PhD Workshop “Beyond Search: Opening Up Audiovisual Content for Humanities Studies” – 25-26 September 2023


25-26 September 2023 (2 ECTS credits)


Laboratory for Experimental Museology (eM+), EPFL, Lausanne, Switzerland.


Download the full programme with bio and abstract

Apply through Google form


This event is part of the Narratives From the Long Tail: Transforming Access to Audiovisual Archives Event Series:



Expanding our areas of inquiry builds new routes for the field. In recent years, audiovisual (AV) content, with its growing accessibility, rich hidden meanings, and complexity in modality, became a new frontier for research in humanities and computational domains. The quest for properly and meaningfully opening up the variety of information (such as historical, social, affective, and aesthetic) available in the ever-increasing audiovisual (AV) materials requires a collective effort from both sides to co-create not only new methods but also new research questions. This transdisciplinary task pushes us to work across ossified divisions, such as the “Humanities” and “Sciences”, in ways that can help us realise a more collaborative, equitable, and generous configuration of the field of Digital Humanities.

This 2-day workshop, covering both the theoretical and practical aspects of processing and utilising audiovisual data (generously provided by our partners), provides an entry point and a test field for researchers from EPFL and other Swiss universities working on digital humanities, audiovisual content understanding, and HCI to formulate and validate new ideas.

Who we are looking for:

We welcome students and researchers who are curious in:

  1. introducing audiovisual data as materials for humanities and sociological studies.
  2. developing and improving computational methods for processing and extracting features from audiovisual content with real-world applications.
  3. scoping creative and artistic data-driven experiences and interaction.
  • Prof. Marina Hassapopoulou, New York University
  • Ingrid Mason, National Film and Sound Archive of Australia
  • Prof. Lauren Tilton, University of Richmond
  • Prof. Matthias Grotkopp, Freie Universität Berlin
  • Prof. Mark Williams & Dr John P. Bell, Dartmouth College
  • Dr Luca Rossetto, University of Zurich

Download the full programme with bio and abstract

Programme Overview:

Cultural analytics, Quantitative culture studies through AV, Novel access models for AV


  • Welcome and opening speech
  • Lectures (3 * 45 mins)
  • Coffee Break
  • Q&A and discussion

12:25-13:30    Lunch


  • Participants lightning round
  • Workshop: Formulating research questions
  • Checkpoint Presentation
  • Discussion With lecturers

16:50-17:10    Intro to CLARIN-CH and DARIAH-CH

17:10-18:30    Guided tour to eM+ Lab at EPFL

19:00    Social Dinner


Computational and manual video processing tools, Digitisation and datafication of AV


  • Lectures (3 * 45 mins)
  • Coffee Break
  • Q&A and discussion

12:25-13:30    Lunch


  • Workshop: Working with audiovisual materials
  • Discussion With lecturers

16:20-17:00    Final Presentation

17:00-18:00    Tour to EPFL Pavilions

Learning outcome: 

By the end of the course, the student will be able to:

  1.  Have an overview of the methods and paradigms for using audiovisual materials for various studies

  2. Being able to formulate research questions more comfortably to critically engage with audiovisual content as a source of information.

  3. Identify, apply, or develop appropriate computational methods to process and extract features from audiovisual content.



Course deliverables: 
  1. A 10-15 mins (group) presentation on the initial outcome, developed from the workshop or your ongoing related research, at the end of the course. 
  2. An initial (group) report recording the formulation and the iteration of the proposed work, documenting the lessons learned and efforts made, submitted after the course. 
  3. An extended abstract with elaborated and specific research questions and proposed future work that surfaced during this course in their own research field and interest (cultural studies, computational methods, HCI, etc.), submitted after the course.

Participants who complete all workshop assignments will receive 2 ECTS credits. EPFL participants will be automatically registered with the ISA, while participants from other universities will receive a credit certificate.



Interested applicants should apply using this Google form.

Workshop registration is free. For participants travelling from outside of Lausanne, a subsidy for travel and accommodation for a maximum of CHF 350 can be provided on a selective base.

The deadline for submitting the application form is 31st August 2023

The result will be communicated via email to each applicant by Early September 2023.


Should you have any questions or require further information, please feel free to reach out to us at [email protected]


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