DH Virtual Discussion Group for ECRs in Belgium: Paavo Van der Eecken

Are you an early career researcher in the field of Digital Humanities or a student interested in DH approaches who would like to discuss DH with other early career researchers in the Belgian DH community? If so, you might be interested in joining the DH Virtual Discussion Group for ECRs

Our sessions this fall will continue the under-the-hood” format. In these sessions, a volunteer from our community provides a thirty-minute overview of a digital project which implements a given tool, approach, or platform. This is not meant to be a research presentation, or to present findings or results, but rather to give our community a behind-the-scenes look at how decisions were made and why specific tools were chosen or developed. The hope is also that this presenter will give attendees some ideas about how to get started implementing a specific tool or workflow, and that they can also answer questions about other related ongoing projects that are implementing similar functionalities. This “under-the-hood” session format will allow us to have focused discussions around a specific project where we can learn from each other in an informal way. In addition, by implementing this format we can maintain the low threshold for contributing and engaging in the conversations. It also allows us to learn about the diverse projects in the Benelux region related to digital humanities! (An added bonus!)  

You can register for this discussion here: https://scholarlytales.hcommons.org/2022/10/04/digital-humanities-virtua...

On Monday 24 October from 15h – 16h30 CEST via MS Teams, Paavo Van der Eecken from the University of Antwerp will present on Viewing Between the Lines: Annotating Sensitive Attributes in Illustrated Children’s Literature”.

Abstract: In recent years, awareness has been growing about the importance of diversity in children’s literature. Yet, when it comes to historical literature, the argument is often “that’s what the times were like”. The implicit assumption is that all children’s literature back then was similarly racist and/or sexist. Recent research, however, has revealed that the historical literary production for children was not as monolithic as that argument seems to suggest.

In the context of historical Dutch-language children’s literature, we still lack an overview of how representation plays out within the books, especially when it comes to the illustrations – a vital part of those stories. With this research project we aim to fill that gap, by analyzing patterns of representation along the lines of age, race, class, and gender. As a first step, we have annotated all human characters in the illustrations of one thousand children’s books published between 1800 and 1940 and assigned them attributes according to the four axes under study.

During the under-the-hood session we will discuss the decision-making processes underlying those annotations. We will pay particular attention to the data preprocessing, the tools that were selected, the use of external annotators and the specific categories and labels that were applied while annotating.