DH-IGNITE, a catalyst for new ideas
This post was contributed by Anusha Sewchurran (Lecturer, Faculty of Arts and Design, Durban University of Technology).
I was introduced (by chance) to Digital Humanities (DH) a few years ago when I walked into Prof Langa Khumalo’s office at North-West University for an entirely unrelated issue. He generously invited me to a DH event and I could not believe I had missed this discourse. The DH community welcomed me and were generous in sponsoring my students to attend training and DH events.
What was great about DH-IGNITE KZN is that it occurred after the lockdown. Covid-19 really constricted the natural uptake of DH tools and projects suffered. At this event, I met people from my own institution, some known online, others not known. It was great to put a face to a name. I met people from other institutions, two of whom are joining the DUT staff as contact teaching assistants. In addition, we forged some beautiful links to regional institutions.
Where Covid interrupted the conversation, DH-IGNITE got it going again. Meeting new people and reconnecting with colleagues has catalysed new ideas for future projects. The presentations were generous in sharing processes and knowledge, which gives one the courage to take that next step.
It is time to return to the DH trajectory of learning and teaching. I feel very hopeful that I will be able to expose students to DH in the near future.