Digital Humanities is an international research community that examines how computers and digital tools can be used to support and enhance existing, traditional research in the humanities, to find new methodologies and come up with innovative research questions.
Researchers from different departments of the Faculty of Arts are involved in projects that deploy digitisation of cultural heritage or computational approaches to examine topics that have hitherto been analysed manually. The range of approaches is wide: linguists use AI to expose paedophiles in social media; historians design interactive online maps of historical Antwerp; applied linguists use such technologies as speech recognition, eye tracking and computer-aided translation in text translation, and literature scholars digitise and thus make accessible manuscripts by famous writers such as Samuel Beckett. Likewise, the Department of Philosophy explores the ways in which the computer can be seen as an extension of the human mind.
The many correlations between different departments converge in Platform Digital Humanities at the University of Antwerp, which – along with similar international initiatives – brings scholars together for lectures and discussions.
This platform is led by researchers affiliated to the new research group within the Department of Literature: ACDC (Antwerp Centre for Digital humanities and literary Criticism), in close collaboration with the departments of Linguistics (CLiPS: Computational Linguistics and Psycholinguistics) and History (CSG: Centre for Urban History).
Cutting-edge International Research
The University of Antwerp currently coordinates a broadly conceived scientific research community ‘DHuf – Digital Humanities Flanders’ (FWO), which unites virtually all relevant departments across Flanders. The university is also a leading player on the international DH scene, regularly organising numerous training events and conferences that are popular both locally and internationally.
Today, the field of Digital Humanities clearly has momentum in the international research landscape, especially because it ties in with existing trends in industry and society at large, where the virtual, digital world is increasingly gaining prominence. As a result, this research cluster is a bridge between all departments of our Faculty.