Open Science in the humanities blog competition - "Digital Thesis"

blog competition - Discover evolving trends in OA

Stefan Stevović studies History at the University of Novi Sad, Faculty of Philosophy. He is one of the winners of DARIAH-EU's blog competition about Open Science in the humanities. Stefan holds a Bachelor's Degree in History, participated in two Erasmus student exchanges (Università di Pisa (History) &Otto-Friedrich-Universität Bamberg (Political science)) and volunteers in American Corner, OPENS 2019 Novi Sad – European Youth Capital and Wikimedia – Serbia (he made a connection between Wikimedia and Faculty of Philosophy for the upcoming semester course Basics of Digital History, so that students can get ECTS for writing articles on Wikipedia).

Doing research on Yugoslavian influence on the independence of Zimbabwe, he is in general interested in Digital Humanities and the possibilities emerging in this area of scholarly activity.

Blog post: Digital Thesis

My name is Stefan and I am a student of History on Faculty of Philosophy in Novi Sad. I am currently on my master studies and I will be more than happy to share this story with you.
Don’t let the thesis headline trick you about my Master thesis topic and drive you to the wrong conclusion. Even though I will be writing about a political science related topic, the thesis will also include Digital Humanities. Probably you were asking HOW? How will I manage that and how will this research contribute and work for our society? I will try to briefly elaborate that here.

Since I’m doing a master in history, I chose to do something related to international relations in which I am also interested. However, my topic will serve as an example of how history students (and also other students studying humanities) can use modern ways in interpreting their research results. By combining these two, I wish to think and act “out of the box”.

Firstly, by using internet tools. One of the Internet tools that I am going to use in my research is called Palladio. Two-thirds of my thesis will refer to this particular topic, in this case, Yugoslavian influence on the independence of Zimbabwe, the third part, last but not the least, will be the “Technical part” representing the novelty by including Digital technologies in Humanities and the advantages this change could bring to history as science.

Primarily, I’m referring to my country - Serbia, in which a DARIAH centre exists, but on my Faculty/cathedra in Novi Sad, not even an embryo of this though. I am truly aware of the “Copernican revolution” brought by Digital humanities, all the opportunities and potential and the changing of paradigms in storing and sharing data and knowledge since Gutenberg’s invention.

By doing this Master thesis I want to establish one new way of thinking and associate my home institution with these trends in science. In my humble opinion, they are not only inevitable, but an imperative and it is a matter of time when they will become our reality.

Sharing the results of this research will put me on the map of young researchers in Serbia and scientific work is something that I would like to continue doing. That will be my benefit from it.

By defending my thesis on the Faculty of Philosophy in Novi Sad I will present Digital Humanities to my cathedra and later I would like to connect with people from DARIAH Serbia, so I could meet more people with similar work and ideas in Humanities. My goal is to make my idea of research more accessible to other students by spreading the knowledge about it and to encourage them, other students of humanities, to make their own thesis in this manner. Also, by creating a supportive network of people in which we could promote Digital humanities in our future scientific projects.

When it comes to the core idea about the thesis topic and implementing Digital Humanities in it, I would say that only my pure curiosity brought me here. However, Internet communities played the crucial role to make me realize that Digital Humanities are something that I would like to work with and to endeavour contributing gradually.

After finishing my Master thesis, the biggest challenge will be to find understanding and approval of the brother community in Humanities departments for my work. I can’t claim anything certainly, but considering slow changes in everything which is new and people having certain reservations towards innovations, I hopefully wish that I am wrong about it. However, I strongly believe in this idea and research and that I will succeed and accomplish it.