Open Academic Series

The DHI co-sponsored two of the events in the open academic series in fall 2017.

Through a series of workshops and discussions we aim to give the CEU community the skills and tools needed to engage in debates in the public sphere in innovative, unconventional or ‘non-academic’ ways. Taken together, the events will foster a university-wide conversation about the role of academics and academic knowledge in public debates. Each session is devoted to a different mode of dissemination including comics, podcasts, popular writing, op-eds, social media, visualisation of data, policy briefs and audio documentaries.

Academic Journalism: Writing Research for Readers

October 26, 4pm in Nador 15, Room 106

How can I write about my research for non-academic audiences? How can I make my academic writing clearer and easier to understand? How can I pitch ideas to print and broadcast media outlets?

Peter Geoghegan graduated with a PhD from Edinburgh University in 2008. Now he is a successful writer, journalist, broadcaster and lecturer. His latest book, The People’s Referendum: Why Scotland Will Never Be the Same Again, was published in January 2015 by Luath Press, and was nominated for the Saltire Society First Book Prize. He is a co-founder and director of The Ferret, an investigative platform launched in 2015, which was nominated for a British Journalism Prize for its work.

In this seminar, he will show academics how to write for different audiences, how to develop their narrative style and voice and how to pitch ideas to media outlets. The seminar will be run in two parts. In the first, Peter will introduce key concepts and approaches for writing with clarity. In the second, attendees will be asked to write up pitches based on their research work and academic interests.

Using Comics to Communicate Your Research

December 5, 4pm in Nador 13, Room 516/A

How can you turn your research into a comic? In this workshop you will learn how to break down your idea into a format that works as a comic story, turning your thoughts into scenes and moments and thinking through how they might appear on a page. Participants will then work on scripting for comics, developing the skills needed to work with an extreme economy of words and space. Finally, we’ll discuss how to go about making your comic dream a reality. A multiple-time New York Times Best-seller List and Eagle Award winning Writer, Tony Lee has worked professionally for over thirty years, including a decade in trade journalism and media marketing/creation for radio. Since returning to comics in 2003 he has written for Marvel Comics, DC Comics, Dynamite Entertainment, Titan Publishing, Markosia, 2000ad and IDW Publishing amongst others, writing a variety of creator owned titles and licenses that include X-Men, Spider Man, Star Trek, Battlestar Galactica, Doctor Who, Superboy, Starship Troopers, Wallace & Gromit and Shrek.

May 2, 9:00-15:00 Nador 15, Room 103 (Tiered)

Text Analysis Across Disciplines 

This is the culminating event in our year-long series called “Conversations in the Digital Humanities.” We have invited some of the most exciting, up-and-coming scholars from around the region to present their work in various forms of text analysis, and to think together with us about how text analysis can be used in disciplines beyond literary studies.


Rafał Górski (Polish Academy of Sciences, Inst. Polish Language, Computational Stylistics Group)

Petr Plecháč (Czech Academy of Sciences, Inst. of Czech Lit, Versification Research Group)

Artjom Shelya (Tartu University Linguistics Department)

Maciej Maryl & Piotr Wciślik (Polish Academy of Sciences, Digital Humanities Center)

Katalin Lejtovicz (Austrian Center for DH, APIS)

Toma Tasovac (Belgrade Center for the Digital Humanities)

Liviu Pop (Romanian Academy of Sciences, Folklore Archive; Transylvanian Digital Humanities Center, DigiHUBB)

Tamás Scheibner (ELTE, COURAGE Project)


Margit Kiss (HAS)

Levente Seláf (ELTE)

March 28, 15:00 -17:00 Nador 15, Room 101 (Quantum)

