Session 1:

Beyond Social Media: The Promise of African Digital Humanities

Presenters: James Yeku & Sylvia Fernández

This presentation explores the emerging subfield of African digital humanities and highlights digital practices and projects that center African indigenous epistemologies and perspectives in DH research. We will also show the ways in which social media spaces such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and TikTok have become platforms of digital archiving and digital memory. We will then analyze some examples of social media-based projects and reflect on how individuals or organizations are using these platforms as an approach to technology disobedience to create alternative archives that document local experiences and historical memory. Similarly, we will discuss some risks of authorship, copyrights, loss of information as well as the implications of producing data on commercial platforms. We will conclude on the importance of creating non-commercial digital infrastructures that enable the preservation of the digital cultural record in Africa.

Session 2:

Managing and Sustaining Your Digital Project

Presenter: Brian Rosenblum

This session will cover principles and practices that will help sustain a digital project over time, drawing on resources such as the Socio-Technical Sustainability Roadmap (STSR)–a structured workshop developed in the Visual Media Workshop at the University of Pittsburgh that guides participants through the practice of creating effective sustainability plans. The STSR recognizes that a project’s social infrastructure must be addressed alongside the needs of its technological infrastructure in order to successfully sustain digital work over time. This session will introduce a framework that allows project teams to align their project’s scope and audience with available social and technical infrastructure. We will discuss topics such as project lifecycles, how to end a project, the importance of documentation, developing a workplan, and organizing and managing files. We will also discuss static versus dynamic website, and point attendees to other resources and tools to help manage and sustain digital projects.

This presentation explores the emerging subfield of African digital humanities and highlights digital practices and projects that center African indigenous epistemologies and perspectives in DH research. We will also show the ways in which social media spaces such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and TikTok have become platforms of digital archiving and digital memory. We will then analyze some examples of social media-based projects and reflect on how individuals or organizations are using these platforms as an approach to technology disobedience to create alternative archives that document local experiences and historical memory. Similarly, we will discuss some risks of authorship, copyrights, loss of information as well as the implications of producing data on commercial platforms. We will conclude on the importance of creating non-commercial digital infrastructures that enable the preservation of the digital cultural record in Africa.

Session 3:

Metadata for the Digital Humanities

Presenter: Kaylen Dwyer

This session will provide an introduction to metadata–what it is, why it is important, and how to effectively create and manage metadata for a variety of DH projects. We will discuss the purpose, use, and significance of linked data, along with tools and resources for assisting with metadata creation and management. The session will end with a short, hands-on project in which participants will see metadata in action by creating a collaborative web-based timeline.