Workshop: Digital Humanities, crowd sourcing and travel writing

Digital humanities, crowd sourcing, and travel writing: Anna Maria Falconbridge’s diary (1794)’, with Professor Deidre Coleman (University of Melbourne and Visiting Fellow at the Institute for Advanced Studies, University of Warwick) on

Tuesday 21st January 2014 at the University of Warwick.  

Professor Coleman has written extensively on travel writing, antislavery and Sierra Leone (e.g. Romantic Colonization and British Anti-Slavery, CUP, 2005). She is currently working on a biography of the naturalist Henry Smeathman.

Studying subjects in the arts and humanities can be a solitary pursuit.  With this workshop we want to try out a new way of collaborating using online technology and crowd sourcing. We hope to open debates, and to pool and generate knowledge on – in this case – late eighteenth-century West Africa, the history of slavery and anti-slavery, gender, race, travel writing, colonialism and West African history.

This three-hour workshop (12-3 pm) will be open to all postgraduate students, post-docs, and senior researchers, in History, English and other related subjects, from the University of Warwick and elsewhere. Lunch and refreshments will be provided. The event will take place at the seminar room of the IAS, Milburn House (building 43 on the map

In preparation for the workshop, participants are encouraged to read and comment on Falconbridge’s Two Voyages (approximately 50,000 words or 94 pages). A website will give access to an online version of the text, where digital tools can be used to add comments, links and references, or simply to ask questions. Your annotations – and those of all the other participants – will appear on a single electronic version of the text between now and the workshop, thus enabling us to create a collaboratively marked-up version in advance.  The aim of this exercise is to identify themes for discussion at the workshop and also to explore digital ‘crowd sourcing’ as a method in humanities research.

We know that not everyone will be able to attend January’s workshop, but we would still encourage you to participate virtually by annotating the on-line text in advance.  Your comments and questions will help shape the workshop.

To attend the workshop and get access to the online material, please contact Hanna Hodacs ( or David Lambert (

We look forward to hearing from you and to participating with you in what should be an exciting collaborative experiment.