Presentations and demos on everything from citation techniques and transcription tools, to digital rock art archives and avatars using sign language – Huminfra's first conference, HiC 2024, offered a well-stocked smorgasbord from the infrastructure's wide range of activities.
Text: Anna Blåder
"The interest in the conference was much greater than we had initially thought, which confirms that the support that Huminfra can offer in digital and experimental humanities is in demand. There were many interesting talks and demonstrations from several of Huminfra's nodes, which we will continue to work with for a planned Huminfra handbook," says Professor Coppelié Cocq, Assistant Director of Huminfra and Assistant Director of Humlab.
HiC 2024 took place on 10–11 January, 2024 at the University of Gothenburg, where two of Huminfra's 12 nodes are located: Språkbanken Text and Gothenburg Research Infrastructure in Digital Humanities (GRIDH). Conference chair Elena Volodina, researcher and Associate professor at Språkbanken Text, explains that the conference was planned as a kind of open survey of what Huminfra's members can offer to digital and experimental humanities, as a way to identify potential contributions to a planned Huminfra handbook.
“The handbook will be a kind of textbook for users of Huminfra, where existing tools and infrastructural components will be presented through step-by-step guidelines.”
Preparing the application for DARIAH-EU membership
Part of the programme was dedicated to the European consortium for cultural heritage data, DARIAH-EU (The Digital Research Infrastructure for the Arts and Humanities), to which Huminfra is preparing an application for national membership. Toma Tasovac, Director of DARIAH-EU, gave a keynote on the challenges of building infrastructures for the Humanities, which was followed by a panel discussion. The Swedish Research Council was also present during the day.
“It was very valuable to meet DARIAH-EU on site together with the Swedish Research Council. DARIAH got a clearer picture of the breadth of Huminfra, which includes cultural heritage data and digital humanities as well as language technology, behavioural research, and experimental methods. In turn, we were able to ask questions about membership directly to DARIAH. And the presence of the Swedish Research Council meant that we solved many questions on the spot”, says Huminfra's director Marianne Gullberg, Professor of Psycholinguistics at Lund University.
Now that the conference is over, work on the handbook begins in earnest and in the next few months, all HiC 2024 contributors will be invited to submit chapters.