With a strategic focus on high quality projects in the humanities, arts and social sciences, we provide a range of activities and programs to support researchers and industry partners working with data and digital environments.
Digital Chamber Residency
The Digital Chamber is a space in the Digital Studio housing researchers working on digital humanities and social sciences projects.
Digital Studio Fellowships
The Digital Studio supports international knowledge exchange across the digital humanities, arts and social sciences, by hosting a range of fellows and visiting researchers.
Digital Studio Seminar Series
The Digital Studio hosts a diverse range of semester long seminar series, leading debates and discussion for digital scholars; whether critics, creatives or champions.
Digital Studio Graduate Internship Program
The Digital Studio’s Graduate Internships bring together graduate students, postdocs and academics from across the Faculty of Arts to work together on digital research projects.
The Digital Studio collaborates on digital and data projects with researchers in many diverse fields, provides support and advice on cutting-edge digital methodologies for humanities and social science research, and hosts international speakers, researchers, and interns. The tiles below provide useful guidance to current projects hosted by or in partnership with the Digital Studio.
COVID Buster Health Campaign
Find and Connect
Death Tech Project
Who is Nature?
CIRCUIT: Mapping Theatre in Australia
Pacific And Regional Archive for Digital Sources in Endangered Cultures (PARADISEC)
The Living Archive of Aboriginal Collections
Melbourne History Workshop
Australian Women’s Register
Graduate Internship Projects
Each year the Digital Studio hosts a Graduate Internship program in which Arts researchers have the support of an intern to realise a small component of a digital project. In alignment with our strategy to develop emerging digital and data humanists it provides graduates with training and mentoring in digital methods and data science and allows them to contribute to innovations in project development. The tiles below provide insights into the 2020 projects.
Artists on Captain Cook’s Voyages to Batavia
Textiles, Trade, and Meaning in the Courts of Northern Italy at the time of Isabella d’Este
A Social Network Analysis of Late Twentieth-Century Heritage Conservation
Who is Nature? VR visions from Indigenous Latin America and Australia
Revisualising Ralph Reid's family history index
Doctors Down Under Exhibtion
Gender Sensitive International Development in Decentralised Governance Contexts: Women's Collective Action in Rural Indonesia
Narrative Now: Creating a podcast series
Kulu Language Institute website
Otto Rank's Homosexuelle Neigungen [Homosexual Leanings] (critical edition and translation)
Revitalising Indigenous-State Relations: Geospatial Map
Plain Speech and Death Metaphors in Times of Crisis
Founding an Australian Recipe Archive
Visualising the Acquisition of Pitjantjatjara
A National Framework for Managing Malignant Plastics in Museum Collections (PolyMuse)
Wine in a Time of Crisis: Bushfires, COVID, and Health
Want to see more? Click below to take a look at internship projects from previous years.
Want to get involved with the Digital Studio internship program? We welcome applications from research students to undertake the internship, and from academics and external organisations interested in hosting an internship and supervising an intern.
HASS Data Enhanced Virtual Laboratory (DEVL)
Deep Mapping: Creating a Dynamic Web Application Museum "Soft Power" Map
Investigating Actual and Perceived Videotext Complexity in Second Language Video Comprehension
Visualising Special Music Collections
Awaken digital experiences
UoM Digital Incubator
Theatre and Dance Platform
Digital Studio Director
Professor Rachel Fensham
Professor Rachel Fensham is Director of the Digital Studio, and a dance and theatre scholar committed to the responsible development of digital and data research capabilities in the arts, humanities and social sciences.
Having led digital archival projects in the United Kingdom, she established the research infrastructure to host the Theatre and Dance Platform at the University of Melbourne. This unique digital repository holds significant digital collections for theatre and dance companies in Melbourne and makes them interoperable with other datasets and interactive resources, such as the award-winning Visualising Venues project for La Mama Theatre, Union House Theatre, and Lucy Guerin inc.
