UBCO-Exeter Exchange

Taking a moment on the Exeter Rock on the way to the Royal Albert Memorial Museum (left to right Charlotte Tupman, Eva Bodenschatz, Connor Spence, Karis Shearer, Emily Murphy)

Over the course of a week, Karis Shearer, Emily Murphy, Miles Thorogood and Stephen French of UBCO’s AMP Lab joined the Exeter University Digital Humanities Lab at their home facility with the purpose of fleshing out the Audio Digitization and Text Encoding Initiative training modules that the two groups are working on together. The modules produced will give lab members at both institutions the fundamental basis that they’ll need to engage in TEI and audio digitization.

Leaders across the pond (Left to right: James Clark, Charlotte Tupman, Emily Murphy, Lizzy Williamson, Gary Stringer, Karis Shearer)

Each team prepared a preview of their corresponding module to present to the other, with hopes of being able to refine the projects to a point that was beneficial for both sides of the pond. Through intensive meetings and deep discussion about purpose and intent for each module, the exchange churned out a highly productive experience leaving both teams with a true sense of accomplishment. The experience also generated a true sense of camaraderie, as working closely together helped develop new working friendships, as well as foster ideas about where the relationship between the two labs could move towards in the future.

Karis Shearer listens intently during a group discussion about future possibilities.

Connor Spence, Charlotte Tupman and Karis Shearer discussing the logistics of future exchanges.

The outcome of the exchange was not just a strong direction on where the training modules were headed, but a strong working relationship between two teams dedicated to the growth of the Digital Humanities, distinct in their identity and projects, but united by mutual goals and friendship.

Having a laugh (Emily Murphy, Leif Isaksen)

Not everything was about work, however. An important part of building the relationship was taking time to get to know each other and have fun. The Exeter team made sure to show us around the campus and the city that they called home. They worked hard to make sure that we felt welcome, and made us feel like we were part of their working family for that week. We explored the green spaces that flourished, even in the February temperatures. We checked out the Royal Albert Memorial Museum,

Walking to The RAMM (left to right; Charlotte Tupman, Emily Murphy, Karis Shearer, Connor Spence, Eva Bodenschatz)

colloquially called “The RAMM,” the different representations of classical architecture, both on and off campus, and spent time enjoying good food and drink to build those relationships, allowing us to learn more about the individuals that have thus far been behind the screen and across the pond.

One final pint on the last night (left to right; Karis Shearer, Emily Murphy, Connor Spence, Gary Stringer, Leif Isaksen, Charlotte Tupman, Stephen French)

Altogether, the week in Exeter was a massive success. Extensive progress was made on multiple project fronts, and we were able to grow our extended Digital Humanities family. We can’t wait to go back, and for the Exeter team to join us on our campus here in the Okanagan in late spring.


Written by Stephen French