Thursday, October 29

Day 2 Program

Coffee Quarantini (8:45-9:15 PDT)

Whatever time of day it is in your time zone, grab a beverage and come have informal conversations with other attendees at the conference!

Session 2.1 (9:30-10:45 PDT): Using DH Tools to Examine Neglected Indigenous Texts: Edward Ahenakew’s Old Keyam

Chair: Dory Nason (Associate Professor of Teaching, Critical Indigenous Studies, UBC-V)

Keynote Speaker: Deanna Reder (Associate Professor and Chair, Department of Indigenous Studies, Simon Fraser University)

Abstract: As part of the SSHRC funded The People and the Text: Indigenous Writing in Northern North America to 1992 our research team has given critical attention to a diverse set of texts by Indigenous authors in Canada including, for example, previously unpublished work by Secwepemc-Ktunaxa dramatherapist Vera Manuel, Inuit artist and writer Alootook Ipellie, and Métis activist James Brady. While some of the works we study have languished in archives or personal collections unread, some have been published but without consideration of the wishes of the author (eg. Maria Campbell’s Halfbreed). Given the colonial history of editing in Canada many original manuscripts by Indigenous authors merit examination to determine how much of their work was published as composed, what content was edited out, and how these changes affect the text. For this paper I will use Juxta and Variance Viewer to determine changes in the two versions of Cree writer Edward Ahenakew’s “Old Keyam”: the first composed in his lifetime (1885-1961) and the second published after his death, as part of Voices of the Plains Cree, released in 1973. Using Voyant tools I will be able to demonstrate the impact of the editorial decisions made on how we understand Ahenakew’s contribution to Indigenous writing in the first half of the twentieth-century in Canada; in addition, this method provides new ways to think of his corpus.

Session 2.2 (11:00-12:15 PDT): Collaboration Works Two Ways: Data Sovereignty and Representation in Indigenous-focussed Digital Humanities

Chair: Sarah Dupont (Librarian, X̱wi7x̱wa Library, UBC-V)


    • Courteney Durand, (Student, First Nations and Indigenous Studies, UBC) (nehiyaw, Métis, Dutch, and Ukrainian)
    • David Gaertner (Assistant Professor, Critical Indigenous Studies, UBC-V)
    • Gerry Lawson (Manager, Oral History and Language Lab, MOA)
    • Mark Turin (Associate Professor, Anthropology and Critical Indigenous Studies, UBC-V)
    • Maya Daurio (PhD Student, Anthropology, UBC-V)
    • Tricia Logan (Assistant Director of Research and Engagement, Residential School History and Dialogue Centre, UBC-V)
    • Jeffrey Ansloos (Assistant Professor and Canada Research Chair, Critical Studies in Indigenous Health, University of Toronto)

Abstract: Bringing together faculty, staff and students from across UBC’s Vancouver campus (including the Museum of Anthropology, Residential School History and Dialogue Centre, First Nations and Indigenous Studies, Institute for Critical Indigenous Studies and Department of Anthropology), this roundtable explores issues of collaboration, complicity and risk in digital projects that engage with Indigenous and other communities grappling with place and power on new media platforms. Whether it is the digitization of historical audio and moving images and their eventual dissemination online, the collection of Twitter data about Indigenous health, making visible survivors’ testimonies of Residential School experiences or harnessing cartography to spatialize representations of Indigenous languages and narratives of place, each of our panelists grapples with the complexities of ethical collaboration and digital visibility in online and digital spaces. With three Indigenous and three Settler contributors, we position this roundtable as a space for open and candid conversation about the potentials and pitfalls of the digital humanities in our research, including the technologies and methodologies that we envision for the future. We embrace the term ‘inspired practice’, introduced by the First Nations in BC Knowledge Network, to frame our discussion. In particular, we seek to move the conversation beyond the constraining and demotivating mantra of ‘best practice’, and thus acknowledge the emergent and contingent nature of technologies and the socio-political contexts in which they function.

