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DHA2021 Conference: Ka Renarena Te Taukaea / Creating Communities

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DHA2021: Ka Renarena Te Taukaea | Creating Communities Australasian Association for Digital Humanities Conference, 22-25 November 2021

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The fifth biennial DHA conference of the Australasian Association for Digital Humanities (aaDH) will be held in 2021 and will be virtual / on-line only. This will be the first aaDH conference hosted in Aotearoa New Zealand, organised by a consortium of three NZ Universities and run primarily by University of Canterbury Te Whare Wānanga o Waitaha in the South Island’s largest city, Ōtautahi Christchurch. DHA2021 ‘Creating Communities Ka Renarena Te Taukaea’ focuses on how digital technologies can not only create connections but support diversity, creativity, community building, wellbeing and resilience in a world of rapidly evolving challenges.

DHA2021 is a free, fully-virtual conference, run over 4 half days (22nd-25th November), with accompanying workshops and Digital Humanities advice and consultation sessions. If you’re interested in Digital Humanities activities in the South Pacific, Australia and New Zealand, then sign up now for free admission to the conference, and to receive news on speakers, sessions, and other opportunities to become part of the aaDH community. Proposals for short (10 min) and long (25 min) papers will be considered up to the extended deadline of 31 October.

Conference Overview

  • A three day virtual / on-line conference hosted by the University of Canterbury Te Whare Wānanga o Waitaha in Ōtautahi Christchurch, New Zealand.
  • 22-25 November, 2021.
  • Attendees including researchers, community leaders, representatives from the GLAM sector, and data scientists.
  • A Māori, Indigenous and First Nations DH focus, supported by the UC office of the AVC Māori, the Aotahi School of Māori and Indigenous Studies, the Macmillan Brown Centre for Pacific Studies and the UC Pacific Development Team. The conference will include a welcome from mana whenua.
  • Support for diversity-themed papers and presentations.

The DHA2021 conference theme is “Ka Renarena Te Taukaea / Creating Communities.” This theme invites close examination of what connects DH scholars and practitioners to each other and to communities. We welcome a strong local focus on expanding the ways to develop and interconnect research activities within and beyond the Digital Humanities in Australasia and the Pacific. Given the extreme events our region has been experiencing—including terrorist hate crimes, pandemic disruption and the ongoing environmental catastrophe—it also seems timely to think carefully and courageously about the role DH might play in creating communities capable of leading and contributing meaningfully to global conversations about a safe, equitable and sustainable future. We hope DHA2021 will focus on how digital technologies can not only create connections but support diversity, creativity, community building, wellbeing and resilience in a world of rapidly evolving challenges. We believe it is a strength of our evolving discipline that DH is constantly revising and renewing its connections with others, often acting as an institutional, methodological or discursive link between fields of research, professional practices and programmes within cultural heritage, and we expect many contributions will reflect this. At the same time, our location in the South Pacific creates a unique opportunity and responsibility to engage DH in rethinking the place of the humanities locally, regionally, and in relation to the major social and environmental challenges we face globally.

Recent years have seen the growth of initiatives that expand DH’s boundaries in areas such as computational humanities, Indigenous and postcolonial studies, spatial humanities, critical making and infrastructure studies. In short, the breadth of these research and pedagogical interests makes it timely to consider the ways ‘community’ shapes and is shaped by DH.

Contributors will be addressing the conference theme through the following sub-topics:

  • DH and First Nations and Indigenous communities
  • Diversity in DH – ensuring inclusion, promoting varied perspectives, giving marginalised communities a voice
  • Regional and global communities – DH scholarship across places and cultures, especially the divides of postcolonial legacies, geopolitical or environmental boundaries
  • Social and methodological scales of research in DH: How does DH examine social scales – the personal, the family, the institution, the city – and how do these relate to methodological questions such as close vs. distant reading?
  • DH as public humanities – how do we communicate humanities research and seek the attention and participation of wider communities with research activities?
  • DH within topical issue communities, such as environmental humanities, critical race studies, or countering online extremism
  • Communities as objects of study, e.g. online communities, interpretive communities
  • DH within event communities, such as DH in post-disaster research
  • Collaborations across strongly ‘disciplined’ boundaries or research communities, such as between DH and physical or mathematical sciences
  • Research groups and labs as communities
  • DH communities within (or across) institutions and between DHers in academic, library, software development and other professional roles.
  • Creative and artistic communities: digital art, literature, and creative media as DH practice, and a way to interrogate shared critical and cultural concerns
  • Pedagogical communities – teachers + students. The real learning happens through contact with students.
  • Any other topic relevant to Digital Humanities in the Australasian / Indo-Pacific / Asian region.
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