Regional Diversity of ADHO Authors

What's Under the Big Tent? ADHO Conference Abstracts, 2004-2014In you case you’re addicted to the self-definition of digital humanities, here’s a healthy scoop DH conferences analyses! For some time now, I’ve been working with Scott Weingart on a longitudinal study of Alliance for Digital Humanities Organization (ADHO) conference abstracts. Last week, at the DHSI Colloquium, we presented some of our initial findings, and I thought I would share bits of them here as well. Scott has written a series of blog posts on DH conferences, if you need more (meta)DH in your life. 

Our Dataset

For this study we’ve scraped ADHO conference programs and abstract books of 2004-2014 for:

  • unique authors
  • author institutional affiliations (if provided)
  • academic departments (if provided)
  • presentation types (panels, posters, plenaries, papers, etc)
  • presentation text (abstract or full paper, whichever are in the programs)
  • keywords (if available)

It should be noted that all of our points of analysis are about the ADHO conferences, not for digital humanities as a field/discipline/method(s), even if indicative of the other.

Regional Diversity

We started our analysis by surveying the regional diversity of ADHO presenters, since ADHO is a collection of international organizations. To our list of authors, we’ve added their countries based on their institutional affiliations, and we have clustered them by region. We’re still working on 2014 and 2015, but here’s the breakdown of all unique authors, 2004-2013:

ADHO Regional Diversity 2004-2013

ADHO has been overwhelmingly Americas centric in terms of presenters (US: 851 | Canada: 202 | Mexico: 1 | Peru: 1 | Uruguay: 1), with Europe coming in second at 794. Perhaps it isn’t surprising that for years that ADHO took place in the Americas, 70% of presenters were from the Americas, although they made up 50% of presenters when the conference was held in Europe. However, overall, regional diversity seems to be increasing, with notable increases of authors from Asia and Oceania. But we have yet to see scholars from African countries attend. Everywhere else the trends are pretty clear: a slow move eastward of authors as the conference itself moves eastward. It’ll be interesting to see how things change in Poland in 2016, and wherever it winds up going in 2017 and, even if Americas centric, if 2017 in Montreal and 2018 in Mexico City will mean more international contributors (especially from Latin America).

ADHO Regional Diversity by Year
ADHO Regional Diversity by Year, 2004-2013

While regional diversity of ADHO authorship is growing and becoming less insular, there remains greater diversity of projects related to other regions.Juxtaposing our map of unique ADHO authors to Alex Gil’s map of DH projects from Around DH is telling: DH has a global outlook, even if ADHO presenters are primarily from the Americas and Europe. This year’s dh2015 is the first time ADHO is held outside of the Americas or Europe, and once we’ve compiled our author list of 2015, it’s likely we’ll see the most regional diversity compared to previous years.

ADHO regional diversity
ADHO Presenters’ Country Affiliations, 2004-2013
DH Project Map from 'Around DH in 80 Days' -  Alex Gil
Around DH in 80 Days – Alex Gil

This is just a snapshot of our findings in relation to regional diversity of ADHO authorship, so stay tuned for more posts on other categories of analysis. Or, check out Scott’s blog and our slidedeck from the DHSI Colloquium: .

– nickoal