Multidisciplinary Approaches in a Collaborative Digital Lab


Guest Lecture

Feb 08 4:30 – 6:00 pm

"Away From the Lone Historian? Multidisciplinary Approaches in a Collaborative Digital Research Lab"

The rise of digital humanities labs has created opportunities for bringing together not just multidisciplinary research teams in the social sciences and humanities, but also created the potential to re-organize how social science research is structured by knowledge dissemination and archiving. A series of pilot approaches in migration research between 2008-2016, including the $1.17 million "Chinese Canadian Stories" project, brought together students, off-campus communities, and scholars to redefine approaches to the collaborative production and communication of knowledge. Dr. Henry Yu discusses how scholars, students, and community researchers at UBC have been using digital technology to help reshape what defines research and archival protocols.

Henry Yu is an Associate Professor of History, and the Principal of St. John’s College, the University of British Columbia. He received his BA in History (Honors) from UBC and an MA and PhD in History from Princeton University. Prof. Yu’s research and teaching has been built around collaboration with local communities and civic society at multiple levels, in particular in the digital humanities. He is the author of Thinking Orientals: Migration, Contact, and Exoticism in Modern America ( Oxford, 2001) and was the Project Lead for the $1.17 million “Chinese Canadian Stories” public history, research and education project (2010-2012). His current research interests include the history of fascination with interracial sex, Chinese migrations and the development of the “Cantonese Pacific” in the 19 th and 20 th century, and historical and contemporary engagements between Chinese migrants and indigenous communities within the Pacific basin. He served as the Chair for the Advisory Council for the Province of British Columbia overseeing legacy projects following BC’s apology in 2014 for its history of anti-Chinese legislation. At UBC, Yu helped develop the Asian Canadian and Asian Migrations Studies program, which launched in Fall 2014, and helped design and write the university’s Strategic Plan for Equity and Diversity. Yu served on the Board of Managing Editors of the American Quarterly after it moved to Los Angeles (2003-2007) and again after it moved to Honolulu (2013-2016). He has also served the American Studies Association as an elected member of the Nominating Committee (2003-2005) and Council (2007-2010) as well as the President’s Executive Committee (2007-2010).

This event is being put on by the Program in American Studies.