Unit for Languages and Literature in the South African Context - Digital Humanities Workshop - Speakers



Prof Ray Siemens  -  Prof Jan Rybicki  -  Prof Harold Short  -  Prof Justus Roux  -  Prof Dafydd Gibbon  -  Prof Brigitte Smit  -  Dr Liesl van der Merwe  -  Dr Lynne Siemens 


Prof Ray Siemens

Ray Siemens (U Victoria, Canada; http://web.uvic.ca/~siemens/) is Canada Research Chair in Humanities Computing and Distinguished Professor in the Faculty of Humanities at the University of Victoria, in English and Computer Science. He is founding editor of the electronic scholarly journal Early Modern Literary Studies, and his publications include, among others, Blackwell's Companion to Digital Humanities (with Schreibman and Unsworth), Blackwell's Companion to Digital Literary Studies (with Schreibman), A Social Edition of the Devonshire MS, and Literary Studies in the Digital Age (with Price). He directs the Implementing New Knowledge Environments project, the Digital Humanities Summer Institute and the Electronic Textual Cultures Lab, and serves as Vice President / Director of the Canadian Federation of the Humanities and Social Sciences for Research Dissemination, recently serving also as Chair of the international Alliance of Digital Humanities Organisations' Steering Committee.


Prof Jan Rybicki

Jan Rybicki is Assistant Professor at the Institute of English Studies, Jagiellonian University, Kraków, Poland; he also taught at Rice University, Houston, TX and Kraków’s Pedagogical University. He has published on translation, comparative literature and computational stylistics, his main field. Rybicki has also translated some 30 novels by authors such as Amis, Fitzgerald, Golding, Gordimer, le Carré or Winterson.


Prof Harold Short

Harold Short has an educational background in the Humanities and in Mathematics, Computing and Systems. Following 11 years at the BBC, he has worked at King's College London since 1988. Professor Short was Director and Head of the Department of Digital Humanities (formerly Centre for Computing in the Humanities) until his retirement in September 2010.  He was involved in the development of three MA programmes in the Digital Humanities: Digital Humanities, Digital Culture and Society (formerly Digital Culture and Technology) and Digital Asset Management. He worked with Willard McCarty and other colleagues in developing the world's first PhD programme in Digital Humanities. Professor Short has a wide experience of collaborative research in a large number of projects across many Arts and Humanities disciplines. He has a wide experience in the application of computing technologies in arts and humanities research. He was Technical Research Director for numerous research projects in which the Department of Digital Humanities has been technical research partner. He has particular interests in the intersection of the arts and humanities with computing, in the collaborative challenges and opportunities this offers, and in the methodological changes that come about - including changes, often radical, in old methods and the development of new methods. He is also interested in the ways in which digital humanities may be organised at institutional levels, as well as in the significance and potential of the digital humanities nationally and internationally.


Prof Justus Roux

Justus Roux has a special interest in digital language resource acquisition and management, particularly regarding African languages. He was the project leader of one of the first major Human Language Technology (HLT) projects in South Africa, i.e. African Speech Technology (AST) project which was sponsored by the Innovation Fund of the National Research Foundation. He was professor in African languages at the University of Stellenbosch and the director of two separate research entities at different points in time at that university (Research Unit for Experimental Phonology and the Centre for Language and Speech Technology). He was furthermore involved in the establishment of the Language Resource Management Agency (RMA) (www.rma.nwu.ac.za) at the North-West University which is currently being sponsored by the Department of Arts and Culture. He has been active in various governmental/ministerial committees regarding strategic development of language technologies in South Africa.


Prof Dafydd Gibbon

Dafydd Gibbon specialises in applications of computational linguistics in language description and documentation and in the human language technologies, particularly in relation to the languages of West Africa. He studied languages and linguistics at King’s College, London and the universities of Erlangen and Göttingen, and has held positions at Göttingen University, the University of Applied Sciences, Cologne, and Bielefeld University, guest professorships at the University of Uyo, Nigeria and  the Université de Cocody, Abidjan, Ivory Coast, and is a Fellow of the Institute of Advanced Studies at Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, India.  From 2006-2014 he was Convenor of the International Coordinating Committee for Speech Databases and Evaluation. He has co-edited three handbooks on resources for technical communication and has designed and implemented many software tools for linguistic and phonetic aspects of digital humanities. Recently he was awarded the distinction of “Officier de l’Ordre du Mérite Ivoirien” by the President of the Ivory Coast for his life’s work in promoting description, documentation and technological application of the languages of West Africa.

Further information: http://wwwhomes.uni-bielefeld.de/gibbon


Prof Brigitte Smit

Brigitte Smit (PhD ~ University of Pretoria, South Africa) is a NRF C2 rated researcher and Professor in the Department of Educational Leadership and Management. She coordinates research courses, teaches Qualitative Research, CAQDAS - Atlas.ti, serves on national and international editorials boards and has published in national and international journals. Prof Smit has also been teaching on the South Africa-Netherlands Research Programme on Alternatives in Development (SANPAD and SANTRUST): Research Capacity Building since 2003. Her current research focuses on female leadership in disadvantaged schools, which is funded by SANPAD. In 2007, she was invited as a visiting scholar to the University of Alberta, in Canada. She is the recipient of the 2009 Outstanding Reviewer Award: American Educational Research Journal: Social and Institutional Analysis – American Educational Research Association. Prof. Smit teaches Education Management courses at the Masters Level, Qualitative Research Design and Methodology at the postgraduate level, and she supervises postgraduate students. She is also the Atlas.ti Consultant for Southern Africa (http://atlasti.com/consultants/)


Dr Liesl van der Merwe

Liesl van Merwe is the leader of the research niche area MASARA (Musical Arts in South Africa:  Resources and Application) and a senior lecturer in the School of Music at the North-West University. Her research interests lie in the fields of Dalcroze Eurhythmics and researching lived musical experiences. She supervises postgraduate studies in the field of music education and also teaches research methodology, music education and bassoon. Dr. Van der Merwe obtained a DMus in bassoon performance and a PGCE. She actively performs in professional orchestras, chamber music ensembles and conducts the North-West Youth Orchestra. Since 2014 she has been the chairperson of the School of Music’s research committee, ethics committee and programme leader for Masters and Doctoral studies.

Dr. Lynne Siemens 

Lynne Siemens is an Assistant Professor in the School of Public Administration, University of Victoria, Canada.  Her interests include academic entrepreneurship, collaboration and team work with a focus on understanding methods and processes to facilitate collaborative research across distances, disciplines and organizational boundaries.  She has taught workshops in Project Management at University of Victoria’s Digital Humanities Summer Institute and University of Leipzig's European Summer School for Culture and Technology.  Dr. Siemens is also PI of a research team funded through SSHRC’s International Opportunities Fund program examining the impact of representation from multiple countries, languages and culture groups on research teams with the objective of outlining types of supports and research preparation to ensure effective research results.   Finally, she is serving as a management advisor for Implementing New Knowledge Environments (INKE), a Major Collaborative Research Initiative project.  Dr. Siemens's role includes supporting the development of governance documents, organizational structure and project management.