Digital Day of Ideas 2017

Join us at the University of Edinburgh on 17 May 2017 for the sixth annual Digital Day of Ideas, a day symposium showcasing the best of recent work in digital scholarship which gives members of the university community the opportunity to connect with others working on digital scholarship.

As well as keynotes from scholars at the forefront of the digital humanities, participants will have the opportunity to try out some digital tools for themselves with hands-on workshops.

The Day will be held at the Business School, 29 Buccleuch Place, Edinburgh, ED8 9JS. Attendance is free, and all members of staff and postgraduate students are welcome: booking is now open.

Keynote Speakers

Professor Susan Brown
Canada Research Chair in Collaborative Digital Scholarship (University of Guelph/University of Alberta)
“This Identity Which is Not One: Intersectionality and Difference in a Linked Data World”

Definitions of identity stress sameness, lack of change, essence, or oneness, but online identities are multiple and fractured, with personas, avatars, and online selves shaped by different contexts and platforms. Always already relational, they seem to reflect feminist theories of identity as constructed, performative, multiple, situated, and intersectional. Yet within digital systems, social identities are susceptible to treatments that are at one end of the spectrum highly reductive in their affordances for self-representation and at the other so sophisticated that they exceed the knowledge and control of the human subject. This paper presents work towards digital representations that reflect the complexities of identities and the politics of their representation but that are also machine readable as semantic web or linked data. Despite the challenges, advancing nuanced representations of identities is both practically and politically crucial to how identities circulate in an increasingly mediated world.

Dr Jen Ross
Senior Lecturer in Digital Education and Co-Director of the Centre for Research in Digital Education (University of Edinburgh)
“Learning with Digital Provocations”

One of the most significant tensions in the convergence of technology and education is how the promise/threat of ‘disruption’ comes up against theories, practices and structures of formal and informal education. Disruption in educational technology contexts has come to be aligned with neo-liberal discourses of efficiency, enhancement, personalisation, scale and automation; and we can be forgiven for cynicism about its critical and creative potential in education. This talk aims to reanimate the debate by reframing disruption in terms of inventiveness, provocation, uncertainty and the concept of ‘not-yetness’. Focusing on the recent AHRC-funded Artcasting project, and with other examples drawn from the work of the Centre for Research in Digital Education at the University of Edinburgh, it argues that inventive digital approaches can help us develop critical responses to assumptions about the role of the digital in contexts including higher education, museums and galleries.


    • An Introduction to Digital Manufacture (Mike Boyd, uCreate Studio, Edinburgh)
    • Introduction to Databases, with MariaDB & Navicat (Bridget Moynihan, Edinburgh)
    • Learning to Code with Python (Xavier Rubio-Campillo, Edinburgh)
    • Building a Digital Presence with Domain of One’s Own (Karen Gregory, Sociology & Stuart Nicol, Information Services)
    • Obtaining and Working with Facebook Data (Simon Yuill)
    • An Introduction to Working on the Command Line (Ben Soares, EDINA)
    • Bring Your Own Research: A Data and Digital Conundrums Clinic (Lisa Otty, EDINA)
    • From Smart to Wise Copyright Contracts: Law for Digital Humanities, Digital Humanities for Law (Burkhard Schafer, Law)
    • Processing Sound for Research (Martin Parker, Music)
    • Introduction to Network Analysis: Collecting and Visualising Network Data (Gil Viry and Mark Wong)
    • Crowdsourcing and Citizen Science for Data Collection and Coding (James Stewart and Eugénia Rodrigues)


For further details of workshops and to book, see this page.

Programme (subject to change)

9am Coffee & registration
9.20am Welcome
9.30am Keynote 1: Susan Brown (Chair: Anouk Lang)
10.30am Tea/coffee
11am Keynote 2: Jen Ross (Chair: Philippa Sheail)
12 noon Lunch
1pm Workshops (parallel sessions)
3pm Tea/coffee
3.30pm Closing roundtable
4.15pm Reception
5.30pm Close

Book your place at the 2017 Digital Day of Ideas through Eventbrite here, and register for a workshop here.