As Lead Chief Investigator (CI) for “Creative Convergence: Enhancing Impact in Regional Theatre for Young People” (ARC Linkage Project, 2016-2021), she has developed the mapping tool, CIRCUIT for theatre companies to plot and identify their touring networks throughout Australia.
As of 2021, she is the lead CI on the Linkage Infrastructure, Equipment and Facilities (LIEF) project for the “Australian Cultural Data Engine: putting cultural data to work”.
Her publications include Movement: Theory for Theatre Studies (Bloomsbury 2021), and chapters on “Making and Assembling” for the Routledge Handbook of Interdisciplinary Research Methods (2018) and "Research Methods and Problems" for The Bloomsbury Companion to Dance Studies (2019). With Dr Kate Elswit, she is co-editor of the award-winning book series, New World Choreographies (Palgrave) that recently launched its 13th title.
Digital Studio Project Officer
Dr Joanne Burns
Dr Joanne Burns is the Digital Research Project Officer and is there to provide targeted project support, consultation, and training in support of digital and data humanities research, including visualisation of research, online content management and social media communications. On behalf of the Digital Studio, she coordinates and oversees a wide range of activities, projects and events, such as symposiums and training workshops, facilitating meetings, committees and working groups.
She has a background in arts and archival studies; her doctoral thesis (2016) was interdisciplinary in the fields of English and Music, examining the role of music in the life and works of the Romantic Irish author and lyricist Thomas Moore (1779-1852). She worked intensively with The Gibson-Massie-Moore collection at Queen’s University Belfast, the world's largest collection of Moore’s published works, containing over 1,000 volumes of printed music, texts and volumes of illustrations. She was also involved in the AHRC-funded research project An Historical Typology of Irish Song at Queen’s University.
Joanne has published “Franco-Irish Musical Connections: The Influence of Jean-Jacques Rousseau on Thomas Moore,” in France and Ireland: Notes and Narratives (Peter Lang, 2015), ““Give them Life by Singing them About”: Moore’s Musical Performances in the English Drawing Room,” in Thomas Moore and Romantic Inspiration (Routledge, 2017), and ““Our finest and most popular airs are modern”: Thomas Moore’s Thoughts on Irish Song,” in Irish Song: histories and types (forthcoming 2021).
Social and Cultural Informatics (SCIP)
Associate Professor Nick Thieberger
Nick Thieberger is an Associate Professor in Linguistics. He is particularly interested in developing methods for making better records of all of the world's many languages. This involves training new students in concepts of linguistic data management, the creation of new tools, and the use of existing records for new research.
He has worked with the Pacific and Regional Archive for Digital Sources in Endangered Cultures (PARADISEC) since its inception in 2003, it is an archive that holds 12,000 hours of audio records in 1229 languages. He built the Digital Daisy Bates pages using TEI XML to display 23,000 pages of manuscript material in Australian Indigenous languages. He wrote a grammar of Nafsan (central Vanuatu) and continues to work on a dictionary of that language.
Amanda Belton is a data scientist working with education and arts researchers to visualise research information. Amanda works with playful approaches and empathetic design principles to communicate research data visually into the digital realm, with a keen interest in animation and mixed reality.
Dr Trent Ryan
Trent specialises in computational methods and analysis. His interests include data extraction and wrangling, social networks, text mining, machine learning, and statistical programming. He has worked on several projects examining the impact of social, cultural, and economic factors on cultural industries and aesthetic careers, and continues to be inspired by new and emerging methodologies designed to make sense of complex social phenomena. He is available for one-on-one research consultations on Thursdays and Fridays, and by appointment.
Digital Chamber Researchers
Dr Tyne Daile Sumner
Tyne Daile Sumner is Research Associate on an ARC Discovery Project Literature and the face: A critical history led by Professor Stephanie Trigg and Dr Joe Hughes (SCC) and Professor Guillemette Bollens at the University of Geneva and on an ARC LIEF project led by Professor Rachel Fensham (SCC/Digital Studio), Australian Cultural Data Engine for Research, Industry and Government designed to interconnect cultural heritage datasets around Australia, as well as a researcher and consultant with expertise in digital skills training, community engagement, and Digital Humanities. Her doctoral research examined the intersection between Literature, surveillance and big data; and her monograph, Lyric Eye: The Poetics of Twentieth-Century Surveillance, was published with Routledge in 2021. On Twitter she is @tynedaile.
