Attending the Venice Ca’ Foscari’s Digital Humanities Summer School

Marjotte Miles, Economic and Social History, University of Liverpool (2020 Cohort)

Last July, I was fortunate to be selected alongside 24 other students and early career researchers to attend the 2022 Venice Digital Humanities Summer School. Organised by the Ca’ Foscari’s Centre for Digital and Public Humanities, the week-long program aimed to provide attendants with in-depth training in theories and technologies to enrich the study of historical monuments, artefacts and textual sources. Teaching formats included lectures, hands-on workshops, guided tours and experimental performances.

The program was varied, ranging from the study of textual scholarship to the use of photogrammetry, and the analysis of multimedia humanities datasets. One full day of the program was dedicated to the study of natural language processing. It included a hands- on exercise where we were introduced to a series of computational linguistic methods to analyse different poems as well as Venetian manuscripts. The third day focused on the role of technology in the context of endangered cultural heritage.

Having just finished my MA in Digital Humanities at Lancaster University and currently starting my PhD at the University of Liverpool in collaboration with the National Museums of Liverpool, I was particularly excited to attend the sessions on museum-based digital strategies. Having spent some time thinking about the implications of digital museography, a visit to Venice’s Grimani Palace and Mestre’s recently opened M9 museum allowed us to think more practically about different devices and strategies put in place by cultural institutions to improve public engagement and access to their collection.

The last day included a visit to Venice’s 2022 Art Biennale and offered an opportunity to think about new media concepts such as surveillance through a series of interventions from scholars using digital media in their research. I was grateful to share this experience with students who were studying a variety of disciplines, especially in such a beautiful setting!

The programme was generously funded by the hosting institution, the Ca’ Foscari. I am deeply grateful to the NWSSDTP Research Training Support Grant for covering travel costs to allow me to attend the summer school.

Twitter: @MarjotteMiles

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