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Workshop on Computational Methods in the Humanities 2018 (COMHUM 2018)

4 juin - 5 juin

Location: University of Lausanne, Switzerland

It is often said that the digital humanities are “situated at the intersection of computer science and the humanities,” but what does this mean? We believe that the point of using computers in the humanities is not just to automatically analyze larger amounts of data or to accelerate research. We therefore prefer to understand digital humanities as (1) the study of means and methods of constructing formal models in the humanities and (2) as the application of these means and methods for the construction of concrete models in particular humanities disciplines. The central research questions are thus correspondingly (1) which computational methods are most appropriate for dealing with the particular challenges posed by humanities research, e.g., uncertainty, vagueness, incompleteness, but also with different positions (points of view, values, criteria, perspectives, approaches, readings, etc.)? And (2) how can such computational methods be applied to concrete research questions in the humanities?

The goal of this workshop is to bring together researchers involved with computational approaches in the humanities with the objective of stimulating the research and exchange around innovative, methodologically explicit approaches, to encourage discussion among researchers and developers from different communities, and to help bridging the divide that still exists between the different disciplines involved in this field.

The program will consist of invited and contributed talks on computational methods for and in the humanities. The official language of the workshop is English. Contributions can be submitted in English or French.


The topics of the workshop encompass formal and computational aspects related to the development and use of computational methods in the humanities (in particular the disciplines represented in the Faculty of Arts of UNIL – such as literature, linguistics, history, history of art, cinema studies, game studies).

Topics include, but are not limited to:

  • Theoretical issues of formal modeling in the humanities
  • Knowledge representation in the humanities
  • Data structures addressing specific problems in the humanities (including text and markup)
  • Quantitative methods in the humanities
  • Computer vision and image analysis in the humanities
  • Spatial analysis in the humanities
  • Network analysis in the humanities


We invite researchers to submit abstracts of 500 to 1000 words (1–2 pages, excluding references). Abstracts will be reviewed double-blind by the members of the program committee, and all submissions will receive several independent reviews. Abstracts submitted at review stage must not contain the authors’ names, affiliations, or any information that may disclose the authors’ identity.

Authors of accepted abstracts will be invited to present their research at the workshop as a talk, and the abstracts will be published in the book of abstracts of the workshop.

The abstracts must use the ACL 2017 format (LaTeX, Word). Abstracts must be submitted electronically in PDF format. For abstracts submissions we use EasyChair.

Authors of accepted contributions will be invited, after the conference, to submit a full paper version (6–16 pages), which, after peer-review, will be published in an open-access, electronic conference volume endowed with persistent identifiers (to be confirmed soon).

Invited Speakers

  • Maristella Agosti (Università di Padova): The Confluence in Digital Humanities: the Computer Scientist, the Digital Humanist, and the Final User
  • Bruno Cornelis (Vrije Universiteit Brussel): Image Processing for Art Investigation
  • Manfred Thaller (emeritus, Universität zu Köln): Decoding What the Sender Did Not Want to Transmit. Information Technology and Historical Data; or something.

Important Dates

  • Deadline for submission of abstracts: April 16, 2018
  • Notification of acceptance: April 30, 2018
  • Workshop: June 4–5, 2018


The workshop is organized by members of the Department of Language and Information Sciences (SLI) at the University of Lausanne, with the support of the Faculty of Arts: François Bavaud, Raphaël Ceré, Isaac Pante, Davide Picca, Stéphanie Pichot, Michael Piotrowski, Yannick Rochat, and Aris Xanthos.

The workshop underlines the commitment of the department to the computational dimension of the digital humanities, including formal and mathematical methods.

Program Committee

  • François Bavaud (Unil, SLI and IGD)
  • Raphaël Ceré (Unil, IGD)
  • Giovanni Colavizza (Turing Institute, London)
  • Leonardo Impett (EPFL, Image and Visual Representation Lab)
  • Maria Kraxenberger (Max Planck Institute for Empirical Aesthetics)
  • Cerstin Mahlow (Bern University of Applied Sciences)
  • Barbara McGillivray (Turing Institute, London)
  • Isaac Pante (Unil, SLI)
  • Davide Picca (Unil, SLI)
  • Michael Piotrowski (Unil, SLI) – Chair
  • Yannick Rochat (Unil, SLI)
  • Elena Spadini (Unil, Centre de recherches sur les lettres romandes)
  • Sabine Süsstrunk (EPFL, Image and Visual Representation Lab)
  • Aris Xanthos (Unil, SLI)

Further Information

llist [at] unil [dot] ch


Début :
4 juin
Fin :
5 juin
Site Web :


Campus Dorigny
Lausanne, 1015 Switzerland
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Laboratoire lausannois d’informatique et statistique textuelle
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