (Faculty of History, University of Oxford), Liz McCarthy (Bodleian Libraries, University of Oxford), Matthew McGrattan (Bodleian Libraries, University of Oxford), Monica Messaggi Kaya (Bodleian Libraries, University of Oxford), Kevin Page (Oxford e-Research Centre, University of Oxford), Alessandra Panzanelli (The British Library),  Judith Siefring (Bodleian Libraries, University of Oxford), Daniel Wakelin (Faculty of English, University of Oxford),  and Pip Willcox (Bodleian Libraries, University of Oxford).

The Digital Musicology workshop was organised by Kevin Page (Oxford e-Research Centre). This workshop provided an introduction to computational and informatics methods that can be, and have been, successfully applied to musicology. It brought together a well-rounded programme balancing lectures with practical sessions. Speakers on this workshop included: Chris Cannam (Centre for Digital Music, Queen Mary University London), Rachel Cowgill (Music & Drama, University of Huddersfield), Julia Craig-McFeely (Faculty of Music, University of Oxford), Tim Crawford (Computing Department, Goldsmiths, University of London), David De Roure (Oxford e-Research Centre, University of Oxford), J. Stephen Downie (Graduate School of Library and Information Science, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign), Ben Fields (Computing Department, Goldsmiths, University of London), Ichiro Fujinaga (Schulich School of Music, McGill University), David Lewis (Computing Department, Goldsmiths, University of London), Richard Lewis (Computing Department, Goldsmiths, University of London), Kevin Page (Oxford e-Research Centre, University of Oxford), Christophe Rhodes (Computing Department, Goldsmiths, University of London), Carolin Rindfleisch (Faculty of Music, University of Oxford), Stephen Rose (Department of Music, Royal Holloway, University of London), David M. Weigl (Oxford e-Research Centre, University of Oxford), and Tillman Weyde (Department of Computer Science, City University London)

The From Text to Tech workshop was organised by Gard B. Jenset, (TORCH), and Kerri Russell (Faculty of Oriental Studies). This workshop HiCor research network (http://www.torch.ox.ac.uk/hicor) taught delegates the skills and understanding required to work computationally and quantitatively with corpora of historical texts. Speakers on this workshop included: Gard B. Jenset (The Oxford Research Centre in the Humanities, University of Oxford), Barbara McGillivray (The Oxford Research Centre in the Humanities, University of Oxford), Kerri Russell (Faculty of Oriental Studies, University of Oxford), Gabor M. Toth (University of Passau / The Oxford Research Centre in the Humanities, University of Oxford), Alessandro Vatri (Faculty of Classics and Faculty of Linguistics, Philology & Phonetics, University of Oxford)

The Humanities Data: Curation, Analysis, Access, and Reuse workshop was organised by Megan Senseney (Graduate School of Library and Information Science, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign) and Kevin Page, (Oxford e-Research Centre). This workshop provided a clear introductory grounding in data concepts and practices with an emphasis on humanities data curation. Sessions covered a wide range of topics, including data organization, data modeling, big data and data analysis, and workflows and research objects. Case studies included examples from the HathiTrust, EEBO-TCP, and BUDDAH. Speakers on this workshop included: Laird Barrett (Taylor & Francis / Oxford Internet Institute, University of Oxford), Josh Cowls (Oxford Internet Institute, University of Oxford), David De Roure (Oxford e-Research Centre, University of Oxford), J. Stephen Downie (Graduate School of Library and Information Science, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign), Tanya Gray Jones (Bodleian Libraries, University of Oxford), Scott Hale (Oxford Internet Institute, University of Oxford), Neil Jefferies (Bodleian Libraries, University of Oxford), Terhi Nurmikko-Fuller (Oxford e-Research Centre, University of Oxford), Kevin Page (Oxford e-Research Centre, University of Oxford), Allen Renear (Graduate School of Library and Information Science, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign), and Sally Rumsey (Bodleian Libraries, University of Oxford)

The Leveraging the Text Encoding Initiative workshop was organised by  Magdalena Turska (DiXiT Project / IT Services, University of Oxford) and Lou Burnard, (Lou Burnard Consulting). This workshop tried to balance an introduction to TEI with more technical investigations of software to publish and interrogate TEI XML files. Speakers on this workshop included: Misha Broughton (DiXiT Project, University of Cologne), Lou Burnard (Lou Burnard Consulting), Emmanuel Château (École Nationale des Chartes), Elena Spadini (DiXiT Project, Huygens ING (KNAW)), and Magdalena Turska (DiXiT Project / IT Services, University of Oxford)

The Linked Data for the Humanities workshop was organised by Kevin Page (Oxford e-Research Centre). This workshop introduced the concepts and technologies behind Linked Open Data and the Semantic Web. It taught attendees how they could publish their research so that it is available in these forms for reuse by other humanities scholars, and how to access and manipulate Linked Open Data resources provided by others. Speakers on this workshop included: David De Roure (Oxford e-Research Centre, University of Oxford), Alex Dutton (IT Services, University of Oxford), Barry Norton (British Museum), Terhi Nurmikko-Fuller (Oxford e-Research Centre, University of Oxford), Dominic Oldman (British Museum), Kevin Page (Oxford e-Research Centre, University of Oxford), John Pybus (Oxford e-Research Centre, University of Oxford),

