Fourth Annual Global Digital Humanities Symposium Set for March 21-22

The Digital Humanities at MSU (DH@MSU) program is hosting its fourth annual Global Digital Humanities Symposium Thursday, March 21, and Friday, March 22, at the MSU Main Library. This year’s symposium will focus on migration, settlement, and mapping as a social justice approach to communicate information about where people have been historically, where they are now, and how they claim their space.

“It is valuable and important to have the symposium in MSU’s Library because we want to collaborate with them and bring a conversation and conference to a space that is grounded in open knowledge and gives access to everyone,” said Kristen Mapes, Assistant Director of Digital Humanities in MSU’s College of Arts & Letters. “That is something DH@MSU values at its core.”

This year, one of the keynote talks will be jointly delivered by Sylvia Fernández and Maria Álvarez, both Ph.D. candidates at the University of Houston and collaborators on the Borderlands Archives Cartography and Torn Apart/Separados projects. The second keynote talk will come from representatives of the Native Land project.

It is important to have the symposium in MSU’s Library because we want to bring a conversation to a space that is grounded in open knowledge and gives access to everyone. That is something  DH@MSU values at its core.

Kristen Mapes, Assistant Director of Digital Humanities

“Having joint presentations highlights working together and the team-based aspect of this symposium,” Mapes said.  

The symposium also will feature speakers from around the world including Russia, Tanzania, Finland, and India via digital presentations.

“We added these dedicated digital presenters to keep the symposium global,” Mapes said. “We are striving to find a balance between sharing work and bringing people into the conversation who are from across the globe, but we are keeping expenses in mind. Knowing that not everyone can attend, we are finding a balance between the magic that can happen in person and the global reach that we can access.”

As many as 50 people plan to virtually attend, which has grown from previous years, and around 100 people plan to attend in person.

“The symposium could handle a bit more growth, but we feel that there is value in keeping it small,” Mapes said. “We are dedicated to keeping it around this size so that we can build a strong global community. We want everyone to be able to be in one room together.”

Having joint presentations highlights working together and the team-based aspect of this symposium.

Kristen Mapes, Assistant Director of Digital Humanities

Different than in past years, this year’s symposium will have a built-in community-building discussion after lunch on the second day.

“The idea behind this is to focus on how the things that we are building for the conference can be sustained,” Mapes said. “This will be open to our attendees and participants so that we can ask what they want to see because we value their feedback. We are thinking about all of this as the global grounded in local work.”

Attendance is free and open to the public, but registration is required to guarantee your spot. Registration is open until Friday, March 15.

For those who are unable to attend, the entire symposium will be live-streamed on the MSU Digital Humanities YouTube page. You also can follow along and join the conversation on Twitter at #msuglobalh and #msudh

For more information, including the full schedule of events, visit the Global Digital Humanities Symposium website.