Call for Abstracts

Audiovisual data and digital scholarship: towards multimodal literacy

Workshop at DH2016, 12 July 2016, Krakow, Poland

Please note this call is now closed and the accepted papers have been announced. The workshop program is now available as well. Registration to the workshop has been closed and the maximum number of attendees has been reached.

However, if you would very much like to attend we invite you to contact Martijn Kleppe ( in order to see if there is another possibility to attend this workshop.


In many online platforms and websites, audio-visual data is gradually playing an equal or greater role than text. Similarly, in multiple disciplines such as anthropology, ethnomusicology, folklore, media studies, film studies, history, and English, scholars are relying more and more on audio-visual data for richer analysis of their research and for accessing information not available through textual analysis. Developing aural and visual literacy has therefore become increasingly essential for 21st century digital scholarship. While audiovisual data allows for research to be disseminated and displayed linearly, within one modality (e.g., reading a book from first to last page), it also allows for non-linear discovery and analysis, within multiple modalities (e.g., reading a webpage, browsing to a link with a sound clip, from there to a clip with film). This workshop will address both the challenges of analyzing audiovisual data in digital humanities scholarship, as well as the challenges of educating contemporary digital humanists on how to access, analyze, and disseminate an entire century of information generated with audiovisual media.

Other challenges to be addressed at this workshop concern issues surrounding copyright and sustainability and their impact on the dissemination and long-term access of audiovisual resources.  One area of heated debate is whether certain copyright laws, which were originally instated to protect the development of new inventions, are in fact hampering the dissemination of new knowledge due to the restrictions they place on ways information may be displayed or disseminated.  Some scholars contend that copyright laws will become obsolete over the next decades, while others argue that these laws will progressively restrict how scholars use audiovisual media in digital humanities research. Because of the complicated ways these copyright restrictions relate to audiovisual media, they affect films, television and sound more profoundly than digitized books with text and still images. Given these particular challenges faced by digital humanists working with audiovisual materials, a number of questions arise regarding how we might navigate these complex issues concerning copyright, sustainability and long-term storage and access. Can infrastructures essential for shepherding these digital transitions be made available for individual audiovisual digital humanities projects? Can digital humanists look to the university library as the place to support and sustain the websites, datasets and tools created by audiovisual DH research? How can digital humanists secure the massive server space needed to sustain the large-scale storage needs inherent in audiovisual DH projects? Who should oversee the recurring process of inevitable file migration and quality assurance needed for film, photo and sound formats?  Are ‘business-models’ and their potential commercial benefit the way to go or are such arrangements overly optimistic? Are there encouraging examples of successfully sustained audiovisual DH projects that have effectively dealt with copyright issues? Will audiovisual DH scholars become increasingly dependent on philanthropic monopolistic corporations such as Google, Facebook, IBM and Microsoft to sustain their projects? What role should universities play as custodians and advocates of the knowledge produced by our audiovisual DH projects?


Invitation to Share Insights from Mature or Newly Minted Projects

The workshop organisers invite scholars to present case studies on the following topics:

  • Implementations of tools for computational analysis of AV content
  • Demonstrations of tools that show how  audiovisual media are suited for nonlinear discovery and analysis using multiple modalities
  • Demonstrations of education and training of digital humanists in accessing and analyzing audiovisual media
  • Case studies that have successfully dealt with copyright issues related to audiovisual media, and that demonstrate convincing arguments and strategies
  • Successful arrangements for securing sustainability for the use of audiovisual data for scholarly purposes and  examples of ways to preserve and provide long-term access.

This workshop is a follow-up to a first workshop on audiovisual material in digital humanities held at the 2014 DH Conference in Lausanne (link). That workshop paved the way for the foundation of the  AVinDH Special Interest Group that has endorsed  this 2016 edition.

Workshop Overview

This full-day workshop will start with a keynote address on multimodal literacy by Dr. Claire Clivaz, Head of Digital Enhanced Learning at the Swiss Institute of Bioinformatics of Lausanne and active in #dariahTeach for which she is Head of dissemination and developer of the module Multimodal Literacies. This keynote will be followed by three sessions of paper presentations based around three themes:

  1. Models for training digital humanists in accessing and analyzing audiovisual collections
  2. Analysis and discovery models for audiovisual materials
  3. Copyright and sustainability

During the fourth session, workshop participants can give very short lightning talks/project pitches of max 5 minutes of ongoing work, projects or plans. Registration for this session will take place during the workshop so no submission is needed for part of the workshop. The workshop will be closed with a plenary & interactive session.

Submission of proposals

The workshop organisers invite abstracts that deal with the aforementioned issues and that can be presented in one of the three sessions..

Submissions should include the following:

  • General abstract (should not exceed 500 words).
  • Contact info and a short description of research interests of the authors.
  • A suggestion for the session that suits your presentation best

To submit a proposal, please send a docx or pdf file to  before May 1 2016. Accepted abstracts will be published  on the website of the AVinDH Special Interest Group.

All proposals will be reviewed by members of the Program Committee which will be chaired by Prof. Dr. Franciska de Jong, Erasmus University Rotterdam / CLARIN ERIC.

The workshop organisers aim to publish a selection of the best papers in a special issue of an academic journal.

Programme Committee

Prof. Franciska de Jong, Erasmus University Rotterdam / CLARIN ERIC  (chair)


Dr. Jacob Kreuzfeldt  –  University of Copenhagen

Prof. dr. Julia Noordegraaf – University of Amsterdam

Dr. Cord Pagenstecher  – Freie Universität Berlin

Dr. Marianne Ping Huang – University of Aarhus

Dr. Willemien Sanders – Universiteit Utrecht

Dr. Khiet Truong – University of Twente

Dr. Lars Wieneke  – University of Luxembourg


This workshop is organised by the following members of the ADHO Special Interest Group AudioVisual Material in Digital Humanities (AVinDH):

Dr. Clara Henderson, Indiana University, Bloomington, USA

Dr. Martijn Kleppe, National Library of the Netherlands (KB)

Dr. Stef Scagliola, Erasmus University Rotterdam

Johan Oomen, Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision

Further information

More information about the workshop can be found on the website of the SIG AVinDH at

Please note that registration for the workshop requires registration for the full DH2016 conference. For further information and questions, please contact the organisors at

Important Dates

Deadline submission: 1 May 2016 23:59 CET

Date for notifications: 15 May 2016

Workshop date: 12 July 2016