Dr Mia Martin Hobbs
Mia Martin Hobbs is an early career oral historian, with a research focus on transnational histories and memories of war and conflict, trauma, and reconciliation. She has been developing a digital mapping project, ‘Return to Vietnam: Mapping Combat Tours and Post-War Tourism of Australian and American Veterans’ with Emily Fitzgerald and Daniel Russo-Batterham from the Melbourne Data Analytics Platform. Based on her PhD which interviewed Australian and American Vietnam veterans who returned to Việt Nam after the War, the map will exhibit the spatial-temporal dynamics of veterans' return journeys. Users will be able to watch the trajectory of veterans' return journeys across time, and the map will include clips of interview data for users to open and listen to. The plan is for completion by October 2021 to coincide with the publication of her book Return to Vietnam: An Oral History of American and Australian Veterans' Journeys (Cambridge, 2021).
She completed her PhD in History at the University of Melbourne in 2018, where she teaches American and Southeast Asian history. She has published on veteran memories and war narratives in The Australian Journal of Politics and History and Oral History Review, and written on contemporary issues surrounding veterans’ returns to Vietnam for The Conversation and Australian Policy History (twice). Mia tweets @miamhobbs.
Dr Reuben Brown
Reuben Brown is an ethnomusicologist with expertise in Indigenous Australian performance traditions from northern Australia, and digital environments for accessing, locating, and recirculating archival recordings of song and related metadata. Reuben enjoys research affiliations with the Research Unit for Indigenous Language (RUIL), Research Unit for Indigenous Arts and Cultures (RUIAC), and the ARC Centre of Excellence for the Dynamics of Language (CoEDL).
With a postdoctoral 2020 ARC DECRA, he is developing a project on modern diplomacy that involves understanding ceremonial exchange at Indigenous festivals. This project aims to investigate how ceremonial performance – between Indigenous and non-Indigenous participants, and between different clan and language groups – generate diplomacy and intercultural dialogue at Indigenous festivals in northern Australia enacts diplomacy. Expected outcomes include a mobile song library of archival recordings. Expected benefits include strengthened community efforts to sustain Indigenous song traditions into the future.
For his PhD research based at PARADISEC, Reuben returned archival recordings of song from the 1948 American Australian Expedition to Arnhem Land to communities in the Northern Territory. He collaborated with ceremony leaders of manyardi in western Arnhem Land to document and analyse these recordings as part of a living and multilingual song tradition performed at funerals, diplomacy ceremonies, festivals and public celebrations; as well as working with an interdisciplinary team of linguists, musicologists, historians, archivists and song specialists in the Pilbara and western Arnhem land to build online and offline platforms for accessing archival song recordings linked to community-enriched metadata. Reuben tweets at @ReubenJayBrown.
Dr Henry Reese
Henry Reese is a historian, researcher and musician. He completed his History PhD at the University of Melbourne in 2019. Entitled ‘Colonial Soundscapes’, this thesis was the first cultural history of early sound recording in Australia. Using a novel methodology that combines the material and the cultural, this project knits the sensory, social, business and economic histories of sound recording in a modern settler society into a cohesive whole. He is currently working as a sessional tutor and research assistant on various projects including the history of museum exchanges, urban history and podcasting. He is also a research assistant on Dr. Reuben Brown’s DECRA project.
