HELDIG Digital Humanities Forum

A central goal of HELDIG is to foster use of digital methods, tools, and services in Humanities and Social Sciences. To advance this, HELDIG organizers not only courses for students but also educational and disemination activities targeted for researchers and teachers willing employ digital methods more is their work. Such lifelong learning  activities take place at the HELDIG Digital Humanities Forum, and may include

  • short presentations of research areas, technology, methodology, or data service,
  • seminars and workshops of general interest,
  • tutorials,
  • presentations of projects and organizations,
  • dissemination of research results,
  • publishing events of applications and
  • other programme of interest to the DH community.

The general goal of HELDIG Forum activities is to introduce topics of wider interest in Digital Humanities, and to provide a communication platform where representatives from the different HELDIG research areas can learn from each other and come up together with better results in their work.

The possibility of proposing an activity in the HELDIG Forum  is open for anyone in the HELDIG community. If you have an idea of a Forum event, please contact Krista Lagus Jouni Tuominen or Eero Hyvönen with a short draft description of your activity: Topic, presenters, date and time, targeted audicence, goals of the activity, a short description of its contents, and language used. For example, if you have given a tutorial in an international conference, why not give it also to the Finnish community in HELDIG? HELDIG can help you in finding a venue for the tutorial and the audience. Participation in the HELDIG Forum events is by default open and free of charge.



Introducing new HELDIG professors
The sessions introduce first HELDIG and the new Dept of Digital Humanities, and then the new HELDIG professors.

Morning coffee is served on Fridays (see the detailed programme below) 10:00–11:00, Metsätalo, Unioninkatu 40, in Hall 2 (spiral staircase up from the lounge, on the right) or Hall 4 (stairs up from the lounge, on the left). The presentation starts at 10:15.

Register here by the preceeding Wednesday latest to order your free coffee. You are welcome to join the sessions also without registration, we only use it to estimate the amount of coffee!

Tentative programme (changes possible!)





9.2. 4 prof. Eero Hyvönen
prof. Martti Vainio

HELDIG – Helsinki Centre for Digital Humanities
New Dept of Digital Humanities at University of Helsinki

16.2. 4 prof. Krista Lagus

*** Session canceled due to illness ***

Chair: Digital Social Science

2.3. 4 prof. Minna Ruckenstein

Chair: Digital Innovations and Consumer Society
Title: Excess online – coming to terms with users and data
Abstract: 'Citizen Mindscapes' is an open data project that contextualizes and explores a large online forum ('Suomi24, or Finland24'), consisting of tens of millions discussion threads and covering online discussions over a time span of 15 years. The sub-project presented in this talk focuses on the production and distribution of digital data and the consequent data analytics. I will cover customary ways of tracking and modifying online user behavior and discuss practices of content moderation, offering examples of how online discussions are safeguarded and curated. The overall goal is to develop new kinds of frameworks for studying online discussions, paying critical attention to the existing platforms and data gathering techniques as well as the typical ways of understanding online discussions. For instance, rather than exploring 'hate speech', which can be identified in the discussion forum, we seek to detect patterns and shaping principles that promote emotional waves, topical concentration and user positioning in the forum. By identifying such patterns and organizations, we can promote a more detailed view of how online discussions are positioned and seen in the society, what kind of value they merit, or do not merit, and in which context. Some users refer to the forum as 'Suoli24' (gut24), which we take as an important cue regarding how the discussions could be interpreted: the experience of relief comes from the fact that emotional excess has been dealt with.

16.3. 2 prof. Eetu Mäkelä Chair: Digital Humanities and Global Interaction
Title: Humanities/Social Sciences–Computing Interaction
Abstract: Applying modern data processing to complex social and historical data works best when done in collaboration - between the social scientists/humanities scholars who have the questions, between the computer scientists who deeply understand the methods and between the institutions who own and best understand the data used. At its best, collaboration also has something unique to offer each of these groups inside their own field of study. For user interaction and algorithmic data science research, this field offers complex, meaningful challenges, both in terms of data as well as use cases. In this presentation, I will go over my work, done in collaboration with over a dozen projects in the humanities, in trying to distill general scholarly data-centred workflows that can be supported by computational tools, and the interesting challenges encountered therein.
6.4. 2 prof. Petri Ihantola Chair: Big Data Learning Analytics
13.4. National Library of Finland, Fabiania building, Auditorium, Yliopistonkatu 1 Tuula Pääkkönen
Kimmo Kettunen
Petteri Veikkolainen

Title: Digi.kansalliskirjasto.fi demo, open data and interfaces
Abstract: Besides having historical newspapers and journals from 1771-1929 open via digi.kansalliskirjasto.fi, The National Library also aims to open up data via interfaces and open data. We  will take a look at the interfaces already existing from the service and the all-around data catalogue of The National Library. We will also take a look at future development ideas that have grown from research while showing a demo of the Digi.

Title: Research and development efforts on the digitized historical newspaper and journal collection of The National Library of Finland
Abstract: The National Library of Finland (NLF) has digitized historical newspapers, journals and ephemera published in Finland since the late 1990s. The present collection consists of about 13 million pages mainly in Finnish and Swedish. Out of these about 7.36 million pages are freely available on the web site digi.kansalliskirjasto.fi (Digi). The copyright restricted part of the collection can be used at six legal deposit libraries in different parts of Finland. The time period of the open collection is from 1771 to 1929.
This presentation offers an overall account of research and development work related to the data.

