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NLM to Host Data, Health, and the Digital Humanities: Shared Horizons II

August 24, 2022

The National Library of Medicine (NLM) will host Data, Health, and the Digital Humanities: Shared Horizons II (DH2), a series of all-virtual programs and a scholarly book supported by the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) through a grant awarded to Virginia Tech, all collaborative outcomes of the NLM/NEH partnership to collaborate on research, education, and career initiatives.

DH2 will assess the last decade of burgeoning biomedical-driven humanities scholarship, chart its increasingly interdisciplinary future, and address new challenges and opportunities for advancing the humanities and its intersections with data and subjects of individual, community, and global health.

DH2 will include two virtual public lectures as part of the NLM History Talks series and a virtual workshop, followed by an edited volume of the research papers developed during the workshop.

The first virtual lecture, Shutting the Digital Back Door: Creating Tech Justice with Health Data Liquidity and the Digital Humanities, will be delivered by Kim Gallon, PhD, Associate Professor of Africana Studies at Brown University. Dr. Gallon will speak at 1:00 p.m. ET on Tuesday, October 4, 2022, via NIH Videocast.

The second virtual lecture, Life after Lockdown: Pandemic Perspectives from Peru, will be delivered by Katy Kole de Peralta, PhD, Clinical Assistant Professor of History at Arizona State University. Dr. Kole de Peralta will speak at 2:00 p.m. ET on Wednesday, November 9, 2022, via NIH Videocast.

Call for Proposals for the DH2 Workshop

The project website,, includes a call for papers for scholars interested in taking part in the workshop, which includes a series of sessions between fall 2022 and spring 2023. The workshop is intended for early career scholars, including current doctoral students or scholars within eight years of completing their doctoral degrees. The workshop prioritizes research that studies themes related to diverse populations, examines health across the regions of the world, and highlights periods of history before the modern era. Workshop participants will engage in thoughtful discussion of pre-circulated drafts resulting in an edited volume of original research contributions. This book will be made available as an open-access, free digital edition as well as a low-cost print edition from Virginia Tech Publishing.

The workshop follows broad and inclusive definitions of the key terms below with the goal of advancing integrated analysis across multiple interdisciplinary perspectives:

  • “Data” refers to the quantification of essential information, which has long been central to analysis in social and health sciences and only now is becoming more integrated into humanities interpretation.
  • “Health” is broadly defined to include all types of disease, preventive and treatment measures, social determinants, and narrative interpretations.
  • “The digital humanities” encompasses innovative approaches associated with digitizing source materials, analytical tools, and scholarly communication and the interpretation of these materials using skills, methods, and insights associated with humanities scholarship.

Participation in the DH2 workshop will be free to workshop attendees. Members of the public are welcome to attend events open to all audiences, including the History Talks lectures and the roundtables by workshop participants in spring 2023. Public events will be announced on the workshop website.

DH2 Commemorates 10 Years of Shared Horizons

DH2 will mark the 10th anniversary of Shared Horizons: Data, Biomedicine, and the Digital Humanities, a unique interdisciplinary symposium held in 2013 that marked the beginning of the NEH/NLM collaboration. Since Shared Horizons, the NEH and NLM have cosponsored many initiatives that have explored the intersection of biomedical and humanities research. DH2 will continue this impactful and decade-long collaboration between the agencies, which has brought together scholars, scientists, librarians, archivists, curators, technical information specialists, healthcare professionals, cultural heritage professionals, and others in the humanities and biomedical communities to share expertise and develop new research agendas.

About the Partner Institutions

National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH)
Created in 1965 as an independent federal agency, the NEH supports research and learning in history, literature, philosophy, and other areas of the humanities by funding selected, peer-reviewed proposals from around the nation. Additional information about the National Endowment for the Humanities and its grant programs is available at

National Library of Medicine (NLM)
NLM, part of the National Institutes of Health, is a leader in information innovation and the world's largest medical library with more than 17 million items in its collection. MNLM develops electronic information services used by scientists, health professionals, and the public around the world. NLM makes its information services known and available with the help of the Network of the National Library of Medicine, which consists of 5,600 member institutions, including seven Regional Medical Libraries. NLM conducts and supports research that applies computer and information science to meet the information needs of clinicians, public health administrators, biomedical researchers, and consumers.

Virginia Tech, in keeping with its motto Ut Prosim (“That I May Serve”), takes a hands-on, engaging approach to education and preparing scholars to be leaders in their fields and communities. As the Commonwealth’s most comprehensive university and leading research institution, Virginia Tech offers 225 undergraduate and graduate degree programs to more than 31,000 students and manages a research portfolio of $496 million. The university fulfills its land-grant mission of transforming knowledge to practice through technological leadership and by fueling economic growth and job creation locally, regionally, and across Virginia.