The Digital Humanities Research Group is the home of staff and students who explore how computing and digital technologies offer new ways of understanding textual phenomena in the broadest sense. We are interested in investigating how new tools and methodologies yield a broad range of opportunities for reimagining literary studies. We deploy innovative ways of thinking about our world to tackle some of the key challenges facing society today, including threats to health and wellbeing, the rise of Artificial Intelligence and biases (including the unrecognised problem of digital inequality). We believe in the value of the critical-creative dialogue between pioneers of digital technology and the (literary) arts, humanities and social sciences to help us navigate potential human futures.
Our Research Group inspires interdisciplinary innovation and advanced critical thought. We offer learning and training across all levels of study with a view to empowering researchers to collaborate on experimental, speculative research and innovation. On a module such as ‘Literature in the Digital Age’, our BA students have the opportunity to study the ways in which literature allows us to think through pressing issues facing our culture today. On our MA, students are offered the opportunity to engage with the Digital Humanities and be introduced to Computational Literary Studies. Our PhDs are working on bleeding edge projects, including Black Disability in the Digital Age and a computational approach to the Beatles’ avant-garde semiology
We specialise in the following areas:
Digital Humanities Theory
Computational Literary Studies
- We are the UK’s first CLS Hub offering computational and stylometric analyses of a wide variety of corpora as well as training courses for upskilling humanities staff.
- Our AHRC funded Novel Perceptions research project uses computational linguistics and computational sociology to understand biases in today’s reading culture
- Dr Aidan Byrne’s Politicians’ Fiction project, a database of literature produced by politicians since Chaucer, uses computational analysis
- Beatles’ avant-garde semiology (PhD project by Megan Powell)
Creating and Mining online literary archives and large-scale digital libraries
- Our British Academy funded database Women’s Travel Writing, 1780-1840 is a unique resource for use by the general public as well as researchers,
- Dr Mark Jones’ and Dr Jerry Carlin’s Beatles’ Helter Skelter
Digitisation to plug data gaps
- Our researchers are passionate about pointing out and correcting (historical) gaps in knowledge.
- One example is Dr Daisy Black’s Breaking Bread research project that uses computational analysis to investigate the representation of food to pinpoint gender-biases in medieval society.
- Dr Nicola Allen is working on three overlooked Suffragette activists who are brought to life via the digitisation of diaries, data and other documents
Digital Living: Ethics, Inequality and Wellbeing
- C-TRUTH, an Anglo-Dutch project investigating citizens’ susceptibility to mis- and disinformation during the COVID-19 pandemic, collaborated with the UK’s Department of Digital, Culture, Media & Sport and the Dutch RIVM
- The Daiwai funded UN/REAL project that explores the intermingling of our off- and online experiences and the need to redefine out relationship to reality. Our Anglo-Japanese researchers discuss wellbeing issues such as (self-)isolation, stress, addiction, depression and fatigue. The aim is to generate innovative, transcultural knowledge for understanding and improving digital living. Key publications include Groes’s Ethics of Reading in the Digital Age and Health Warnings: Reading Kazuo Ishiguro in Times of Crisis.
- An agenda-setting conference on digital inequality which will take place with our partners at Oxford Brookes, 7 June, 2024
- Black Disability in the Digital Age(PhD-project by Samantha Phiri)
- Using CLS methods to help diagnose linguistic and cognitive impairment for people with acquired brain injury
- Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC)
- British Academy
- Arts Council
- Daiwa Foundation
- BBC Arts
- BBC Digital Planet
- Libraries Connected
- The Reading Agency
- The Haruki Murakami Library in Tokyo
- The Being Human Festival