Webinar Series: DH Virtual Discussion Group for Early Career Researchers in Belgium – Spring 2023 Edition

Are you a Digital Humanities student or early career researcher in Belgium who would like to discuss DH with other early career researchers in the Belgian DH community? If so, you might be interested in joining the DH Virtual Discussion Group for ECRs! 

Two laptop computers back-to-back with hands typing.

The DH Virtual Discussion Group is a joint initiative organized by individuals at three different Belgian institutions. We strive to involve speakers from various Belgian institutions and encourage participation from all those who are interested in DH and are located at any Belgian institution. This year, the core organizers are Prof. Margherita Fantoli (KU Leuven Faculty of Arts), Dr. Leah Budke (KU Leuven Libraries Artes), Dr. Sven Lieber (KBR), and Paavo van der Eecken (University of Antwerp). Over the past years, the series has become a regular event. The spring 2023 edition proudly marks our sixth term.  

Our sessions this spring will continue the “under-the-hood” format, which entails a volunteer from our community providing a thirty-minute overview of a digital project implementing a given tool, approach, or platform. This is not meant to be a polished research presentation, or to present findings or results, but rather to give our community a behind-the-scenes look at how decisions were made and why specific tools were chosen or developed. The hope is also that this presenter will give attendees some ideas about how to get started implementing a specific tool or workflow, and that they can also answer questions or contribute to a discussion on other projects in our community that might be using similar methodologies or addressing similar issues. This “under-the-hood” session format allows us to have focused discussions around a specific project where we can learn from each other in an informal way. In addition, by implementing this format we can maintain the low threshold for contributing and engaging in the conversations. It also allows us to learn about the diverse projects being done in the Benelux region related to digital humanities (an added bonus!).   

The following sessions are planned for the spring 2023 semester (details will be updated as confirmed): 

Session 1:

Monday 27 February 15h-16h30 CET
MS Teams
Presenters: Sofie Moors and Wouter Haverals, University of Antwerp
Title: Cracking the Code: Challenges of Encoding Medieval Manuscripts
Abstract: In this presentation, Sofie Moors (FWO PhD, University of Antwerp) and Wouter Haverals (FWO Postdoc, University of Antwerp), will give an under-the-hood glimpse of their research projects that both deal with medieval sources. Confronting medieval texts with techniques from the field of Digital Humanities poses various challenges for researchers. Sofie and Wouter will take you along incomplete textual witnesses, indecipherable characters, and imbalanced training material.

Session 2:
Monday 27 March 15h-16h30 CEST
Location: MS Teams
Presenter: Stijn Carpentier, KU Leuven
Title: CTRL-F 2.0: Reading Historical Periodicals through Corpus Analysis
Abstract: In his presentation, Stijn will discuss how corpus analysis has been a great help to his research so far. DH tools allowed him to quickly find articles, evolutions and patterns in periodicals over lengthy periods, but also simply opened the path to work with foreign language journals. Yet, he’s left exploring how to push these tools further in his research to become more than enhanced CTRL-F.


Session 3:
Monday 24 April 15h-16h30 CEST
Location: MS Teams
Presenter: Isabelle Gribomont, KBR and UCLouvain
Title: Modelling a Semantic Network of 20th-Century Latin American Insurgent Discourse

Abstract: In this presentation, Isabelle will discuss an ongoing research project on 20th-century Latin American insurgent discourse. This heterogeneous corpus created from the digital archive of the Centro de Documentación de los Movimientos Armados (CeDeMA) is traversed by a dense network of genealogical and intertextual relations. The project aims at modelling semantic relations between keywords to highlight narrative continuities and ruptures in 20th century Latin American insurgencies, as well as the ways in which keywords undergo a re-semanticisation process as they emerge and re-emerge in different ideological and historical contexts.

Session 4:
Topic: Special DH Benelux Session
Monday 22 May – LIVE EVENT
Location: Room Gogotte, Hoek 38, Brussels
Time: 13h30-15h30
Format: Elevator pitches
Volunteers from our DH community (tbc)

There are an increasing number of conferences, workshops, and funding opportunities in DH, and we would like to ensure that you are aware of them. We will start every session with a moment for individuals to share news about upcoming lectures, workshops, seminars, and conferences. We have a corresponding Slack group where we also share these opportunities both during the discussion group meetings and in between. The link to join the Slack group is included in every email sent out to the mailing list, so watch for it there or send us an email to request access.

If you would like to register or invite other colleagues to join, please complete the registration form for the mailing list here. Please note, if you have received emails from us about the Discussion Group in the past, it means you are already on our mailing list. In that case, there is no need to register again—you will receive the emails with the MS Teams link and any additional information on the day of the session. Additionally, you will also receive updates on upcoming sessions including further details about speakers and the “under-the-hood” presentation topics. 

We look forward to seeing you this spring!

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