DH Colloquiums

SADiLaR organizes monthly Digital Humanities colloquia. These typically take place on Wednesdays (in the middle of the month) from 10:00 to 11:00 SAST. During these DH colloquia a wide variety of topics are discussed, mostly on content related to Digital Humanities, sometimes focusing more on the techniques or methodologies used, sometimes focusing more on the applications or application areas.

The DH colloquia are part of Escalator's Explorer track. You can find more information on Escalator here: https://escalator.sadilar.org/, on Escalator's championship programme here: https://escalator.sadilar.org/champions/overview/, and on the Explorer track within Escalator's championship programme here: https://escalator.sadilar.org/champions/explorer/. Also check out the other tracks within the Escalator championship programme as there may be tracks directly related to your interests. If you want to be a member of the Digital Humanities community, you may also want to consider joining the DHCSSza Slack. This page will provide more information on how to join (this is also free): https://escalator.sadilar.org/connect/.

If you have suggestions for speakers at the DH colloquium (or if you want to speak yourself), or if you want to provide feedback, please do not hesitate to contact Prof Menno van Zaanen: menno.vanzaanen@nwu.ac.za.






Depp vs Heard: a Digital-Hermeneutics Approach to Trust in Online Culture
There seems to be a surplus of both trust and distrust in contemporary media culture. On the one hand, we place great trust in the platforms that govern and structure our online lives. We rely on algorithms to organize our lives and make decisions for us. We fall prey to confirmation bias and filter bubbles, which we might characterize as an overly trusting attitude towards (human and/or technological) others. On the other, increasing political, ideological, and epistemological polarization in culture means we can be deeply suspicious of others outside our ideological communities, and trust in experts is waning in certain communities. Radicalizing content and he mainstreaming of conspiracy thought only contribute to a deep-seated distrust of groups outside of the own community, and of things as they seem.

In this presentation, I will look at the trust- part of this equation, through the lens of what Paul Ricoeur has called the ‘hermeneutics of faith’. In Freud and Philosophy, Ricoeur contrasts the hermeneutics of suspicion with readers who come at a text with hopes of revelation. He identifies this strand of hermeneutics in the phenomenology of religion and its symbolic language. The interpreter feels herself addressed by the text and unveils or unmasks its meaning with an attitude of reverence, according to a logic of revelation. I argue that hermeneutics today has migrated from a range of philosophical theories and approaches in literary studies, to pervasive practices in online culture at large that warrant scholarly reflection. In this case, these include echo chambers, filter bubbles, and the so-called ‘guru effect’, and in general in the often blind trust that we put in the platforms that govern our lives.

Then, I examine the role that trust plays in online discussions on the notorious case of the trial of Johnny Depp versus his ex-wife Amber Heard. I look at a corpus of posts and comments from Reddit using an approach called 'digital hermeneutics' (Van de Ven & Van Nuenen, 2022), which is inspired by Gadamer's dialogical hermeneutics. It consists of a 'scaled reading' on five different scales: platform hermeneutics; contextual reading; distant reading; hyper-reading (concordance views); and close reading.
Speaker: Inge van de Ven




Inge van de Ven

Change my view? a Digital-Hermeneutics Approach to Dialogism in Online Culture


13 September 2023


Amandla Ngwendu and Jacques De Wet

Building the IsiXhosa Intellectual Traditions Digital Archive: Challenges & Solutions


16 August 2023


Karolina Rudnicka

Can Grammarly and ChatGPT accelerate language change? AI-powered technologies and their impact on the English language: wordiness vs. conciseness


19 July 2023


Geesje van den Berg and Lebo Mudau

Postgraduate student involvement as co-developers of sustainable OER


14 June 2023


Barbara McGillivray

Publishing data papers in the humanities: my experience from the Journal of Open Humanities Data


17 May 2023


Imke van Heerden

Making Strange: Co-Creating Afrikaans Poetry with a Boutique Language Model


12 April 2023


Hiwa Asadpour and Arash Amani

An NLP method in the corpus analysis of Central Kurdish definiteness marker


15 March 2023


Elsabé Taljard, Danie Prinsloo, and Michelle Goosen

Creating electronic resources for African languages: challenges and opportunities


15 February 2023


Thea Pitman and Janet C.E. Watson

CELCE: Playing Green Games: micha cárdenas’s Sin Sol / No Sun


25 January 2023


Annemi Conradie

How to hang paintings on digital walls: processes and challenges of translating a physical art exhibition into a virtual showcase on the Kunstmatrix platform


16 November 2022


Yliana Rodríguez and Luis Chiruzzo

Considering language varieties and language contact in Natural Language Processing and Machine Translation: the case of Guarani


12 October 2022


Gordon Matthew

Measuring the impact of subtitles on cognive load


14 September 2022


Sibonelo Dlamini

Cross-lingual transfer learning


17 August 2022


Anelda van der Walt and Anne Treasure

The ESCALATOR programme - a big vision for growing digital and computational skills and community in Humanities & Social Sciences


20 July 2022



Franziska Pannach

A short introduction to Digital Folkloristics


15 June 2022



Maria Keet

Natural Language Generation for Agglutinating African Languages - A brief overview 


18 May 2022


Amanda du Preez

Thinking Through Images: Approaching Aby Warburg and the Digital Arts and Humanities


4 May 2022



Emmanuel Ngué Um

When Ideologies we live by stand at odds with Digital Humanities collaboration


16 March 2022


Vanessa McBride

Big data, astronomy for development, and cross disciplinary collaboration


16 February 2022



Peter van Kranenburg

Computational Modelling in Musicology: The case of Medieval Chant


19 January 2022



Martin Benjamin

Towards valid linguistic measurement: The Kam4D Linguistic Knowledge Graph: Putting Smurfs, Ducks, Lemurs, and Party Terms to the Service of African Languages


17 November 2021




Karien van den Berg

Towards valid linguistic measurement: what digital humanities can bring to the forensic linguistic table and vice versa

13 October 2021



Marissa Griesel

Creating linguistic resources for use in digital humanities: notes from one proudly South African adventure


15 September 2021


Lizabé Lambrechts

Digital humanities and the archive: Looking at the challenges of taking the Hidden Years Music Archive online


11 August 2021

Vanessa Joosen


Constructing Age for Young Readers - A Digital Approach


14 July 2021


Iris Hendrickx


Getting to know people by automatic text analysis of talks and tweets


9 June 2021


Tunde Opeibi


Digital Humanities and African Scholarship: Exploring Opportunities, Embracing Challenges


19 May 2021


Barbara Bordalejo


A Historical Perspective on Digital Editions


14 April 2021

Viktor Schlegel


Deep learning for natural language processing


17 March 2021


Rachel Hendery (Western Sydney University)

Digital Humanities approaches to digitising, repatriating and exploring an historical Australian colonial archive 


17 February 2021


Umamaheswara Rao Garapati (University of Hyderabad, India)

Language Technology, a Bridge Spanning the Linguistic Divergence


20 January 2021

Ayodele James Akinola
Resources, scholarship and DH practice: Reflections on resilience and coping strategies of an African scholar


Martin Bekker (University of Johannesburg, Computational Social Science)

Everything I knew about protests was wrong


21 October 2020