A very warm welcome to all of our new members of staff at the Department of Digital Humanities! Joining us ahead of the next academic year we have:
- Andrea Ballatore, Lecturer in Social and Cultural Informatics
- Barbara McGillivray, Lecturer in Digital Humanities and Cultural Computation
- Daniel Chavez Heras, Lecturer in Humanistic and Social Computing Education
- Laura Gibson, Lecturer in Digital Content Management Education
- Mike Duggan, Lecturer in Digital Culture, Society and Economy Education
- Niki Cheong, Lecturer in Digital Culture and Society
Stuart Dunn, Reader and Head of the Department of Digital Humanities, comments:
“Our Department represents a broad range of digitally-driven teaching and research into the human record across numerous fields and disciplines; and also service, which draws on our traditions of excellence in the Digital Humanities to help society deal with the many challenges of the contemporary digital world. It is therefore my pleasure to welcome our new colleagues to DDH, who will help us build in all these areas, and consolidate and expand our strengths in the future”.
You can find out more about each of them in their bios below.
Andrea Ballatore, Lecturer in Social and Cultural Informatics
Andrea Ballatore (he/his/him) is a quantitative researcher interested in social media, digital geographies, and cultural analytics. Since 2016, he has been employed as a Lecturer in Geographic Data Science at Birkbeck, University of London. Previously, he worked as a postdoctoral researcher at the University of California, Santa Barbara interdisciplinary Center for Spatial Studies. In 2013, he completed a PhD in Computer Science at University College Dublin on geographic information retrieval and natural language processing.
His current work focuses on how the digital is transforming the geographical spaces we inhabit from the perspective of online content creation and consumption. His research currently centres around three projects in collaboration with academic and corporate partners. He is deploying web analytics and corpus linguistics to study the presence of museums on social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook during the Covid-19 pandemic. In a context of increasing online polarisation, he is researching the process of conflict resolution and moderation in Facebook neighbourhood groups through quantitative methods. He is also developing a recommendation and personalisation method for online engagement with outdoor places with the Ordnance Survey.
Barbara McGillivray, Lecturer in Digital Humanities and Cultural Computation
Barbara will be joining the Department in September as a Lecturer in Digital Humanities and Cultural Computation. She holds a degree in Mathematics and one in Classics from the University of Firenze (Italy), and a PhD in Computational Linguistics from the University of Pisa (2010). From 2011 to 2017 she worked as a language technologist in the Dictionaries division of Oxford University Press and then as a data scientist in the Open Research Group of Springer Nature. She is currently a Turing research fellow at the University of Cambridge and at The Alan Turing Institute, where she founded and convenes the Humanities and Data Science special interest group. Her current research focusses on computational models of meaning and conceptual change in historical and contemporary texts and she is Co-Investigator of the UKRI-funded grant Living with Machines. She is also very interested in supporting open data in Humanities research and has been editor-in-chief of the Journal of Open Humanities Data since 2019. Her most recent book is Applying Language Technology in Humanities Research. Design, Application, and the Underlying Logic (co-authored with Gábor Mihály Tóth, Palgrave Macmillan 2020).
Daniel Chavez Heras, Lecturer in Humanistic and Social Computing Education
Daniel has been working with moving images and computers for the last ten years, initially as a designer, later as a researcher and academic. He was a digital manager for the British Council in Mexico; founded an international short film and digital art festival that took place entirely online; and collaborated with the BBC to create the world’s first broadcast AI-TV programme. He has several years of teaching experience in higher education in Mexico and the UK, and before joining King’s a lecturer he was a research fellow at the Cultural Analytics Open Lab in Estonia.
Daniel’s research focuses on the computational production and analysis of audiovisual culture, an area he approaches through a critical-technical blend of creative and scientific computing, film theory, and interdisciplinary design. His first degree is in Design, from Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana in Mexico; and he holds an MA in Film Studies and PhD in Digital Humanities, both from King’s College London in the UK. Daniel is currently working on his first book: Seeing Machines: the Art and Science of Computational Spectatorship. He also likes to build robots.
Laura Gibson, Lecturer in Digital Content Management Education
Laura Gibson gained her PhD in Digital Humanities from King’s College London in 2019 with a thesis that investigates decolonising cultural heritage in the digital age, with a specific focus on South African museums. Her research on decolonisation and digitisation is informed by several years working in South African museums, including as Collections and Digitisation Manager at the Luthuli Museum national legacy project. Laura’s current research considers issues of indigenous knowledge exchange and repatriation in (South) Africa using digital tools. She has taught on undergraduate and postgraduate course in the Department of Digital Humanities since 2019.
Laura holds an MPhil in African Studies from the University of Cape Town and a BA (Hons) in History from University of Durham.
Mike Duggan, Lecturer in Digital Culture, Society and Economy Education
Mike is a cultural geographer and Lecturer in Digital Culture, Society and Economy (Education) in the Department of Digital Humanities, King’s College London. He has a PhD from Royal Holloway University of London, working in partnership with the Ordnance Survey on studying everyday digital mapping practices. His research is primarily interested in the tensions and contradictions that emerge when we examine how digital society and technology is theorised and how everyday life in a digital society is lived. He is currently studying how artistic interventions might counter the data collection practices of video conferencing platforms, and how locative media can be used to understand the locally-global issues of climate change, ecology and migration. He is the current editor-in-chief of the Livingmaps Review, a bi-annual journal for radical and critical cartography.
Niki Cheong, Lecturer in Digital Culture and Society
Niki Cheong (he/him) completed his PhD at the University of Nottingham, UK, in 2020, where he researched the practices by political actors in Malaysia engaging in the online manipulation of information, known as cybertroopers. For this work, he received the 2021 Best Dissertation Award from the Association of Internet Researchers.
Niki is broadly interested in the everyday navigation of (political) information in online spaces, with a focus on disinformation, digital practices, and digital citizenship. Currently, he is researching how popular culture is weaponised on WhatsApp in Malaysia and Singapore (funded by the Facebook Integrity Foundational Research Award). He is also part of a UNESCO-funded research project mapping online resources for LGBTI+ youth and other young key populations in the Asia-Pacific region.
Niki has previously taught at the University of Nottingham (both in the UK and Malaysia), Coventry University and Monash University Malaysia. He was formerly editor of digital journalism platform R.AGE, which is a part of Malaysia’s largest English-language newspaper, The Star. He is looking forward to joining the team at the Department of Digital Humanities at King’s College London, where he began his MA Digital Culture and Society studies a decade ago.