I am touched and honored to be awarded the Paul Fortier Prize for best paper by an early-career scholar at DH2015, this year’s Global Digital Humanities Conference in Parramatta, Australia. I would like to begin by acknowledging the Darug people – the traditional custodians of the land in which I have received this honor. I would also like to pay my respects to the elders, both past and present, and extend that respect to other indigenous people.
In his guest speech during the closing ceremonies Dr. John Burrows spoke of some of the “wonderful things” Dr. Paul Fortier contributed to the practice of DH. One of the most central was his commitment to developing our ability to assemble and examine ever-growing data sets of evidence – in some cases, “all of it” – in order to understand collections of previously impenetrable size, scope or scale. In so doing, he and his colleagues inspired the work of later scholars who continue to innovate new approaches in humanities scholarship. I am proud to count myself among those who have been beneficiaries of Dr. Fortier’s “wonderful” vision.
To those who knew him well, Dr. Fortier was more than just a passionate and dedicated digital humanities scholar. His was a generous and inclusive personality, his presence and mentorship a “wonderful thing” to those many scholars with whom he made a special effort to engage. Quite a few people have told me how pleased he would have been to come to Australia from Manitoba to celebrate this conference, surrounded by the diverse and vibrant community he helped to found. I am deeply gratified to receive this award in his name, and in his honor. It is indeed another “wonderful thing.”
I would like to thank the Alliance of Digital Humanities Organizations (ADHO) and constituent organizations, the Association for Computers in the Humanities (ACH), the DH2015 Awards Committee, our Australasian hosts and my fellow nominees.