Focus on Africa

Special focus on Africa

The ADHO conferences have long alternated between venues in North America and Western Europe. Only as recently as 2015, places in other parts of the world began to be selected as the venue. In that year, the University of Western Sydney (Australia) hosted the conference which brought to our global network of digital humanists many new faces from Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific. In 2016, the conference in Kraków (Poland) drew in many new participants from the Eastern parts of Europe. In 2017, the ADHO conference in Montreal (Canada) was the first explicitly bilingual conference, including both English and French. The 2018 conference in Mexico City extended linguistic and cultural outreach to Spanish and Portuguese-speaking DH scholars from Latin and South America.

The 2019 conference will return to Western Europe, in Utrecht (the Netherlands), where digital humanities has been thriving for many years. We anticipate the continuation of ADHO’s community expanding into new fields and new participants. The theme for DH 2019 is “Complexities,” which suits the very diverse situation in Europe and DH at large, and captures the challenge to develop across regions and represent more inclusive, global perspectives on scholarship and teaching.

To celebrate this theme, the Local Organisers have decided to build on their own scholarly connections to help open up the conference to scholars from an area that is still very much underrepresented in the DH community: Africa. Their existing collaborations with African scholars have shown them that the prominent research themes studied on the African continent cover the spectrum of DH topics in a somewhat different way than elsewhere. By drawing in scholars who would otherwise not opt or be able to participate, the Local Organisers hope to make these different approaches visible at the DH conference. Doing so is bound to broaden what we conceive of as DH.


Current plans

o  A workshop for African scholars (1-5 July 2019)
In the week before the DH2019 conference, the Lorentz Center in Leiden (The Netherlands) will host a satellite workshop aimed at the articulation of the specific developments in the field of DH that are taking shape in Africa and their potential to enhance the global DH agenda.  In addition, attention will be given to capacity building and the planning of ‘science4development’ initiatives. A call for nominations and applications from African scholars will be published soon. In the selection procedure extra weight will be attributed to applications from (co)authors of papers and posters accepted for the DH2019 conference programme. A limited number of grants to partly cover the costs for travel, accommodation during the workshop and the DH2019 conference fee can be applied for as well.

o  Extra bursaries for scholars from the African continent. (Procedure to be announced soon.)

Other plans are still under development.