2023 Richard Deswarte Prize in Digital History

We are delighted to announce that the 2023 Richard Deswarte Prize in Digital History is awarded to Gábor Mihály Tóth, Tim Hempel, Krishna Somandepalli, and Shri Narayanan for their article ‘Studying Large-Scale Behavioral Differences in Auschwitz-Birkenau with Simulation of Gendered Narratives’, Digital Humanities Quarterly 16:3 (2022).

At the first IHR Digital History seminar of the year Tóth we give a paper on the prize winning entry. This will take place on 24 October in London and live online. Full details of how to join the seminar are available on the seminar page.

The judging panel recognised the paper’s contribution to historical knowledge, historiography, and method. Peter Webster, chair of the panel, said:

This article sparked a very lively and wide-ranging conversation among the panel. We noted the article’s combination of methodological sophistication with a definite and novel intervention in the historiography of the period. This is a striking piece of work, situated at the intersection of digital method, oral history and the study of the Holocaust, and the panel’s reflections on it suggest that it is sure to foster lively debate about the interactions between those fields, as well as within each one. In its second year, it is a pleasure to see the Deswarte Prize once again highlighting the strength, diversity and liveliness of the field; Richard would, I feel sure, have been delighted by it.

Other eligible nominations for the prize were on topics ranging from the reuse of early modern text and twentieth-century algorithmic verse, to the forensic investigation of born-digital archives. The quality, breadth, and originality of the entries indicates the health of field.

We thank all that nominated entries for the prize, and our international panel of expert judges. The 2024 edition will be launched early in the new year.

Richard Deswarte (1965-2021) was one of the founding convenors of the Digital History seminar at the Institute of Historical Research (IHR), University of London, an advocate for the value and importance of digital history, and an irreplaceable member of the community of digital historians in the UK and beyond.

This annual prize, established in his memory, celebrates the best of digital history internationally. It offers an award of £1,000 for the best output in digital history published in the 17 months prior to the submission deadline. More information on the prize is available here.

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