Humanist Discussion Group

Humanist Archives: June 26, 2021, 8:30 a.m. Humanist 35.110 - pubs cfp: Multilingual Digital Humanities

              Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 35, No. 110.
        Department of Digital Humanities, University of Cologne
                      Hosted by DH-Cologne
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        Date: 2021-06-25 11:12:50+00:00
        From: Spence, Paul <>
        Subject: Call for Abstracts for edited volume on 'Multilingual Digital Humanities'

Dear colleagues,

Please find below information on a call for contributions to an edited volume
that may be of interest.

Call for Book Chapter Proposals: Multilingual Digital Humanities

Guest editors: Dr Lorella Viola (University of Luxembourg) and Paul Spence
(King's College London).

This edited volume will explore the contemporary and future relevance of
multilingualism (and its cultural impact) in DH practices.

In recent years, greater awareness around issues of power, archival biases,
silences in the archives, and lack of language diversity within the context of
digitisation has developed not just in archival studies, but also in digital
humanities (DH), digital history, and digital heritage (see for instance
McPherson 2019; Earhart 2019; Risam 2015; Noble 2019; Mandell 2019).
Nevertheless, computational resources available for languages other than English
continue to remain on the whole scarce. Such Anglophone-centricity acts as a
barrier to researchers, teachers and curators who work on, or teach with,
materials in languages other than English. Indeed, the comparative lack of
computational resources in other languages often dictates which tasks can be
performed, with which tools and through which platforms (Viola and Fiscarelli
2021). Moreover, even when adaptations for other languages may be possible,
identifying which changes should be implemented and perhaps more importantly,
understanding the impacts that these may have, is often unclear (Fiormonte 2012,
Mahoney 2018, Mullaney 2017). This typically means that one must inevitably make
methodological compromises which are less than ideal.

But digital monolingualism does not have just methodological repercussions for
the field. Because most of the large-scale digitisation programs have been
carried out in the United States and in Europe, digital ecosystems equally
suffer from a lack of geo-cultural diversity and DH practices outside the Global
North continue to be heavily under-represented. The direct consequence of this
linguistic and cultural polarisation is that geo-culturally peripheral work and
minority voices are largely excluded from the wider scholarly conversation, thus
inevitably perpetuating selection biases.

This edited volume will explore the contemporary and future relevance of
multilingualism (and its cultural impact) in DH practices. The volume aims to
bring together, advance, and reflect on recent work on the social and cultural
relevance of multilingualism for scholarship, pedagogy, and public engagement
around digital resources, methods, platforms, infrastructures, and computational
tools in the context of DH. It answers the urgent need for approaching the
digital not as something which is 'transparent' or 'inanimate' but as a
culturally situated and organic entity embedding past, present, and future
worlds which reacts to and impacts on institutional and methodological
frameworks for knowledge creation.

We therefore welcome contributions that address the following and related

  *   Theoretical reflections on digital transdisciplinary approaches to
multilingual and digital research (and its intercultural implications);
  *   The development and application of multilingual and multicultural digital
methods and infrastructures;
  *   Research into the nature and implications of studying diverse forms and
processes of multilingual and multicultural research in the digital space for
instance in the context of translation studies, transborder and transcultural
studies, language pedagogy and education;
  *   Multilingual challenges in the application of NLP in humanities and social
sciences research;
  *   Low resourced, minoritized or endangered languages in a digital space;
  *   More critical reflections about the contours and geolinguistically-framed
definitions of 'digital' especially with reference to multilingualism in DH

The guest editors are Dr Lorella Viola (C²DH - University of Luxembourg) and
Paul Spence (King's College London). Proposals should include paper title, the
presenter's name, contact information, and institutional affiliation and should
be no more than 500 words in length (including references). Collaboratively
authored submissions are welcome. Please send your contribution for
consideration to both<> and<> by 6 September 2021 at the
latest. Authors of accepted abstracts will be invited to send full contributions
by 15 March 2022.

We have agreement with Routledge to develop a proposal for this edited volume,
which would be featured in their series Digital Research in the Arts and
Humanities. This series, one of the first and most highly regarded in the field,
covers a wide range of disciplines and provides an authoritative reflection of
the 'state of the art' in the application of computing and technology. The
titles in this peer-reviewed series are critical reading not just for experts in
digital humanities and technology issues, but for all scholars working in arts
and humanities who need to understand the issues around digital research.
Full Call for Abstracts (including Bibliography) at

We look forward to receiving your contributions.

Lorella and Paul
Paul Spence
Senior Lecturer, Department of Digital Humanities
King's College London | Strand | London | WC2R 2LS
Twitter: @politonaiz

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