The Digital Humanities Alliance of India (DHAI) Conference 2018 held at IIM Indore concluded on June 02, 2018. Organized by the Institute along with IIT Indore, the two day conference was the first digital humanities conference held in IIM Indore, and also the first academic event by both the Institutes together. The conference aimed at organizing and facilitating digital practices in arts and humanities scholarship in India, both within and beyond academic institutes. Apart from various panel discussions; keynote addresses and a round-table discussion also engrossed the participants. The event witnessed presence of over 50 delegates from the nation and abroad.
The second day of the conference began with a keynote address. Professor Dibyadyuti Roy, Conference Coordinator & Faculty, IIM Indore gave a brief introduction of the speaker, Ms. P.P. Sneha, Digital Humanities Practitioner, Centre for Internet and Society (CIS), Bengaluru, India. Ms. Sneha shared insights on the topic—‘New Contexts of Humanities Practice in the Digital’. She began her talk noting that digital world has drastically affected each and every sector of our lives including the higher education, arts and humanities as well. ‘Today, the research practices and the studies related to this subject depends on what is digitization and new methods of digitization—which includes political aspects and its practice as well’, she said.
Discussing about importance of digital in education, Ms. Sneha also shared how MOOCs and Indian Government’s SWAYAM are attracting more students. Mentioning excerpts from her report—Mapping Digital Humanities in India, she noted that digital humanities would provide a better understanding of the role and functioning of universities and other knowledge institutions, ‘alternative’ or marginal practices that exist at the periphery of mainstream academia, and a rethinking of interdisciplinary – especially in terms of integration of natural sciences, technology and humanities. She also discussed about the challenges and learnings related to digital humanities like—concerns related to IPR and legal aspects of open access, digitalization and archival labour, and the need for benchmarking of archival practices, etc. The session concluded with a Q&A round.
This was followed by various panel discussions which enthralled the participants with interesting views shared by the speakers. The topics ranged from Digital Infrastructure, Archives and Architecture; Digital Practice and Pedagogy; Making Digital Humanities- Digital Humanities Projects; Reading Digital Humanities etc. The experts also shared their research papers related to these topics which were fruitful for the scholars and faculty members present on the occasion.
The conference came to an end with a Round Table Discussion on the topic—Decolonizing Knowledge, Decentralizing Discourse. The session was moderated by Professor Dibyadyuti Roy, Faculty, IIM Indore and Professor Nirmala Menon, Department of Humanities and Social Science, IIT Indore. The discussion was an interesting one with even the participants sharing their views.
The two day conference concluded on a high note, providing a platform for all the delegates and participants to come together and share their experiences and knowledge on topics of their interest. IIM Indore and IIT Indore look forward to organizing many more events together in future.