Archive for the ‘News’ Category

Digitizing Words of Power

Saturday, December 18th, 2010

Following an introductory presentation at the conference The Social Life of Methods in Oxford this fall, a pilot project, Digitizing Words of Power, has been presented in Alfalab on December 2nd. A collaborative endeavor of the University of Amsterdam, Virtual Knowledge Studio and Meertens Institute, Digitizing Words of Power is a sub-project of the NWO-VIDI project The Power of Words. Project leader, Dr. Jacqueline Borsje, talked about some of the benefits and problems concerning the role of digital resources in analyzing ‘words of power’. Alfalab team members participating in this project, Anne Beaulieu and Smiljana Antonijevic, focused on challenges of e-research in the humanities scholarship, as well as on the importance of bottom-up initiatives.

28 Digital Humanties Projects awarded NEH grants

Monday, September 6th, 2010

National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) has announced 28 new awards from the Digital Humanities Start-Up Grants program.  These grants support innovative projects in the digital humanities.

Here is the list of awarded projects.

Alfalab at Knowledge Exchange workshop on VREs

Tuesday, July 20th, 2010

Alfalab was recently presented at an international workshop Virtual Research Environments – the next steps. The workshop was held in Rotterdam on June23-24, 2010 and it was prepared and organized by the Knowledge Exchange working group on Virtual Research Environments.

The main aim of the workshop was to extend international dialogue and promote the development of VREs led by researcher needs. The sub-groups concentrated on the following four key themes: technological challenges; organisation & concepts ; researcher needs ; strategic issues.

    Alfalab microtoponym expert meeting

    Friday, April 30th, 2010

    On Monday April 8th the first Alfalab microtoponym expert meeting was held at the Meertens Instituut in Amsterdam. Here is the list of participants and summary report of the meeting: verslag Alfalab Microtopiemen EM 8-4-2010. And here are the presentations held during this meeting: Charles van de Heuvel, Rob Zeeman, Gerke Hoogstra and Douwe Zeldenrust.

    Alfalab at HASTAC 2010 conference

    Monday, April 26th, 2010

    Alfalab has recently been presented at the HASTAC 2010 conference Grand Challenges and Global Innovation, hosted by the Institute for Computing in Humanities, Arts, and Social Science at the University of Illinois.

    This entirely web-based conference was held in a multiplicity of digital spaces instigated from sites across the globe, and it brought together renown scholars and institutions in the field of digital humanities. The entire conference program, presentations and discussions are available at

    At this conference, Alfalab team was presented in a talk titled Crossing the Unexpected: Benefits and Challenges of Scholarly Collaboration in a Humanities Lab.

    Alfalab at the Computational Turn

    Thursday, March 11th, 2010

    The Computational Turn workshop, held at Swansea University on March 9, 2010, featured keynote addresses by Katherine Hayles and Lev Manovich, and presented a set of contemporary projects and ideas in the field of digital humanities. Through stimulating presentations and discussions, the workshop participants have jointly shed light on methodological, epistemological and other questions relevant in the modern-day digital humanities endeavor.

    An underlying workshop theme—what patterns may be yielded through computational analyses and how do they relate to meaning sought in the humanities—gave rise to important questions and various stances regarding the ‘computational turn’ in contemporary scholarship. For instance, in an interesting cross-fertilization of expertise, humanities scholars have highlighted the rewards of ‘distant reading’ in literary, legal and other texts, while computer scientists have brought to light the significance of ‘close reading’ related to code and software. Similarly, the well-known motif ‘what can computation do for humanities’ has constructively been rephrased into less commonly asked yet ever increasingly important question ‘what can humanities do for computing’, and in reflexive deliberation on ‘what can computation do to humanities’.

    A broad spectrum of contributions from the social sciences, humanities and computer science presented at the workshop confirmed that ‘the computational turn’ largely exceeds insular focusing on computation and, instead, requires a comprehensive understanding of epistemological, methodological and socio-cultural implications arising from such a turn.

    At this workshop, the Alfalab members, Joris van Zundert and Smiljana Antonijevic, presented a collaborative piece ‘Cultures of Formalization’ written by Joris van Zundert, Smiljana Antonijevic, Anne Beaulie, Karina van Dalen-Oskam, Douwe Zeldenrust and Tara Andrews.

    Cultural Heritage Online Conference Proceedings Available

    Tuesday, February 23rd, 2010

    The official Conference Proceedings of an international conference Cultural Heritage Online – Empowering Users: An Active Role of User Communities are now available online, at

    The conference was jointly organized by the Italian Ministry for Cultural Heritage, the US Library of Congress, and the Foundation Rinascimento Digitale, and it brought together renowned scholars in the field of digital humanties, such as Dan Cohen,  Laura Campbell, Daniel Teruggi, John Unsworth, and many others.

    At the conference, Alfalab team member, Smiljana Antonijevic, presented her work on trust in online interaction, now also available in the Conference Proceedings.

    Digging into Data Challenge Winners

    Friday, December 4th, 2009

    An international grant competition Digging into Data Challenge, sponsored by the Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC), the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), the National Science Foundation (NSF), and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC), has announced the 2009 Awardees. The following eight projects have been selected as the new grant winners:

    Structural Analysis of Large Amounts of Music Information

    Digging into the Enlightenment: Mapping the Republic of Letters

    Using Zotero and TAPoR on the Old Bailey Proceedings: Data Mining with Criminal Intent

    Towards Dynamic Variorum Editions

    Digging into Image Data to Answer Authorship Related Questions

    Harvesting Speech Datasets for Linguistic Research on the Web

    Railroads and the Making of Modern America—Tools for Spatio-Temporal Correlation, Analysis, and Visualization

    Mining a Year of Speech

    For more information see

    Cultural Heritage Online

    Tuesday, December 1st, 2009

    An international conference Cultural Heritage Online – Empowering Users: An Active Role of User Communities will be held on 15-16 December 2009 in Florence, Italy. The conference is jointly organized by the Italian Ministry for Cultural Heritage, the US Library of Congress, and the Foundation Rinascimento Digitale.

    Observing that the Internet continues to have a significant impact on cultural heritage and humanist research communities—by affecting the way they work, use, exchange and produce knowledge—this conference explores, analyzes, and evaluates the state of the art and future trends in cultural contents on the web.

    The conference addresses a wide range of issues within the main topics of Cultural Heritage and Interactive Web, Digital Humanities, Digital Preservation and the like, and it brings together prominent international scholars, such as Dan Cohen, the George Mason University professor and the Director  of the Center for History and New Media; Laura Campbell, the Director of the National Digital Library of the Library of Congress; Daniel Teruggi, the Head of Research and Coordinator of the Presto Space project, Institut national de l’Audiovisuel, and many other experts in the field of digital humanities.

    At the conference plenary session, the Alfalab team member, Smiljana Antonijevic, will present her work on trust in online Interaction.

    Rare items from Shakespeare’s age go digital

    Monday, November 30th, 2009

    Experts from King’s College London and the University of Reading are currently making the largest collection of material on professional theatre and dramatic performance in the age of Shakespeare and many other leading playwrights available online.

    From 25 November fascinating and rare items will be available to view free at These include the only surviving records of theatre box office receipts for any play by Shakespeare, and the 1600 contract to build the Fortune Theatre in London, listing the layout and design of the Globe Theatre, where Shakespeare’s company performed.

    For more information see: