Applications to attend this event have now closed.

13 November 2019, Brisbane

As part of our 50th anniversary celebrations, the Academy is delighted to partner with the QUT Digital Media Research Centre to host a special event for early career humanities researchers.

The Digital Media, Digital Methods and the Humanities Workshop will be held on Wednesday 13 November 2019 at QUT’s Kelvin Grove campus in Brisbane. This interactive full day workshop will bring together humanities Higher Degree Research students and Early Career Researchers to develop new skills and critical methods of studying for our rapidly changing digital media environments and increasingly datafied societies.

Drawing on the experience of QUT’s Digital Media Research Centre and their leading digital humanities researchers, the workshop will combine theoretical provocations with hands-on instruction in specific methods and techniques. Participants will have an opportunity to discuss their own research priorities and projects and seek advice about how to conduct social and cultural research with digital media in rigorous, innovative, and ethically sound ways.


9:00am – Welcome

9:15am – Information Visualisation for Text-Based Social Data 

Visualisations are helping to reveal previously hidden patterns and trends in social datasets, such as conversation transcripts between carers and people living with dementia, and in Twitter interest-based communities. The  availability of powerful software packages which can produce easily customised visualisations has helped proliferate their use across the humanities.  Visualisations are being used to help analyse and communicate findings of thematic change and prominence in various social forums and platforms (such as Twitter and YouTube), to analyse news discourse at national and international scale, and to visualise single conversations to discover patterns of conceptual exchange between interlocutors. While there is much to be gained from the continued development and use of visualisation in humanities research, there is also room for caution, to ensure that visualisations meet the expectations of researchers and their audience and that best practice is followed in their design and application. This interactive workshop will be a forum to discuss  current and emerging visualisation methods, practice, and theory specifically in the analysis of textual social data. Examples and training in the use of software for creating visualisations will be offered. Participants will be encouraged to bring their own text data, but datasets will also be provided for worked examples.

  • Daniel Angus is Associate Professor of Digital Communication in the School of Communication at Queensland University of Technology. His research focuses on the development of visual computational analysis methods for communication data, with a specific focus on conversation data.

11:00am – Morning break

11:30am – The App Walkthrough

Software applications (apps) are the site of significant sociocultural and economic transformations across many domains, from health and relationships to entertainment and finance. As relatively closed systems, apps pose methodological challenges for digital media research. In this session, we will discuss the walkthrough method approach, which combines cultural studies and science and technology studies (STS) as a lens for critical app analysis. Participants will learn how to establish an app’s environment of expected use by assessing its vision, operating model, and modes of governance. They will also gain hands-on experience using the walkthrough technique to systematically step through the stages of registration, everyday use, and discontinuation to identify the app’s embedded cultural meanings and implied ideal users, as well as to identify traces of its data flows and algorithmic logics.

  • Jean Burgess is a Professor of Digital Media and Director of the QUT Digital Media Research Centre. Her research focuses on the uses, cultures and politics of digital media technologies and platforms, as well as new and innovative methods for studying them.

1:15pm – Lunch

1:45pm – Digital Methods, Digital Ethics

The expanding horizon of research in digital media has thrown up a broad array of ethical issues and dilemmas researchers need to grapple with and institutional ethics review boards may see as particularly challenging. In this workshop, we review existing ethical frameworks for doing digital media research and examine a range of ethical issues that emerge at the levels of method, platform, data, tool, and visualisation. We will focus in on a couple of case studies—including ethical considerations in studying dating apps. Participants will be able to discuss  the ethical digital dilemmas their own projects have raised, how they have been resolved,  and what, if any, challenges they encountered in receiving institutional ethics approval to conduct their research.

  • Peta Mitchell is the Research Training Coordinator in the Digital Media Research Centre and an Associate Professor in the School of Communication at Queensland University of Technology. Her research focuses on digital geographies, location awareness and mobile media, algorithmic culture, and network contagion.
  • Elija Cassidy is a member of the Digital Media Research Centre and Senior Lecturer in the School of Communication at the Queensland University of Technology. His research focuses on cultures and practices of everyday digital technology use, non-use and resistant appropriation, with particular emphasis on digital equality and inclusion.

3:30pm – Concluding comments

4:00pm – Close

Participants are invited to attend the curtain raiser event of the 50th Symposium, the Academy’s 9th Hancock Lecture — Maaya Waabiny: Mobilising song archives to nourish an endangered language — by early career researcher Associate Professor Clint Bracknell from Edith Cowan University’s Kurongkurl Katitjin Centre for Indigenous Australian Education and Research, commencing 5:00pm at the Griffith University Art Museum, South Bank Brisbane.