Title: Suomalainen verkkoarkisto / The Finnish web archive

*** Please register already on Thursday 5th April at the latest to get free coffee! ***

20.4. 2 prof. Daria Gritsenko Chair: Russian Big Data Methodologies
Title: Digital Russia Studies
Abstract: After the Soviet collapse, Russia built a new political regime, which successfully utilized some democratic institutions for exercising and preserving personalist political power. Currently, this regime is being reconfigured in the context of digitalisation, Big Data and algorithmic governance. Whether Russia will be able to improve its institutional performance with the use of technological advancements and technocratic policy solutions depends on a multitude of factors, both political and technological. Use of novel digital research tools can aid multi-dimensional and cross-disciplinary studies in this area to understand Russian politics as the intersection of 'digital' and 'soci(et)al'.
27.4. 2 prof. Johanna Sumiala

Chair: Religion and the Digital World
Title: Hybrid Media Events: The Charlie Hebdo Attacks and Global Circulation of Terrorist Violence
Abstract: What are hybrid media events? And how to study them in today's digital condition? This presentation addresses these questions by re-thinking media events in the contemporary digital media environment saturated by intensified circulation of radical violence. The empirical analyses draw on the investigation of Charlie Hebdo attacks in Paris, in 2015 and the global responses those attacks stirred in the global media audience. Methodologically, the study combines digital ethnographic approaches with computational social sciences. This presentation gives special emphasis to the hybrid dynamics between the different actors, platforms and messages in such events. It demonstrates how tweets such as "Je suis Charlie" circulate from one digital media platform to another and what kind of belongings are created in those circulations during the times of distraction. 

4.5. 2 prof. Riikka Koulu Chair: Legal Research on Digitalization
Title: Law and Digitalisation or, How Technology Confounds Existing Legal Structures
Abstract: The legal system is often defined by its reactive nature, where the legal framework for technological innovation is established by regulation and ex post legitimacy control in the state courts. However, new digital platforms, Internet transactions and regulation-averse technologies such as the blockchain are confounding existing legal conceptualisations, structures and governance models. It is clear that traditional legal methods are unable to perceive the complex phenomena related to legal digitalisation. However, it is unclear how the normative nature of legal scholarship could accommodate this need. In her presentation, Koulu presents the work of the University of Helsinki Legal Tech Lab and sketches possible ways forward by introducing  algorithmic fairness as a potential collaborative effort.
    prof. Eero Hyvönen

Tutorial: Introduction to Semantic Web and Linked Open Data
Immediately after Riikka Koulu's presentation, Eero Hyvönen will present a gentle two hour tutorial 11:00-13:00 on Linked Data and Semantic Web, a set of web technologies that have become increasingly popular as a basis in Digital Humanities research and applications. The tutorial is based on material presented originally as part of an European Commission ESTP course "Introduction to Linked Open Data" explaining the fundamental ideas behind the Semantic Web and Linked Data, as well as  giving an overview of standards and software in use in this fascinating field.

This occasion also celebrates the publication of the first textbook in Finnish about the topic, with an emphasis on Cultural Heritage applications: E. Hyvönen:  Semanttinen Web - Linkitetyn avoimen datan käsikirja, Gaudeamus, 271pp., 2018.

18.5. 4 prof. Michael Mathioudakis Chair: Algorithmic Data Science for SSH Applications
Title: Echo Chambers on Social Media
Abstract: Echo chambers, i.e., situations where one is exposed only to opinions that agree with their own, are an increasing concern for the political discourse in many democratic countries.  In this session, we'll discuss the phenomenon of political echo chambers on social media. In particular, we'll discuss recent work that attempts to quantify the degree to which the phenomenon is present on social media and study the role played by different types of users.
7.6. 4

Kiran Garimella

Title: Using Internet Advertising Data for Demographic Research
Abstract: Social networks like Facebook and LinkedIn provide audience estimates to help advertisers target their products better. In this talk, I will present our work on using such audience estimate data to study two problems of interest to demographers and social scientists: 1. Migration, and 2. Gender gap.

First, I will show how we can use Facebook data for advertisers to study the levels of assimilation of Arabic-speaking migrants in Germany, as seen through the interests they express online. Our results indicate a gradient of assimilation along demographic lines, language spoken and country of origin. Given the difficulty to collect timely migration data, in particular for traits related to cultural assimilation, the methods that we develop and the results that we provide open new lines of research that computational social scientists are well-positioned to address.

Next, I will switch gears and show the how we use LinkedIn data to understand gender gaps in the US. We study gender trends in employment across various dimensions in the United States by analyzing anonymous, aggregate statistics that were extracted from LinkedIn’s advertising platform. The data contains the number of male and female LinkedIn users with respect to (i) location, (ii) age, (iii) industry and (iv) certain skills. We studied which of these categories correlate the most with high relative male or female presence on LinkedIn. In addition to examining the summary statistics of the LinkedIn data, we model the gender balance as a function of the different employee features using linear regression. Our results suggest that the gender gap, as measured using LinkedIn data, varies across all feature types, but the differences are most profound among industries and skills. A high correlation between gender ratios of people in our LinkedIn data set, and data provided by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, serves as external validation for our results.

*** Please register already on Tuesday 5th June at the latest to get free coffee! ***


18.12.2017  DARIAH-FI Workshop

Topic: DARIAH is a pan-european infrastructure for arts and humanities scholars working with computational methods, one of the large EU level ERICs (European Research Infrastructure Consortium) . It supports digital research as well as the teaching of digital research methods. University of Helsinki (2017) and Aalto University (2016) are co-operative partners of DARIAH. This means that doors are open to everybody in these universities participate in  DARIAH activities, such as the workgroups. For example, HELDIG is already active in the groups "GeoHumanities" and "Analysing and Linking Biographical Data".  The DARIAH-FI Workshop discusses what does DARIAH EU offer to us, and why should we take part in this ERIC for humanities.
Targeted audience:  Researchers interested in EU collaborations within DARIAH
Presenters:  Several presenters, including Sally Chambers for DARIAH-EU