Poster Session

Each year DHOxSS has a peer-reviewed poster session, often held in conjunction with the welcome drinks reception. This gives delegates, speakers, and members of the University of Oxford, a chance to get to know each other and display their digital humanities work to each other. This year posters were presented by:

Evening Events

An important part of DHOxSS is the social events. This year these consisted of:

As mentioned above the Welcome Drinks Reception and Poster Session is an important networking event (for those attending and speaking at DHOxSS) but also other invited guests. In this case it was also used as a book launch event for one of the DHOxSS’s major sponsors the AHRC Digital Transformation Theme.  The guided walking tour gave visitors to Oxford a chance to explore the historic city.

Teaching Venues

The DHOxSS has reached a size where it can occasionally face venue capacity problems. There are only so many lecture theatres in Oxford which hold 163 delegates (plus additional speakers) and many of these are booked out well in advance. The DHOxSS events team is working on securing locations several years in advance, however, the unprecedented growth from DHOxSS 2014 to DHOxSS 2015 in number of workshop meant that additional venues needed to be found. The venues used were:

  • The Mathematics Institute: For the opening and closing keynote DHOxSS 2015 used the Mathematics Institute.

  • St Anne’s College: The additional lectures on the mornings of Tuesday – Thursday were held in the Tsuzuki Lecture Theatre, Seminar Room 9, and the Danson Room.  These rooms were also used for three of the DHOxSS workshops. There were some problems with using the Danson room for presenting, but other spaces worked well.

  • IT Services: Three workshops will head in the IT Services Thames Suite of teaching rooms.

  • Oxford e-Research Centre: Two workshops were held in the Oxford e-Research Centre.

  • The Weston Library Lecture Theatre: This was used for a joint session of two workshops.

Podcasts, Photos, and Social Media

The DHOxSS has always engaged with social media and the #DHOxSS was well-used by DHOxSS delegates and  the @DHOxSS twitter account was a source of information and advice. Although the DHOxSS Photo Group on Flickr was mentioned to delegates, it did not prove as popular as more instant open forums such as twitter and instagram.  Podcasts of the opening and closing keynotes as well as most of the additional lectures were made freely and openly available. (The only reason one lecture wasn’t, was technical difficulties with the footage.)  These are made available on the DHOxSS podcast series at http://podcasts.ox.ac.uk/series/digital-humanities-oxford-summer-school. Individually these are:

Lecture  Title

Description

People

Uneasy Dreams: the Becoming of Digital Scholarship

James Loxley, University of Edinburgh, gives the final keynote in the DHOXSS 2015.

James Loxley

The Online Corpus of Inscriptions from Ancient North Arabia

Daniel Burt, Khalili Research Centre, University of Oxford, gives a talk for the DHOXSS 2015.

Daniel Burt

If a Picture is Worth 1000 Words, What’s a Medium Quality Scan Worth?

David Zeitlyn, Institute of Social and Cultural Anthropology, University of Oxford, gives a talk for the DHOXSS 2015.

David Zeitlyn

Crowdsourced Text Transcription

Victoria Van Hyning, Zooniverse, University of Oxford, gives a talk for the DHOXSS 2015.

Victoria Van Hyning

Let Your Projects Shine: Lightweight Usability Testing for Digital Humanities Projects

Mia Ridge, Digital Humanities, Open University, gives a talk for the DHOXSS 2015.

Mia Ridge

Networking⁴: Reassembling the Republic of Letters, 1500-1800

Howard Hotson, Faculty of History, University of Oxford, gives a talk for the DHOXSS 2015.

Howard Hotson

Mapping Digital Pathways to Enhance Visitor Experience

Jessica Suess, University of Oxford Museums and Anjanesh Babu, Ashmolean Museum, University of Oxford, give a talk for the DHOXSS 2015.

Jessica Suess,Anjanesh Babu

Digital Image Corruption – Where It Comes From and How to Detect It

Chris Powell, Ashmolean Museum, University of Oxford, gives a talk for the 2015 DHOXSS.

Chris Powell

Digital Transformations

Panel discussion for th DHOXSS 2015.

David De Roure,Lucie Burgess,Tim Crawford,Jane Winters

How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Digital

Jane Winters, Institute of Historical Research, University of London, gives the opening keynote talk for the 2015 DHOXSS.

Jane Winters

This continues a DHOxSS tradition of recording and making openly available the keynotes and additional lectures.

