Congratulations to Winners of the Compute Canada Digital Humanities Summer Institute Scholarships

Digital Humanities


Compute Canada is pleased to congratulate the winning teams of the two Compute Canada scholarships to the June, 2016 Digital Humanities Summer Institute (DHSI), to be held at the University of Victoria.

The winning projects are: Creating a Home for User-Generated Content, Dr. Darren Abramson (Dalhousie University Philosophy Department) and Dr. Craig Squires (ACENET Systems Administrator); and A Walk in the Park: A Mobile Application for Atlantic Canada’s Urban Green Spaces, Dr. Kate Scarth (Dalhousie University English Department) and Dr. Chris Geroux (ACENET Computational Research Consultant).

Founded in 2001, DHSI is the largest training event in the world for the digital humanities. It now counts over 1,800 alumni and will offer 40 courses over two weeks in 2016, continuing to act as a model for, and direct supporter of, other similar events around the globe. 

Compute Canada is committed to strengthening its understanding of digital humanities and to supporting the growth of research in this field. The two scholarships are designed to not only support digital humanities research, but to enhance the skills of Compute Canada’s research consultants in this growing field. Each scholarship pairs a digital humanities researcher with a Compute Canada research consultant, and covers the registration for both team members and the travel costs for the research consultant.

“In evaluating applications for the scholarships, we look at how the project will develop the long-term skills of each team member, and how the projects will benefit the greater digital humanities community”, says Dr. John Simpson, Compute Canada’s Digital Humanities Specialist. “We love to see projects that provide the opportunity for other researchers to build on. Both of these winning submissions will do just that.”

DHSI is taking place June 5th to 17th, 2016. For more information and to register, visit the DHSI website.

For more information on the services Compute Canada offers Digital Humanities researchers, visit the Compute Canada website. To discuss possible collaborations, please contact John Simpson.

Winning Projects Overviews:

Creating a Home for User-Generated Content

Co-applicants Dr. Darren Abramson & Dr. Craig Squires

As of June, 2012 the Canadian Copyright Act contains an exception to copyright infringement that is unique in the developed world. Section 29.21 now permits the creation of new copyrightable works using copyrighted material so long as:

  • the new work is used for non-commercial purposes;
  • the source material is credited;
  • the source material used was not obtained by infringing copyright; and,
  • the new work does not adversely affect the source material.

There is evidence that the creation of so-called ‘user-generated content’ is fundamental to human creative processes1, and that the 29.21 exception has the potential to unleash “positive economic, social and cultural effects”.2 There is also evidence that commercial computing resources cannot be used to help unleash these effects.3 This “2921 project” entails the construction of a portable, publicly-licensed web application that is run for a trial period on academic resources. The intention is for the public to gain a stable tool that can be used to take advantage of the user-generated content exception for Canadian-hosted copyrighted material. The initial focus is on user-generated musical works, but the project model is extensible to other forms of arts and humanities including user-generated textual works and virtual identities. Success in this project would lead to large amounts of transaction-generated information for which visualization would aid in reaching research conclusions concerning the nature of creative collaboration.

1 Dennett, Daniel C. “In Darwin’s wake, where am I?.” Proceedings and Addresses of the American Philosophical Association. American Philosophical Association, 2001.

2 Murray, L. J., & Trosow, S. E. (2013). Canadian copyright: A citizen’s guide 2nd Ed. Between the Lines.

3 See for example This article fails to clarify that the content ‘Madeon’ is concerned about being taken down is user-generated content, of the type protected by Section 29.21 in Canada, not goods rivalrous to the copyrighted content of major labels.

Halifax’s Literary Landmarks: A Mobile Application for Atlantic Canada’s Urban Blue/Green Spaces.

Co-applicants Dr. Kate Scarth & Dr. Chris Geroux

Halifax’s Literary Landmarks is rooted in Kate Scarth’s eighteenth-century and Romantic-period research, transferring the methodology of London’s Green Geographies to the British colonial towns of Atlantic Canada, starting with Halifax. Understandings of class, place and identity in the Romantic-period writings of the radical John Thelwall will be a framework for exploring Halifax between the eighteenth and twenty-first centuries. An interactive mobile application will be developed that supports a virtual audio-visual tour of Halifax green spaces. This activist tour will combine literary, historical, and contemporary voices, engaging individuals and groups who use green spaces, including popular Point Pleasant Park (with its eighteenth-century roots) and community gardens in marginalized areas. By contributing their voices, the silenced and disinherited of our own time will be both part of and an audience for this research, thereby bringing Thelwall’s democratic legacy alive. This project will be a template for digital humanities work that combines literary criticism, issues of space/place, mobile applications, big data, public engagement, and/or social activism.

About Compute Canada

Compute Canada, in partnership with regional organizations ACENET, Calcul Québec, Compute Ontario and WestGrid, leads the acceleration of research and innovation by deploying state-of-the-art advanced research computing (ARC) systems, storage and software solutions. Together we provide essential ARC services and infrastructure for Canadian researchers and their collaborators in all academic and industrial sectors. Our world-class team of more than 200 experts employed by 35 partner universities and research institutions across the country provide direct support to research teams. Compute Canada is a proud ambassador for Canadian excellence in advanced research computing nationally and internationally.

For more information, contact:

Kelly Nolan, Executive Director External Affairs, Compute Canada

c: (819) 598-2910


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