Around the globe - July 2021

In this post we share some links to recent blog posts and news articles that may be of interest to our community. We’ll be posting a community round-up every month, so please be sure to let us know if you’d like to contribute news to this post or write your own post on the ESCALATOR website.

This month you can read about:

  1. Call for papers: DHASA 2021
  2. Participate: CarpentryConnect South Africa 2021
  3. Symposium: The Human in Digital Humanities
  4. Funding: Apply now for NIHSS & SABTT 2021/22 BRICS Research and Teaching Mobility Grants
  5. Methods Bites: A blog for Computational Social Science techniques
  6. White paper: The challenges and prospects of the intersection of humanities and data science
  7. Nature Special Edition - Computational Social Science
  8. SICSS Festival

DHASA Call for papers

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The Digital Humanities Association of Southern Africa (DHASA) is organising its third conference with the theme “Digitally Human, Artificially Intelligent”. The field of Digital Humanities is currently still rather underdeveloped in Southern Africa. Hence, this conference has several aims including:

  • providing an opportunity for researchers (specifically from Southern Africa) from the broad field of DH to showcase their research;
  • facilitating information sharing and network building to boost collaboration; and,
  • offering various affiliated workshops and tutorials where researchers can learn about novel technologies and tools.

Important dates

  • Submission deadline: 22 August 2021
  • Date of notification: 30 September 2021
  • Camera ready copy deadline: 28 October 2021
  • Conference: 29 November 2021 – 3 December 2021

More information:

CarpentryConnect South Africa 2021

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The Carpentries teaches foundational coding and data science skills to researchers worldwide. Content is available under open licenses and includes lessons about Python, R, SQL, OpenRefine, regular expressions, and more. In South Africa, Carpentries workshops have been run at universities, research councils, and alongside academic conferences since 2014. Thousands of learners have participated in these workshops and learned valuable skills related to data handling, analysis and visualisation.

CarpentryConnect events offer an opportunity for local communities to network and learn together. The first South African CarpentryConnect took place in 2018.

This year, the community is organising the second South African CarpentryConnect event where participants can attend a variety of workshops, networking events, and the keynote address by Carpentries' Director, Dr. Kari Jordan. Visit the 2021 CarpentryConnect South Africa website for more information and registration links.

The Human in Digital Humanities

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In June, ESCALATOR was represented by Prof Menno van Zaanen at an online symposium titled The Human in Digital Humanities. The event was hosted by Tilburg School of Humanities & Digital Sciences at Tilburg University. View the programme, abstracts and speakers at

Apply now for NIHSS SABTT BRICS Research and Teaching Mobility Grants

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The National Institute for the Humanities and the Social Sciences (NIHSS) and the South African BRICS Think Tank (SABTT) published a call for funding for the 2021/22 BRICS Research and Teaching Mobility Grants. The objective of the digital BRICS research and teaching initiative is to provide a platform for researchers and academics to exchange ideas and to generate evidence-based policy recommendations, with the integration of digital and/or hybrid tools, techniques and platforms into research methodology. Priority will be accorded to the following BRICS thematic areas. For full detail please visit the NIHSS website.

Call for Funding Submission Deadline: 13 August 2021

Methods Bites - A blog for Computational Social Science techniques

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The Social Science Data Lab is an event series at the Mannheim Centre for European Social Research (MZES). It offers a platform for young scholars to present and discuss cutting-edge methods for the collection, management, analysis and visualization of data in the social sciences.

Methods Bites is the MZES Data and Methods Unit’s effort to create a systematic and lasting infrastructure that provides accessible and applied illustrations of the materials covered at their events. Their expanding collection of blog posts makes these materials available to a broader audience and provides a forum for peer discussions and mutual learning. Follow the blog at

Recent posts cover the following topics:

The challenges and prospects of the intersection of humanities and data science

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The Humanities and Data Science Special Interest Group based at The Alan Turing Institute recently produced a white paper titled The challenges and prospects of the intersection of humanities and data science. The paper offers recommendations for funders, academic institutions and researchers to support research in this area. It also highlights a series of recommendations for how these two communities can more easily and better work together to realise the full potential of interdisciplinary work.

Nature Special Edition - Computational Social Science

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The availability of big data has greatly expanded opportunities to study society and human behaviour through the prism of computational analyses. The resulting field is known as computational social science and is defined by its interdisciplinary approaches. However, this type of cross-discipline work is intrinsically challenging, calling for the development of new collaborations and toolkits. In this Nature special collection of articles, we explore some of the fundamental questions and opportunities in computational social science.

Access the special edition at

SICSS Festival

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In June 2021, the Summer Institutes in Computational Social Science (SICSS) hosted a series of online events including tutorials, panel discussions and debates. The goals of the SICSS Festival are to provide new learning opportunities for people interested in computational social science, to provide a venue for community building across SICSS partner locations, and to provide an opportunity for SICSS alumni to share their expertise.

Access the full programme along with recordings at

Topics that were covered include:

Anelda van der Walt
Anelda van der Walt
ESCALATOR Programme Manager