Dr Hannah Gould
Hannah Gould is a socio-cultural anthropologist and research fellow (SSPS), and a member of the DeathTech Research Team at the University of Melbourne. For the DeathTech project, she works on questions of discarding and disconnection, religion, and material culture, through interconnected research projects on ‘the stuff of death’ and ‘the death of stuff’. Her doctoral research, for which she received the Japan Foundation Fellowship, investigated the Japanese funeral industry, showing how cultural traditions around death can themselves ‘die’, be replaced, or transformed. Hannah’s ethnography of the production, consumption, and disposal of domestic Buddhist altars reveals how people creatively use material objects to forge intimate relationships with the dead.
Nat Cutter is a PhD candidate (SHAPS) at the University of Melbourne, researching the experiences of British expatriates in the Ottoman Maghreb, 1660-1714, and their influence on diplomatic, economic, military, and cultural relations between Britain and the Maghreb. Nat has published prize-winning research on representations of Maghrebi diversity and Anglo-Maghrebi relations in early British newspapers, news transmission between Britain and the Maghreb, and British social life and isolation in Tunis and Tripoli. He is a founding contributor to Medieval and Early Orients, an AHRC-funded digital project for the study of premodern exchanges between England and Islamic worlds, and is affiliated with the Enlightenment, Romanticism, and Contemporary Culture Research Unit at the University of Melbourne.
From 2017-19 Nat served as Acting Project Officer in the Digital Studio and then as Project Manager on the ARC Linkage project Creative Convergence: Enhancing Impact in Regional Theatre for Young People. He will be returning as Research Assistant on the ARC LIEF project led by Professor Rachel Fensham (SCC/Digital Studio), the Australian Cultural Data Engine for Research, Industry and Government, designed to interconnect cultural heritage datasets around Australia. Nat teaches in medieval-early modern history, history of piracy, and economic history, and tweets @NatCutter.
Andrew Fuhrmann is a PhD candidate in the School of Culture and Communications at the University of Melbourne. He is currently researching the work of Melbourne-based contemporary dance choreographer Lucy Guerin AO. He also has a research interest in performing arts archives and curates the Theatre and Dance Platform with Rachel Fensham, an archival project initiated by the Digital Studio at the University of Melbourne.
Sam Holleran’s PhD examines public participation in the reimagination of urban burial sites and he is a member of the DeathTech Research Team at the University of Melbourne. He is also an interdisciplinary artist and writer whose work examines the power and politics imbued in urban design, and in particular, the use of everyday objects in cities, like street furniture, parks, and signage. He has worked as an art director, researcher, and educator in the field of civically-engaged design with the Center for Urban Pedagogy (CUP) in New York City and the Chair for Architecture and Urban Design at ETH-Zürich. He tweets @sam_holler.
Tom Keep is a PhD candidate in Archaeology, under the supervision of Dr Gijs Tol and Associate Professor Andrew Jamieson of the University of Melbourne, and external supervisor Dr Rhodora Vennarucci at the University of Arkansas. He is interested in how the value of archaeological research can be most widely, equitably, and engagingly distributed in the digital era. He has previously worked as a research assistant at LithodomosVR under University of Melbourne alumnus Dr Simon Young.
Interested in joining the Digital Chamber community? We welcome applications from researchers, particularly early career researchers, working in fields relating to digital humanities and social sciences.
Digital Studio Visiting Fellows
The Digital Studio supports international knowledge exchange across the digital humanities, arts and social sciences, by hosting a range of fellows and visiting researchers.
Are you interested in being hosted by the Studio as a visiting fellow?
For more information please Contact us.
Dr Rafael Cabredo
The Digital Studio hosted Dr Rafael Cabredo from 19 October to 14 December 2019, in partnership with Graduate House as part of the United Board Fellowship program.
In a fast-paced information age, leaders need to be agile and adaptive to the changing educational landscape. All decisions and actions should be supported by verified data and be grounded in established values of the institution.
Dr Rafael Cabredo is the Dean of the College of Computer Studies at De La Salle University in the Philippines. Digital humanities is a burgeoning domain for researchers at De La Salle University, with new collaborations established between the College of Computer Studies and the College of Liberal Arts supporting the development of a number of local digital heritage projects – from documenting native dance and local languages, to using natural language processing to analyse historical texts and literature. Dr Cabredo’s research draws on classical music training to blend music theory with computer science techniques, such as discovering how different chord progressions evoke emotional responses in listeners.
