AIUCD 2017 Conference, Call for papers: „The Reverse Telescope: Big Data and Distant Reading in the Humanities“

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The Associazione per l’Informatica Umanistica e le Culture Digitali (AIUCD) is pleased to announce the sixth edition of its annual conference and invites all interested scholars to submit a proposal.

The AIUCD 2017 Conference will be held from January 26th to 28th in Rome, Italy, and it is organized by DigiLab (Sapienza University), in collaboration with the DiXiT Marie Curie network  (Digital Scholarly Editions Initial Training). The DiXiT workshop “The educational and social impact of Digital Scholarly Editions” is planned before the Conference. AIUCD 2017 will also host the third edition of the EADH Day, on January 25th.

The AIUCD 2017 Conference will take place at Sapienza University, Palazzo delle ex Vetrerie Sciarra, via dei Volsci 122, Rome.

For more information, please visit the Conference website or send an email to

Conference Topics

The main topic of the AIUCD 2017 Conference is the use of big data methods, cultural analytics and distant reading in the Humanities. We would like to explore the methodological and epistemological impact of these methods, their application in the different fields of the Humanities and on various kinds of media and digital resources, their effects on our comprehension of cultural and historical phenomena and, finally, their consequences and repercussions on the social and public perceptions of the Humanities.

We therefore encourage proposals on (but not limited to) the following topics:

  • Methodological and epistemological aspects of distant reading in the Humanities
  • Distant reading, close reading and scaled reading: relations and interactions between hermeneutical tradition, quantitative analysis and new computational methods
  • Interaction and integration of methods of statistical/quantitative analysis and formal logic methods, semantic web technologies and linked data
  • Quantitative and stylometry analysis, topic modelling and clustering for literary texts, archival documents and cultural objects
  • Authorship attribution and automatic text classification
  • Applications and experimentations of data mining methodologies in historical, artistic and archaeological research
  • Network analysis and sentiment analysis applied to the Humanities
  • Interaction between Natural Language Processing technologies and data mining
  • Computational analysis of multimedia resources: images, audio and video
  • Methods and techniques of visualization and their impact on knowledge transfer in the Humanities
  • Problems and strategies for sustainability of data produced during research activities in terms of persistence, provenance and authenticity
  • Cultural and social impact of humanity research produced with computational methods

The deadline for submitting proposals is November 15th (midnight). Notification of acceptance will be sent by December 15th.

Official languages of the AIUCD 2017 Conference are Italian and English. However, it is possible to present in other languages if you provide  English slides or an English handout.

Proposals categories and submission

Proposal must be sent in the form of an extended abstract that specifies the category (see below for details) using the ConfTool web-page:

Proposals are invited for the following categories:

  • long paper (30 min: 20/25 min + 10/5 min for Q&A): the paper should discuss innovative methodologies and their theoretical basis, experiences of analysis and applications that are methodologically significant within a  discipline; presentations devoted to present a specific tool or resource are acceptable only if they include a thorough critical discussion of the methodologies used and/or a theoretical evaluation of the results obtained;
    short paper (15 min: 10/12 min + 5/3 min for Q&A): the paper should present a mature research product or a research project;
  • panel (45 or 90 min, including Q&A): in the panel, a series of presentations (max 6) should address a topic from the theoretical and the methodological points of view; or give a critical assessment of the grounding, methods and results of a research project; and
  • poster: mainly for presenting an ongoing project or the technical details of a tool or a digital resource.

The conference proposals will be selected through single blind peer review by scholars in the Humanities, Computer Science and/or Digital Humanities. At the end of the evaluation process, the Program Committee may decide to move an accepted proposal to a different category of presentation.

To submit a proposal, please sign in ConfTool ( When submitting a proposal, authors must specify keywords from those suggested by the tool, in order to facilitate the review process.

Proposals structure and formats

Proposals must clearly present the goals of the paper, give a brief state of the art, specify and discuss the chosen methodology and, if appropriate, the results obtained or expected. Proposals should include a short bibliography.

Dimensions vary depending on the type of proposal:

  • Long paper proposals should be at least 1000 words + bibliography;
  • Panel proposals should be at least 500 words + 200 words for each of the presentations + bibliography;
  • Short paper and poster proposals should be at least 800 words + bibliography;

When submitting the proposal, it is required to include a short abstract (300 words) in ConfTool. For their proposal, authors must use the templates found at the following addresses:

  • Word:
  • ODT:

Valid formats are DOCX, DOC, ODT and PDF.

Official languages of the AIUCD 2017 Conference are Italian and English, but it is possible to submit a proposal also in the following languages: French, German and Spanish. In latter case, it is mandatory to provide the short abstract in ConfTool in English.

Posters should be in Italian or English and in the A1 portrait (841mm x 594mm) format. Posters will be displayed in a dedicated space at the Conference venue; display panels will be provided. Please bring your poster printed, as we are unable to provide a printing service.

Personal laptop computers may be used at the poster display area. Should your presentation include a laptop, please inform the organizing committee on acceptance of your proposal.

Specific poster slams sessions (max 2 minutes for each poster) will be scheduled in the Conference programme.

“Giuseppe Gigliozzi” Conference Bursary Awards

AIUCD will offer three bursaries awards of 250 € for early-career scholars (student and non tenured lecturers) presenting papers (long or short) at the conference. Eligible scholars can apply selecting the specific check-box at the bottom of the abstract’s submission form in ConfTool. Candidates papers will be selected by reviewers.

Prior to the conference, the AIUCD Board will make a preliminary review of all papers proposed by the reviewers, then will verify their eligibility and compile a preliminary list of a maximum of 10 papers. Then a panel of reviewers is recruited from AIUCD board members, program committee members, program session chairs, and other experienced participants attending the conference. During the course of the conference, one or more reviewers will unobtrusively attend and observe each candidate presentation and make recommendations to the Board. Winners will be selected by the Board at the end of the conference, and the results will then be communicated during the General Assembly.

Please note that no more than one winner can be based at the organizing institution.

International Programme Committee

Fabio Ciotti (chair) – Università di Roma Tor vergata
Gianfranco Crupi (co-chair e organizzatore locale) – Sapienza Università di Roma
Stefano Asperti – Sapienza Università di Roma
Marina Buzzoni – Università Ca’ Foscari Venezia
Franz Fischer – Universität zu Köln
Mariella Guercio – Sapienza Università di Roma
Tiziana Mancinelli – Universität zu Köln
Cristina Marras – CNR ILIESI
Monica Monachini – CNR ILC
Elena Pierazzo – Université Grenoble Alpes
Massimo Riva – Brown University
Geoffrey Rockwell – University of Alberta
Francesco Stella – Università di Siena
Francesca Tomasi – Università di Bologna

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