The Electronic Textual Cultures Lab at the University of Victoria ( is hosting an interdisciplinary lecture series, Digital Scholarship on Tap. This gathering is meant to bring together faculty, students, and staff across campus in a collegial setting to discuss developments in digital scholarship, research, and teaching in our increasingly cybernated world.

Our next topic is “3D Imaging and Modelling.” The format will follow an interview-style discussion of different disciplinary approaches to the topic.

Where: University Club: Member’s Lounge

When: Wednesday, February 12, 3:30-4:30pm talk; 4:30+ mingle

Everyone is welcome! Registration is free but places are limited; please make sure to register for the gathering via Eventbrite.

Marla MacKinnon is a bioarchaeologist and a PhD candidate in the department of Anthropology. She has also worked at the Canadian Museum of History and the Field Museum of Natural History within the anthropology and repatriation divisions, helping to document, curate, and repatriate human skeletal remains

Broadly, her research interests include human skeletal morphological variation, 3D imaging for archaeology, and ethical care and curation of human remains.  Throughout her undergraduate, master’s, and doctoral degrees, her research foci have ranged from the recording of prehistoric rock art to ancestral diversity of post-medieval British populations to morphological variation of the human pelvis, all with a common theme of applying innovative digital technologies to studying the past. Marla’s doctoral research specifically uses geometric morphometric methods to investigate growth and development of the human bony pelvis, focusing on the influences that ecological factors, such as subsistence strategy and geographical terrain, have on pelvic shape variation.  She also currently part of an interdisciplinary research team at UVic which is exploring the significance of curvature in human leg bones by using digital musculoskeletal modelling software.

Allan Mitchell is professor of English at the University of Victoria and the author of Becoming Human: The Matter of the Medieval Child (University of Minnesota Press, 2014) and Ethics and Eventfulness in Middle English Literature (Palgrave Macmillan, 2009).

Allan’s current SSHRC-funded project on “Instruments and Itinerant Bodies of Knowledge in Middle English (c. 1350-1500)” explores how later medieval knowledge practices forged ecological relations among disparate times, places, polities, and matters. The project takes an eco-materialist approach to focus on how both texts and associated technical objects capture and convert elements of the environment, translating ambient phenomena into intelligible forms. To that end, the project situates technical prose alongside practical mechanisms (e.g., astrolabe, equatorium, navicula) to show how they functioned as multimodal interfaces. As part of one case study, 3D modelling was employed to fashion a digital and physical model of the navicula. What we find so far: reproducing historical objects has obvious value — affording close engagement with rare or otherwise inaccessible objects — but reproduction is also fraught with difficulties and liabilities.

Come discuss digital technologies and research in our community!