Bursary Reports 2019


Ana Llorens

Instituto Complutense de Ciencias Musicales, Universidad Complutense de Madrid

Workshop: Digital Musicology

I cannot be sufficiently glad to have attended the Digital Humanities at Oxford Summer School 2019 – and sufficiently thankful for having been awarded one of the bursaries. The Summer School proved to be a much more inspiring experience than I had previously imagined.

Not only did I receive training in tools and techniques specific to my field of expertise at the ‘Digital Musicology’ strand: thanks to the special and plenary lectures, such as the TORCH lecture this year, the poster session, and, not least, the coffee and lunch breaks, I was also able to deeply immerse myself in the richness of Digital Humanities, and of human thought in its most general sense.

Being focused on our own research projects, scholars often forget that there is a fascinating world around us. In a world in which access to (linked) data is becoming increasingly easier – and trendy – I learnt that Digital Humanities is about collaborating, about enriching our perspectives through others’. Digital Humanities is also about trying to understand a world made by humans for humans. It is not the use of machines but rather the interaction between people that makes the advances in our disciplines really possible. It is our questions that should guide those advances, trying to make computers more human. Therefore, the results of the Summer School would not have been the same without the ca. 250 people (delegates, convenors, lecturers, organisation team, catering services…) that converted Keble College into a highly enthusiastic bubble.

As a postdoctoral researcher at the Instituto Complutense de Ciencias Musicales (Madrid) who works on the expression of emotions in eighteenth-century opera seria, I will soon start using the techniques and approaches I learned during DHOxSS 2019 – indeed, I am already doing so in the European Research Council project in which I work, ‘DIDONE’. The hands-on sessions were lots of fun, and immediately addictive! They also made me realise even more clearly the hard work behind the manifold projects that the lecturers generously shared during the sessions and breaks. As a university teacher too, I hope I will soon develop my skills at some of the tools, in order to better transmit my enthusiasm about ‘becoming digital’ to present and future generations of researches in the Humanities.

I would like to give special thanks to the lecturers in the Musicology strand (especially Kevin Page and David Lewis), the committee that granted me the bursary that allowed me to attend the Digital Humanities at Oxford Summer School 2019, as well as all the organising team and Keble College staff. I look forward to future meetings like this; taking a different strand in the Summer School 2020 is not discarded!

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