DHOxSS Statistics

Speakers

There were 83 speakers for DHOxSS 2015, 54 of which were from the University of Oxford. These were contributed by the following departments:

  • Bodleian Libraries: 13 Speakers
  • Oxford e-Resarch Centre: 9 Speakers
  • IT Services: 7 Speakers
  • Oxford Internet Institute: 6 Speakers
  • Faculty of History: 3 Speakers
  • The Oxford Research Centre for the Humanties: 3 Speakers
  • Oxford University Museums: 3 Speakers
  • Faculty of Music: 2 Speakers
  • Faculty of Classics: 1 Speaker
  • Faculty of English: 1 Speaker
  • Faculty of Medieval and Modern Languages: 1 Speaker
  • Faculty of Oriental Studies: 1 Speaker
  • School of Archaeology: 1 Speaker
  • Institute of Social and Cultural Anthropology: 1 Speaker
  • Khalili Research Centre: 1 Speaker
  • Zooniverse: 1 Speaker

Registration

There were 163 DHOxSS 2015 registrations which were as follows:

  • Academic/Standard/NFP: 92

  • Student: 53

  • Oxford: 16

  • Commercial: 2

DHOxSS2015-registrations.png

The registration charges were:

Registration Type

Fee

Full Commercial Rate: You work for a commercial or corporate organisation

695 pounds

Academic/Education/NFP: You work for an educational institution, library, charity or not-for-profit organisation in any capacity

590 pounds(15% discount)

Student (any institution/level): You are enrolled as a (full-time or part-time) student at any educational institution at any level

485 pounds(30% discount)

Staff or Student of the University of Oxford:You work or are a student at the collegiate University of Oxford

485 pounds(30% discount)

This covered the costs of venues, lunches, evening events, speaker travel and accommodation as well as any costs in running the workshops.

As part of the registration process delegates were optionally able to indicate the source of funding they were using to pay for their registration. While 33% chose not to answer, 31% had institutional funding, 22% were self-funding, 8% had project funding, 6% had a bursary/grant of some sort, and 1% indicated a different reason.

dhoxss2015-funding.png

The reasons for attending, when chosen from a list were mostly career development (38%), a specific project (20%), and general interest (10%), while 33% chose not to answer:

dhoxss2015-reason.png

Delegate Origin

Delegates came from all levels of professional standing, and from over 100 separate institutions. In aggregate the countries of origin can be totalled as:

  • UK: 80
  • Other Europe: 50
  • North America: 26
  • Far East: 3
  • Middle East: 1
  • Russia: 1
  • South America: 1
  • Australia: 1

dhoxss2015-country.png

Delegate Age

dhoxss2015-age.png

How Delegates Heard About DHOxSS 2015

DHOxSS 2015 was advertised through various media. While registering, delegates were able to indicate where they had heard about DHOxSS. Mostly delegates had heard about DHOxSS from colleagues (some of whom were previous attendees), others indicated that they had used online searches or found the website through one route or another. Less indicated that they had heard about it through social media but the effectiveness of this measure is hard to determine since this and mailing list may be how the colleagues referenced. Similarly, flyers were distributed at conferences and sent to various UK humanities departments which might have resulted in some of the institutional recommendations.

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Gender

DHOxSS strives to be a welcoming place for all participants. One of the statistics we have examined over the years is that of gender. In previous years gender was not asked of participants but tracked informally based on apparent gender identify.  This has shown that DHOxSS normally attracts approximately 69% female delegates. For the first time, in the registration for DHOxSS 2015, delegates were asked to declare their gender. The ratio of female to male delegates generally held but was slightly less because many of those choosing not to answer the question (for whatever reason) appear to be women.  The chart below looks at gender not only of delegates but all participants and provides 31% Delegate Female, 16% Delegate Male, 20% Speaker Male, 13% Speaker Male, and 19% Delegates who didn’t answer. This indicates room for improvement by increasing the number of female speakers so it is more representative of the DH community which attends DHOxSS.

dhoxss2015-gender.png

Feedback

In general the feedback from delegates and speakers was generally positive. There were a number of problems with workshops where abstracts didn’t entirely match the workshop content or there were too many topics being covered. There was very positive feedback for the organisation and administration of DHOxSS 2015. The feedback was summarised for the organisational committee and has formed part of the planning for DHOxSS 2016.

Plans for DHOxSS 2016

The DHOxSS 2016 will be held from the 4 – 8 July 2016 using St Hugh’s College, IT Services, the Oxford e-Research Centre, and other venues. The planning for this is already underway (and locations for 2017 and 2018 are being booked), and a call for workshops and additional lectures has already gone out. . If you want to subscribe to our DHOxSS announcements mailing list, email: dhoxss-announce-subscribe@maillist.ox.ac.uk and confirm by replying to the confirmation email that gets sent to you. We will notify this mailing list when registration opens.

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One Response to “Report on the Digital Humanities at Oxford Summer School 2015”

  1. […] DHOxSS 2015 was a great success, and coped well with the increased numbers. The DHOxSS is a collaboration between various units of the University of Oxford donating their time as DHOxSS Directors, Organisational Committee, Workshop Organisers, Speakers, and in the work of the IT Services Events Team. Speakers and Workshop Organisers are rewarded for their labours through attendance at the DHOxSS welcome reception and sometimes other events. The enterprise as a whole is financially underwritten by IT Services. For more information see the Digital Humanities website or a blog post report by Dr James Cummings. […]

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