On Friday, 15 July, during the closing ceremony of the ADHO DH2016 conference in Kraków, Glen Worthey announced the results of the election of the Chair of the ADHO Steering Committee for the next two years. The election took place during the Steering Committee’s annual meeting on Tuesday, 12 July 2016. Glen’s public announcement is posted below, followed by the reply of the newly-reelected chair, Karina van Dalen-Oskam.
Karina then continued with a statement relating to the attack in Nice on the previous day, after which she presented some numbers and observations about the DH2016 conference at its close. Her words also appear below verbatim. All those who wanted to talk to her about the issues she addressed but were not able to do so in Kraków after the closing ceremony are explicitly invited to contact her through e-mail.
Karina’s election followed her standing in as interim Steering Committee Chair for the 7 months prior to the annual meeting. Her report about these difficult months, in which discussions about diversity played a very important role, can also be found here. It was presented to the Steering Committee at its meeting on Sunday 10 July 2016 and it was agreed upon that it could be made available to everyone.
I speak to you on behalf of the ADHO Steering Committee Secretariat, which is charged with conducting ADHO business whenever the Chair is unable to do so. Electing a new Chair is one of those occasions. Many of you know that our previous Chair, Professor John Nerbonne, resigned unexpectedly late last year, before the end of his term. A few weeks later, Karina van Dalen-Oskam was elected by the Steering Committee to complete John's term. Over the past 7 months, she has done so with uncommon grace, poise, and wisdom during what was a very difficult time for our community.
Last month, the Steering Committee issued a call for nominations from all the ADHO Constituent Organizations for someone to serve a full, 2-year term as Chair. There were no foregone conclusions to this process, and I am proud to say that both nominations and elections were conducted with all due transparency and order -- and on Tuesday of this week, the Committee re-elected Karina to serve a full term.
Likewise on Tuesday, the Steering Committee passed the following resolution by unanimous vote and unanimous acclamation of the non-voting members: "We wish to thank John Nerbonne for his deeply significant service to the digital humanities and to ADHO."
Although John is not present to hear this, I hope you all will join the Steering Committee in these acknowledgements of John's service, and in welcoming our new and continuing ADHO Steering Committee chair, Karina!
Karina van Dalen-Oskam:
Thank you, Glen, for this introduction. I feel honoured to have been elected to fulfill this role for the next two years and I will do my utmost to help ADHO grow in a way that reflects our mission.
First something else. This morning we learned about the latest in a series of gruesome attacks, yesterday evening on the Promenade des Anglais in Nice, France. I wish to express my deepest sympathy with all of you who have friends or family or cultural ties in France, and (in our immediate context) with you who belong to the newest member of our ADHO family, the Francophone Humanistica organization. We wish you strength in these difficult times.
Then back to our conference here in Kraków, which the local organizers have checked has exactly 902 participants (plus 35 accompanying persons), from 45 different countries. We have had a great conference, and I keep on being amazed that an event with so many people from so many different backgrounds takes place in such a good and harmonious atmosphere.
You will perhaps know that on the conference website you can find the ADHO Code of Conduct. It states: that “ADHO works actively toward the creation of a more diverse, welcoming, and inclusive global community of digital humanities scholars and practitioners and therefore actively works on the creation of a safe, respectful, and collegial conference experience for all attendees. Open, critically-engaged, and often challenging discourse is expected to flourish. Participants are encouraged to respect and celebrate cultural and linguistic differences, and to be mindful of the international nature of our community in preparing presentations and engaging in conversation.” In the event a participant has been made to feel unsafe or unwelcome at an ADHO event, the code of conduct refers them to the local organizers, who then - if needed - relay the issue to ADHO.
During this conference, two issues have been reported to me in this way. The first issue is the composition of panels, and the second relates to conduct on twitter and to emotional, social and legal issues surrounding the sharing of messages that others have not authorized to share.
ADHO will not be able to solve these issues immediately, but I will make sure that they will be addressed in an appropriate way to help to make the next conferences even better.
If you have also felt you were being treated incorrectly or have felt unsafe, please come up to me later today or tomorrow and let me know. This is very important to me and to ADHO, so I hope I can encourage you to share this with me. I will be at your disposal tonight at the banquet or tomorrow in the salt mines.