All posts by jwbaker

James Baker is Director of Digital Humanities at the University of Southampton. James is a Software Sustainability Institute Fellow, a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society, and holds degrees from the University of Southampton and latterly the University of Kent, where in 2010 he completed his doctoral research on the late-Georgian artist-engraver Isaac Cruikshank. James works at the intersection of history, cultural heritage, and digital technologies. He is currently working on a history of knowledge organisation in twentieth century Britain. In 2021, I begin a major new Arts and Humanities Research Council funded project 'Beyond Notability: Re-evaluating Women’s Work in Archaeology, History and Heritage, 1870 – 1950'. Previous externally funded research projects have focused on legacy descriptions of art objects ('Legacies of Catalogue Descriptions and Curatorial Voice: Opportunities for Digital Scholarship', Arts and Humanities Research Council), the preservation of intangible cultural heritage ('Coptic Culture Conservation Collective', British Council, and 'Heritage Repertoires for inclusive and sustainable development', British Academy), the born digital archival record ('Digital Forensics in the Historical Humanities', European Commission), and decolonial futures for museum collections ('Making African Connections: Decolonial Futures for Colonial Collections', Arts and Humanities Research Council). Prior to joining Southampton, James held positions of Senior Lecturer in Digital History and Archives at the University of Sussex and Director of the Sussex Humanities Lab, Digital Curator at the British Library, and Postdoctoral Fellow with the Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art. He is a member of the Arts and Humanities Research Council Peer Review College, a convenor of the Institute of Historical Research Digital History seminar, a member of The Programming Historian Editorial Board and a Director of ProgHist Ltd (Company Number 12192946), and an International Advisory Board Member of British Art Studies.

My DH Climate Actions

Last week at Digital Humanities Benelux 2022, I had the pleasure of working with colleagues from the Digital Humanities Climate Coalition and Historians for Future to run a workshop on ‘Greening DH’. It was a productive and generative session, and I thank all attendees for their contributions and reflections. Towards the end of the workshop, Lea Beiermann asked us to consider actions we would commit to taking one week, one month, and one year from the workshop.

This post is my ‘one week’ and ‘one month’ commitments rolled together: to share in public the reading list for my Data Environmentalism module, and to collect together my DH climate actions in one blog post (as for my one year commitment, that is to mention the Digital Humanities Climate Coalition in every talk I give – which I think I’m on track for!).

So, my DH related climate actions thus far, in roughly chronological order, have been:

  • Supporting Luke Aspland, our Digital Humanities Technician at University of Southampton, in developing our ‘Equipment Purchase Policy: Sustainability and Resource Cost’ in March 2022. This policy embeds Sustainability Performance Indicators into our decision making for equipment purchases. As many of the technologies at Southampton Digital Humanities were purchased prior to the development of the policy, we are gradually auditing those historic purchases, and are using this process to inform future decision making.