Conversations in the Digital Humanities #7

  Roundtable Discussion Coorganized with the Cultural Heritage Special Program

Cultural Heritage Reconstructions – 3D Solutions

3D technology and solutions offer one of the most impressive visualization possibilities within the realms of humanities and heritage studies. They also provide an opportunity to consider the ways of digital reconstructions by looking at the process of presenting virtual and/or augmented reality, but at the same time, to pose questions on the very nature of humanist research too. How technology (and esp. 3D reconstructions) does shape the way of thinking and research itself? How to plan and pursue research in a new context that deals with reconstruction, visualization and interpretation? These and similar questions will be discussed in the Conversation 07, led by Professor József Laszlovszky, Director of the Cultural Heritage Special Program, CEU, with experts dealing with 3D architecture, digital reconstructions and technological solutions, such as András Fehér (Humansoft), Zsolt Vasáros (Narmer Stúdió) and Gergely Barcza (Moholy-Nagy University of Arts).



József Laszlovszky (Director of the Cultural Heritage Special Program)

Guest discussants: 

András Fehér (Humansoft)

Zsolt Vasáros (Narmer Stúdió)

Gergely Barcza (MOME)  


March 7, 15:30 -17:00 Monument Building, Room 201

Conversations in the Digital Humanities #6

Seth Bernstein (Higher School of Economics, Moscow)

Mapping over Time: Researching and Teaching Soviet History through GIS

This discussion will focus on Seth Bernstein's work creating simulations and visualizations using geographical information systems (GIS) to understand the history of the USSR. Mapping provides a way of representing and understanding change over time, whether it is shifting world borders, Soviet air networks or Stalinist labor camps. The conversation will address the opportunities and problems Dr. Bernstein has had in working with GIS in the Soviet context, as a research historian, collaborator and a teacher.

Seth Bernstein is assistant professor of history at Higher School of Economics and writes about the impact of war on society, culture and politics, and the role of Soviet socialism and Soviet people in the world. He uses digital techniques like GIS and massive textual databases to extract and visualize data. His first book, an archival history of Stalinist youth culture, is Raised under Stalin: Young Communists and the Defense of Socialism (Cornell University Press, forthcoming 2017).


Viktor Lagutov (Environmental Systems Lab, Environmental Sciences and Policy)

Charles Shaw (Department of History)

(The event will be followed by a reception.)

February 7, 16:00 -18:00 Nador 15, Auditorium B

Conversations in the Digital Humanities #5

Roundtable Discussion Coorganized with the Department of Gender Studies

Archiving Contested Memories

This roundtable discussion will be focused on the student projects developed during the course entitled “Preserving and Interpreting Knowledges of the Past and Promoting Social Justice” taught by Prof. Andrea Pető (Department of Gender Studies) in Fall 2016. The online interdisciplinary research seminar, offered together with Duke University, introduced students to various approaches to rethinking “the archive” – that is, in the broadest sense, records of the past, and how knowledge about the past is preserved or repressed. Students were encouraged to pursue their own archive-related research projects as part of CEU’s Civic Engagement Program onthe following three topics: the lesbian archive of Budapest, the right to be forgotten, and counter-memories. In this event students will present and converse with the audience about the findings of their course projects. The event will be moderated by Andrea Pető and Robin Kirk, representing Duke University’s Human Rights Program.


Gulag Memories in Hungary

Raikhan Satymbekova (Gender Studies Department)

Spatial Mapping of Atrocities

Alexandra Smith (Legal Studies)

Lesbian Memories in the City Space (in collaboration with Labris)

Andrea Schnitzer (Legal Studies Department) and Kristina Cajkovicova (Gender Studies Department)

Contagious Memories of Hitler’s Birth House

Constanze Jeitler (History Department)

What can we learn from student segregation in Canada and in Hungary?

Camilo Montoya-Guevara (Medieval Studies Department)

The event will be followed by a reception in the Nador 15 Lower Foyer area.

