Exploring digital and computational research in humanities & social sciences

8 - 10 March 2023

Lord Charles Hotel, Somerset West

Exploring digital and computational research in humanities & social sciences
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__8 - 10 March 2023__
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__Lord Charles Hotel, Somerset West__
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October 2022: DH-IGNITE - KwaZulu-Natal

120+ participants, 25 presenters, 15 sessions

What is DH-IGNITE?

DH-IGNITE is a regional event hosted by SADiLaR and the ESCALATOR programme aiming to support the development of an active community of practice in Digital Humanities (DH) and Computational Social Sciences (CSS) in South Africa.

  • 6 DH-IGNITE events to reach all 26 public universities across the country.
  • Participate in person or virtually.
  • We’ll talk about digital/computational methodologies in humanities and social sciences!

Image source: Digital humanities methodological commons (after McCarty & Short (2002); Obtained from: Anderson, Sheila & Blanke, Tobias & Dunn, Stuart. (2010). Methodological commons: arts and humanities e-Science fundamentals. Philosophical transactions. Series A, Mathematical, physical, and engineering sciences. 368. 3779-96. 10.1098/rsta.2010.0156.

What is DH-IGNITE?

Final Programme - Western Cape - March 2023

What can you expect?

Presentations & Lightning Talks
Interactivity & Discussions
Panel Sessions & Exhibition Booths

Who should attend?

Each event will be open to participants from the relevant regional South African institutions as listed on the respective event pages. Dedicated spaces will be available to representatives nominated by the Humanities & Social Sciences Dean or Library Director from each university.
Additional spaces will be available by application.


Humanities and social sciences researchers as well as computational researchers at all career stages


Humanties and social sciences lecturers interested in renewing curricula to include digital and computational components

Postgraduate students

Postgraduate students in humanities and social sciences and computational research wanting to grow their networks

Research management

Deans, directors, and other research managers keen to learn about opportunities for growing digital and computational research and sharing challenges

Librarians & archivists

Librarians and archivists involved in DH or CSS projects or supporting humanities and social sciences researchers

Research enablers

Anyone working in a humanities and social sciences research environment providing support or infrastructure for digital and computational research

Where is DH-IGNITE happening next?

DH-IGNITE Workshops

Workshop 1: Introduction to video and audio annotation with ELAN

Presenter: Prof Heather Brookes (Chair, Department of General Linguistics, Stellenbosch University)

Participants will gain experience in using ELAN to annotate video and audio recordings. No prior experience needed. ELAN (European Distributed Corpora Project Linguistic Annotator) is an annotation tool that allows users to create, edit, visualise and search annotations for video and audio data. ELAN is specifically designed for the analysis of language, sign language, and gestures, but it can be used for multi-media, video and/or audio data, for the purposes of annotation, analysis and documentation. Read more about ELAN at https://tla.mpi.nl/tools/tla-tools/elan/.

Workshop 1: Introduction to video and audio annotation with ELAN
Workshop 2: First steps to text mining

Presenter: Prof Menno van Zaanen (Digital Humanities Professor, SADiLaR)

In this workshop we will take a look at some fundamental skills that will get you started on your journey with text mining. To kick off, we will learn how to tell the computer what to search for. We will start out with simple search operations and explore their limitations. After that, we will look at more complex search operations. We will also introduce the first data wrangling steps for example converting text data into other formats for further processing. The workshop is accessible to humanities and social sciences students and researchers with no prior exposure to programming. We will not be covering any advanced text mining strategies or tools. Skills learned will be applicable in other aspects of research such as well, e.g. literature reviews.

Workshop 2: First steps to text mining

Ready to participate?

Applications for DH-IGNITE Western Cape are now closed

Please note that there are no costs involved to participate in DH-IGNITE. Conference fees for participants who are either nominated for participation by their faculties or library directors, or who are accepted through the open application system, will be sponsored by SADiLaR via the ESCALATOR programme.

Travel, accommodation, dinner, and other incidentals will be for faculties/departments/participants own cost.

Participants will have to sign a no-show fee form confirming that they will be liable to refund SADiLaR for conference costs should they not attend the conference without valid and timely communication with the programme team.

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