The “Digital Orientalisms Twitter Conference” (#DOsTC)

Today we are happy to announce the Call for Papers for the Digital Orientalist’sDigital Orientalisms Twitter Conference” (hereafter DOsTC) to be held on May 31st and June 1st, 2019. (The deadline for proposals is March 31st 2019). The CFP and other information about the conference can be found here. This post will explain the rationale behind this decision and the workings of a Twitter Conference.

The Digital Orientalisms Twitter Conference

Some amongst you may know that I recently participated in the third Public Archaeology Twitter Conference. I wrote a paper concerning the stories of Kirishitan in Ōkago Village as can be ascertained from archaeological finds in the area. If you’d like to see the paper you can view it from the embedded tweet below. The conference was the first Twitter Conference that I had participated in, but it left a deep impression. So after some discussion with the chief editor of the Digital OrientalistCornelis, we decided to organize our own Twitter Conference for those working in the Asian, Middle Eastern or Afro-Centric Digital Humanities.

Twitter conferences have many advantages, the Public Archaeology Twitter Conference which is organized by Lorna Richardson (@LornaRichardson) and James Dixon (@James_Dixon) bases its rationale around the fact that Twitter conferences are inclusive; they allow those who can’t usually attend conferences for whatever reason to attend and participate by extirpating financial costs and the burdens of travel. Whilst this was not the prime motivation behind the organization of DOsTC, inclusivity is, of course, an important feature of our own conference. Nevertheless, we felt that there were other features of the Twitter conference format which lent itself to our field, the Digital Humanities. As scholars who incorporate digital elements into our work, a conference that takes a digital format is well aligned to our own skillsets and research methodologies. In other words, we feel that the internet, and Twitter, in particular, is a pertinent space for Digital Humanities scholars to share their research. Central to the Digital Orientalist’s ethos is the fact that while we are all engaged in radically different research, scholars of African, Asian, and Middle Eastern studies are united by the Digital Humanities. We are all working with non-Western peoples, spaces, scripts, numerals, modes of thought, and histories. We face similar issues within the field of Digital Humanities which being overwhelmingly Euro-Centric has left Digital Humanities in the non-Western world in a relative state of infancy. Despite our similar issues and possibly similar solutions, there are few forums which allow scholars from these diverse yet similar fields to interact. We hope that DOsTC will provide one such forum; a space in which scholars from African, Asian, and Middle Eastern studies who are also involved in the Digital Humanities can share their research and network with each other. Of course, a wonderful feature of Twitter conferences is that scholars are able to engage with the public, and the public is able to interact with scholars. It should also be added that Twitter conferences are by their very nature international.

How will it work?

People interested in presenting can send us proposals here. The deadline for proposals is March 31st, 2019.

We are offering scholars two sorts of formats through which to present. The paper format allows scholars to share their original research. The review format will allow scholars to review pieces of software, hardware, books, projects, apps etc. that they have used in the research and presumably want to recommend (or decry) to others.

For an example of a paper, we recommend searching for tweets from the 3rd Public Archaeology Twitter Conference with the hashtag #PATC3 on Twitter. At DOsTC a paper will be 12-18 tweets in length and written by making a thread on Twitter. (A thread can be made by clicking on the plus button in the bottom right corner of the tweet composition box as you compose your tweets). Each tweet should contain the hashtag #DOsTC. Presenters are also encouraged to use images, videos, maps, timelines or other pieces of media in their tweets. Each presenter will be allocated a 15-minute time slot according to their time zone, and each session will be followed by discussion time.

The review format is to the best of our knowledge unique to DOsTC. Reviews will be up to 8 tweets in length written as a thread on Twitter (in the same way as the above-described papers). Each tweet should contain the hashtag #DOsTC. Presenters are encouraged to include images of the item that they are reviewing, so long as it does not infringe copyright laws. Reviews will be placed at the end of each session prior to discussion time.

As a final word, it is worth noting that there is a chance that the hashtag may be trolled during the conference. Furthermore, presenters may experience technical issues and things may not run smoothly given the nature of the internet. Please bear this in mind and enjoy.

Enquiries

Questions should be forwarded to the Digital Orientalist’s Editor for Japan Studies, James Morris, either through twitter (@JHMorris89) or email (morrisjamesharry@gmail.com).

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