The 10th European Summer University in Digital Humanities, organised by the University of Leipzig, was held on July 22 – August 2. During two weeks of intense workshops, lectures and poster sessions, participants had the opportunity to dive into the topics of Humanities Computing and Digital Humanities in the broad sense and develop their own projects. Under the topic of ‘Culture and Technology’, the topics of the Summer University varied from XML-TEI encoding to Humanities Data and Mapping Environments.
This year, DARIAH-EU was one of the sponsors of the European Summer University in Digital Humanities granting 11 tuition fellowships which were awarded to doctoral students and young scholars to cover their participation fees. The evaluation committee gave priority to applicants from Eastern and Southeastern European Countries. Overall, DARIAH-EU funded 9 female and 2 male doctoral students from Spain, Italy, Israel, Georgia, Germany, Portugal, Czech Republic and Serbia.
The funded participants reported back highlighting the diversity they have experienced in the Summer University in terms of research topics, research methodologies and cultures. Apart from gaining new insights and being inspired by the workshop and panel discussions, the participants valued highly the networking opportunities, the new in-depth knowledge they acquired on methodologies and tools, the support they received and the organisation of the whole event.
This is what few of them reported back from their Summer University experiences:
The Summer School of Digital Humanities in Leipzig, Germany, represents an extraordinary opportunity for Czech students and advanced researchers to acquire the latest technologies for research in the humanities…During 36 lessons, it offered 11 diverse courses for more than 70 participants (stylometry, text analysis, map creation, Python analysis, project management).Jan Škvrňák, Czech Republic
We worked on very similar projects, but had a different approach in each case depending on the methodology of our own discipline. This fact provided a unique opportunity to exchange ideas and to look at one’s own work from completely new perspectives…
For me, the Summer University was a great experience, from which I profited personally and professionally immensely. The program was very intensive – two weeks packed with lectures and workshops, some of which had to be followed up in the evening. But it is precisely because you work intensively on a topic every day for two weeks that you have the opportunity to develop a solid basis for the topic in a short time.Lilly Osburg, Germany
I also have to mention the networking culture and connection opportunities during the ESU…There are many opportunities to contact people, to exchange ideas, to plan new cooperative projects and to just make new friends … After these amazing two weeks I always feel more motivated and open-minded, because I can see how people work and how much they know. It is amazing and drives me to do more and to think more creatively about my research topic.
Also, this kind of summer university is even more influential for students coming from countries like Georgia (Eastern European Countries), because we obviously have fewer opportunities to learn about DH or to connect with people as easily as in Central Europe. Also, there is a pragmatic side, in that it is much more expensive for us as we are lacking choices in scholarships. Thus, I want to thank DARIAH-EU (and all the other organizations and foundations that offer scholarships for ESU participants), because it was not only about knowledge and studying. ESU has been a life-changing experience for me.Mariam Matiashvili, Georgia
The panel session was an opportunity for me, being one of the eight participants, to discuss with the audience about the means to question established knowledge, to position knowledge in a new way, and to create new knowledge in Digital Humanities.Maxim Lengo, Israel
This year, it was exciting to see that the ESU continues to foster a broader conversation that welcomes international perspectives on DH, including keynote speakers from Brazil, Russia, and Cameroon. This culminated in a panel on “The Responsibilities of the Digital Humanities, which sparked a vital debate on the role, scope, and future of digital humanities research that continued outside of the room.Megan Cytron, Spain