The following post is from Roy Cobby, 1st Year MPhil/PhD Student at the Department of Digital Humanities, King’s College London.

The full video for the conference is now available here:

You can also access a booklet summarising the panels here:

The PhD Conference at the Department of Digital Humanities in King’s College London is a yearly opportunity for research students at the department to gain experience in event organising. Our proposed title was 2020 LOATHING: Digital Tensions, Fragmentations and Polarisations, as we wished to reflect what we perceived as a certain tiredness and cynicism with the so-called “digital revolution”. Any optimism of the high globalisation era has been replaced today with the social tensions, economic fragmentations and political polarisations caused or at least accelerated by the digital transformation. While further thematic details were still being finalised, the realities of confinement made us postpone it, without really knowing when or where we would be able to hold the conference.

Finally, a couple of weeks ago, we decided that it would be a missed opportunity not to hold a conference this year. Aware of current limitations, we still believe that it is important to discuss ongoing digital transformations. If anything, the circumstances of working from home, online teaching and other adaptations have relied more than ever on the growing public and private digital infrastructure. Plus, proposed solutions are more or less connected to tech dreams and projects, from tracking apps to virtual health assessments. If recent financial information is to be believed, it is precisely those firms (GAFA) operating in the online space which are benefiting the most from the new reality.

We are very thankful for the involvement of KCL Digital Humanities Department, including Dr Mark Coté (who really helped us shape the conference, offline and online), and Drs Mercedes Bunz and Ashwin J Mathew, who will take part in the panels to provide comments on the lead panellists presentations. Following the truly international spirit of King’s and DDH, we were also happy to welcome Dr Rodrigo Firmino, from PUCPR Brazil.

2020 Loathing Conference programme