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Digital Humanities Network at UiB
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Recap: Opening Event DHNetwork

Thirty people attended the DHNetwork opening event at the Arts and Humanities Library. It was very encouraging to see so many people from different departments interested in advancing Digital Humanities at UiB.

Image of the interior of the Arts and Humanties Library
Photo:
Image of the interior of the Arts and Humanties Library

After PhD candidate Julia King opened the event and explained the format for the lightning talks, founder and director Jill Walker Rettberg introduced the DHNetwork. She gave a quick overview of the results of the initial survey among people interested in the network. Over 30 people responded to the survey, including staff from all four departments in the Faculty of Humanities, the Infomedia department in the Faculty of Social Sciences, and the Arts and Humanities Library. The survey answers showed a great variety of interests and expertise, which the organisers used as a basis to develop a schedule for events and workshops for the Spring semester of 2019. Finally, Jill invited people to contact the DHNetwork with their own ideas for future events.

The Dean of the Faculty of Humanities, Jørgen Sejersted, gave a lightning talk stressing the importance of having a bottom-up network for Digital Humanities at UiB. He related the network to the Humanities Strategy 2018-2022 at UiB, which includes aims to develop and coordinate UiB’s environments in digital humanities and strengthen UiB’s national position in this area as well as to strengthen and facilitate cross-faculty humanities research. These strategies show the importance of the DHNetwork to the University. Jørgen also emphasized the role of education at the University and encouraged the DHNetwork to bring students into the network to give them a look into the professional aspects of their respective disciplines.

Finally, Maria-Carme Torras Calvo, Director of the University Library, talked about the role of the library in the needed infrastructure for the University to be a knowledge environment as well as facilitate innovation in learning. Among other areas of expertise, the library functions as a grant application partner, project management support, a digital infrastructure for learning, and developer of digital repositories. Maria-Carme approaches the humanities in a holistic way, and stresses that it needs an overarching infrastructure, just like other faculties. Moreover, she sees the DHNetwork as a potential arena to the library staff to share their expertise in, for example, data management. Finally, she introduced the plan for a Digital Humanities lab at the library, which will function as a meeting place for discussing, showing, and testing projects and tools, as well as include a support staff.

After the lightning talks, there was a lightning discussion on the presentations, after which we talked amongst ourselves over lunch. We feel encouraged by the enthusiasm and ideas among all the participants for the DHNetwork. We look forward to seeing you in future events!