Participants to the First National Digital Humanities Workshop held in 2015 at the North-West University (NWU), Potchefstroom, South Africa, decided in principle that a professional DH Association for Southern Africa should be established, and a Steering Committee was elected to further this cause. The Digital Humanities Association of Southern Africa (DHASA) was officially established with the acceptance of its constitution at a general meeting of participants on April 5, 2016 at the Second National Digital Humanities Workshop also held at the NWU.
The aims of the Association are:
a) To foreground the national and international benefits of developing Digital Humanities scholarship as a priority in the humanities and social sciences.
b) To promote the understanding and practice of digital approaches to humanities scholarship across the southern African region.
c) To hold an annual conference or workshop extending practical awareness of digitally-based scholarship in the humanities, arts and social sciences.
d) To work towards a ‘methodological commons’ for the digital humanities in the southern African region, providing guidance in the development of standards and expertise to promote best practice in DH teaching and research.
e) To extend awareness of DH research possibilities into new fields, such as indigenous knowledge systems (IKS), fine arts, performance studies, and sociology of science, for example.
f) To provide advocacy for the scholarly recognition of unfamiliar DH research outputs in national systems of innovation and research funding.
g) To showcase exemplary southern African innovations in the DH field.
h) To identify funding sources for scholarship and training in DH work.
It is foreseen that DHASA will closely co-operate with other national infrastructures within the humanities and social sciences.