I am a bit of a late comer to podcasts, although I have loved audiobooks (and particularly full-cast adaptations of audiobooks as radio plays – see the BBC’s back catalogue for an amazing line-up) for most of my life. Recently I’ve started listening to academic podcasts more and more, as I find them an interesting way of engaging with intellectual topics in a more off-the-cuff manner than traditional keynotes, articles, or other forms of scholarly communication. To that end, I’ve put together a list of five DH podcasts I’ve discovered and enjoyed recently. These are great for a walk, a commute (remember those?), or a bike ride. I sometimes listen to one while I’m making coffee in the morning to stimulate my brain in a different way. They are not in order of importance, just the order in which I discovered them. Now, bear in mind, because I’m a native English speaker, the list below consists solely of English-language podcasts. If you have any further suggestions for our readers, and especially if you have non-English DH podcast suggestions, pop them in a comment below!
The DH East Asia Podcast. This podcast covers stylommetry, digital mapping, spatial history, network visualization, and tools specifically designed for East Asian studies. The researchers involved come from a range of universities and projects. Although the podcast only lasted from 2016-2017, there are eight episodes ranging from 44 minutes to 65 minutes, where topics are discuss at length among experts. Find this one at DHEastAsia.org or Apple Podcasts.
The Price Lab for Digital Humanities at University of Pennsylvania Podcast. Whew! What a mouthful. I love this one. The first series consisted of interviews with academic who work across a range of disciplines, but who all have a digital humanities element to their work. The second series has been relabeled ‘Dream Lab’ and rather than focusing on specific researchers, instead explores central themes and tracks of DH work, such as digital pedagogy, tidy data, and afrofuturism. My favorite of these episodes is with Dot Porter, where she describes the value and intellectual labor involved in the creation of digital surrogates. As this is the topic of my PhD, I found her insights particularly engaging. You can listen to all available episodes of the podcast here.
Rocking the Academy. Although not strictly just about DH per se, this podcast features interviews between someone who is (among many other things) a DH researcher, and many interviewees who are also DH researchers. Co-hosted by Roopika Risam and Mary Churchill, Rocking the Academy is focused on providing diverse experiences or academics and librarians (and academic librarians) who are working to disrupt the academy from within. There are frequent discussions of DH projects, tools, and books written by DH-ers. Most importantly though, it’s a good way to envision how we could bring an aspect of social justice into our work as researchers, and for the academy to be more representative of a diverse set of viewpoints. Check it out here.
Steering the Digital Scholarship. See what they did there? It’s a play on words. I know many of my European colleagues will dig that. Put together by the good folks at the Brock University Digital Scholarship Lab in Canada, this podcast features discussions about ongoing workshops and initiatives specifically at Brock, though does touch on lots of topics that are relevant to researchers across the spectrum of DH work. There are currently 35 available episodes of roughly 35 minutes each, and they have a fun and upbeat tone, even in Covid times! Not a simple feat. It’s clear this one is a labor of love. While I could do with a bit more metadata in the episode descriptions, it’s always a fun surprise to see what the hosts, Daniel Brett and Tim Ribaric, have cooked up. Find the episodes on Spotify or Soundcloud.
Humanities+. This one has a manageable number of episodes: six. This podcast was a collaboration between Dr. Caroline Boswell, Professor of Humanities and European History, and Rachel Scray, a student of History, Digital and Public Humanities and Arts Management at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay. It ostensibly ended when Scray graduated (Summa Cum Laude no less!) from UW Green Bay in May of 2020. The episodes are focused on a topic near and dear to my heart: how we turn our Digital work outward so that it can be of use to the wider public. You can listen to all six of the episodes on Soundcloud.
For a veritable smörgåsbord of individual episodes of podcasts otherwise not strictly about DH, check out this list compiled by Stitcher. And again, if you have some suggestions for other podcasts (English or otherwise) that you have enjoyed, drop a comment under this post. Have a listen and enjoy!