Call for papers

Call for papers DHASA Conference 2021
Notice the extended submission deadline (29 August 2021)

Theme: “Digitally Human, Artificially Intelligent”

The Digital Humanities Association of Southern Africa (DHASA) is organizing its third conference with the theme “Digitally Human, Artificially Intelligent”. The field of Digital Humanities is currently still rather underdeveloped in Southern Africa. Hence, this conference has several aims. First, to bring together researchers who are interested in showcasing their research from the broad field of Digital Humanities. By doing so, this conference provides an overview of the current state-of-the-art of Digital Humanities especially in the Southern Africa region. This includes Digital Humanities research by people from Southern Africa or research related to the geographical area of Southern Africa.

Second, the conference allows for information sharing among researchers interested in Digital Humanities as well as network building. By bringing together researchers working on Digital Humanities from Southern Africa or on Southern Africa, we hope to boost collaboration and research in this field.

Third, affiliated workshops and tutorials provide information for researchers to learn about novel technologies and tools. These related events are aimed at researchers interested in the field of Digital Humanities, to focus on specific aspects of Digital Humanities or to provide practical information for researchers to move into the field or advance their knowledge in the field.

The DHASA conference is an interdisciplinary platform for researchers working on all areas of Digital Humanities (including, but not limited to language, literature, visual art, performance and theatre studies, media studies, music, history, sciology, psychology, language technologies, library studies, philosophy, methodologies, software and computation, etc.). It aims to create the conditions for the emergence of a scientific Digital Humanities community of practice.

Suggested topics include the following:

  • Humanities research enabled through digital media, artificial intelligence or machine learning, software studies, mapping and geographic information systems, or information design and modelling;
  • Social, institutional, global, gender, multilingual, and multicultural aspects of digital humanities including digital feminisms, digital indigenous studies, digital cultural and ethnic studies, digital black studies, digital queer studies;
  • Theoretical, epistemological, historical, or related aspects and interpretations of digital humanities practice and theory;
  • Computer applications in literary, linguistic, cultural, archaeological, and historical studies, including public humanities and interdisciplinary aspects of modern scholarship;
  • Computational textual studies, including quantitative stylistics, stylometry, authorship attribution, text mining, etc.;
  • Emerging technologies such as physical computing, single-board computers, minimal computing, wearable devices, and haptic technologies applied to humanities research;
  • Digital cultural studies, hacker culture, networked communities, digital divides, digital activism, open/libre networks and software, etc.;
  • Digital humanities in pedagogy and academic curricula;
  • Critical infrastructure studies, critical software studies, media archaeology, eco-criticism, etc., as they intersect with the digital humanities; and
  • Any other theme pertaining to the digital humanities.

Additionally, topics specifically related to the theme of the conference are requested, among others:

  • AI and decolonisation, AI as a new form of colonisation, algorithmic bias;
  • AI and Anthropocene, discourse of extinction, reverse-engineer-extinction via AI;
  • AI and human-technology interactions (androids, cyborgs, robots, posthumanism), AI and digital labour, data extraction, knowledge magnification,  AI and facial recognition;
  • AI-driven art, impact of AI-art on art, (ontological) relation between art and AI, questions of (computational) creativity, intelligence and perception, digital arts (including architecture, music, film, theatre, new media, digital games, and electronic literature), purposes of art;
  • Histories and materialities of AI, telling better stories about AI, imagining better ways of living with AI;
  • Superintelligence, ‘so-called’ intelligence, another intelligence, artificial unintelligence, adversarial intelligence.

Submission Guidelines

The DHASA conference 2021 asks for three types of submissions:

  • Long papers of at most 10 pages, not counting references, when accepted will allow for a presentation;
  • Short papers of at most 6 pages, not counting references, when accepted will allow for a poster presentation;
  • Abstracts of 200-250 words, when accepted will allow for a lightning talk.

Additionally, student submissions (where the first author is a student) are especially encouraged. 

All submissions should adhere to the style guide and can be submitted through the registration system.

All accepted submissions that are presented at the conference will be published in the conference proceedings.

Important dates

Submission deadline: 22 August 2021
Extended submission deadline: 29 August 2021
Date of notification: 30 September 2021
Camera ready copy deadline: 28 October 2021
Conference: 29 November 2021 – 3 December 2021


Given the current state of the Covid pandemic, the conference will be fully virtual. 

Co-located events 

Several co-located events are currently being prepared, including the 2nd RAIL workshop (, tutorials, and a shared task: NLAPOST: Nguni LAnguages Part of Speech Tagging challenge.

Organizing Committee

Amanda du Preez
Andiswa Bukula
Anusha Sewchurrana
Franziska Pannach
Menno van Zaanen
Mmasibidi Setaka
Oghenere Salubi
Rooweither Mabuya

Programme committee

Anne-Marie Beukes, University of Johannesburg, South Africa
Attie De Lange, North West University, South Africa
Dirk Goldhahn, University of Leipzig, Germany
Febe de Wet, Stellenbosch University, South Africa
Gerhard van Huyssteen, North West University, South Africa
Gertrud Faaß, University of Hildesheim, Germany
Gonneke Groenen, North West University, South Africa
Gordon Matthew, North West University, South Africa
Hèniel Fourie, North West University, South Africa
Henk Louw, North West University, South Africa
Inge van de Ven, Tilburg University, the Netherlands
Ingrid Thomson, University of Cape Town, South Africa
James Ayo-Akinola, Chrisland University, Nigeria
Juan Steyn, South African Centre for Digital Language Resources, South Africa
Justus Roux, Stellenbosch University, South Africa
Karen Calteaux, CSIR, South Africa
Karli Brittz, University of Pretoria, South Africa
Maria Keet, University of Cape Town, South Africa
Marissa Griesel, UNISA, South Africa
Martin Bekker, University of Johannesburg, South Africa
Martin Puttkammer, CTexT, South Africa
Rachel Hendery, Western Sydney University, Australia
Ray Siemens, University of Victoria, Canada
Roald Eiselen, CTexT, South Africa
Rory du Plessis, University of Pretoria, South Africa
Sean Kruger, University of Pretoria, South Africa
Sebolelo Mokapela, University of the Western Cape, South Africa
Sonja Bosch, UNISA, South Africa
Sree Ganesh, South African Centre for Digital Language Resources, South Africa
Tanja Gaustad, CTexT, South Africa
Thomas Hervé Mboa Nkoudou, University of Yaoundé II, Cameroon
Tunde Ope-Davies, University of Lagos, Nigeria

Digital Humanities Association of Southern Africa