December 8, 16:30 -18:30 Nador 11, Room 004

Conversations in the Digital Humanities #4

Zsófia Ruttkay (MOME TechLab)

The Digital Museum: Challenges and Opportunities 

Zsófia Ruttkay will discuss the opportunities of digital-era galleries, libraries, archives and museums (the so-called GLAM institutions) to respond to the changes taking place in communication and educational technologies as well as the habits of the younger generations. Digital technologies offer new possibilities to achieve this demand not only by addressing the internet generation through their preferred media and communication devices, but also by enhancing their “museum experience” with novel techniques in placing them in the midst of happenings through space and time. In a broad discussion of the potentials (and pitfalls) of using the digital arsenal, Dr. Ruttkay will draw on international examples and her own developments of museum applications such as an installation bringing poems to life, an app enabling its users to “walk” in the narrative of a novel, or a digital “take-away” content as an alternative for fridge magnets. Vlad Naumescu (Department of Sociology and Social Anthropology, CEU) and Sahana Udupa (School of Public Policy and the CMDS, CEU) will engage in a conversation with Ruttkay and the audience about the future of exhibitions and museums in light of the current developments in the realm of digital applications. This event will be co-hosted by the Visual Studies Platform.

November 22, 16:00 -18:00 Nador 15, Room 101 (Quantum)

Conversations in the Digital Humanities #3

Susan Schreibman (Maynooth University)

Digital Humanities, Social Engagement, and the Archive

The “we will build it so they’ll come” approach to audience engagement with digital humanities tools and projects is long over. As a philosophic approach, it rarely worked. Rather, developers of successful DH projects work at audience engagement and retention. The idea of using crowdsourcing as a means to get some of the more difficult-to-automate aspects of project workflow completed has become popular in recent years. Yet, a recent workshop of a wide cross-section of these projects at DH2016 revealed a generally low success rate. Rather than think of audiences as ready-made to do our drudge work, Dr. Schreibman proposes in this talk that we adopt a social engagement approach to find, retain, and enrich audiences of digital scholarship, demonstrating this through two projects, Letters of1916 and Contested Memories: The Battle of Mount Street Bridge.

November 3, 16:30 -18:30 Monument Building, Room 201

Conversations in the Digital Humanities #2

Maciej Eder (Polish Academy of Sciences)

Computational Criticism via Stylometric Methods 

Stylometry, or applying statistical methods to trace stylistic differences between (literary) texts, is usually associated with the question of authorship attribution. It relies on the assumption that each author has their own distinct lexical profile, e.g. reflected in idiosyncrasies of word frequencies. Effective as they are, however, authorship attribution methods can be further extended to solve more general questions of genre, chronology, intertextuality, textual coherence, and so forth. Dr. Eder’s conversation starter will be focused on two possible ways in which stylometry can support literary criticism. Firstly, a large-scale approach will be shown, aimed at capturing relations between dozens of texts at a time (to this end, network analysis will be applied); secondly, a micro-scale method of tracing local idiosyncrasies will be discussed. Presumably, both techniques might become an attractive extension to the repertoire of time-proven heuristic routines.

October 4, 16:00-18:00 Monument Building, Room 201

Conversations in the Digital Humanities #1

Corina Moldovan (Babeş-Bolyai University, Cluj-Napoca)

The Challenges of Setting Up a DH Center in Romania

As a conversation starter, Dr. Moldovan will give a commentary on the manner in which a DH Centre is established in an Eastern-European country and the challenges that exist within the traditional structures and mentalities at different levels - the academia, the policy-makers and the society in the larger sense. Her talk will focus on the strategies that DigiHUBB has, at different levels – education, research and innovation, collaboration with the IT industry. She will also point out similarities between other post-revolutionary experiences and learn if there could be a kind of specificity that could give our centre a uniqueness that will make it relevant internationally.

May 19, 15:30-17:30, Monument Building, Room #201

Kick-off event

Our goal at this event is to begin building a community of interest, develop an understanding of common themes and challenges in working with digital humanities methodologies, and see how CEU might further support and develop these practices.