As an Honorary Fellow in the Digital Studio, Dr Cabredo explored how the digital humanities are delivered at the University of Melbourne, examining models for interdisciplinary practice and collaboration that can help inform research at his home university. He engaged with academics across faculties at Melbourne to share perspectives and approaches that support the continuing development of digital humanities tools and methods in the Philippines.
Dr Liz Stainforth
The Digital Studio hosted Dr Liz Stainforth from June to October 2018, as part of the Australian Endeavour Fellowship Scheme.
Being based in the Digital Studio was a brilliant experience. Taking part in the Studio’s Digital Heritage Seminar Series, provided invaluable networking opportunities and connected me with other Digital Humanities researchers.
Elizabeth Stainforth completed her doctoral studies in 2016 and has since worked as a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities (University of Edinburgh) and as a Lecturer at the University of Leeds. Her research explores digital heritage and memory cultures, and she is currently working on a collaborative book-length project about digital archiving practices (provisional title: All and Each: Dialogues in the Digital Archive). She has been an Associate Editor for parallax journal and published articles in journals including Museum and Society and Digital Humanities Quarterly.
Elizabeth’s Endeavour Research Fellowship explored digital heritage culture in Australia, and the ways in which digital cultures inform wider social transformations. The study focused on Trove, a digital heritage aggregator hosted by the National Library of Australia, which provides online access to a range of Australian cultural heritage resources. Trove is one among a number of aggregators, including Europeana, Digital NZ and the Digital Public Library of America, that point towards the reimagining of library and museum spaces online. This development raises important questions about the negotiation of public space, collections preservation and cultural engagement in the digital environment. The project had two distinct but related aims: first, to investigate the development of Trove, alongside comparable initiatives, in order to promote new understandings of their infrastructures; and second, to look at the social context for digital heritage, with an emphasis on the collections of Australian public heritage institutions.
Digital Studio Steering Committee
The Steering Committee meets bi-monthly to oversee the Digital Studio’s strategy and policy
Professor Rachel Fensham
Director, Digital Studio
Research and Collections
Ms Donna McRostie
Acting Director, Research and Collections, University Library
Research Platform Services
Dr Stephen Giugni OAM
Associate Director, Research Platform Services
Ms Cat Knights
Research Manager, Faculty of Arts
Professor Dan Woodman
Deputy Associate Dean, Impact and Engagement, Faculty of Arts
Associate Professor Nick Thieberger
Mr Brenton Porter
Manager, Alumni and Industry Relations
Dr Liam Cochrane (SCC)
Dr Una McIlvenna (SHAPS)
Professor Michael Arnold (SHAPS)
Dr Signe Ravn (SSPS)
Facilities in the Digital Studio
The Digital Studio's spaces are available to be used by Faculty of Arts researchers, staff and partners.
If you haven’t used the Digital Studio spaces before please register first.
Planning a large or a public event? Please email email@example.com or call 9035 7936 to discuss your requirements.
Would you like help promoting your event? Please complete the Digital Studio public event listing form.
Workshops, training and technology
Digital Research in Action
This series of workshops will introduce Arts researchers to emerging digital research methods, advanced critical thinking and tools for data analysis.
Digital Studio Live
Can't attend a seminar? Watch live online! See upcoming live seminars or watch the videos of past live events.
Zeta Book Scanner
SCIP Digital Resources
Can’t attend a seminar? Watch live online! See upcoming live seminars or watch the videos of past live events.
Watch past live events
Digital Face-off: The future of news on global technology platforms
26 May 2021. This panel discussion looked at the implications of the recent mandatory News Media Bargaining Code.
Digital Research in Action: Introduction to the Australian Data Archive
23 April 2021. In this workshop, Dr Steve McEachern offers an “Introduction to the Australian Data Archive”.
What is a HASS Data Commons?