Lunch Break (12:15-1:15 PDT)

Session 2.3 (1:15-2:30 PDT): Relationality, Respect, and Humility on the Internet: Digital Space as Indigenous Territory

Chair: Hannah Turner (iSchool, UBC-V)


    • Davis McKenzie (Principal at Toχʷoχʷ [Becoming Clear] Communications)
    • Harmony Johnson (Independant Consultant & Tla’amin First Nation)
    • Paige Raibmon (Professor, History, UBC-V)

Abstract: As I Remember It is an open-access digital book that shares teachings presented by the ɬaʔamɩn Elder and knowledge keeper Elsie Paul with wide-ranging audiences. Such efforts to bring Indigenous knowledge to the internet carry the potential for great promise and enormous pitfalls. In this roundtable, three of the four authors discuss their navigation of this context. Each speaker in turn will orient their comments around one of the book’s core teachings: relationality, respect, or humility. Using these principles as the basis of their deeply collaborative methodology, the authors have built an innovative digital space that they invite readers to approach as guests to ɬaʔamɩn territory. In this way, this digital space attempts to do something quite different than simply share information about Paul’s life. It challenges common assumptions about the biographical and historical forms, and structures a narrative that represents ɬaʔamɩn ways of knowing and being in the world.

Break (2:30-2:45 PDT)

Session 2.4 (2:45-4:45 PDT): Collaboration Roundtable

This session draws on the experience and expertise of DH researchers at universities across North America to inspire and inform decisions about the kind of DH infrastructure that might be possible at UBC-V.

Chair: Brett Eaton (Associate Dean of Arts-Research, UBC-V)

1. Collaboration Across the Multi-Campus University


    • Andrew S. Brown (Assistant Professor, English, Dalhousie University)
    • Elizabeth Parke (Senior Research Associate, Collaborative Digital Research, University of Toronto, Mississauga)

Abstract: This presentation examines the Digital Humanities Network (DHN) at the University of Toronto as a case study of successful models (and productive failures) for sustaining DH collaborations and communities of practice across multi-campus institutions. Focusing on several recent initiatives, it illustrates how the DHN has responded to the distinct demands of a large research university comprised of three distributed campuses, each possessing its own disciplinary landscape, governance structure, and clusters of DH activity. We emphasize the community-building potential of postdoctoral fellowships and research associate positions jointly funded across the three campuses; the benefits of modest funding competitions that give faculty and students the resources needed to pivot toward DH; and the impact of themed “Lightning Lunches,” in which researchers give short presentations before a question-and-answer session that ensures further knowledge-and resource-sharing. This discussion will ultimately offer a valuable set of models for fostering cross-campus collaborations at peer institutions globally.

2. Collaboration in the Middle


    • Frédérik Lesage (Associate Professor, School of Communication, Simon Fraser University)
    • Rémi Castonguay (Digital Scholarship Librarian, Library, SFU)
    • Joey Takeda (User Interface Developer, Digital Humanities Innovation Lab, SFU)
    • Michael Joyce (Web and Data Services Developer, Digital Humanities Innovation Lab, SFU)
    • Michelle Levy (Professor, English, SFU)

Abstract: This presentation will examine a variety of considerations, issues, and challenges associated with active and on-going Digital Humanities projects by drawing on the experiences of researchers and staff involved in the Digital Humanities Innovation Lab (DHIL) at Simon Fraser University. How do we sustain engagement with, allocate resources for, and support collaboration within mid-stage projects? The aim of the presentation is to explore the shifting nature of DH project’s needs over time, how projects might transition from active development to other stages such as data analysis and maintenance, and how best to meet the opportunities and challenges that arise during these transitions.

3. A Stable Environment for Ongoing Digital Humanities Collaboration

Speaker: Stewart Arneil (Manager, Humanities Computing and Media Centre, University of Victoria)

Abstract: This presentation describes the model of support for DH at the University of Victoria, with a focus on the Humanities Computing and Media Centre (HCMC). The HCMC is funded by the Faculty of Humanities and staffed entirely by what might be called alternative academic developers; it is a partner in many projects, but the academic leader in none. These (unusual) features create 1) a pragmatic sharing of resources, methods and people across contemporary projects, and 2) an institutional repository of experience, practice and resources growing over time to strengthen proposals and projects. Specific benefits for researchers, students, administrators, librarians and systems people will be identified. The presentation will close with a brief consideration of the optimal scale and scope of a facility such as the HCMC, and what’s required to make it a success.