ADHO regretfully announces cancellation of in-person DH2020 conference in Ottawa

Due to the global COVID-19 pandemic, the Alliance of Digital Humanities Organizations, in consultation with the DH2020 Local Organizers and Program Committee, has decided to cancel this year’s in-person conference in Ottawa, which was scheduled for 19-25 July 2020. This has been an exceptionally difficult decision, but individual and communal health is our priority. An in-person conference would endanger attendees and members of the general public. We recognize this is a loss for colleagues who look to the annual conference to share their work and to enjoy the networking and community that the conference entails. We share in the sadness for this lost opportunity.

Given the deep personal investment made by the organizers and the DH community in the 2020 academic program, ADHO is presently evaluating the feasibility of holding a virtual conference in its place. We hope to communicate further information about this in early May. 

It is as complicated to take a conference apart as it is to organize one, and without the reward of seeing it come to fruition. The ADHO Constituent Organisation Board, Executive Board, and Conference Coordination Committee wish to note their deep gratitude to the local organizers at the University of Ottawa (especially Constance Crompton, Kevin Kee, and Sarah Simpkin) and Carleton University (especially Brian Greenspan and Shawn Graham) for the labor that they have graciously contributed toward these efforts over the last two years. They are also deeply grateful to the Program Committee and, in particular, its Chairs, Laura Estill and Jennifer Guiliano, who put together an exciting DH conference program that promised to extend our signal DH event in new directions by foregrounding voices from indigenous communities. We are determined to find a way of celebrating their effort and that of all who contributed to the conference professionally and academically in the future.

A number of awards were also intended to be presented in connection with DH2020, including the Paul Fortier Prize and several Conference Bursaries. Once the feasibility of a virtual conference has been assessed, the ADHO Awards Committee will make a further announcement about these awards. 

Details regarding refund processing will be posted to dh2020.adho.org by May 1. Those who completed their registration will receive an email in the coming weeks regarding refunds of fees paid. We hope to have all refunds issued in the next six weeks. We politely request that delegates refrain from making email or social media inquiries on these or other topics as we are unable to provide individual responses in the interim. Until then, please see the FAQ for answers to some common queries as we establish them.

We believe strongly that despite the regrettable consequence of this pandemic, our community will also have an opportunity to gain as we learn from and share with one another. ADHO, and all of its COs, takes continued inspiration from DH2020’s planned theme of “carrefours/intersections”, a place where paths cross, and we look forward to gathering with you again when it is safe and responsible to do so. Until then, we wish you and yours the very best at this difficult time. 

The ADHO Constituent Organization Board
The ADHO Executive Board
The ADHO Conference Coordinating Committee
The 2020 Local Organizers
The 2020 Program Committee