22 April 2021. In this seminar, visiting fellow Dr Steve McEachern presents an overview of two new Australian Research Data Commons projects.
“Zooming” In and Out to Examine the “Virus”
6 Nov 2020. Professor Jodie McVernon and Professor Sean Cubitt
“Sharing” and “Gaming” in the Post-pandemic World
23 October 2020. Dr Nicholas A. John and Professor Saugata Bhaduri
“Geeking” and “Prototyping” in the New Normal
9 Oct 2020. Associate Professor Christina Dunbar-Hester and Professor Fred Turner
“Events” in the Post-“Information” Age
25 September 2020. Associate Professor Julia Sonnevend and Dr Bernard Geoghegan
“Internet” and “Hackers”: New Threats and Opportunities
11 Sept 2020.Professor Gabriella Coleman and Professor Thomas Streeter
The Death of the “Analogue” and Re-birth of the “Surrogate”
28 August 2020. Associate Professor Jeffrey Drouin and Professor Jonathan Sterne
Does the Future have a Past? New-Old and Old-New Virtual Realities
11 March 2020. In this seminar, Professor Peter Otto focuses on three immersive / interactive environments.
The weaponisation of fake news in Australia in the digital age
Wednesday 9 October 2019
Associate Professor Andrea Carson, La Trobe University
Data and Democracies: Developing Data Capacity in the Victorian Government
Wednesday 25 September 2019
Brad Petry, Head of Data Analytics, Victorian Centre for Data Insights
Vote Compass: an exercise in public engagement
Wednesday 18 September 2019
Aaron Martin, Co-director of The Policy Lab
The Possibility of Citizen Intelligence
Wednesday 4 September 2019
Richard de Rozario, The SWARM Project, University of Melbourne
Digital technology and organisational fluidity in British politics
Wednesday 21 August 2019
Dr Anthony Ridge-Newman, Liverpool Hope University
The Indigenous Data Network: Restoring Community Control over an Intangible Asset
Wednesday 29 May 2019
Dr James Rose, University of Melbourne
IndigenousX as a Form of Digital Disruption
Wednesday 1 May 2019
Luke Pearson, Founder and CEO of IndigenousX
Digital Environments: Communication in Immersive Media
Wednesday 18 April 2019
Pauric Freeman Maynooth University, Ireland
Immersive Culture: Sharing Traditional Knowledge with ‘Torres Strait Virtual Reality’
Wednesday 3 April 2019
Rhett Loban, Macquarie University
Digital Studio Seminar: Recoding relationality
Wednesday 5 December 2018
Digital Heritage Workshop
Wednesday 17 October 2018
Panel discussions asking: what is required for a career in digital heritage now and into the future?
Digital environments of Indigenous song
Wednesday 3 October 2018
Dr Sally Treloyn
Faculty of Fine Arts and Music
Re-photography as a tool for citizen heritage
Wednesday 19 September 2018
Professor Hannah Lewi
Faculty of Architecture, Building and Planning
Creating a short film digital archive
Wednesday 5 September 2018
Victorian College of the Arts
Digital Studio Seminar: Artificial arts
Wednesday 3 September 2018
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Contact the Digital Studio
Office hours at the Information Hub (Room 3.10)
Tuesday to Friday 9am - 5pm
Social and Cultural Informatics (SCIP)
For digital research inquiries contact SCIP:
Applications and Forms
Want to host or participate in a Digital Studio Graduate Internship?
Want to work in the Digital Chamber?
Want to undertake a research fellowship at the Digital Studio?
Want to a book a space for digital humanities or social sciences research, teaching, or events?
Want help promoting your public event in digital humanities or social sciences?
The Digital Studio is located on the 2nd and 3rd floor, West Wing of the Arts West (Building 148). Access is from Level 2 of the North Wing of Arts West, during 9.00am - 5.00pm, or via the lifts/stairs in the rear foyer of the Arts West ground floor.