Report Open Access

Digital Humanities and the Climate Crisis

Baker, James; Gregory, Julian; Walton, Jo Lindsay; Sussex Humanities Lab

The Sussex Humanities Lab (SHL) is a research community that investigates technology’s role in shaping culture, society and the environment, and the use of technological tools to undertake research within the arts, humanities and social sciences.

In 2019 SHL established a Carbon Use and Environmental Impact Working Group. In 2020 this group published the Sussex Humanities Lab Environmental Strategy,1 a document that seeks to ground our research and practice in environmental sustainability and resilience. The Strategy has two purposes: first, to be an evolving point of reference for all SHL members, in formulating bids, planning activities, and running working groups; and second as a call to action that we hoped would inspire our field, our partners, and our collaborators.

We welcomed the positive responses to the Strategy, but knew that a call to action alone was not enough. This report is the next stage of our action. It is the result of mixed-methods research that sought to explore the environmental activities and strategies of Digital Humanities (DH) research groups comparable to SHL. The research took place between January and March 2021, and was funded by SHL. What follows describes our research methods, what we learnt, and the next steps we intend to take.

1 Sussex Humanities Lab Carbon Use and Environmental Impact Working Group, Jo Walton, Alice Eldridge, James Baker, James, David Banks, and Tim Hitchcock, The Sussex Humanities Lab Environmental Strategy, Version 1.3 (2020) http://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.3776161

(v1.1 includes the appendix and fixes a typographic error)

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