Welcome to the Conference!

Welcome to DH2020!

In this unbelievable year, our conference plans and preparations were upended by events that none of us could have anticipated. We thought we would be gathering this week in Ottawa to share our work and ideas, to connect with colleagues, and to visit with friends. But here we are, both everywhere and nowhere, and while we won’t be able to get together for coffee or dinner, we can still share our research, encourage discourse, and celebrate the groundbreaking work that is being done across methods and disciplines that we identify with the Digital Humanities. 

When we made the painful decision to cancel the in-person DH2020 conference in Ottawa, many people reached out and asked if we could still organize something in a virtual space. We understand how important it is to present and receive feedback on our research in a timely fashion, and so we tried to find a reasonable, ethical way to give our colleagues that opportunity, at the same time recognizing that the stress we are all under meant that we could not provide the breadth of conference experience that might be achieved virtually. We assumed that the many crises we are all facing would mean that a small number of colleagues would want to participate….

And yet here we are: over 950 registered participants from more than 60 countries! And while this won’t feel anything like a traditional conference, we hope that you will find ways in which to learn and network and collaborate with colleagues.

How Can You Participate in an Asynchronous Conference?

Over 300 authors and co-authors will be sharing their presentations via Humanities Commons this week. There is no schedule in a traditional sense; rather, we have organized the presentations by “Method”—the ones the authors identified when they submitted their work for peer review last fall. You’ll find a list of the 57 Methods here

We’ve organized the Methods into Discussion Topics. At the top of each Topic, you’ll find a list of all presentations (whether presentations, posters, or panels) accepted for this Method. Scroll down; we’ve asked authors to create “replies” in the Topic thread giving a link to the presentation artifact and a suggestion of what they’d like to learn from participants who engage with their presentation. Once you’ve viewed a presentation, click on “Reply” to that author, and share your thoughts, provide feedback, or suggest new ideas and connections.

To provide our colleagues with the feedback they are looking for, we ask that you read or view at least three presentations over the course of the week and then comment on them. 

Follow a path that interests you:

  • Explore the Book of Abstracts
  • Pursue one or multiple Method tracks 
  • Click on Group “Activity” in the menu bar
  • Find an Author by searching “Group Members” in the menu bar
  • Follow @ADHOrg on Twitter 

While the vast majority of the conference will be conducted in this asynchronous fashion, there will be some synchronous events, information about which can be accessed here.

When you registered for the conference you agreed to abide by the ADHO Conference Code of Conduct. As with all ADHO conferences, participants are encouraged to respect and celebrate racial, cultural, gender, sexuality, and linguistic differences, and to be mindful of the international nature of our community in preparing presentations and engaging in conversation. There is no place at ADHO meetings and events for harassment or intimidation based on race, religion, ethnicity, language, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, physical or cognitive ability, age, appearance, or other group status.

We would also like to take the opportunity to thank our sponsors, Gale, a Cengage company. Thanks to their generosity, we have been able to run the conference without direct cost to participants. Gale’s contribution is intended to support not only this conference, but also the longer-term health of the ADHO community. 

We invite you to participate in the work that ADHO is doing regionally and globally, by joining one of ADHO’s Constituent Organisations (COs) if you aren’t a member already. ADHO’s COs support an incredibly wide range of publications, events and advocacy activities – by supporting yours, you will be helping to promote and support the digital humanities community both at home and worldwide.

Enjoy the conference!
~ The Organizers


  • DH2020 virtual conference co-organizers (Diane Jakacki; Hannah Jacobs; Brian Croxall) 
  • DH2020 Assistants (Kiara Childs; Brad Erickson; Michael Gossett; Lara Lookabaugh; Mildred Nicaragua; Charity Philips)
  • ADHO Executive Board (Leif Isaksen, Chair; Glen Worthey, Chair-elect; Brian Croxall, Secretary; Sara Sikes, Treasurer; Juan Steyn, Deputy Treasurer; Matthew K. Gold, COB President; Elisabeth Burr, COB President-elect)
  • Kathleen Fitzpatrick and the Humanities Commons team
  • Nabeel Siddiqui and Mariana Zorkina, ADHO Communications Fellows
  • 2020 Program Committee (Jennifer Giuiano and Laura Estill, co-chairs; Rahul K. Gairola, aaDH; Hugh Craig, aaDH; Anelise Hanson-Shrout, ACH; Angel David Nieves, ACH; Laura Mandell, CenterNet; Elli Mylonas, CenterNet; Alison Hedley, CSDH/SCHN; Bill Turkel, CSDH/SCHN; Karen Calteaux, DHASA; Juan Steyn, DHASA; James O’Sullivan, EADH; Elena Spadini, EADH; Aurélien Berra, Humanistica; Michael Sinatra, Humanistica; Tomoji Tabata, JADH; Taizo Yamada, JADH; Eloy Caloca, RedHD; Ernesto Priani, RedHD; Chao-Lin Liu, TADH; Muh-Chyun Tang, TADH)
  • Local Organizers for DH2020 (Constance Crompton, University of Ottawa; Sarah Simpkin, University of Ottawa; Kevin Kee, University of Ottawa; Brian Greenspan, Carleton University; and Shawn Graham, Carleton University)

Statement from 2020 PC Chairs

On behalf of the members of the DH2020 Program Committee spread throughout the world, we wish to extend to each of you our thanks for your contributions to the DH2020 Ottawa Conference, which was cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic. In the coming weeks we will release the book of abstracts which will fully represent the scope of your contributions to the conference. The international conference process runs roughly two years. It comprises an elaborate undertaking that relies on volunteer labour: from the initial bidding process completed by local hosts to the work of members of the program committee who draft the call for papers and select the program, to members of the digital humanities community who act as reviewers and awards committee adjudicators. It is a process that relies on generosity and collaboration. And, in the 2020 cycle, one that asked members of the digital humanities community to trust us through both the open peer review process and the chaotic months leading up to this virtual conference. We invite you to read our complete farewell statement on the DH2020 conference website which highlights what would have occurred in Ottawa and the hopes we brought to the conference planning process.

Statement from 2020 Local Organizers

We were so looking forward to welcoming you to Ottawa this summer. DH2020 was to have been hosted on the border of Canada’s two most populous provinces, Ontario and Québec, on the traditional, unceded land of the Kitchissippi Omàmiwininì Anishinabeg, or Algonquin Peoples of the Ottawa River. The theme of “Carrefours/Intersections,” a place where roads or streets meet, was particularly apt.

When we submitted our bid to host the conference in 2017, we imagined a vibrant event on our two beautiful campuses. We never could have imagined a global pandemic. That said, this virtual conference offers us a new way of engaging with each other across borders, from our own homes around the world. We are very grateful to the members of the virtual organizing committee for bringing it all together. From Ottawa, we’d like to wish you a happy DH2020!

Statement from the Awards Committee

The winner of the Paul Fortier Prize will be announced at the end of the conference week.